Should I Rent or Buy in New York City?

September 21, 2022

Owning vs renting? In New York City it’s a huge debate! Which is a better investment? When should you buy a home? Luxury Realtor Randy Baruh explains when you should sign a lease vs put in a bid on that sparkly new apartment. Randy will also go over tax breaks, home equity loans, mortgage payments, and which leads to lower monthly costs.

Buying a home can be overwhelming but we’ve got you covered! Here are the top 5 things to know during your real estate hunt for a home or apartment in New York City (whether that’s Brooklyn, Manhattan or any other borough!) 


One of the most important reasons to own is security. When you're renting, you don't have much security regarding your living situation. If your landlord decides not to renew your lease, then you have to find new accommodations. And every time you have to move, it’s more money out of your pocket and into someone else's. 

Whereas when you own (provided you're paying your mortgage payments on time), you get to decide when and how to move. And when that time comes, chances are, you're going to end up with more money in your pocket than when you started. 

Stable payments

Another reason to own versus rent are stable payments. If you're renting, your landlord is going to raise your rent every year. On the flip side, if you have a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly mortgage payments will remain the same for the entire period of the loan. And if you're making principal payments, your mortgage payments will actually go down over time.

So if you're living in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, all appreciating rental markets, your rent could go up, or your mortgage payments could going down. And you can take that to the bank. And if you're in Los Angeles or San Francisco, you could put that in your pipe and smoke it 420. 

Tax Breaks

Another really important reason to own versus rent is for the tax breaks. When you own your home, you get all sorts of deductions for mortgage interest payments, property tax payments, energy efficiency improvements, and more. When you rent, you don't get any tax breaks. But the amazing thing is, is that your landlord will get tax breaks, renting your home to you. Fuck your landlord. Own something. 

Freedom to do what you want

Another reason to own versus rent is because when you own you could do what you want with the property. When you rent, you have to get your landlord's permission for everything. You want to paint the walls? You need written approval. You want to fix up the bathroom? Why would you pay to make the landlord's bathroom better? If you want a pet? No, you can't get one because your landlord is a pet-hating fiend. Yes, even fish. Who the hell would hate fish??? He does. 

When you own, you could paint the walls any color you want. You could make the bathroom of your dreams. And you can get that cute, cuddly little furbaby that you've always wanted to smoosh and scrunch and cuddle to your heart's content. 

It’s an Investment

Another reason to own is that owning is an investment. Paying rent every month is essentially throwing money away. Sure you get a place to live, but you don't get much else. The opposite is true when you own a home. Every month when you're making a payment, you're adding to the value of the home. 

You can even tap into that equity if you need an influx of cash, which is called a home equity loan. A home equity loan is essentially a line of credit against the equity you have in your house. And because your home increases in value, by the time you're ready to sell, you're gonna net a nice profit. It might even be more valuable than crypto, but don't quote me on that. Seriously. Don't. I'm not a financial adviser. I’m a real estate guy. 


Another important reason to own versus rent. Privacy. Picture this: it's Sunday morning around 11am. You make your favorite famous chocolate chip pancakes. You have your coffee, the morning paper, your significant other is there playing the piano, and the morning is perfect. All of a sudden your buzzer rings (that same old buzzer that your landlord promised to fix and never did) and you hear a banging at your door. It's your landlord “Hey, remember I told you I'd drop by on Sunday morning to show my nephew the apartment?” he says. You don't remember it. You were doing something else at the time and you try to avoid whenever your landlord reaches out to you. So you open the door and your landlord walks in. His nephew is drinking Coke and eating a big giant bag of French fries and he's spilling them all over the place. And your Sunday morning is ruined. 

If you want privacy, own something. 

Overall Savings

Another important reason to own versus rent is because owning is actually cheaper than renting. Landlords don't buy property because they think buildings are cute. They do it to make money. And anytime their overhead goes up, they're adding to the rent that you're paying.

When you own, you're actually building equity and increasing your wealth so that you can have the life that you want to live go on the vacations that you want to go on and that your wife wants you to take her on and she's been nagging you about for the last 10 years. So just buy a place and make your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or significant other happy. They'll be glad you did.


Many thanks for joining me today on Randy's Real Estate questions. If you have any questions or want to reach me directly, comment below.  If you want to see more videos like the one I’ve linked above, please subscribe. Follow me on Instagram (@randybaruh) and TikTok (@randy_baruh). 


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