Because I thrive on content creation, especially about the city I’ve grown to love so intensely, I’m beginning a weekly column of sorts called New York Values, a play on the insult lobbed at us metropolitan folks by those who want to paint urban dwellers as Godless and out-for-themselves. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, and I’ve seen at least as much behavior that would make Jesus (or whomever) proud here as in my time spent living in rural Virginia or traveling through devout lands.
Because I do real estate now, it’s going to also include another “value”: a listing, tip, or fact about renting/buying/selling that I’ve learned on the other side of the looking glass. Who doesn’t like learning or looking at pictures of gorgeous apartments? Weirdos, that’s who.
And, because it’s me, this first post is about a strong woman standing up to some bigotry.
Inspired by NY Times New York Today, Feb 22, 2018:
One summer morning in 1854, Elizabeth Jennings, a young black schoolteacher, was headed to play the organ at her church. She hailed a horse-drawn streetcar; the conductor didn’t want to let her in because of her race, but she prevailed by jumping in and hanging onto the window frame when he tried to forcibly remove her.
He got the police involved and an officer pushed her out of the streetcar. But she was able to find a lawyer, future president Chester A. Arthur, to help her sue the streetcar’s operator, winning her $225 in damages and creating a precedent that allowed African-Americans to take any public transportation provided they were “sober, well behaved, and free from disease.”
This led to the city’s public transportation becoming largely desegregated within five years. And now, over a century later, the subway boasts an impressive diversity, with its passengers uniformly opposing the intoxicated, poorly behaved, and/or diseased (looking at you, person who gave me the flu on the A train).
Obviously this was a long time ago and doesn’t speak to the current character of the city, but a few things do.
1. This was spotlighted by the New York Times in 2018; they do a daily NY news blast and it’s often focused around a personal interest story about a community activist. It’s probably where a fair amount of these little articles will originate, and it’s a nice way to start your day before you cram onto a crowded train to smell someone’s breath for 30 minutes #doweneedtobetouching.
2. In 2007 the city put up a sign reading Elizabeth Jennings Place on a street corner blocks from where she made her stand. There are spots like this all over NY, with roughly 1,600 honorific street names immortalizing people like musicians, activists, and religious leaders. Who’s Godless now?
3. The reason this street was honorifically named? A group of third and fourth graders at nearby P.S. 361 were so moved by her story that they asked the city. It took them a year, but through petitions, meetings, and a campaign of pressuring local officials, they made it happen. If I had learned this valuable civics lesson at 9 years old I would be way more excited about government.
And now for the real estate part: fun mortgage info!
Did you know that nationwide people are speculating about how the impending mortgage rate hike will affect the RE market? Did you know that some agents are very stressed about how this will affect their business? Did you know that I am zero percent concerned because people will always buy homes and I do not yet have a consistent income I’m afraid to lose?
However, as my senior broker Joe Quiros likes to say, “You don’t live in in the PRICE; you live in the PAYMENT.” So, for every percent the rates increase, your monthly mortgage payments on a 30 year loan increase 12%. Essentially what this means is that while people will not stop buying, their dollar will not go as far, because the same priced apartment will now cost them 12% more per month than if they had locked in earlier.
For example, for every $100,000 borrowed at 5% interest, you owe $59.40 per month MORE than you would at a 4% rate. That's not a huge difference on a small loan, but NY loans are often sizable, meaning this scales to more like $500/month additional.
If you have any questions about this, send me a message and we can talk numbers. And if this inspires you to GO BUY IMMEDIATELY, then I am clearly an incredible salesperson and we can work together.
There you go, it’s your first NEW YORK VALUE!!! I’ll see you back here next week with another little essay about how awesome NY is and how we are not all giant assholes; we just walk quickly and don’t like things in our way.