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Should This Apartment Be Bought or Rented?

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Mention the eternal renting vs. buying debate, and it's like you've wandered into a war zone. There is lots of screaming on both sides ("Keep throwing your money away, bitter renter!" "Enjoy wasting your life savings on a depreciating asset!"), the occasional bomb gets droppes, and the river runs red with the blood of the innocent. But it's all so macro, isn't it? How about we zoom in a little, and take a look at one particular unit that happens to be on the market as both a rental and a sale. Apartment #25A in The Columbia at 275 West 96th Street (near West End Avenue) is a 3BR, 2BA condo with a private terrace off the master bedroom. It checks in at around 1,350 square feet, and offers views to the north and east. The full-service building has a nursery, laundry room and a health club with squash courts (yes!) and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Here's the important stuff: "There is a temporary assessment of 10% of the common charges until May 2009. This unit is for sale at $1,595,000 or for rent at $6,500 per month." Monthly maintenance is $1,168 and taxes are $450. So...


· Listing: 275 West 96th Street [Elliman]