Weather Forecast


Woodworking: Theory of relativity: Calculating rental prices

The first apartment I ever rented was a brand-new item in Bowling Green, Ohio, circa 1960.

It had a kitchen, two bedrooms, a living room, a walk-in closet and a bathroom.

It was one block from campus, and it sported floors made of particle board and linoleum.

It was new and it was a dump, having been built singlehandedly from scrap lumber and asphalt siding by an 80-year-old retired preacher.

It cost $35 a month.

Over the years I lived in all manner of dumps as a young student and teacher.

My favorite was on Main Street in Bloomington, Ill., above a greasy spoon restaurant.

It sported a porch, a big kitchen, a bathroom, a dining room, two living rooms and a bedroom, all in a row, each with a door to the outside hall, having been an office building in the 19th century.

It was fully furnished, utilities were included, two of the rooms had elaborate skylights and beautifully refinished hardwood floors. It even had a built-in flour sifter in the kitchen and daily garbage pickup.

I only needed to take my garbage to the back porch and hurl it into the greasy spoon dumpster a floor below me.

Admittedly there were a few problems.

Main Street traffic didn't settle down until the bars closed at 2 a.m. There was no sink in the bathroom, so I had to learn to shave in the four-legged tub.

My only neighbors were two bearded men from southern Illinois who once invited me to dinner, which I declined as they were cooking squirrels in a gallon paint can, which they had found in the dumpster.

But I figured I was in high cotton.

For I was paying almost twice as much as I paid in Bowling Green -- $60 bucks a month.

Times have changed.

I subscribe to New York Magazine and love to read about rentals these days in the city.

A brief perusal makes it obvious why well-off folks don't want their taxes raised. Take an apartment building at 25 Broad St.

You can rent a one-bedroom efficiency for only $3,400 to $3,995 per month.

It's close to several subway lines and management throws in a washer/dryer in every unit.

If you feel like splurging, rent a two-bedroom unit for just $6,995 per month.

With modest prices like those mentioned above, a frugal person could squirrel away savings with a view to buying a property in the city.

Years ago, I read in the New York Times that one could buy the three bedroom brownstone on Gramercy Park, where Teddy Roosevelt was born, for just three million with the caveat that the kitchen and bathroom "need work."

Don't fret if you're not handy with wrenches and sewer snakes. You can buy a rehabbed townhouse in Greenwich Village.

It is 22-feet wide, has five floors, four bedrooms and six bathrooms, a media room, a library and a gym.

Don't worry about climbing five stories because besides the grand staircase, there's an elevator, which probably works.

Just call realtor Amanda Sawyer, fork over $18.9 million and the place, including a rooftop sundeck, is yours.

Of course that's not your only option.

If you want to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life, you can call the Corcoran Group, a realty company that offers a house at 351 Bridge Lane, on Sagg Pond in the 'burbs.

The house has 1,475 feet of water frontage, is a 11,700 square foot, two story English Country style building with seven wood burning fireplaces, eight bedrooms and eight and a half bathrooms and two mahogany paneled wine rooms, both with 1,000 bottle capacity.

All appliances are top-of-the-line Viking and Bosch. There's even a screen porch and a kitchen so big you can eat in it. There's no Weber broiler, only a built-in grill framed in fieldstone.

The master bedroom has a fireplace and its own bathroom, which also has a fireplace, there's a tennis court, a heated pool and "private water-viewing decks," whatever they are and a separate building houses an exercise studio.

All this can be yours for just $65 million.

Prospective buyers should be aware that fireplace wood is more expensive on the East Coast than it is in Pierce or St. Croix counties.

Dave would like to hear from you. Phone him at 715-426-9554.