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Renting or Buying?

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Do we get a commission if you rent a place with critters?

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Recently, when I broke the news to friends and family that I will soon be moving to Manhattan to set up camp in Minyanville full time, the response was overwhelming... never before have I been offered so much real estate in such a short period of time. No wonder Time magazine is finally cashing in on the national real estate obsession.

Below are some representative emails (names have been changed or altered to ensure that my friends will continue to speak to me):

Kevin-
Congrats on the move. Are you renting or buying? Buying I hope. Let me know and I'll hook you up with a friend of mine - I get a commission if you buy from him.
T.

Kev-
That is awesome you're moving to NYC! If you are looking for a place to buy let me know, my sister sells real estate in New Jersey but has a relationship with an agent in Manhattan!
D.

K-
Man, I can't believe you guys are moving to New York!!! Let me know if I can help with the apartment shopping (my cousin is in real estate there). You guys are buying, right? Real estate prices are through the roof there (you know that) but still much better than renting some shoebox for what you could buy a 3,500 square foot home for in Richmond. Let me know anything I can do.
G.

I could go on but you get the point. Of course, I always try to practice what I preach, so we definitely intend to rent (incidentally, that's one trade I definitely regret putting on when I moved to Richmond, VA back in 2000).

I think it's safe to say that were my wife and I to buy a place in Manhattan, apparently no fewer than 15 people would stand to get some type of finder's fee or commission from it. We may single handedly burst the housing bubble!

Meanwhile, Scott Reamer passed along to me an article that ran in the L.A. Times recently. It looks like we aren't the only ones planning on renting. According to the article, Douglas Duncan, the chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, has similar plans: "I'm going to rent for a while," he said.

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