In 1987 I walked into a real estate office. I wanted to buy a home in New Hyde Park, Long Island. I worked in the electronics industry and I knew nothing about buying a home. I only wanted to become a homeowner. I felt if I put my trust in the real estate agent he would guide me along the path to my goal. I WAS WRONG.
The man in this office in New Hyde Park in 1987 basically laughed at me. He asked some key questions about salary, cash I had saved up, and credit. I answered honestly and in complete detail. He said, “You can’t afford a home here in New Hyde Park,” then turned his back on me.
Not being a person who takes, “No” for an answer, I pushed him.
“Is there nothing here in this town we can afford?” I said.
He grudgingly took out the MLS book (no computer back then, it was a BOOK the size of a phone book) and pointed to a tiny black and white photo of a house.
I looked at the photo and said to him, “Well, okay, I guess that looks like a nice house.”
“You should know it doesn’t have a driveway or a garage.”
I was a little flummoxed because I really wanted my own driveway. I was tired of driving around Astoria looking for a parking spot and my dream of homeownership in New Hyde Park included a driveway. BUT I really wanted to buy a home and so was willing to compromise.
“Okay,” I said, “I really wanted a driveway, but I’d be willing to settle if it meant I could buy a home of my own.”
He had a “poker face” on, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You should know there’s no on-street parking allowed after Midnight every day.”
I walked out of that real estate office feeling very dejected.
Stay tuned: Next week, I discuss my nasty birthday surprise that turned into Homeownership.
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