What's a Buyout Really Worth? Use This Calculator to Figure It Out

by Leigh Kamping-Carder | 4/07/14 - 11:59 AM

For rent-stabilized tenants, a buyout offer from your landlord is like hitting the jackpot in the great casino of the New York City renting world. But how far will that chunk of change actually take you? The Shalom Tenants Alliance, a tenants' rights group, has put together a handy buyout calculator, which the New York Times spotted this weekend, that lets you calculate how many months of buying or owning you'd be able to afford with your landlord's offer. 

Type in the relevant numbers--the offer, your income, your new rent, and so on--and presto, you'll get a breakdown of what you'd be left with after taxes, moving costs, broker's fees and a higher rent. 

And it's quite the reality check. For example, let's say you make $30,000 a year after taxes, your landlord has offered you $10,000 to vacate, and you plan to pay $800 more every month in rent. Turns out your "windfall" would actually only cover you for three months by the time you pay the costs and taxes associated with moving, plus the higher rent. You'd also lose all the protections of rent stabilization. 

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