New York's high-priced housing presents a conundrum: start mailing hefty mortgage payments to a bank, or resign yourself to abetting your Ukrainian landlord's enviable lifestyle of hookers and kasha. Pick your poison with Hotpads' Rent vs. Buy Heat Maps.
A new, financially dispiriting tool from an established rental site, HP's maps counsel whether you should rent or buy via color-coded hoods: from light blue for steal-worthy purchasing opps (Jersey City, Forest Hills), to green for market average (Murray Hill, UES), to red for rent-worthy digs, e.g., SoHo and West Village (Manhattan's gated clubdivision). The site's calcs are automatically done via esoteric math wizardry, i.e., avg cost of ownership / estimated annual rent -- a formula that's confounded many a couch-surfer's TI81. To further assist your hopeless quest for shelter, HP plots icons for thousands of current listings, each clickable for photos and details, which even include moving solutions and storage units (there's an affordable option for you).
HP also provides additional real estate heat maps, like Household Income, Foreclosures per Household, and Median Age, thus illuminating another conundrum: how to get into the low-priced hood beset by a cabal of rent-control beneficiaries who just. Won't. Die.