The Home Owner’s Guide to Taking Control of Your Money

Farnoosh Torabi

In 2005, I purchased a studio apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It felt pretty grown-up, despite the fact that I was limited to just 400 square feet of space, including a living/sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom, and closet. It was a shoebox. But it was my shoebox.

Five years later, I now know what a small a sacrifice I made. Over the years, the apartment has appreciated by more than 30% in market value, according to a recent appraisal.

I’m incredibly lucky. Looking back, I had no idea that the home would increase so much in value while the overall country would fall so deeply into a real estate crisis. Compared to other U.S. home owners, I am an outlier and, frankly, ...

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