Like many people who live in overpriced, overcrowded cities, I am kind of obsessed with real estate. Our place is very nice and I am lucky to live here— we love the neighborhood, it is still relatively affordable for New York, we have a decent amount of room, and we have really nice outdoor space (that is a big deal in New York!). However, I can’t help but dream of having a bit more— a bedroom large enough for our queen bed and two dressers (right now we each have two drawers in a shared dresser), a second half or full bath, and someplace to put a dining table so we could invite people over for dinner.

Yesterday I got an alert that a two-family house recently came on the market in the neighborhood. This place has exactly the kind of space we want— three good-sized bedrooms, a dining room, and two bathrooms! Plus it rekindles another dream of mine: that we would buy a two-family house and my sister would live in the other apartment. She and her husband are planning to have a kid in the very near future, and since I’m probably going to be working part-time for the next few years it would be the perfect set-up. I could be around to help out when they have their baby, we could swap baby-sitting easily (“Hey, can you come downstairs and watch the kids for an hour so I can go for a run?” I would never say this because I hate running, but you get the idea), and we would be nearby each other in case of emergencies.

Obviously it is super expensive, double (or more) than what we pay now. With the rental income we might be able to swing it (if the rent is what I think it is, we would only be paying slightly more every month than we pay now) but then we are relying on a tenant which seems extremely scary to me. I would 100% trust my sister to pay the rent, but they would probably only stay a few years and then we would be at the mercy of strangers. We are going to go see it, but we both already went from talking about how cool it would be to reminding each other of the reasons it’s probably not the best idea.

Has anybody owned and rented out an apartment? Is it super scary and risky? And what (probably impossible) dreams do you all have?