Tuesday, February 3, 2009



“Renting. Buying. Selling. Living. Your Way. Every Day.®”

Dear Mr. Christ,

You recently inquired about relocating to New York City from a Middle Eastern home. True to your word, you sent me all the application materials I requested, including your most recent tax returns, a letter verifying current income, a credit report and bank statements dating back two years. Having considered your application materials, I regret to advise that you will not be able to rent the properties in which you expressed interest.

Manhattan rents begin around $2,500 for a studio apartment. Landlords will not rent to you without a verifiable annual income forty times the monthly rent. Put another way, in order to rent an apartment at $2,500 per month, you must verify an annual gross income of $100,000. In Manhattan, this represents the low end. Your application materials disclose that you once worked as a carpenter, but now you are an unemployed hermit. Your tax returns show that you earned only 12 shekels last year, which you immediately gave to the poor, leaving you with no money at all to your name. Your bank statement said you have never maintained any savings or checking accounts. You do not even know what a portfolio is. You are worth nothing. Unfortunately, this excludes you from renting any apartment currently listed with us.

You advised me that you know you are poor. But you wrote that you were confident you could rent an apartment because: “With men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. At that time, I advised you that you were setting yourself up for disappointment because Manhattan landlords will not rent to you without proof that you make at least $100,000 per year. You responded that you look down upon wealthy people because: “It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven,” and “it is easier for a camel go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24. I told you that your attitude would not help you win approval for a Manhattan apartment. I also told you that no person without verifiable income—or at least a guarantor with money, such as a wealthy father—had ever rented an apartment before. You responded with a story about Sarah, who gave birth to a child when she was more than 100 years old. You wrote: “Why did Sarah laugh, saying ‘Can I really have a child when I’m old?’ Is anything impossible for the Lord?” Genesis 18:13-14. You said that you could rent an apartment in Manhattan without money, just as Sarah gave birth long past childbearing age, because “with God, all things are possible.”

I am sorry to tell you that without money and credit, nothing is possible in the New York real estate market. You may say that all things are possible as long as you believe in God, but I can certifiably tell you that you will never rent an apartment here without money or credit. Your credit score is extremely poor. You told me you even insulted moneylenders and have no respect for money (“He also found money changers sitting there…[and] poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned their tables.” John 2:14-15). Landlords do not look keenly upon tenants who have no respect for their creditors. Why should they risk renting to you when they know you do not have the money to pay? That is foolish. You cannot possibly expect a reasonable landlord to rent to you, when dozens of other applicants show suitable income, savings and credit. On paper, you have no job. You have no savings. You have no credit. Your net worth is zero. As a financial matter, you are utterly impotent. You have no right at all to expect that a landlord will rent an apartment to you. Not here, they won’t. To use an urban colloquialism: No money, no honey.

I have little doubt that you are a good man. But being a good man does not pay the rent. Money pays the rent. If you wish to rent an apartment in New York City, I suggest that you adapt to your circumstances. Rather than saying: “With God, all things are possible,” be more realistic and say: “With money and credit, all things are possible.” If you had a good income, savings and a credit score over 700, you could rent any apartment you wanted; provided, of course, that the co-op board approves your character. Your attitude against rich people will not help your cause. Unless you start respecting money—and the people who have it—you will not achieve your goal. You say you want to relocate to New York. Well, start playing like it. Where you live, it is about God. Here, it is about money and credit. When in Rome, you need to do as the Romans do. You will get nowhere if you continue criticizing wealth and money. So what if rich people will not enter the kingdom of heaven? While they are here, they are the landlords. You need to start playing by the rules if you want what they control.

Money and credit are wonderful things. If you simply changed your thinking, you could rent the apartment you want, buy nice furniture, go out to eat every night and possibly attract a pretty wife. With good credit, you could buy beautiful entertainment systems and cars without putting down the full amounts, allowing you to enjoy your life without spending all your cash. Can’t you see this? Why do you persist in living like a hermit? Why can you only show an income of 12 shekels per year? Why are you unemployed? And why do you delude yourself with the thought that with God, all things are possible? You must see that you are wrong. Without money and credit, you can accomplish nothing. Belief does not matter. Please try to understand that.

I am sorry to be so frank with you, Mr. Christ. At present, it is simply impossible for you to rent or purchase property in New York City. You have no income, no credit and no savings. You do not even have potential income because you are an unemployed wanderer. You told me that your father is the “Lord of men,” but you could not provide his name, social security number, income, employer, home address or credit score. Your father may be a wonderful man, but he cannot be a guarantor without verifying his income and credit. Based upon your writings to me, I must tell you that you will never succeed in your goals. You think that your belief in God alone will land you in a New York apartment. You are sadly mistaken. Unless you can verify an annual income of at least $100,000 per year with a healthy credit score and bank statements, you will not be approved. I hope you can understand this. If this is disappointing to you, I suggest that you adopt our credo, namely: With money and credit, all things are possible.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you attain suitable income and credit levels in the future. We are always willing to work with people with enough money and credit to actually do business. At present, you are not such a person. Thank you for your interest in Happy Habitats.

Yours truly,

A. George Gelders, Senior Consultant

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