We found an apartment! After 3 days, 20 apartment viewings, and 4 different neighborhoods we found the ONE. I’ve never experienced anything like the NYC real estate market. It is truly uncanny!
Before I get into the details of our search and the winner, I have to give a huge shout out to our broker, Eric, at Douglass Elliman. He has been in the business for 20+ years and his knowledge and candor about neighborhoods, building management companies, and market pricing was invaluable. Not to mention he was a class act with a great sense of humor that we took to quickly. After we decided on our place, he even made a point to text us on a Sunday to check in and see how we were feeling about our choice. Z and I both agreed we’d totally grab a beer with him and keep in touch in the future. It’s the exact feeling you want to have with someone who is helping you find your home. Should you or someone you know ever be in need of a New York City broker we’d be happy to share his info!
The Skinny on Our Big Fat Search. Eric taught us before we left Seattle that picking an NYC apartment should rely a bit on where your work place is located. For example, Z’s office is located on the Eastside so we should really focus on neighborhoods on that side of the island. This is mainly due to the subway system which is very efficient North to South but it is much harder to commute East and West. It’s not impossible but it does take much longer to get to and from work if you live on the Westside and work on the Eastside. Thankfully, most of the neighborhoods we were interested in were on the Eastside anyway. We narrowed our search to Gramercy Park, Murray Hill, and the Upper East Side. Not only did these areas fit our budget but we also loved the vibes that were unique to each ‘hood. I spent two days with Eric while Z was at work so I could familiarize myself with all three areas but so I could also create our short list for Z to see when he could look with us on the weekend. House hunting in Manhattan is fast and furious and when you’re only looking at one bedroom apartments you pretty much see the same layout over and over. The only real differences being the (a) condition of the building and unit (b) amenities included like fitness center, doorman, etc. (c) the neighborhood. The last item seems obvious, right? Of course, where a house/apartment is located obviously affects the price. However, in NYC the price can be different from one apartment to another by an additional $500-$1,000 and the latter apartment may only be 10 blocks away. And the trendier the neighborhood, the smaller, older, and more expensive the apartment. It still stupefies us and we may never understand it. But that’s just another thing we’re learning over here!
Home Sweet Harris. The apartment we picked was the very last place we saw. Towards the end of our day, Eric mentioned this particular building and thought it would be worth it for us to add to our search. And my, are we glad he did!
Our one bedroom, one bathroom home looks out onto the entire south end of Manhattan. It took our breath away when we first saw it! It sits in a fantastic building in the Murray Hill neighborhood, which we’re very happy with. Central to our other favorite areas, close to major subway lines, and within walking distance to Z’s work. After days of seeing apartments that were too small, too old, and too expensive, this one was juuuuuust right!
We officially move-in next week and we couldn’t be happier! This makes things so official and REAL. Really friggin’ real.
Special shout out to my husband for enduring the intense application approval process. You’re a stud. Cheers to Eric for really getting to know us, hearing our needs, and finding us our new home!
And a little pat on the back to me for doing the legwork of seeing 20+ apartments before we landed on the one. *Boop*