They wanted a “Blank Slate” bedroom for under $ 1 million. Which option would you choose?
As a student at New York University, Anthony Espino started out in dorms, then bounced back to various West Village apartments with roommates, at one point sharing a studio apartment.
“I envy all the kids who knew better, who moved to Brooklyn to get a better deal,” said Espino, who grew up mostly in Seattle.
Back then, her priority was to be within walking distance of classes. “Looking back,” he said, “I could have understood it.”
When Mr. Espino was a freshman, his mother passed away. She loved looking for a house and moving, he said, so it made sense to spend her life insurance money on buying a home.
Shortly after graduating, he met Jeremiah Corley, a graduate of the University of Florida in Tampa, Fla., Who surfed on the couch with friends after moving to New York. Mr. Corley is the Social Media Officer for Maude, a sexual wellness company, while Mr. Espino has his own digital marketing agency, Miki.
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The couple, now both 27, rented an updated one-bedroom apartment in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, for almost three years, for just under $ 3,000 a month. But as rents fell during the pandemic, they became anxious.
“The unit above had a skylight, and they were paying less,” Mr. Corley said.
Mr. Espino found himself constantly scrolling through the lists. “I always wanted to have a place of my own where I could improve myself,” he said. “This part of the rental killed me a bit. There’s not much you can do with the space – even paint. For example, how long will I be staying here and do I have to repaint the walls when I leave?
The couple hoped to find a bedroom for a monthly expense of less than $ 3,400, preferring to opt for a higher purchase price and lower running costs. They had become fond of their neighborhood of Fort Greene and hunted nearby, looking for good food, outdoor space, and natural light for their many plants.
“I didn’t want anything that gave off that doorman vibe and all the new amenities,” said Espino, who wanted “the antithesis of those cookie-cutter doorman buildings popping up all over Brooklyn.”
Their agent, Michele Roderick of Real New York Properties, said the type of large outdoor space they were looking for was usually found in small buildings. “They wanted peace, quiet and an intimate building without a lot of people coming in and out,” Ms. Roderick said.
The main criteria were somewhat amorphous: a house with character and potential, where they could do “little restorative things,” Espino said. “I wanted a blank slate. We are both practical and love to own and nest. “
Among their options:
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