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Old 11-23-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: West Village
61 posts, read 233,511 times
Reputation: 27

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I'm fairly new to this board, but I figured it would be as good a place as any to share the experience I had yesterday...

Backstory:
For the second time in the last year/year and a half, I was in contract to buy a Coop/Condo, and for reasons beyond my control. So even though I've always wanted to own, not rent, I decided that I would start looking for an apt. I make between 55 - 60K, so I figured I can't spend more than 1500$. I work on 23rd and Park, so I wanted someplace convenient to my office (more specifically the 6 Train). I figured with those guidelines I was looking at a place in E. Harlem, maybe the UES if I was lucky. I wanted a 1 br, but being realistic I would have gone for a nice studio.

Jump to yesterday:
Literally day one of me actively looking for a place. I saw an ad for a 1BR on 103rd, so I contact the broker, and take the drive from Staten Island up there at ~4pm. The unit is horribly laid out, so that despite being ~700Sq feet, most of it isn't usable. I leave, get in my car and then say, screw it...I drove all the way up here, I'm taking a walk. So I get out and just kind of start meandering. I've made it a few blocks to 100th, stopping to talk to some random people. "Hey, you live around here...you like the area...how is it walking around late night...etc" Everyone seemed really friendly, and I got a pretty good vibe.

Then I see a young generally yuppie looking guy come out of a building, so I stop him to get his opinion. He says he doesn't live here...but he was just looking at an apartment and he's decided to take it. I turn to walk away, and he stops me and says, hey the agent is upstairs, and she has another unit, why don't you check it out. So we go back inside, nice building...well kept...and on the third floor is the agent. She warns me that the prior renters were just evicted, so the place is a dump, but that the management company will be renovating, so the move in date is 1 January. We walk inside, and the place, while in absolute shambles (garbage all over, floor filthy...etc), is huge...big living room, a kitchen big enough to double as a dining room, A large bedroom, and a slightly smaller one. So at this point I figure I'm going to look like an ******* because no way I can afford this place... even if I find a room mate. So I ask her how much...1500$/month. Rent Controlled.

So at this point some other people (the people she was actually waiting on) show up to check the place out. She takes us to another unit in the building that was in similar condition, and has been fixed up my the management company. Walls freshly painted, floors immaculate...a little bit of a slant in the living room, but still very nice. So I decide to take a few minutes to think about it...I take another walk around the neighborhood, talk to some more people. Check out the projects that are about a block over (granted it's the dead of winter, but still one of the nicest pj's I've ever seen). Again literally everyone I spoke to was friendly and reassuring that the area was really nice. Well except for one guy who said "Can I be honest, you don't want to live up here, all blacks and Hispanics". Kind of took me off guard as I'm mixed, and pretty obviously look black and Hispanic...but regardless, other than him, everyone I spoke had nothing but nice things to say, from the random dude hanging on the corner, to the tiny white girl coming out of a clothing store.

So to wrap it up...I pulled the trigger. We went back to the agents office, I put down my good faith deposit. Filled out my application, and assuming that nothing goes horribly wrong, I'll be moving in in January.

I doubt that anyone is interested to have actually read all of that...but anyway...that's my story.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:47 AM
 
12,340 posts, read 26,132,425 times
Reputation: 10351
I read the whole thing. Thanks for posting and congrats!
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:01 AM
 
3,225 posts, read 8,573,445 times
Reputation: 903
[quote=Desco;6281204]
So to wrap it up...I pulled the trigger. QUOTE]

Oh my God! For a moment I thought you gave up on life! Thank God you didn't, and good luck with your new home!
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,914 posts, read 31,400,832 times
Reputation: 7137
That's a cool story! And, sometimes one is directed to do something that benefits them, even when they have no compelling reason for it. Call it synchronicity, fate, kismet, but you have a place that you can call home that you like, and in an area you like. Plus, you have a decent neighbor if he took the time to bring you back in to find the agent. Congratulations!
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: DFW
219 posts, read 608,935 times
Reputation: 162
I'm just glad the story had a happy ending. 103rd on the East Side is generally a good area and a really easy commute if you work in Gramercy/Murray Hill.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:08 AM
 
Location: West Village
61 posts, read 233,511 times
Reputation: 27
Yeah, it was a really odd twist of fate. Of course my mother has to take this as an opportunity to insist that it's god's plan (we have very different beliefs), but for what ever reason things worked out well. I can't wait to cut my commute from 2 hours to 30 minutes.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:00 PM
 
3,225 posts, read 8,573,445 times
Reputation: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desco View Post
. Of course my mother has to take this as an opportunity to insist that it's god's plan
I'm with mom on this.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:13 PM
 
34,097 posts, read 47,293,896 times
Reputation: 14268
thanks for sharing your experience....life has a funny way of working itself out sometimes!
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:11 AM
 
Location: West Village
61 posts, read 233,511 times
Reputation: 27
Odd twist of the year...I got an email from my bank today that basically says: "Hey, if you still want that loan, we could probably do it now"
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:21 AM
 
425 posts, read 1,093,242 times
Reputation: 222
Things are looking up for you Desco.

One word of advice though - check out the "rent controlled" thing. The apartment is probably "rent stabilized", as there are very few rent controlled apartments left from the old days, and they usually are kept in the family, so to speak.

The amount of rent charged on a rent stabilized apartment can be legally raised 4.5% on a one year lease and 8.5% on a two year lease. When the rent reaches $2,000/month, the apartment can be deregulated, meaning the landlord can charge whatever he wants for rent, or turn the unit into a co-op/condo.

http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resou.../rentstab.html

Last edited by Ellie C.; 11-25-2008 at 07:25 AM.. Reason: added FAQ website
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