Monday, July 23, 2012

The Hunt

Oh this whole moving thing, boy is it stressful. I spent all last week at a global sales conference and didn’t have a ton of time to look at apartments online, but I am in New York today and tomorrow to find a home. I set up a couple appointments and wished for the best

I asked everyone I knew for advice on neighborhoods, and it came down to very easy to follow (and not at all contrary) advice like this:

“Live in the East Village, you will love it. Tons going on”
“Whatever you do, don’t live in the East Village”
“Live on the Upper West Side. It’s clean and quiet and close to the park”
“Definitely don’t live on the Upper West Side, it’s all families”

What’s even worse is when I email about apartments and get responses like “Before I agree to show you this apartment you need to confirm that you are ok with the $4200 rental fee”. If I like the one apartment you show me? Get real. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and go sans broker.

I had three appointments today, in the East Village, West Village, and Gramercy. And really, little to no idea of what neighborhood I wanted to be in. So I head to the first appointment and hope for the best. I am standing outside of St. Mark’s place and am startled as a metal gate flies up from a storefront and a man pops his head out asking for me. “Sorry, we are doing construction, opening a wine store.” Jigga what? Downstairs from the apartment? Point St. Mark’s Place. On we go. We enter the building and I am less than impressed. The lobby is dark and dingy and kind of gross, but up we go to the second floor. The door opens, and it’s a different experience. It’s nice, it’s normal. Nothing weird, just a small bathroom, a normal kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. It’s lovely. The current tenant is there packing for his move. I ask how he likes living there, and his response is that he and his girlfriend just broke up. Insert foot in mouth. But he confirms that he loves the apartment and the area, and wouldn’t leave otherwise. I like it, the image of the hallway is still in my brain, but it’s fine.

Sidenote: when I tell my girlfriend Laura about the hallway her response is “I also found that most entrances to new york apartments looked like the beginning of a scary movie – maybe that's just something that we need to learn to deal with.” True dat homey.

Next I went to an appointment in the West Village, just a quick walk away. The neighborhood is super cute, but didn’t feel too different than the East Village. What did feel very different was how dang small the apartment was. Like, everything micro sized. But granite counter tops (maybe 12 square inches) and a little pantry. The bedroom was just big enough to fit a bed, but very little else. Same with the living room. Oh, and the closet was in the living room. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if this apartment wasn’t at the tippy top of my price range. For the tippy top, I want the best of the best. No compromises.
Apartment number three was just ok. It was listed as Gramercy, but it was really more like Kip’s Bay. It was just OK in every sense. Not worth talking about.

I left my heart in the East Village. Apartment one had everything I wanted. I mean, the murder hallway is weird, but I love the apartment itself. So now the decision becomes do I keep looking or lock it up? There could be something better out there, or not, and someone else could snatch it up while I am finding out. I decide to seize the moment and go for it! Bottom line is I am not sure of a neighborhood regardless. I could love the East Village, I could hate it. But I love the apartment, so I’m going for it. Off to sign papers tomorrow.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still having anxiety that I didn't see every apartment, every neighborhood etc.  And maybe there is something "better" out there, but I think this is a good start!
Here she is! My beautiful little East Village refuge. Upstairs from a Pinkberry and soon to be a wine store. What else could a girl ask for? Now I get to decorate! WOOHOO!!!