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New York “Lite”

05/14/2013

Belle

New York Lite

It’s not a 100% done deal since we still have legal stuff to sift through and then need board approval from the co-op, but we are well on our way to becoming first time home owners!

The Professor’s trip to NYC last week was extremely productive. There is not a lot in our price range that met all our criteria so he was only able to view eight properties. From those eight we narrowed it down to a top choice and a backup choice. Many of the properties were CLEARLY not an option. One had a gas leak inside. Another featured a beat up pink tub and toilet. Several had severe damage to the floors and appliances that were seriously older than we are. When you are trying to buy a place in NYC with 900 square feet in our price range you are met with a LOT of fixer-upers!

I’m disappointed to report that the Professor did NOT fill out a checklist on the properties (not even on the top choices!) but he did use them to guide photo taking and he remembered to check out the important stuff – like water pressure and to look for leaks. Each night he would upload photos and video to our Drop Box account and then call me so we could go over what he saw.

I’ve got to be honest with you, the first time I saw the layout of the place we eventually put an offer on I was not pleased. I had really wanted an open floor plan so I would not be all alone when preparing meals, and so I could easily watch baby when I was making my lunch smoothie. However, the photos slowly brought me around. A freshly renovated kitchen, refinished hardwood floors throughout and a ceiling fan in baby’s room won me over. In addition, the unit is on the top floor, has double exposure and overlooks a park. At $20k under our budget, the price was also right.

I went to bed torn – to give up my open floor plan for a freshly renovated kitchen was a BIG deal for me. Refinished floors that would not give me a 2 inch splinter in my ass, though, now that was a real perk! The next morning I mapped out how our furniture would fit in the place. The living room could work… so would the master room… and baby’s room would be a tight squeeze but ultimately ok. The icing on the cake was when I realized the “foyer,” which is really just a huge hall, would permit FOUR Ikea Pax wardrobes for storage. Mmmmm, delicious storage and organization. I called the Professor on my way to work and told him I was ok to make an offer.

Paperwork was organized, lenders, lawyers and agents were called and by Saturday evening the sellers had accepted our offer! Buying co-op property in NYC is a lot different than buying a home anywhere else in the country, and to be honest, the Prof. and I are still stumbling through the process. Right now we are waiting on the seller’s lawyer to draft a contract, then our lawyer will review it. Once the contract is all approved, we’ll submit a formal application to the co-op board.  Eventually we’ll both go to NY to interview with the board. Once they approve us we can finally sign everything and will officially be the new owners. Ugh, that seems like a lot of steps!

The property is in Riverdale, which from what the Professor reports is beautiful, full of trees, winding roads, little shops and parks. The property is super close to transit and only a few blocks from Van Cortland Park. He spent one afternoon exploring the area and locating “Very Important Things” like a market, produce stand, 24 hour pharmacy and, of course, a wine shop. It is also an easy commute for the Professor to get to work via bike or bus. I am calling it New York “Lite,” as it is sort of the softer side of New York City, but only a quick train ride to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.

I promise to share lots of detailed photos of the place once everything else is finalized. Until then, you’ll have to stare at a boring floor plan with me and day dream dream about all 900 square feet of potential 🙂

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14 Comments

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  1. May 14, 2013

    Hard to tell much from the drawing – but the description sounds beautiful! Trees and exposure and new floors and kitchen!!! Can’t wait to see pics!

  2. 35life #
    May 14, 2013

    This post makes me giddy with excitement for you! I am so happy to hear that this whole process seems to be starting off well. Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Infertility Can Suck It #
    May 14, 2013

    Such wonderful news!! New York is amazing and your neighborhood sounds lovely. My best friend lived on the upper west side, in a similar kind of neighborhood and loved it. Even with a smaller place, you’re so close to the water and parks, you’ll find you’re outside much of the time anyways and the whole city becomes your backyard. So, so happy for you guys and know that you will fit right into your new home!

  4. May 14, 2013

    OH my gosh! How exciting!!! I like the sounds of it! I’m so excited for you Belle. Could there be anything more romantic and beautiful than Autumn in NYC?! ENJOY this!

  5. May 14, 2013

    Oh, CONGRATS!! I mean, an early congrats… I’m sure the board will approve you guys. 🙂 Honestly, I know it’s a tiny amount of space, but you can totally squeeze into 900 square feet and, heck, you may even find it liberating to live a more minimal life. Plus NYC will be SO exciting! And you’re near a park! And you’re on the top floor so it won’t be noisy!! So many good things… I think it’s safe to let yourself get pumped. 🙂

  6. May 14, 2013

    Sounds like you’re on your way! Homeownership is always a huge transition, especially for first time homeowners in popular urban areas. It sounds like you guys are doing really well, though, and I hope that the rest of the process goes very smoothly.

  7. Arbrefleur #
    May 14, 2013

    Congrats! Congrats!! This is such fabulous progress and SUCH a great place – so impressed by you guys for jamming on this like pros! Truly! It’s going to be great. You’re going to love The City. 🙂

  8. May 14, 2013

    In all honesty you’ll like the “closed” space for your kitchen once baby is a bit bigger. I find that with my huge open kitchen the baby can wander ANYWHERE and get into LOTS of trouble whereas if he was sort of hemmed into just the space where I am at he’s easier to keep an eye on, we try this with chairs and stools, etc but it really doesn’t work as he likes to go exploring =) I’m so happy for you guys and your new digs!

  9. Lydia #
    May 14, 2013

    Wow, congratulations!! That looks like a very decent sized place for New York. Hooray for being a proper grown-up and stuff!

  10. May 14, 2013

    Congratulations on taking this first big step! Even if you place is small, it sounds lovely, and your description of the neighborhood makes me long to make the move to NYC, too! Fingers are crossed that everything goes smoothly as you work to finalize the purchase.

  11. jak #
    May 14, 2013

    really, really hoping it goes through for you guys!!!! dont forget to take before and after pictures of anything you fix up. we regret that we didnt, except for a few rooms. for stuff like buying a home, and making a baby!, it’s good to look back and see how far you’ve come and pat yourselves on the back:)

    congrats!!!!

  12. May 14, 2013

    That is a pretty good-sized place, when you consider it’s NYC. Congrats!!!

  13. Lisa #
    May 14, 2013

    So funny, my aunt and uncle live in Hastings-on-Hudson, only two towns up the river from Riverdale, and my husband and I have always called their town “NYC Light” since it has all the walkable amenities of the city without the hectic crowds. Sounds like your new home will be great!

  14. May 14, 2013

    Wow! So exciting!!!

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