It’s a modern fairy tale: you meet someone, fall in love and decide, yes, you want to build a future together. Let’s start by finding the perfect place to call home! We’ll move in together, host dinner parties for friends, feed each other croissants in the morning, take bubble baths for two, it will be awesome. Let’s go!
And so, seeing as you’re on the cooler side, you decide that Brooklyn, not Manhattan, is the borough to find this home. Like, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill or Boerum Hill—quintessential Brooklyn. The search starts filled with anticipation, optimism, buoyancy. Look at all these adorable townhouses! Or maybe we should get a modern place down in DUMBO? So many options, where will we wind up??
And then you start going to the open houses. The first few weekends are like going to a friend’s friend’s cocktail party. It’s filled with people—if they could just get out of your way so you can check out the bathroom fixtures and living room view—who seem familiar, you’re all there for a common purpose, but they’re giving you the stink eye. Then these open house soirées become so popular that lines start forming outside. They trail down those covetable stoops, making you feel like an undesirable. So it's this competitive? Game on.
Weeks turn into months and you’ve been hauling your ass all over Brooklyn. Maybe Gowanus, Prospect Heights and Fort Greene should be added to the mix. So you go. And, apparently, so does the rest of the world. Or at least all the other young couples who are looking for a two-bedroom Brooklyn nest to call home. Then the self-loathing kicks in. You look around at all these people who look and act just like you. They want exactly what you’re looking for. And you thought you were so special. Silly girl.
Now you’re months in, devoting every Sunday to an open house circuit, and investing time in culling through financial statements and filling out offer forms and pre-approval letters. It’s not going so well. You’ve been outbid five times. By dozens of people and tens of thousands of dollars. The price of apartments is going up before your very eyes.
Okay, it’s time to consider Lower Park Slope. Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy or Crown Heights? How important is convenient transportation? The length of your commute? A nearby grocery store? Do we really need that second bedroom? Or maybe we can get a loan big enough for a three bedroom?
You get to the “best and final offer” phase a couple times. It’s all within reach! If you can just pony up a more persuasive offer, a bigger down payment, a little more cash, then you just might get that apartment in that neighborhood that you’re just beginning to make peace with.
But no dice. Three and a half months, forty+ apartments, seven bids later, you’ve still not been granted the keys to a fabulous slice of Brooklyn. You're still searching, hoping, crunching numbers. And you thought Manhattan could be tough.