September 7, 2016

How Someone in Jail Found Our Apartment

Alright, so we live in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn now. After weeks of apartment hunting and dealing with sweaty brokers, we got a tip from someone in jail, so we met with an awesome dude who was super flexible and showed us an awesome apartment and we signed on the dotted line over beers and a cheese plate that night. But let me go back a little ways...

When we started thinking about our next home, we were interested in a neighborhood in NYC that is somewhat affordable (because it's NYC and we aren't stupid), is dog friendly, has trees, airport accessible and we can kind of manage with a car. The neighborhoods on our list were Astoria, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and the northern tip of Manhattan.

Once we started getting an idea of what those neighborhoods would cost and look like, we were sure we had narrowed it down. This is where the felon comes in. Obviously, it's not a real felon. It's Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black... she just plays a felon on TV, but what fun is that?

She did an interview with Delta Sky magazine, she described her favorite parts of NYC. It was an area called Fort Greene and we had never been there. We decided we would add it to our list and if the opportunity ever arose, we would head that direction.

Well, we did. Right before we actually dove into apartment hunting. Holy moly. A neighborhood with beautiful brownstones, central location and really tall trees? Probably no chance we will find a place.

After losing an amazing two bedroom affordable apartment and missing out on a 3rd floor walk up in Astoria with a private roof deck, we were determined to make a decision quicker. To summarize our apartment hunt, it was 110 degrees, pouring rain every day in the middle of hunting, sweaty brokers, awkward apartment showings with other couples... Looking for a place to live here is a shit show - there is no other way to describe it.

We had meetings out on Long Island on a Friday and the traffic was atrocious. We had made a few apartment showings over the weekend, but just two on Friday on our way home. We were running late and the guy was super flexible about our timing which was RARE (and understandable.) We were looking near the Ft Greene area that we didn't know very well. The pictures we had seen were really cluttered with other people's stuff. We were feeling "meh" about the showing.

After ten minutes, we did a 180 on our "meh" feeling. We were in love. We got in the car and drove to our second showing, but we couldn't stop thinking about the place. We started stalking the broker we had just left. We wanted the apartment. We couldn't get it out of our heads. We called him at least 10 times in a 30 minute period and it kept going straight to voicemail. We were sure he was showing it to someone else and they were putting money down. We went to our second showing and were feeling completely defeated, but right as we were getting in the car, the phone rang.

IT WAS HIM. He was getting a quick 60 minutes massage in between appointments and called us right before his next showing. We told him we'd meet him immediately with money and we could make a deal.

Twenty minutes later, we met at a local spot over beers and a cheese plate and made it officially. We were going to be Clinton Hill residents - after our application was approved and millions of dollars were paid. But look how pretty our neighborhood is:

I was so happy I could cry. Looking for apartments in NYC is exhausting. I was finally able to stop stalking street easy and tracking emails, calls and texts with brokers. The search was over.

It's been almost one full week here and I'm so 100% certain that we landed in the right spot. We love the neighborhood, we love our apartment and it feels like the perfect fit.

I'm sure there will be shenanigans, parking tickets (we've only got one so far), weird neighbors and interesting encounters - but that's kind of what you sign up for living in New York City. We were sure that we would end up in Queens originally, but once we found this place - we knew there was hope for us in the land of the hipsters. I'm working on my closet as we speak. Maybe I'll start a whole new series on my slow transition to a "Brooklyn hipster" but most likely, I'll just keep living life in leggings and baggy shirts. Who cares?

Also, I just recently took a quiz about which borough I should live in and got this, so I definitely feel good about my decision. And thank you Taylor Schilling for your suggestion in an airline magazine - we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.

Now I need to eat all the things in Brooklyn and see everything that I should see - let me know what recommendations you have, when you want to meet for a beer, your horror stories in apartment hunting...

Thanks for all the awesome happy notes on the move. I finally feel like a normal person with my things (somewhat) in place again. Watch out world.


  1. omg house hunting is the worst. the real estate market is insane here; as in people get into bidding wars and those who are selling will have at least 5 cars in front of their home at midnight trying to out-bid each other. renters are in the same's crazy! it's also why i've stopped looking for another house - one goes up one day and the next day it's gone and the seller got like, $50K over asking. CRAZY. I'll wait for the housing market to crash, thanks.

    but now that it's over for you, you can sit back and relax! you can now settle into your new roots and have fun decorating your new home (the best part, obviously). :)

  2. Sometimes things work and you just KNOW. I'm glad you guys were stalkers and got the place that is right for you.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your new digs and exploring your neighborhood vicariously with you!

  3. I love this story!! I would love to meet you when I come to NYC for thanksgiving! Will you be around?

  4. oh my gosh, how exciting!! i loved this story and your neighbourhood is gorgeous. i can't imagine how stressful it is to apartment hunt in a huge city like that.


Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.