Almost Buying an Apartment

Posted on | August 12, 2014 | 4 Comments

I am closing on an apartment … This. Thursday. Gulp. That’s in three days. I’m still in disbelief. None of it seems real. Closing on apartments is something grown ups do.

Matt and I decided to move in together last year sometime. It was pretty obvious where things were headed, and in the progression of our relationship, cohabitation seemed like the next logical step. I have been thinking about buying something for a few years but every time I started the search in the past I would become immediately overwhelmed and decide the time wasn’t right. I’d go to open houses but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything after. But this time it was different. This time around I had a partner in crime who was knowledgable, patient and willing to listen to all my worries and woes. With Matt by my side I finally felt like maybe I could handle the responsibility of homeownership. He rarely gets overwhelmed, he’s incredibly handy(!) and level headed. Suddenly taking on the NYC real estate market didn’t seem quiet so scary. It’s amazing how do-able things become when you’ve found your teammate.

I had a pipe dream of buying an entire brownstone. I figured we would rent a part or parts of it to help pay for the mortgage and once it was paid off we’d own the entire thing. Makes total sense, right? Well, not exactly. To find anything even remotely close to our price range we had to look way out in Brooklyn sacrificing some of the things that I love so much about living here; proximity to the city and to Prospect Park and to cute coffee shops, bars and restaurants. A big part of the reason I choose to live here is being able to get anywhere with public transportation and/or walking. The farther out we went the less I felt like I was in New York City. I need to be close to the action, and I’m just not ready to give that up yet.

So we changed our search. We started looking for a two bedroom apartment closer to the city. We wanted to be in a fun neighborhood and I wanted to be close to the park or some place where I could run. I think a place to be outside, especially in New York, is crucial to happiness. I know it’s one of my happy things. So we spent most Sundays going to open houses. You would be amazed (disturbed) at how expensive everything is and how quickly it gets snapped up. We learned that you needed to be able to act fast and as my broker said, “come out with guns blazing.” Meaning, the market in Brooklyn is so competitive right now that places are going for 10% OVER asking price. And most folks put 30% down. It’s crazy town.

After two rejected offers, one finally stuck. I guess it’s true what they say about the third time being a charm.

We’ll move in August 22. I cannot wait. Here’s some pictures from the listing, better ones coming soon.

Living room

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Kitchen (Not pictured: a washer/dryer!)

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Master bedroom, second bedroom, bathroom and hallway

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Building exterior, shared private courtyard

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Five Things for Friday ///// 8.8.14

Posted on | August 8, 2014 | 3 Comments

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ALL THE MOVING BOXES because we went ahead and moved all of Matt’s stuff into my (tiny) current apartment while we wait to move to the new (much bigger) apartment. Things are a little cozy around here hopefully we don’t murder each other.

This dress because it wouldn’t be a week in my life if I didn’t buy a dress. This one is comfy, casual and universally flattering. Also: stripes!

This movie because we saw it on Wednesday and highly recommend it. The boy reminded me a little of my nephew.

This logo I designed because Old Sweet Song needed a makeover. And it was implemented this week by my friend Brandi. Not only is she my go to wordpress whiz but she also gave me an extra ticket to Sleep No More. Long story short, awesome lady.

This city (Toronto) because we just booked a weekend trip there for September. Recommendations needed. The only things on the docket so far are a Blue Jays game and poutine.

Alright that’s all for me. I’m off to the beach for the day and then I’ll be enjoying a good old fashioned summer weekend in Brooklyn. Ain’t got no complaints. Have a good one dudes.

xo
Amy

Zoodles and Coodles

Posted on | August 6, 2014 | 1 Comment

Guys. Get yourself a mandolin (or a spiralizer or a Veggetti or a zester). Just get yourself something so you can make noodles out of zucchini and cucumbers. And then you too can say those ridiculous words “zoodles” and/or “doodles.” You won’t even miss regular old carb-y noodles. And that’s a promise. I’m addicted to these things.

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Zoodles & Meatballs from Skinny TasteChili Lime Cucumber Noodles with Salted Watermelon from The First MessCucumber Noodles with Coconut Cumin Lime DressingZoodles with Kale Pesto and Edamame from Chilly FrostingRaw Pad Thai from Jen Loves KevCucumber Noodles with Peanut Sauce from Two Peas and Their Pod

10 Years

Posted on | August 1, 2014 | 8 Comments

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Today is my ten year anniversary of moving to New York.
Holy shit.
Ten years in this place.
Excuse me while I have a feel or two.

While I’m doing that here’s a quick glance at my ten years in New York:

Apartments rented: 8
Apartments purchased: 1 (almost)
Neighborhoods: 5
Roommates/domestic partners: 6
Full time jobs: 2
Lay offs: 1
Advertising agencies freelanced at: 19
Thanksgivings: 4
Gym memberships: 2
First dates: 45
Boyfriends: 3
Celeb spottings: Too many to count (some highlights: Will Arnett & Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Leonardo Dicaprio & Gisele, Jake Gyllenhall, SJP, Michael Gross – the dad from Family Ties)
Bicycles: 2
Times seriously considered leaving: 2
New winter coats: 5
Visits to the Empire State Building: 1
Therapists: 1

And while we’re at it here’s a terribly embarrassing photographic evolution of what ten years in New York did to me. On the left, me at 25 (a wee babe!) with the most terrible highlights ever. If you knew me then why did you let me walk around like that?! I also had a couple extra pounds due to a love of shitty domestic beer and an aversion to exercise of any kind. On the right, me this summer at the ripe young age of 35.

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The things is, everyone has a magic number. A number of years you have to live here before you earn your status as a true New Yorker. I’m not sure what that number is but I will say this, it takes awhile before New York gets in your blood. The first couple of years are exciting but you’re still fighting with life here. Why is everything so hard? So expensive? So New York? But once it gets in, once your blood is coursing with this place, you’re hooked. It’s a little like heroin that way. I assume, of course. It’s kind of crazy and fitting that my foray into New York homeownership is coinciding with my ten year anniversary, isn’t it? Call me crazy but I guess ten years just wasn’t enough for me. I’d like to hang out for a bit longer. What can I say?

I love New York.

 

 

 

Treasure Hunt: A Welcome Mat

Posted on | July 30, 2014 | 2 Comments

I’m probably closing on the new apartment next week. Can you believe it? I know I can.t. And it has me thinking about that whole art of turning a house into a home and how this time around I’ll get to do that with my favorite boy and how that’s really awesome.

There’s not an exact date on the books yet but sometime in the next two – three weeks we’ll be moving into an apartment in Brooklyn of our very own.  And that’s when we’ll get to look at each other and say those magic words: welcome home.

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