The challenges, anxieties, second guessing and overall emotional roller coaster I have been on since purchasing a co-op apartment in NYC in June are hard to explain to anyone who has not actually walked the walk.
“Stepping down” as executive director of a non-profit 16 months ago meant I was spending more time in my apartment and because I love having friends and family visit (and visit they do!!) living in a small one bedroom was becoming more and more challenging. After carefully weighing the benefits of renting vs purchasing the choice seemed clear. Multiple daily visits to the website StreetEasy became my hobby (still is!). Not only does StreetEasy post the details about all the apartments for sale or rent in any NYC area you choose (Upper West Side for me) but I learned as I honed my hobby, it also provides a snapshot of the NYC economy.
I quickly came to the conclusion that the word “real” in Real Estate is an extreme misnomer, instead I suggest “Unreal” or “Outrageous” estate when talking about New York City . What could possibly be “real” about paying up to $1,985 per square foot (I didn’t)! After awhile I knew my love affair with NYC meant I would either have to accept the craziness of the Outrageous Unreal Estate market here or continue to pay a kings ransom in rent every month!
Not to overtax all three or four of you loyal readers, the process took many months and an inordinate amount of wild goose chases. I quickly developed such a strong intuitive sense about the possibility of me actually living in the space I was about to see that my intrepid Unreal Estate Broker Carolyn Joy started begging me to at least walk all the way into an apartment before rejecting it! My discouragement in seeing unbelievably expensive apartments requiring complete gut renovation is impossible describe. I also felt I was seeing the same cookie cutter apartment in almost every building I visited.
Although I’m sure you are fascinated with my saga I will put both of us out of our misery and tell you I bought an apartment that had none of my cast-in-stone prerequisites! Two terraces, 10’3” ceilings, good storage and great built-ins did it for me!
My new apartment however did need some renovating, a process I have come to learn is not for the feint of heart! Mere words cannot express my gratitude to Jennifer Lissner Kranitz an incredibly talented designer affiliated with Project Interiors in Chicago who also happens to be married to my son Mitch! Her willingness to oversee the project via long distance while offering her talent, unconditional support, endless encouragement and even more endless patience has (sort of) saved my sanity! I guess “thank you” will have to do for now!!
Throughout this process I have learned, once again, that there are tradeoffs to everything in life and also that watching the sausage being made is definitely not for me. The upside is that I am thrilled to anticipate moving into my very own apartment in the best city in the world, and now that I will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms please come visit soon!!