I was supposed to log in last weekend to write my very last posting. It would read something like: I can never afford a home in Brooklyn. I admit that my fate will be “renter for life”. This blog about my buying a home can rest peacefully. Goodbye forever!
Dramatic? Well have you SEEN the prices on these homes lately? Even the bad neighborhoods are unaffordable, and there aren’t many “bad” neighborhoods left to choose from!
Alas, I am happy to say that a sweet little family from Sunset Park, Brooklyn is starting to change my mind about this.
Boyfriend and I went to visit said family’s house for the second time, today. This time, however, I brought along my very finicky mother. A little background on mom before we go on. She’s been to quite a few open houses with us over the last 24 months and always shares her opinion with us.
“what do you mean shares? what “shares”? so you don’t even own the floors?!” – on co-ops.
“this is like a hotel” – on condo’s
“how much? Que, que!? that’s crazy.” – on homes.
Anyhoo, went back to visit a two-family, brick home on a lovely tree-lined, limestone block in Sunset Park. For some reason, the place came off slightly differently this time around. The homeowner’s happily greeted us as we walked in. They were super nice and respectful towards my mother and so friendly it almost felt like we were visiting relatives rather than an open house appointment. My mom asked them questions I hadn’t thought to mention, and they both discussed what it’s like to be homeowner’s in this part of Brooklyn. The house all of a sudden presented it’s charm to me. I saw things I really didn’t picture the first time around.
Inside my mind, I broke down a few walls, painted the walls an eggshell cream, buffed the hardwood floors and they glossed and shined. I hung a few plants up and some nice paintings we bought from the Brooklyn Flea. It was starting to feel really comfy. I walked into different rooms and wandered around for a bit while I heard the chatter of conversations going on in different rooms.
When I got into the kitchen, I imagined new cupboards and a backsplash; a new counter top and fridge. Things were really coming into play now.
The backyard, while smaller than the one we currently have, has so much potential to it too! There’s plenty of room for a patio table, umbrella and chairs. A nice sized BBQ fits perfectly into the corner and there is even enough space for us to grow our very own vegetable patch!
After coming to my senses, we walked back inside to check out the upstairs apartment. This is where the tenants currently rent the space, and would be part of the deal if we made an offer.
The upstairs apartment was just breathtaking! Gorgeous 12-foot ceilings, shiny hardwood floors, cherry wood cabinets with a beige backsplash and those new counter’s I mentioned. The amount of sunlight pouring in was enough so that you didn’t even need to flip the switch (this was at 6:30pm, nonetheless!)
Each bedroom had it’s own window or skylight. And the tenants themselves are young artists living in Brooklyn who collect funky art, read funny books, collect random flea market trinkets, make their own jewelry and listen to Dave Matthews band really loudly on their MacBook Pro.
Upon leaving, I felt a real sense of excitement. Something about this place really called my attention. I can’t describe why I didn’t exactly feel this way the first time I saw it. I don’t know what changed my perception the second time around. I do realize now what a bargain we would be getting in such a place. For the same amount that a one bedroom, 600 square foot condo would get us in Park Slope, we could buy this two family, gorgeous home (which, does require a good amount of handy-work) on this tree-lined block in Brooklyn.
I come back to the real estate market with a glimmer of hope. Boyfriend is currently crunching numbers and churning out what our monthlies would amount to.
It’s really exciting, and nerve-racking and exhilarating to think about. We’re off for a bike ride to talk this through!
-M in brooklyn