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The Renters: Will We Be Mocked?

Curbed is pleased to introduce "Carolyn from the Capital," who has graciously agreed to let us all tag along as she and her husband search for a 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. On Monday, she will share a weekend's worth of pavement-pounding, stair-climbing, sticker-shock fun. But, first, a little background:

My husband and I are moving from DC to Manhattan. Temporarily homeless, we moved out of our DC apartment on Sunday. We've made temporary housing arrangements through next week - but if we don't find an apartment by then, we will be forced to take up residence at our parents' homes. The stakes are high.
After the jump, the budget, the fear, and the limits of love.

"So far, all we have to show for our apartment search is a bunch of exclamation! Point! Riddled! emails from agents! (lavish punctuation isn't fooling anyone, guys. I'm not distracted from the fact that you're still asking for 16% of the first year rent) and a 51-question application from Citi Habitats that seems designed to humiliate and expose.

"We'd like to live below 14th street. But we both work as management consultants and shop at Brooks Brothers. Will we be mocked? Or worse, ignored? We've been away in DC (Hollywood for the Ugly) too long - all dorked up.

"Rent is horrifying, despite prior NYC stints. There are no words, coming from the magical renters' paradise that is Not Manhattan. We're trying to stick to a budget of $2600/month for a one-bedroom, but hope is fading fast. Either our expectations need to come down or our budget needs to come up. A central issue: do we love each other enough to share a studio?"