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The Renters: Broker Love and an Application

On Friday, we introduced Carolyn and her husband, Washington D.C. escapees hoping to find a $2600 a month apartment south of 14th St. After being mildly mocked by Curbed readers this weekend ("Get off it and find a new broker or improve your credit," "I don't know what sort of standards she has, but there is a whole lot of compromises stretching between having to live with the 'rents and not finding an adequate place for that much," "Kindly remind your readers --and renters -- that 'in Manhattan' doesn't have to mean 'south of 96th Street,'), and after spending a grueling weekend on the streets, Carolyn found time to file this report (first of two parts):

After a weekend of Three days of searching and still no apartment. . . But we met someone! She's kind, funny, infinitely patient . . . she just might be that special rental broker we've been looking for. We know, we know, we should play it cool. Make her want us. But we're beside ourselves, checking email and voicemail every thirty seconds. We're walking on sunshine. And we don't even have a lease.After the jump, the lovely J and a $2900 stretch. "My husband bravely sallied forth alone on Friday afternoon, undertaking a whirlwind tour with two different brokers. We had tried to set up appointments on our own using Craigslist and the like, but we aren't in the city full-time, and our response time is too slow - we need a rental broker to do the legwork for us. My husband started out with the affable H, from Huge Company A (the Renters have elected to be coy about identifying agents - at least until they have a signed lease in their hot little hands. Watch this space for the pseudonym key at the conclusion of their search.) H showed him an apartment at 275 Greenwich with buckles in the parquet floor the size of Jersey barriers. No thanks. They parted ways with a vague promise from H to hand us off to a broker who planned to work the weekend, and my husband braced himself for the next appointment.

"And then . . . she walked into our lives. J, sweet J, oh how she teased us at first. Based at Huge Company B, she tried to show a $2400 two-bedroom on First Ave between 9th and 10th - perhaps the clever Curbed reader familiar with both the East Village and a Touchstone Pictures movie circa 2000 can deduce the reason that a second-floor, front-facing-bedroom apartment here would be less-than-desirable. But J quickly stopped playing silly games - she shifted into high gear, and each apartment after that was better than the next. Three serious contenders emerged from six apartments - two in the same building on 12th between University and Broadway, and a place overlooking Sheridan Square.

"I flew up from DC on Saturday morning, and we stuck to the appointment schedule with the low-key and likeable K, from Midsize Agency C. We saw a perfectly pleasant one-bedroom at 150 East 18th for $2975 - but a lovely view of the neighbors' leafy patios and a spacious, brand-new kitchen weren't enough to counter the poor impression given by the building itself - sour-smelling hallways and an elevator full of older women who vacillated between nosiness and suspicion. I had a sudden, clear vision of our future in that building, and it involved helping Edna get her cat in the carrier to go to the vet and fielding loud questions about our future child-bearing plans from Lois. We took a pass.

"K then led us to the Saranac, on Broadway at Worth Street. The incongruous Adirondack lobby d