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Ask Curbed: I've Got the Housing Lottery Blues

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It's the stuff dreams are made of: After years of entering affordable housing lotteries, waiting and hoping that against long odds a bargain rental or co-op will fall into your lap, your number finally comes up. It should be cause for celebration, but for this Curbed reader, it isn't. It's cause for an ulcer. Read on:

I was just informed I've won a co-op in an affordable housing lottery. On Monday April 28 I will be given a floorplan and told the price. I then have one week to have a lawyer review the documents and arrange a mortgage. I will not be able to see the actual apartment, though I walked by the building earlier this week. And I am supposed to commit to living there for 25 years. I don't know what happens in terms of selling it if I need to leave New York.

The building is new, in Bushwick near the Flushing Avenue M stop. It's a boxy, flat-front midrise surrounded by similar-looking public housing, for seniors.

I'm sort of freaking out about the short time and limited information I have to make this decision. I've lived in a tiny tenement studio in the East Village for over a decade, and though the building is run-down and the apartment perpetually springing leaks, I love walking everywhere and having abundant restaurants, groceries, and cultural offerings nearby. Even though the neighborhood has changed from grassroots artist-haven to generic NYU dorm and playground.

I also look out to backyard trees whereas the Bushwick building is decidedly urban avenue. On the other hand, the new landlord is aggressively attempting to empty my building, and it's about half-empty with the remaining tenants feeling a bit under seige. At some point this will be a noisy, dirty construction zone as they gut-renovate.

This is a big lifestyle change. I'm looking for insight from anyone who's made this sort of decision themselves -- leaving Manhattan for Bushwick or winning a housing lottery and moving in sight-unseen. Or if you've moved from a small, intimate building to a new high-rise. Or can tell me about living in Bushwick. Anything, really.This is an interesting situation (and a time sensitive one!), so are there any Bushwick pilgrims out there who wish to chime in?
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