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Biting The Bullet and Moving to New York

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If reading The Hunt stokes your deepest hopes that someday everything in life could work out, then you, too, are obsessed with the New York Times Sunday Real Estate section. Join us as we venture into the depths of this weekend's installment.

Michael Boots decided that he'd had enough of Albany and knew that a move to New York was destined for him. Banking on a job at Mount Sinai Medical Center, which he eventually got, Michael was looking for places on the Upper East Side hoping to stay within his budget of $1,200. After expanding his horizons to include East and West Harlem, he found a place he was happy with on West 113th Street.

-His aim was to find a rental within walking distance of the medical center, with sufficient space for his furniture, for $1,200 a month. -He arrived at his city price, $1,200, because a friend who lived with two roommates in a renovated prewar building on the Lower East Side paid $1,300. If that was the going rate for a roommate situation in a high-priced area, Mr. Boots figured that $1,200 a month should get him a modest place on the less expensive Upper East Side.

-His budget was on the low end for the areas he had chosen, the low-East 90s to the mid-East 100s.

-“The budget went up as I got more desperate,” he said. “I definitely noticed that incline.”
On East 92nd Street, a studio for $1,325 a month was nice compared with most, and had high ceilings and plenty of closet space. There was a mess of construction on the corner. Mr. Boots didn’t know that it was subway construction that would continue for years, but the half-size refrigerator was enough of a deal breaker.

-Most of the places in the East 90s were studios so tiny they wouldn’t accommodate his furniture. In the East 100s, for the same money, apartments were markedly larger. Still, as he visualized where his furniture should go, even places with sufficient space had problematic layouts. People urged him to “raise your budget or lower your standards,” he said. But he figured that if he searched diligently, he could get away without doing either.
Wherever he went, he kept an eye out for nearby laundromats and grocery stores. That was a problem in East Harlem, where he encountered a dearth of stores and services.
Mr. Boots decided against a place on East 115th Street because of the uninviting neighborhood. So he intended to cancel an appointment a mile away on West 113th Street, “because in my head it was only two blocks away.”

-It wasn’t, Mr. Hart said, and advised him to reconsider. Sure enough, when Mr. Boots visited there, he found an area replete with cafes, restaurants, grocery stores and laundromats. He said no to a one-bedroom on West 128th Street with no counter space and “weird pipes coming out of the wall,” but visited the West 113th Street place with newfound hope.

-It was a relatively large one-bedroom for $1,295 and a fee of one month’s rent.

Persistence paid off! We feel bad for East Harlem though, it got a pretty rough review.

The Rewards of a To-Do List [NYT]