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Wanted: A City View From Astoria

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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.

Sometimes The Hunt can be a treacherous one. One littered with failed bids, heartbreak and disappointment. Other times it's not that bad! Matthew McLaughlin is a teacher who decided it was time to buy in Astoria, Queens. He really craved an apartment with a nice city view and a hallway for bike. Luckily for him, he pretty much found the ideal apartment without any significant hitch!

-Last spring, he began searching for a one-bedroom to buy in Astoria. -Because Mr. McLaughlin had lived mostly in basements and on low floors, he realized “more and more how the view outside of my windows really mattered.”

-He also favored a top floor to avoid the clomping of neighbors above.

-And he preferred an apartment with some kind of interior hallway where he could lean his two bikes against a wall.

-His price limit was $320,000.

-He considered a place for $279,000 in a six-story co-op building on 31st Avenue near Crescent Street. A hallway separated the main rooms. But the available unit, on the top floor, had only a partial view of Manhattan.

-A listing in another six-story co-op, this one on Newtown Road, sounded promising. According to Google Street View, the building was surrounded by shorter ones. The apartment, listed for $330,000, was on the sixth floor.

-Mr. McLaughlin’s offer of $315,000 was accepted. Monthly maintenance was to be around $530.

-But the deal ran up against the difficulty of obtaining a mortgage in a building with an owner-occupancy rate of about 50 percent. And his credit score came in at a surprisingly low number. He couldn’t figure out why, until he realized he had put a big dental bill on his credit card. He paid it off immediately, and a later reckoning found his credit score much improved.

All's well that ends well. But it sounds like the bike is going to be a pain in bad weather!

·A Man With a Bicycle to Consider [NYT]