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Hamptons Market Bouncing Back; Artsy Apartments in Bushwick

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1) Things are starting to look pretty good once more over in the Hamptons. After an abysmal 2009 season, this year's market is coming back strong. While it's not 2007 again, rentals are on their way up around the 10-20 percent range. The post-Lehman fallout hasn't completely subsided and more and more people are opting for shorter rentals. There are still options in all price ranges out there for those who are still looking, though there is "virtually nothing left" in "shabby chic" Montauk. [The Hamptons For Procrastinators]

2) "I told him it was wrong what he's doing, but that I loved him anyway, as I love the world" isn't the zen infused response you'd expect to hear from a developer being threatened with a lawsuit by a renter, but the Castle Braid has a lot going for it that one wouldn't expect. Marketed as a luxury apartment complex for artists hoping to foster a sense of community in Bushwick, Castle Braid's developers are hedging their bets on hopes that a media lab, artists studios, a screening room and rentable video equipment among other things, will convince potential renters to shell out the $1,700 for a one-bedroom or $3,300 for a 3-bedroom. Those are pretty high rents given that it's Bushwick, but it could have an appeal to the right type of person. [An Artful Way to Rent Apartments]

3) Flexibility really does pay off! At least for the couple featured in The Hunt this week. After looking in Brooklyn for a while, they discovered that maybe they really could afford to own a slice of Manhattan to call their own. Looking mostly in the East and West 30's, they settled on a place right off Fifth Avenue in Midtown. They had a little bump in the road with a last minute maintenance increase, but that didn't stop the young couple from buying the apartment. [The Hunt: Convenient For Work and Friday Afternoons]

4) You'd be hard-pressed to find another real estate market where someone would say "My whole plan to acquire a place to start a family was a good one, except that I have no family." But that's exactly what happened to Steve Chung who just purchased a 3-bedroom apartment in family friendly Carroll Gardens right by a renowned public school for $649,000. Again, he is single and childless. But he's got a steady girlfriend, so let's hope everything works out for them and they put that apartment (and it's zoned school district) to good use! [Habitats: A Single Man Buys a House For Someday]

5) A dilemma faced by countless New Yorkers after they have kids is the decision to stay in a cramped city dwelling or move out to the suburbs and have room to grow. There are the obvious pros and cons to both, but the Times did a piece this week making the financial aspect of the decision a little easier to figure out. Choosing a life with a fence and lawn in the suburbs will end up costing 18% more than the city. Buying a more expensive place in the city even ends up costing less on a monthly basis than a comparatively cheaper place in the 'burbs! [High-Rise, Or House With a Yard?]