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Finding Adulthood in a Clinton Hill Duplex

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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.

When Matthew Reuter and Brendan Mason decided to move in together, they wanted to stay in the Clinton Hill area and pay around $2,400 a month. They pretty much knew that they wanted a duplex in 75 Grand Avenue the moment they saw it, but that was only if they could manage to work out some kind of price reduction. Needless to say, they ended up with a new apartment, a dog and even a new standing mixer. Adulthood achieved.

-They hoped to stay in the neighborhood and to pay a maximum of $2,400 a month.
And they knew what they didn’t want. “The open-plan-loft thing was off the list,” Mr. Mason said. “That felt like a really expensive, big studio.” -Garden apartments were out, too, because too often “the ceiling is six inches from the top of your head,” Mr. Mason said. Since much of the area’s housing stock was four-story buildings, eliminating ground-floor apartments knocked out about 25 percent of the possibilities, he said.
Via Google, Mr. Mason found a listing in Clinton Hill in a new building, 75 Grand Avenue.

-They visited, and were wowed by the building’s upscale fixtures and finishes.

-Up they went to the top-floor duplex, a sunny one-bedroom with an extra upstairs room, two terraces and open views facing away from the B.Q.E. Even the bathroom window “frames the school to the south that has a kind of Gothic architecture,” Mr. Mason said. “I thought, it is a strange and curious thing: They were curating these views. I immediately had the pit in my stomach, before I even asked how much it was. I knew this was the apartment we should move into.”

-The monthly rent was $2,675, heat not included. Could they afford it? Would they be approved as renters? They were concerned, especially because Mr. Reuter had an irregular income. They requested a rent reduction.

-They submitted the required paperwork but, assuming they would be turned down, continued the hunt.

-...the agent showed them a bigger place in a walk-up building in Boerum Hill.
This one was a sunny railroad apartment. But their furniture was not going to make it down the narrow hallway. Besides, as they don’t smoke indoors, they would have to go down and up three flights every time they wanted a cigarette.
Within days, word arrived from 75 Grand. The good news: They had been approved as renters. Both had excellent credit — the most important factor, Ms. Gorodetsky said. The
bad news: The rent was the full $2,675.

-“We talked it out and we came back to see it again to wrap our minds around it,” Mr. Reuter said, “and we pictured our lives here and saw this amazing opportunity.” After negotiating a free month on a 25-month lease, for an effective rent of $2,568 a month, they felt they could make it work.

When you know, you know. In the case of these two, everything worked out pretty well. Fate, my friend, fate.

· Room for Men to Work and for Astro to Play [NYT]