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In Which the Inevitable Recrossing of the River Beckons

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.

Kim and Stephen Allen had been living in Hoboken for years, but when Kim decided that she'd like to spend at least some time in New York, they packed their bags for Peter Cooper Village. A rent break from $3,300 to $2,700 was great, but they later realized they weren't going out as much and Hoboken might be the place they wanted to start their family. Thus, began a search for a 3 bedroom for under $500,000 on the other side of the Hudson. There were a few minor setbacks, but they found the place right for them. Once it finally closed, that is.

So, last winter, they began the hunt for a place with three bedrooms, outdoor space and a walkable location near the PATH train. The ceiling on their budget was $500,000. Apartments of that size were selling for an average of almost $600,000, Ms. Turoff said. “Because there are so few of them, they tend to get bid up above the asking price.”

A lovely three-bedroom place in a small condominium building on Park Avenue was beyond the Allens’ price range. When they saw it, the price was $529,000, down from the original listing price of $594,000.

They returned twice to a place on Jackson Street, with a big back terrace, listed at $449,000. But it was a fourth-floor walk-up, and they decided against so many stairs.

They also considered a place at the Sky Club, two 17-story buildings on First Street. When they saw it, it was a little less than $500,000.

It was too far west, with so few restaurants and shops that “we would feel trapped in our apartment,” she said.

Just when their discouragement reached the point that they were considering renting in Hoboken and waiting to see what else appeared on the market, they returned to the Park Avenue condominium.

“I said, it is going to break my heart because I like it too much,” Mrs. Allen said.
But heartbreak was not in store: the price had dropped.
In the end, after some negotiation, the Allens bought the condominium for $479,000.

· Making it Easier to Head for the Hills [NYT]