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A Part Time Apartment That Keeps Unwanted Guests Away

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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.

Claire Baiz spends most of her time in Montana, but every time she would visit New York she wouldn't want to leave. When it got to the point where her visits were getting longer, they were making less and less financial sense. Her hunt began on West 72nd street where her husband suggested that they buy a place. Right after she agreed, they placed a (declined) offer on a place across the street. Eventually after some more failed bids, she found a part time residence in Chelsea that fit all of her criteria.

Her budget maximum was $400,000, and she was determined to keep the monthly outlay under $2,000. After staying in a high-rise, she knew she wanted a prewar building with thick walls and less risk of neighbor noise. After staying near a firehouse, “even though my dad was a fireman,” she said, “I didn’t want to live across from sirens.”

At the Orienta on West 79th Street, the seller accepted her offer of $353,000. Maintenance was in the $800s. She had been told that the co-op allowed pieds-à-terre on a case-by-case basis, but her case was declined.

Ms. Baiz liked the bachelor-pad aura of a place on West 15th Street, even though she originally mistook the Pullman kitchen, behind folding doors, for a closet. The price was around $410,000, maintenance a reasonable $560.

But the building had no doorman. She decided she needed one
A doorman came with a 450-square-foot alcove studio on West 23rd Street with postcard-perfect views of the Empire State Building. “It was in very good condition,” Ms. Frank-Pedersen said, “yet there were things that could be done to improve its value.”

There was no question that this was the one. Ms. Baiz closed in February for the asking price of $395,000. Maintenance is around $800.

Immediately, people began asking to use her place in her absence, but she politely refused. “Now I can say the co-op prohibits the use of my apartment when I am not there,” she said. “The doorman requires ID.”

· A pied-à-terre for East Coast Sojourns [NYT]