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Looking for a Studio, Preferably Not in a Townhouse

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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.

Zach Linder was looking for studios around Brownstone Brooklyn, with a budget hovering just around $1500. Surprisingly (to him, at least), he was finding cramped spaces in brownstones, which were too much of a compromise. After doing some math, he figured out that it was possible for him to buy a studio. Armed with a budget of $300,000 he set out to find a one, hopefully in a larger "grand" apartment building. After seeing some soulless places, he found a place on Plaza Street East, for which he paid $236,000. It isn't perfect, as some repairs still need to be done but Zach sounds pretty happy not renting.

His budget for a co-op was no more than $300,000. In a lovely brownstone on a picturesque block on Park Slope, several studios were for sale in the $200,000s, but their kitchens consumed too much of the living areas. Mr. Linder abandoned his idea of buying in a brownstone.

A studio at the former Hotel St. George on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights had a separate kitchen and built-in shelving. It was listed at $235,000.

But he realized that the character-free interior would bother him.

Another possibility was in Turner Towers on Eastern Parkway, an Art Deco building with a large and lovely lobby. The apartment had a great layout, with a large foyer. But it was dark, and both kitchen and bathroom needed renovations. At $255,000, it seemed pricey for its condition.

He didn’t want to get his hopes up for an apartment nearby on Plaza Street East. The building also had a beautiful lobby, but he knew that didn’t mean the apartment would measure up.
It did. At 520 square feet, this one was larger than other studios — and it was empty.
Off the foyer were two pretty archways, which reminded him of his childhood house in Great Neck, N.Y. The price was $227,000, with maintenance in the high $600s.

A similar unit a few flights up, with a renovated kitchen, had sold a year before for $276,000, Mr. Sharif said.

Mr. Linder’s offer of $223,000 was quickly accepted.

· When the Math Says Go Ahead and Buy [NYT]