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.
What happens when a couple is moving in together, but they have wildly varying tastes? That was the dilemma that Paul Pinizzoto and his girlfriend Laura Wilinski had when they decided to shack up together, with his love for old-world charms and her taste for something more modern collided. He had been staying at her place at 34 Berry in Williamsburg, but the parties were getting to be a bit much for them. Even so, they looked inside the building, but came to the conclusion that the units were too small for the price. And so began the hunt for the perfect compromise.
Still, last spring, when they decided to hunt for a place to rent together, 34 Berry was the first place they considered. Parties aside, they enjoyed living there, so they checked out a few one-bedrooms, but decided the units were too small to warrant the price, in the mid- to high-$2,000s. Besides, Mr. Pinizzotto wanted charm. “To me, charm is a bigger amenity than stainless steel,” he said. Ideally, he wanted to live in a historic district, where “the trees seem more lush and the streets seem wider and the sidewalks seem cleaner.”
“I would ride on the train for 15 minutes longer to find someplace nice, like Ditmas Park,”
Ms. Wilinski, however, did not go for the idea of living farther from Manhattan. What she had in mind was a reasonable commute, a good laundry situation and stores close at hand.
Mr. Pinizzotto was enthusiastic about a place listed for $2,000 a month in a co-op building with a laundry room on Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights.
But Ms. Wilinski was uncertain about the dated interior and the unfamiliar neighborhood. (The two later saw the place advertised for $2,200 a month.) Anyway, she preferred Dklb Bkln, a new 365-unit high-rise at 80 DeKalb Avenue. The apartments they saw there had bathrooms with not just washer-dryers, but also towel warmers.
“I love when it feels like a hotel bathroom,” she said.
Then, one balmy evening, the couple visited a six-story co-op building in Clinton Hill. To Mr. Pinizzotto’s delight, it fell within the Clinton Hill Historic District.
Ms. Wilinski found Clinton Hill prettier than she expected. “I kind of knew just Williamsburg,” she said, “but Paul is one of those explore-Brooklyn people.”
The rent was $2,300 a month, including utilities, which seemed like a deal. After submitting a lengthy application to the co-op board, the couple signed a one-year lease.