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Buying the Unfinished Condo; East Harlem Gentrification

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1) Every Hunt is different, but most of them manage to fit into certain categories—Family Looking For More Space, for instance, or Recent College Graduates Being Dumb. The category for this week's Hunt would probably be Young Couple Slowly Becoming Disillusioned. Aaron and Leah are looking for a place in Brooklyn for around $600,000. "I feel like there are no deals in real estate," says Leah, pretty early on in the column. "Whenever I saw a listing that seemed too good to be true, I didn't give it a second thought," Aaron says, after they've looked at "dozens of listings." Then, later, "I don't think either of us appreciated how long the process was going to take." Oof. This is getting a little depressing. Let's skip to the happy part. They close on a co-op in Park Slope for under $600k. "We didn't really get [outdoor space]," Leah says ruefully. They do, however, have a direct view of their neighbor's garden. Eh, you take what you can get. [The Hunt/'The Wish List: Light, Space, Fireplace']

2) The demand for luxury condos in New York City is increasingly outpacing the supply, the result of which is that more condos than ever are going into contract before the building is completed. Well over half the units in places like 200 East 79th Street and Sackett Union have already sold, and, of course, there's One57. Although as recently as a few years ago buyers were understandably reticent to purchase an unfinished product due the wide array of unforeseen problems that could occur, now people are starting to feel like they have no choice. ['The Take-It-on-Faith Condo']

3) A brief list of signs of the continuing East Harlem gentrification, in the order in which they appear in this article: cafe patrons on laptops, goat cheese and tomato salad, new condo buildings, a street being called "Little Mexico," Hunter College's graduate school of social work, tiny dogs. That sounds about right. [Living In/'More Small Dogs and Big Home Prices'; photo by matthewpardon]