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In Which the City Views Become a Must, Fresh Air Less So

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.

Sharon and Michael Newman lived upstate, but when a medical condition arose, along with it came the sudden realization that it was now or never when it came to ever moving to the city. So, with a decent budget of just under $1 million, they set to find a nice new condo. Initially looking at Roosevelt Island, Williamsburg, and Long Island City, they found significant flaws with most places there. But then came the Toren in Downtown Brooklyn. They were totally taken with the penthouse, and decided they needed to have it. In fact, they were so taken with it that they paid $1.12 million.

It was time to move to the city. Last summer they went on the hunt for a two-bedroom condominium in a new building with a great view and a walkable neighborhood. Their budget was $800,000 to $900,000. Roosevelt Island, in the middle of the East River, was appealing.

At Riverwalk Court, erected in 2008, they became interested in a penthouse with a wonderful view of Manhattan.

But there was a problem: The penthouse would not be on the market for a few months. And ensconced renters made access difficult.

Moreover, Dr. Newman was iffy about the lack of variety of stores and restaurants within walking distance.

Most of Manhattan was beyond their budget, but plenty of new developments elsewhere in the city fit their bill.

They came close to buying at Murano in Long Island City, with its colorful changing light display. They were intrigued by an apartment with an enormous terrace, Mrs. Newman said, but then “we realized we don’t even like to be outdoors.” The couple had hardly ever used their deck in Cragsmoor. “We knew we weren’t going to sit out there,” she said. “We came to our senses.”

At the BellTel Lofts, a conversion of a 1920s Art Deco building in Downtown Brooklyn, they found the layouts odd, with too many walls and too few windows.
But nearby at Toren, they loved a duplex penthouse with a sculptural stairway and enormous windows facing north and west. “We took one look and we were sold,” Dr. Newman said.

The couple paid $1.12 million, more than they had intended.

· Trading a Mountain View for an Urban View [NYT]