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Waiter Looks for Two-Bedroom Co-Op in Harlem

Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunter: a single guy looking to buy in Harlem
Price
Dream: $200,000
Reality: $168,000
Neighborhood
Dream: Harlem
Reality: Inwood
Amenities
Dream: 2BR, HDFC co-op
Reality: 1BR
Summary
After receiving twenty grand from his father towards the purchase of a home, waiter Matt Payne began looking for an income restricted, two-bedroom co-op converted under a Housing Development Fund Corporation program, in Harlem. During the search, Payne's rental that he shared with a roommate went up in flames, but he had renter's insurance and received a pretty decent payout. Eventually, he decided to adjust expectations and found a conventional, 500-square-foot one-bedroom in Inwood, asking $180,000. He paid $168,000, with a 15 per cent down payment. [The Hunt/"Tying Up a Deal on the Proverbial Shoestring"; photo via Jeff Reuben/Curbed Photo Pool]