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Queens Couple Yearning for Brooklyn Buys in Jersey City

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 Hunters: a couple looking to buy
Price
Dream: $500,000
Reality: $432,500 + $20,000 reno
Neighborhood
Dream: Brooklyn
Reality: Jersey City
Amenities
Dream: 2BR, reasonable commute
Reality: 2BR, 2BA, renovations
Summary
This weekend's Hunters are a couple living in Long Island City looking to buy a two-bedroom for under $500,000. The couple met in Brooklyn years ago, and as such, they found themselves pining for their youths, for "the Brooklyn they had first known." But after failing to find apartments in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, and with their lease up, they moved in with Hunter Chris Maiurro's parents, back in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Their commutes, which had always been dreadful, were suddenly nightmarish, but after meeting some friends in Jersey City, they realized "it was the neighborhood they had been seeking all along." They moved into a 950-square-foot two-bedroom last winter, paying $432,500, plus $20,000 in renovations, which they performed themselves. [The Hunt/After Looking Everywhere, a Jersey City Condo; photo via Paul Frankenstein/Curbed Photo Pool]