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A Busy Brooklyn Couple Transition from Renters to Home Owners/Landlords

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: Melissa and Jesse Peretz


Dream: $750,000 to $900,000

Reality: $1.165 million


Dream: Clinton Hill, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Kensington

Reality: Kensington


Dream: Elevator or on the ground floor, Away from L-train

Reality: Two-family home, Large basement


Once upon a time, Melissa and Jesse Peretz lived in a 700-square foot one-bedroom apartment in the Gowanus, paying $2,500 per month. The space served its purpose but the Mr. and Mrs. Peretz realized the need for a larger residence so they set their sights on finding a bigger home that could accommodate their beer brewing and cooking equipment, their dog, Colby, adopted cat, and a potential baby in the future.

The couple wanted to remain in Brooklyn but opted to stay away from neighborhoods serviced solely by the L train (smart move) to avoid messy commutes for Mr. Peretz, who works in Manhattan. They also preferred a building with an elevator or something on the ground floor.

With a budget of about $750,000 to $900,000, the Peretzes browsed a few two-bedroom condos and co-ops but upon viewing them realized that as their family grew, they would likely have to move again in about five years— something they did not want to have to do. With the help of a friend, they shifted their focus towards single-family residences but none seemed to fit the script.

Their broker then wisely suggested that they consider a two-family home that would allow them to earn rental income. The Peretzes obliged and raised their budget to $1.2 million. The home that they liked came in the form of a Kensington rowhouse, asking $1.28 million. Once the price dropped to $1.198 million, they made an offer of $1.15 million but was too little too late since another offer had been accepted. Devastated, the couple thought they would have to resume their hunt elsewhere but as luck would have it, the offer fell through and the Peretzes had another chance to land the house if they were willing to offer just $15,000, making the total $1.165 million.

Their offer was accepted and Mr. and Mrs. Peretz decided to allow the upstairs tenant to stay so long as they were willing to pay $2,200 per month. They now have all the space they need for their home brewing and everything else and the extra income helps with the mansion tax that comes with their new digs.