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Two NYU Students Team Up and Land the Perfect Astoria Apartment for $2,300 a Month

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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: Emma Petkofsy and Michael Maisch


Dream: $2,500 a month

Reality: $2,300 a month


Dream: Astoria

Reality: Astoria


Dream: Close to public transportation

Reality: Washer and dryer in apartment


NYU graduate students Michael Maisch and Emma Petkofsky were both sharing apartments with multiple roommates paying over $1,000 per month, much to their chagrin. In a financial district apartment that he shared with two roommates, Maisch was paying $1,500 a month. Meanwhile, Petkofsky was in Crown Heights coughing up roughly $1,100 a month for the walk-up apartment she too shared with two others.

The two friends decided to hunt for a two-bedroom apartment together with a combined budget of $2,500 a month. They didn’t have many demands and just wanted something close to public transportation. After briefly considering East Harlem, they decided that Astoria would be more convenient since Maisch would be work-studying in Queens.

They looked at all types of apartments--some in private houses, others in walk-up buildings but nothing felt right until they stumbled across a two-bedroom apartment near 41st Street. It wasn’t exactly close to the subway, by their standards, but given that the unit had a washer and dryer within, they were willing to cope with the ten minute walk to the nearest train station. After negotiating their desired move-in date, getting the broker’s fee down from 15 percent to 12.5 percent, and convincing the landlord to allow the guarantor to be one of their out-of-state parents, the duo landed their ideal space, paying $2,300 a month.

"I would not trade the laundry for anything" stated Maisch.