Monday, October 27, 2014

A Big Fat Announcement

In my fear of jinxing the outcome, I've intentionally left out a really significant life event on this here blog. Like, really significant, guys. I've been keeping it under wraps for the past FIVE MONTHS for fear that acknowledging it publicly would somehow bring things to a crashing halt, but now that it's official, I am so psyched to finally announce....

We BOUGHT an apartment!

I KNOW! It's insane. Or totally sane. I still can't decide.

But anyway, yes, my husband, Daniel, and I are now HOMEOWNERS in the greatest city in the world. Technically, we are share-owners because we live in a co-op, but don't get all technical on me, nerd. We own something, and we are pretty freaking excited about it.

The deal was officially made this Friday. We sat in a conference room in midtown with our realtor, the seller, his lawyer, our lawyer, and three other lawyers for two hours signing our names to all kinds of weird documents about lead paint and septic tanks. I felt like such a grownup save for the fact that I was sporting a pimple on my cheek the size of Mt. Kilimanjaro and wearing jewelry from Forever 21.

But regardless, at the end of it all, me, my husband, and my cheek pimple walked out of that office with keys in hand, and we hardly even knew what to do with ourselves. We had been in this seemingly endless process for five months, and it was finally through.

Here's the thing no one tells you about buying a home in New York City: it takes forever. Forever-forever, to the point where it's not even fun anymore. 

First, you have to find a solid realtor, and there are a lot of dogs out there, let me tell you. Then you have to go to a million open houses, many of which already have accepted offers and are completely out of your price range. Then there comes the moment where you start altering your expectations -- you trade the East Village for South Brooklyn and a subway stop around the corner for a 10-minute walk (it's not so bad -- honest!). Then you find a gem -- the perfect place, not counting the teeny-tiny kitchen and the noisy street-- and you put in an offer and cross your fingers. Then your offer gets rejected for an all-cash offer, and you spend the next two days in mourning. You wonder aloud to anyone who will listen why life is so cruel.

Then you get back on that horse, and you find another place that is, like, pretty good. The apartment itself is beautiful, but the location is weird. Still, you tell yourself you can make it work. 

Then you have a panic attack -- what the hell?! I don't want to live in Midwood! -- and you call up your realtor who assures you that you should never put an offer in on a place that you aren't truly in love with. You take a sigh of relief and then you go back to hunting. But suddenly, nothing new or good seems to be coming on the market. You wonder why you ever started this godforsaken endeavor. Why couldn't you just be happy where you were?

And then, friends, your realtor schedules you to see one more place. At this point, you've lost all hope. You're basically dead inside, a shell of a house hunter just going through the motions of it all. She opens the door on a place in a neighborhood you're sure you can't afford, and a white light smacks you in the face upon entry. It is your dream home. A two bedroom, beautifully renovated apartment on a quiet street on an express subway stop. You say, "I'LL TAKE IT. GOOD GOD, PUT THE OFFER IN!" 

The offer is accepted. Dreams do come true.

BUT THEN IT'S STILL NOT OVER! Because after the accepted offer comes the mountains of paperwork followed by an anxiety-producing board approval, which is followed by a mortgage approval from your bank, which is followed by even more paperwork, which is followed by writing a ton of big checks and praying for mercy, and then...CLOSING. You sit in a conference room with a pimple on your face, and none of it seems real. Especially when they hand you the keys. 

Then you pack an air mattress, and you spend the night on the floor of your new place. You order Chinese take out and drink champagne by candlelight. 

At least, that's what we did, anyway.

So why did we do all of this? Why didn't we just keep on renting on? 

Well, lots of reasons. For one, we could. For another, even though we spent a fair amount in this process, we are certainly going to end up saving (and making) much more. Our mortgage is actually lower than our current rent, and in the end, we were just tired of shelling out an unreasonable amount of money every month. 

And there is also such freedom in owning our own place. We are no longer beholden to a crappy tile situation or a shoddy paint job. We can actually take pride in the home in which we live. I can become the Martha Stewart I never knew I could be. It's a pretty insane feeling. 

And those renovations will happen, but actually, our apartment is pretty great the way it is now. A few months back, I wrote a post titled 9 Things I Want From My Next Brooklyn Apartment, and this new apartment pretty much has it all covered. We've got a dishwasher, a shower head that sits on the normal side of the shower, a location in a neighborhood we love (Ditmas Park, we are still inside you!), a reasonable walk to the subway, a host of amazing coffee shops, bars, and restaurants nearby (a hop, skip, and a jump from the best pizza in New York City), a clean laundry room, and the possibility of a parking spot in the future. But the #1 thing I wanted in my new apartment was a view. Here is the view from our old place:

I think we can all agree that the ladies on Orange is The New Black have a better view than this. 

But folks, here is the view from our new place:

So....yeah. It's a bit better. 

Plus, I've got an office! A real office where I can shut the door and everything. It's bliss.

We haven't actually moved in yet. We are thinking to do some painting before we do, but once that happens, you better believe I will be on here with a ton of pictures and riveting details (everyone loves a good moving story, right?)

Anyway, sorry to have kept this from all of you in the blogging universe for so long. I promise I don't have any other secrets. Well, I do, but they mostly involve personal hygiene and stuff like that, so I think I probably won't be posting those. 

And before I go, I want to say thanks to all of our friends and families who have been so great and supportive during this insanity. You may not realize it, but your advice and help has meant the world to us over the last few months (and also, are you available to help us paint this Saturday? Just kidding. Hahahahahahahahah...No, but seriously, are you?)


  1. Congratulations! I just went through the entire thing myself (only for a house outside Boston) and what a friggin' nightmare that turned out to be. But just when all hope was lost, the perfect one presented itself. Kinda feels like that's how its supposed to be? Trudge through the piles of crap so you can really appreciate the right thing? And what a view! ENJOY!! Oh and we did the same thing, eating Chinese takeout on a table make out of boxes and sitting on the cat's pillow, whatev.

  2. Congrats!!! I lived in the ditmas park area for a year and it was awesome! I need to head back to go to Purple Yam & Picket Fence (i live in Crown Heights now so not far)! That is great great news!

  3. So excited for you guys! Get ready to get sucked into the life of a homeowner.

  4. This is so true... every hilarious word of it. And so very exciting. Congratulations, Christy!

  5. I'm SOOOO excited for you guys! It looks amazing and you best believe I will be there to visit. Can't wait to see you Martha it up!!

  6. Congratulations! My husband and I are far from owning our own place (hello, military life and the near-constant moving) but Lordy do I dream about owning a place and being able to paint and tile. You two are going to have so much fun making the place your own. The view literally made my jaw drop - ouch. Can't wait to see more pictures!

  7. Congrats!!!!! A dishwasher is a big damn deal. I never know how much I appreciated it before looking at apartments in the NYC area :) Enjoy your new adventure.

  8. Congrats!! That is so amazing! Yay for getting to make it your own.

  9. Congratulations on you're new home! Its a huge step for people of our generation to make, but it gives you real roots to a place, and your life.

  10. Congratulations! I hope you guys can make some time for me in December! I would love to see how future-Martha-Stewart-you has made your home "oh-so-shoney!" (Yes.. I did do that.. sorry :)) But really the view is gorgeous! Happy, happy for you and Daniel!

  11. Congratulations on the new place, that is so exciting!!

  12. Hi, and congrats on your new home.

    I'm a new reader and I love your blog. But I hope those aren't your actual keys in the photo...I just recently heard about something called "key cloning" where someone can take keys from a photo and actually make a copy in a 3D printer, which can then be used as a real key. Now, of course you might be thinking that no one knows where EXACTLY you live, but you have given quite a few details and there is that picture of your view. I'm not familiar with your neighborhood (Jersey girl here) but I bet others are.

    Not trying to scare you and hope you don't think I'm some weirdo since this is my first comment on your blog, but literally the same day I read this post I heard about key cloning and have meant to come back here and let you know about this.

    Either way, wishing you best of luck in your new home....


  13. oh gosh! So exciting. ok that view just made me want to move to New York...not that I could afford it now, maybe ever, but man is it enticing!

  14. Just doing the casual, find blog > stalk a million posts > leave comments, get to know you thing... Congrats!!! So exciting! And in NYC, I am so jealous! My dream is to live there one day, but I think the visa people have an issue with that haha.


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