It is not the one we wanted very most and first, this is one that son found. He was the one who kept after it, found the price, and checked it out. I found three others that we had a good shot at. We ranked them in descending order, all three were in play until this morning. Then we were in the position of having to force a commitment on the one we wanted most, while still keeping a grip on the one we wanted least until we knew for sure. I tried really hard to do it in such a way that we did not screw anyone over or waste their time.
One landlord who wanted an answer early in the day because he is Hasidic and takes a half day on Friday. He was very nice, but he had the apartment we wanted least. Nothing wrong with it, but it was in an ugly part of town, and it cost more, and if you can live on the beach I will always prefer to do that..The one we wanted most was being touted by a Park Avenue realtor who apparently dabbles over in Brooklyn. He was almost impossible to reach, . It was big and ground floor. He was not careful to do what he said he would do. I felt really frustrated with him. And I had a thought about real estate. It is probably not a new thought, maybe you have had it too.
Realtors are dealing with emotion. Nobody moves easily. I don't think it matters terribly much how much money you have, or why you are moving. You are leaving your home, your burrow, your comfort. Real Estate people should be very careful to be reliable and comforting and kind. They should be older people who have knocked around the world a little. Instead the job seems to attract hair-gel sales types.
In the end we took the middle option one. It is a 4th floor walk-up, that is a downside. And it is not large. But, it is right on the beach, on Mermaid ave, in Coney Island! I can see the roller-coaster from the living room window. I can go to the beach every single day, and go swimming! We are a block from the water. There is also Nathan's hotdogs, and the boardwalk, and a big park where I can take Hazel if she does not like the sand.
Now, Coney Island is not Park Slope. It is not chic, the hipsters and their prices, have not arrived yet. There seem to be alot of older shirtless men speaking Russian and listening to 80's pop. It is kind of shabby, in a beachy sort of way. Son says that it reminds him of Baz Lurman's Romeo and Juliet. . I can see what he means. But the price is ridiculously low, and the beach, you guys! We can get our surfboards out of storage...
This apartment is owned by two Russian guys named Iuri and Boris. No realtor, no management company, much more direct. That lowers costs I suppose. Iuri has a strong accent, and a sunburned face. When you call his phone there is always hammering in the background. He seems like an 'I can fix it,' kind of guy, which is a good quality in a landlord if he actually can. We had one once years ago who was always trying to save money by doing his own work. In my years with him I bandaged a spouting cut to his hand, and saw him hold a live electric cord while standing in a puddle of water on a metal ledge. I also saw him fall off a ladder and land stunned on the ground. Nice man-- but no sense of self-preservation. Iuri does not seem the kind of feckless.
There will be things about the new place that are regrettable, or inconvenient. There always are. And the hard heavy work of moving is still ahead.The part where you realize that the sofa is now wedged in a stairwell, and people you have just met are unable to get by it to get to work. (Preserve me from that, it has happened before.) Moving is a bit like childbirth, it is a new start, but there is liable to be blood and screaming before you are done. But the relief is already awesome.
We will be gone from here by Monday. There will be pictures, if you like.