To achieve her goal of owning a home for 30 years, Pallavi Pal planned and saved years, which meant living with her Craigslist roommates – “quite a bit, because it would help me get where I needed to go,” she said.
Ms. Pallavi, 30, a New Delhi native of financial technology who writes a travel blog called Your Vacay Pal, lived in several parts of New York City after graduating from Miami University. “I didn’t feel any strong ties to the neighborhood,” she said. She was more interested in space and cost.
In the summer of 2019, with a budget of up to $ 550,000, she headed for a newly built, two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot apartment with monthly fees of less than $ 700 and a commute to Midtown of no more than 30 minutes. She knew she was asking a lot.
She thought of New Jersey, but wanted to stay closer to her family and friends in New York. While visiting Queens, she found limited opportunities for new condominiums.
“A lot of friends have moved to Astoria,” she said. But “deciding as long as buying a house based on where your friends are renting” seemed distrustful.
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So she lowered her expectations and focused on a more realistic goal: one 650-square-foot bedroom. “If I wanted to live in New York and still be within 30 minutes of commuting from Midtown, I had to give something,” she said.
Mrs. Pal found plenty of options in the boutique condominium buildings in Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, many of which were four-story walks with eight units. They were largely similar, although the square shots sometimes differed.
“Some of these new developments have a little more than others – meaning there is a storage room or washer-dryer, not just a connection – so there are small differences,” said its agent Wendy Juan of Triplemint.
“If you come early enough, you can choose front, back, second floor, first floor,” said Ms. Juan. “That’s one of the reasons to go into a new development, so you have those options.”
Mrs. Pal conducted an exhaustive survey, visited an open house, and often saw multiple units in the same building.
Her three finalists:
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