Apartment Buying Tips: How Did I Know I’d Found My New York Dream Home?

Apartment Buying Tips: How Did I Know I’d Found My New York Dream Home? November sunrise over the West Village | Photo by Tony Sargent (C) 2013

This morning I awoke to this spectacular dawn. The opportunity to experience nature as art in our city of steel and concrete is unique and why a New York view costs more.

Ten years ago, buying my first apartment in New York I looked for three months. When I first started looking, the dream apartment I hoped for was bigger and less expensive than the reality turned out to be. Maintenance would be lower. Then I started looking. I went to open houses. I looked downtown, midtown and uptown. Bigger, smaller, views and no views. I was sure when I started space was all I needed. After a few weeks I was depressed. Was what I wanted really out there?

I had committed to buying, so after a month I got serious. The first month of looking moved me from my fantasy to grasping one challenging reality of Manhattan real estate – at almost any price point there is something that has to give on one’s dream list if we are to move from “I’m looking to buy” to “I closed on my new apartment!”

I decided I needed to prioritize my top three ‘must-haves’. The process of looking had clarified those for me and they were different than what I had expected: 1) Light 2) Views 3) Location. Surprisingly space became number 4 on the list.

Want to buy a Manhattan condo or co-op? Decide what are your top three ‘must-haves’? It will help you identify the best apartment to buy.

After ‘looking’ for a period of time, I committed to buy. I lined up ten apartments to see. I raced uptown and downtown. The moment I walked into my West Village apartment I knew it. Not in my head, but my heart. When I walked out of the building what I remembered more than the finishes was the view and a sense of joy. That’s what stuck with me and drew me back to it. Not logic, but emotion. It’s why real estate values aren’t like stocks. Most people buy with their hearts.

I’m so happy I identified and bought my dream home. I joke that it takes me longer to buy shoes than it took me to decide on my apartment. It happens that way.

Want to find your dream home? Let me know and I’d be happy to help you. – Tony Sargent

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