I talked a little bit about the process of apartment hunting in my blog post last week, but I'm not sure I let on how truly stressful or crazy it was. In about one and a half weeks, I believe we looked at close to thirty apartments. I don't think I even looked at that many houses in the month we house shopped in Austin four years ago. It may be because it was our first time looking at apartments in New York, or that I'm just very picky, but it was hard to find the exact right place. We did put in an offer on an apartment in Park Slope last weekend, but we tried to offer a little under asking price and were up against a bunch of other applicants. So of course, we didn't get it. Thankfully, everything always works out for the best, because yesterday afternoon, we found our "unicorn" apartment!
Yesterday, we spent the day looking at eight different apartments in Park Slope, Fort Greene, and Greenwood. Friends had recommended we check out Fort Greene and Greenwood, and we were hoping we might be able to get a little more space for our budget there. The Greenwood apartment was spacious but very close to a major highway, in a medium-sized building with multiple tenants, and on a slightly noisier, non tree-lined street. We loved Fort Greene and will definitely be visiting the park and restaurants there more in the future! Unfortunately it's almost as pricey as Park Slope and none of the places were particularly spacious or updated. The second Park Slope apartment we looked at was actually a really tough call for us, because it was the second largest apartment we had seen, had great original features and hardwood floors, and a nice kitchen. But it was a bit further from Prospect Park or subway lines, and had no dishwasher or washer/dryer. The washer/dryer definitely wasn't as huge of a factor for us though, since that is less common, and until we saw the ninth and final apartment of the day, we were both strongly considering putting in an application for that large North Slope apartment.
Now it's finally time for me to explain the blog title. Keith and I started referring to finding our unicorn apartment after about six or seven viewings, when the apartment never quite looked like the pictures or we started to worry our demands might be too high for our budget here. We came up with silly ideas on what our "perfect apartment" or unicorn apartment would look like. Keith's ideal was a brownstone, on a quiet tree-lined street, with an extra room for his office and a private outdoor, garden space. Mine was updated but had quaint features, hardwood floors, good light, was less than two blocks from a park, and had a dishwasher and washer/dryer. The "unicorn" apartment we just signed our closing papers on doesn't have the outdoor space, but we did get everything else! The craziest part of all is that we almost didn't even get to view the apartment. It originally had an open house scheduled at noon yesterday, but when we arrived to see it, we found out it had been moved to 6 pm that evening. After running around town all day and looking at so many listings, we were both pretty exhausted and contemplating whether we wanted to look at another place. Keith gets full credit on this one, because thankfully he convinced me to go.
We were the first to arrive at the open house, just two avenues from Prospect Park, down a quiet tree-lined street, up to a three-story brownstone. The apartment is on the second floor, and one of only three apartments in the building. The landlord hired a contractor and over the past year, his crew has completely gutted and redone the entire building. They are currently finishing redoing the hardwood floors in the hallway, fixing up the entire basement and installing washer/dryers plus storage space for each tenant. Here are just a few pictures of our new Park Slope apartment:
The apartment has been completely gutted and redone, so we have all new plumbing, new wiring, new outlets (they even have USB plugs!), and brand-new appliances. It is seriously the most gorgeous apartment we saw in all our viewings. This is that unheard of unicorn apartment that was actually prettier in person than in the photos. Plus, there's multiple closets around the apartment and built-in shelving in the bonus room. No walk-in closet obviously, but that wasn't on our unicorn list anyway. And now, just for fun because you know I'm all about the little details, here are a few final close-up shots from around the new apartment:
Our move-in date is August 15 so stay tuned for progress shots along the way and hopefully another full home tour reveal in the next few months. We barely brought any furniture from Texas, so I'm already starting to brainstorm new bed frames and a couch for this space. And now, please excuse the very mushy moment but I just have to say, I can't believe we found this place! I can't believe I'm holding the keys to this apartment and that it was actually in our budget (at the top, but still, in budget). I also can't believe that in less than six months, we get to bring baby Fraase home to this beautiful space. Okay, end of mush. Thanks for following along on this crazy adventure!