Friday, November 6, 2009

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

As some readers may remember, we have been planning a move over here in Pufferland.
We knew when we were doing the donor egg cycle that our lease would expire on Dec. 31, 2009 and that we would have to find new housing.

Although we tried mightily, we could not get out of our lease early and while it certainly wasn't our preference to be moving while I was 8-9 months pregnant, we really didn't have any other choice.
From the beginning, we've had our eye on Brooklyn and so for the past couple of weeks, we've been spending a lot of time looking at properties and neighborhoods. But with the twins, we have to be picky. We can't do any kind of a walkup when the double stroller alone weighs 30 lbs. No dishwasher? Not an option. No W/D in the building? Sorry, we can't live there. Apartment facing a really busy, loud street? Not the apartment for us.
Basically we were stuck looking at all new construction buildings with elevators. Which is fine...but it seems the majority of these were built in haste at the height of the real estate market and the construction is complete shit (from what we saw).

We expanded our search and became quite overwhelmed and stressed about the whole thing.
Last winter we had thought about buying in a certain Brooklyn neighborhood and finding the prices had dropped dramatically, we suddenly realized we don't have to rent. We can BUY a place! Didn't see that coming!

So, we spent this past weekend in this neighborhood looking at places and reacquainting ourselves with the area. On the subway back to Manhattan we were both pretty quiet. It was late afternoon of a gorgeous fall weekend when we came above ground at Union Square. The farmer's market was going on and the scaffolding had been taken off the amazing new playground being built in Union Square.
I stood there staring at that playground and taking in everything around me.
"Chicken, I'm not feeling it."
"Not feeling what?"
"X neighborhood. I think I'm trying to make myself love it because we can afford it, but I don't love it. I don't want to move there."
"You don't? I don't either!"
"I have a crazy thought in my head, do you want to hear it?"
"I think we try to renegotiate our lease and stay right where we are. I would rather be in a large one-bedroom raising twins than to move to a place we really don't like. We love where we live, we have everything right here. Our friends are right here. And the stress of finding a place and's too much."
"OMG, I was thinking the SAME thing, but I thought you would think I was crazy."

Now the thing about our that we are in the middle of one of the biggest tenant/landlord lawsuits in history. It's in all the real estate news as a few years ago our property was the largest residential real estate sale in history. That made news worldwide.
Why am I brining this up? Well, because while we knew the tenants had won the lawsuit only a week and a half before--we hadn't really thought about how this impacted us because we were moving.
Imagine our shock when we walked into the leasing office the next day and were told they couldn't renew our lease because no one really knows what the hell is going on. In a nutshell, overnight, without our realization, our apartment became rent stabilized. Now, this may not mean much to most of you, but for anyone who knows the NY real estate market, you will understand that we have struck gold.
It has been a whirl wind of a week as we have gone from renting a place in Brooklyn, to buying a place in Brooklyn, to staying right where we are, to finding out we have a rent stabilized apartment.
The courts have not determined what the formula for new rents will be, so for now, we are in lease limbo and hope like hell they will have made a decision by Dec. 31st, when our expires. But regardless, as of yesterday, our attorney has assured us we can stay.

So while I have been busy packing up the apartment (while I still can) in anticipation of moving...and my mom was also sticking around to help me pack....we have found ourselves running around with the measuring tape determining how to make this all this baby stuff fit.
And now...we UNPACK.

All those worries I had about my mom being here? All for nothing. She is a trooper. She is moving furniture and getting things done. I didn't know what we'd be able to do because I can't really move furniture, but I underestimated the strength of my 70-year-old mom. She is going to make it happen.
I now leave you with a photo of the mountain of crap we have to tackle. Hopefully by the time my mom leaves on Wednesday, I can show you photos of a twin-ready one bedroom apartment!

(for those of you who were here for our shower, THIS is what we had moved into our bedroom and why we wouldn't let you enter!) A corner of our living room taken over by baby crap!


Rachel said...

Yay for one-bedrooms in Manhattan! While we moved (when I was 8 months pregnant and the day before JD started a new job) from a miniscule 1-bedroom to a real 2-bedroom, I'll be the first to admit that we use our second bedroom for little other than guests and diaper storage.

Jackie said...

Hooray for making a decision! You always know what is right! As a fellow NYer I can affirm that you HAVE STRUCK GOLD!!!

I wanted to say my favorite line from your post was: "I didn't know what we'd be able to do because I can't really move furniture, but I underestimated the strength of my 70-year-old mom. She is going to make it happen."

You get your strength from somewhere, Chica!!! ;-)

Glad things are falling into place!

I know kids can be raised in a 1 BR NYC apartment!! Yes they can!


CJ said...

Yeah for good things!

Next in Line said...

I am all about location as well. I would rather live in a small place close to people and everything I love than move to a bigger place farther away. Suburbs scare me and leave me feeling lost. You and Cat can make this work with a lot of help from your mom! Yippee what a great project for the two of you. Now is the time to clean everything out, let go of what you don't need and make use of every corner.

Libberal said...

Good to hear your mom can kick ass and take names. Sounds like she's a real help. Congrats too on the mutual decision of staying in the apartment you love. Lots of luck on keeping the rent control!

Two Moms, Two Monkeys said...

OMG your living room looks like ours did... I will have to send you a pic! Glad you are staying where you are, we have the extra room for the babies, had it all setup and guess where all their crap is and where they sleep?? Yup, in OUR room and the living room hosts all their gadgets! The nursery...looks lovely and like it never gets used - which is because IT DOESN'T! Someday they will move in there...someday!

Anonymous said...

FAntastic news!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. That is awesome about the rent stabilization. I admit I'm a little nervous about you being miserable raising twins in your one bedroom. Will you two sleep in the livingroom? Or is there a place where you can put up a wall to have two seperate spaces? I'm sure folks have made it work... probably folks in the Manhattan twins club. Sorry you won't be moving out here. But I'm glad you both agree on what to do. I really hope it works for you.

Anonymous said...

That's great - you did strike gold! I hope the rearranging is going well.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, you can see your full name on one of the bags in the picture.