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November 6, 2009

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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).

So….
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?”
“Go”
“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 moving….it’s too much.”
OMG, I was thinking the SAME thing, but I thought you would think I was crazy.”

Now the thing about our apartment…..is 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!