Is Streeteasy Real Estate's Tinder?
The hunt for an apartment in New York is no walk in Central Park. It's tiring, it's frustrating, and there are moments when you begin to feel totally hopeless, especially if you’re a single-income, young female, like myself.
I spent a rainy day last weekend searching up and down the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn for the perfect apartment to call home. As I went from place to place, I began to quickly rule each one out. "It's not what I'm looking for", "the more I see, the more I know what I don't like", "it's just not 'the one’", I would tell my broker.
I very soon began to realize that the things I was saying sounded eerily familiar to the conversations I had had with my girlfriends .... but about men. All of a sudden it dawned on me - hunting for an apartment in New York City was not too different from looking for love in 2018. Was I speed dating for real estate? Limited natural light became my 'dealbreaker', prompting me to quickly swipe left. I found myself getting very specific about what I was looking for, perhaps the way I have been about my future Mr. Darcy. I couldn't help but wonder to myself, was Streeteasy real estate's Tinder?!
I continued to draw parallels. The excitement followed by disappointment when an offer fell through, the tears of frustration, and the long conversations with friends discussing options followed by the unimpressed 'meh, you can do better'. "Do you want me to come check it out with you?" asked my cousin on my second day of my search after a savage first day on the hunt. "Yes girl, I need you to sit at the bar" I humored back.
I've forever had a theory about finding your person - they won't be perfect, and we all need to get comfortable with compromise -- a very difficult notion to accept in today's society, where your next fling is a simple swipe away. But quite frankly, and from my own personal history, I can attest that men and women alike must compromise on 1 of 3 fundamental qualities: 1) attractiveness/appearances, 2) intelligence/success, 3) emotional stability/personality. It is very rare to have the perfect combination of all 3 -- and if you've found that, hold on tight babe. In most situations you give a little somewhere because the other two pieces of the pie are so profound that they make up for it -- it's the perfect combination for you.
I began to apply this theory to house-hunting for an apartment in NYC - If I was going to find my new sanctuary in the city, I had to compromise on 1 of 3 things: 1) location/neighborhood, 2) luxury (read: space) and 3) price. Like with men, I had to figure out where I was willing to give a little, and decide what I was okay with compromising on enough that my future crib would still be a 'f%$k yes!!' for me.
I wish I could end this piece with, "It happened! I found 'the one' and it’s absolutely perfect - we're moving in together!", but synonymous with dating, there isn't always a fairytale ending. I'm calling this the intermission; there are a million apartments out there, as there are famously many a fish in the sea. The space and the person I come home to are both important commitments, and as such, the hunt shall continue to find my perfectly imperfect ‘one’.
Photography by Neil Britto