NYC real estate
Well, it's official. I will NEVER own real estate in my neighborhood. Unless we hit the lotto anytime soon, which is basically never going to happen, I will eventually be pushed out of my neighborhood and deep into the heart of Brooklyn.
This will mean moving away from the park. This will mean moving away from the Park Slope Food Coop, where I am privileged to have access to the cheapest and choicest organics around. This will mean moving away from my new job, which is IN the park, which I took so I could be closer to my son's daycare. This will, ultimately, mean that I leave the city all together.
I have news for my husband and everyone else: if I leave Brooklyn, and specifically my neighborhood, it will NOT be to move to New Jersey. Not that there's anything wrong with New Jersey. I have great friends who live there, and have visited several great neighborhoods bustling with cool people, great restaurants and awesome bars. I just don't want to live there (never mind the nightmarish commute to Park Slope from the Garden State!).
If I can't live where I want then I really don't see any reason to stay in the state. And where I want to live is in my neighborhood. It rocks. It is beautiful. It centers around a beautiful park for goodness sakes! The folks who live here are families who've owned the homes here for generations (and generations). Windsor Terrace, the official name of my 'hood because of two streets there (Windsor and Terrace, natch!) is the first place I've lived in NYC where I walked into my apartment and said, hey, I'm HOME.
But, even though my husband and I make a very decent living, it is simply not enough. Not enough for even a 1 bedroom with less space in it than you might imagine. Not enough for a place big enough to put a toddler. We have, I estimate, less than a year in our stellar apartment, which, by New York standards, is the bomb. And by bomb I mean we have our own washer dryer, a dishwasher, forced air, rooms that are life-size with 90 degree angles, and we live on the freakin' park.
Seriously, I look out my window (doing it now) and I see into the park. Nothing is better than this. Nothing. Well, the same but with another bedroom for the kiddo. Other than that though, I'd be set.
Here's the thing. Yes, we can manage in this apartment for a while. Kiddo is not even to crawling stage yet, and my husband and I are very creative when it comes to using our space wisely. Now that we've added another person to the mix things have gotten...interesting. And cramped. But we are happy and we make do. Space is meaningless when you have a new baby and have your own washer dryer.
But some day, as in really soon, I want to have another child. I don't even know if that's a possibility for me--I may never end up getting pregnant again--but I want to plan as though it is. There is simply no way--NO WAY--that we could fit one more thing, or person, or that person's things, into this apartment.
Nor could we fit it all into pretty much any apartments I've seen in the area. And the prices for what you get--well, I won't even get into that.
This is the reason (well, one of them) you see so many folks in New York City with only one child. Couples simply don't have the room or the money to produce a sibling. Those couples that do venture into the land of Baby: Part Deux clearly have better paying jobs than we do and have somehow managed to capture one of these elusive three bedroom apartments that are about as rare as a Dodo.
Sigh. So I am back at the drawing board. Either we wait and continue to save and hope that 2008 offers some relief from the ridiculous price puffing around here, or we decide not to buy at all and continue to rent (and buy a car!) or we buy somewhere else.
I have my work cut out for me on this one, clearly. I look at my son and I think how important it is to give him a home--not just a house. I also think that I don't want paying for that house to keep me from being able to provide him with everything else he needs (and that's a LOT).
You know that term 'being caught between a rock and a hard place?' Well, I'm so there.