Wow. It feels SO GOOD to finally be able to write this. I didn’t want to post about it until we officially closed on our new place, because—as it turns out—I am EXTREMELY skeptical when it comes to this kind of shit. Like, I don’t think I even allowed myself to get excited or believe it was happening until we had all of the paperwork signed. I’ve never done this before, and I just didn’t want to get my hopes up until I knew with 100% certainty it was the real deal.
However, as of July 15, it is now officially *the REAL DEAL.* We are homeowners and we move in a WEEK. WTF!
Anyway, I feel like I should back up a bit and give you the 4-1-1 on how this all went down…
MY CURRENT APARTMENT: Lower East Side
I’ve been living in my current place on the Lower East Side since 2012. (Before that I lived on Avenue B in the East Village.) I absolutely love it here—the neighborhood is vibrant and hip but still feels like the gritty New York City I fell so deeply in love with as a kid.
I moved into this apartment with a best friend 7 years ago. It’s an 800-square-foot one-bedroom that we turned into a two-bedroom by building a wall in the living room—normal if you’re a New Yorker, but absurd to anyone not from here.
Right around that time, Matt and I started dating again (after a three-year relationship “hiatus.”) We talked about moving in together eventually, but I wasn’t in a rush. I was thoroughly enjoying living with my best friend, and I knew that it would likely be the last time I would ever have a girlfriend as a roommate. We were in our 20s and having the time of our lives getting to know our new hood and all the amazing bars/restaurants here, and I wanted to make the most of it while I could.
Also, as someone who truly values and craves independence, I was nervous that moving in with a boyfriend would really cramp my style.
Eventually, I think around 2014, we made the decision that it was time: Matt would move into my apartment, and my best friend would move in with another friend of ours who was looking for a roommate. I’ll be honest—I was FREAKING out. It sounds ridiculous in retrospect, but I was genuinely nervous that it would be, like, way too much time together.
Don’t get me wrong—I love Matt—but I also love my alone time. I like to be able to shut my bedroom door and watch a Real Housewives marathon for 4 hours without anyone bothering me, know what I mean?
Long story short, it ended up being fine. In fact, Matt is the best roommate EVER. He does the dishes, takes out the garbage, does my laundry, and knows that if I’m cranky or if there’s a RHONY marathon is on, I probably want to be left alone for a few hours. (It’s why I married him.) We just get each other. And I’m really grateful for that.
TO RENT OR TO BUY?
Over the last few years, we’ve casually talked about wanting to buy a place. Matt comes from a financial background and is very practical with money, so he’s always hated the idea that we’re basically throwing away thousands in rent every month and have nothing to show for it. (Except, of course, for a kitchen with bright orange cabinets.)
We’ve both been smart about saving and not living beyond our means, knowing that eventually we wanted to have enough savings set aside for a down payment.
Recently, the idea of buying kept getting pushed to the back burner since we’ve both been way too busy to prioritize actually looking for a place. And the idea of embarking on a real estate roller coaster was overwhelming, to say the least.
I was dead set on staying in our neighborhood—or somewhere nearby, like Soho, Nolita, Chinatown, Little Italy—but everything that we could afford was either smaller than our current place, in a not-so-safe area, or had insane HOA fees/taxes that made the actual price listed no longer in our price-range.
We had all but put the conversation on hold and stopped talking about it until…
A SERENDIPITOUS EVENT LED US TO OUR NEW PLACE.
In mid-April Matt casually mentioned that his best friend, who owns an amazing apartment in Williamsburg, was going to be putting his place on the market. I’m pretty sure I screamed, “TELL HIM NOT TO LIST IT YET” before Matt could even finish his sentence.
To be honest, I’d never really considered moving to Brooklyn, but this place was enough to convince me. It had everything we wanted and more—plus, dealing directly with a friend seemed infinitely better than going through a broker, and since we’d spent a lot of time at the apartment we knew it was kept in perfect condition. The whole thing felt kind of serendipitous, as long as we could agree on a price and all of the details.
We went back and forth on the price for a while, but eventually settled on a number that felt fair to both of us, and put in the official offer. This was in late April.
After that, it all moved VERY quickly. We hired a lawyer and started the process of getting approved for a mortgage + loan—Matt handled all of those logistics (BLESS HIM) because it would have been a lost cause if I attempted to get involved. (I’m trying to convince him to write a blog post with tips on getting a mortgage and loan, in case any of you are going through the same thing.)
Our current lease wasn’t technically up until November, so we also had to deal with finding someone to take our apartment—and then coordinate their move-in date with our move-in date, and Matt’s friend’s move-out date. It was a little bit of a puzzle, but we somehow we managed to figure it out.
Once we confirmed our move-in date, I reached out to a moving company I had seen people post about all over Instagram, and scheduled them to come help us pack up. (The company is called Roadway and so far they’ve been great to work with—I’ll keep you guys posted on how all of that goes.)
OUR NEW HOME: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
So, now the most exciting part: details about our new place! We’re selling most of our furniture since I think I’ve outgrown the style of what we have now—and I’ll obviously be taking you along with me throughout the entire design process of the new apartment.
I also plan to enlist your opinions on little things too, since I tend to be very indecisive and I wholeheartedly value the opinion of the #SilbSquad.
Anyway, onto the deets! The apartment has two bedrooms—and no, the second bedroom will not be for a baby. We’re turning it into an office/guest bedroom. I think the thing I’m most excited about is having my own office. My current set-up (using my dining room table as a desk) has been fine, but certainly not ideal.
Since leaving my corporate job, I spend most of my time working from home when I’m not traveling, so having a space that was specifically designed for me & my growing business is going to be really, really nice. Matt also works from home (when he’s not traveling) so it should be an interesting design challenge for us—two desks, one pull-out couch, and a ton of shelving to store all of my beauty products 🙂
The kitchen is open concept with modern finishes, and, unlike our current apartment, they ARE NOT BRIGHT ORANGE. What a treat. We’ll have two bathrooms—quite the luxury, since right now we only have one. I will of course be turning the second bathroom into my own personal Sephora, and filling the over-sink vanity with a rainbow of skincare products.
The living room is slightly smaller than our current living room, but it has great light and feels really open, which I love. I’ve been a maniac on Pinterest putting together boards of inspo—although I’m sure my ideas will change a million times over after we get there.
I’ll be posting photos of everything once we’re finally moved in and settled…but until then, I’d love to get your recommendations on great places for furniture, decor, and design inspo. Also, I’d love to hear about any spots you like in Williamsburg…I haven’t spent very much time in Brooklyn, and moving to a new neighborhood is making me feel like being the new kid in a new school. WHO WILL I SIT WITH AT LUNCH? HOW WILL I FIND THE BATHROOM? (Ok I’m being dramatic but you know what I mean.)
Leave your tips in the comments!
P.S. If you haven’t already joined the #SilbSquad group on Facebook, get involved. We’re sharing travel tips, job opps, beauty finds, and more.