2BR garden apartment; Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
Tue Apr 26 2011
Photograph: Beth Levendis
James Gillespie, thirties, program Coordinator at Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Laila Ozols-Gillespie, thirties, artist and urban farm educator
Broker's fee: About $2,500
Brokers: Shyda Hoque and Veronique Lerebours, Realty Collective (realtycollective.com, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com)
Moved in: December 2010
The area: "We thought we'd look outside Park Slope because it was too expensive for the space we wanted," says Gillespie. "That's why we looked at Windsor Terrace. We had been to Prospect Park West and had drinks there, so we knew that road."
The search: "We found the apartment through Realty Collective. I think it was online on Craigslist initially, and then we found out it was through them," Gillespie recalls.
The broker: "I suppose we figured that we would have to use a broker because Brooklyn tends to work that way," says Gillespie. "All the best listings seemed to be through brokers. The Realty Collective website works pretty well and has good listings; it is easy to search, has good profiles. Some companies can be frustrating, and you know Craigslist—it can be hard to find out the real info. Realty Collective had all the info and got back to us quickly."
The apartment: "It was the right size," says Gillespie. "We needed two bedrooms—one as a study and for storage, one regular bedroom—and we wanted an outside space. Those were our major terms. We were looking [for something] around $2,000. We had to go higher, but this one includes all utilities. It has a nice wood floor in the living room and bedroom, and we liked the heating. We could tell from visiting it'd be warm; that was an issue in our last place. We have space out front where we can grow stuff as well. I have a little apple tree and a bed of vegetables: kale, peas, carrots, tomatoes, beets, Swiss chard. Some of it we feed to the chickens, they love kale."
The chickens: "We knew there was no point seriously considering the apartment until we broached the subject of having chickens. That was a big thing for us. We have four, and we didn't want to get rid of them, so we brought that up early so as not to waste anyone's time. We'd got them in June 2010 and raised them from two-day-old chicks. It had been a lot of work, so we wanted to see some eggs; they started in February. My wife introduced the idea of chickens to the landlord. He had actually heard of [raising chickens] in Red Hook] [where we used to live], because he has a friend there who was a pioneer. He was willing to go ahead and wrote it into the lease."