Fri Oct 7 2011
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Lee Catherine Booker, 25, student; Alex Vaughn, 25, student
Broker's fee: 15 percent of first year's rent ($5,220)
Broker: Tony Wilson, Citi Habitats (646-872-9072, email@example.com; citi-habitats.com)
Moved in: June 2011.
THE SEARCH: "We wanted to see if we could find an apartment on our own without a broker," says Booker. "But we quickly realized that was almost impossible since we didn't live in the city. We ended up having one weekend to look at places. We actually found Tony Wilson through Time Out New York, because he was listed as a good broker. The apartment he wanted to show us wasn't available first thing on Saturday, so we started off having [other brokers] show us a couple of places. We were disheartened, thinking we were going to live in a shoebox. But Tony wanted to get us what we wanted and paid attention to what we were saying."
WHAT THEY LOVE ABOUT IT: "The thing that made us want the apartment was the kitchen," Booker tells us. "It's big and has all new cabinets, and it's really light-filled and beautiful. The kitchen and living room both open into each other. It makes the whole place seem a lot bigger than it is. Each bedroom has two nice big windows that look into [our neighbors'] backyards, so there's a lot of green. The sides of those buildings are covered in ivy. It just looks like a garden."
THEIR FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD SPOT: "Our favorite place is Blockheads (499 Third Ave between 33rd and 34th Sts, 212-213-3332)," says Booker. "It's our go-to because it has really cheap drinks and delicious burritos."