2BR, West Village

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

Photograph: Alex Strada

Jessie S., 23, account coordinator for a technology PR agency; and Emily B., 23, strategy analyst for a retail company
Rent: $2,900
Broker's fee: 15% ($5,220)
Broker: Tony Wilson, Citi Habitats (646-872-9072, citi-habitats.com, towilson@citi-habitats.com)
Moved in: January 2011

The search: "I moved here from San Francisco straight into a short-term sublet in Greenpoint," says Jessie. "When I started looking for my own apartment I didn't quite know how the New York market worked. My roommate and I found a couple of places on Craigslist, but it turned out that all these places were connected to brokers. So we ended up paying a broker's fee, which kind of sucks; it was over $5,000. Ideally I would have liked to have spent two months looking for a no-fee place, but I was working 8am to 8pm, so finding time to see apartments was hard. If you don't have a lot of time and you're rushing to find a place—and you have the money to spend—a broker is great. Also, Tony got us in early, we were the first people to see the apartment. We had everything squared and signed, like, five weeks before we could even move in."

The neighborhood: "The apartment is on the border of the West Village and Greenwich Village," says Jessie. "What I love about this neighborhood is that there's so much going on and there are so many different places to eat and drink. It's also convenient: I can walk for two minutes down the street to get groceries, and it's close to a lot of subways and the PATH. I think the disadvantage in most of the downtown areas is that you pay so much for so little space. My bedroom has room for my bed and wardrobe dresser and that's it. In my last apartment in Greenpoint, I could've fit eight beds in my room."

The apartment: "What sold me on this place is that every single room has a window in it, even the bathroom," says Jessie. "Another reason I really liked it is the bedrooms are totally separate: The walls don't touch at all, which I think is really cool. We also have an eat-in kitchen separate from the living room, which is not super normal. I like older buildings because they have character, and this one has loads. And we have a full view of this gorgeous tree outside the window. Although Sixth Avenue is really noisy, our apartment faces 11th Street, so it's nice and quiet."

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