Studio; Astoria, Queens

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  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

  • Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

Photograph: Jani Zubkovs

Jannette Rios, 32, customer-service manager for a luxury retail company
Rent:
$1,232
Broker's fee: None
Leasing agent: Ruth Jadidian, Kings & Queens (718-730-6500, rjadidian@kingsqueensapts.com)
Moved in: December 2010

The search: "Craigslist was a nightmare. Everything there has a broker's fee and everything that doesn't just isn't very nice. I just googled 'leasing agency' and went on NY Bits—all the things that are free. And by accident I came across Kings & Queens, and I found [the agency's listing for] the Pennsylvania. I called the office, and they were responsive, polite, professional. I didn't like the floor of the first apartment I saw [in this building]. It was linoleum or something; there was just no way, I needed hardwood floors. Everything was perfect; I loved the building, the super, the elevator was clean. But when I saw the floor and said no way, Ruth said she might have something coming up and would call me back. I didn't think she would ever call back, these people never call back. But she called me in a week's time and said she had something else that was being renovated and I could go look at it. I walked in: I saw the hardwood floors, I saw the stove, all the cabinets all waiting to be installed. I was sold. It looked beautiful."

The area: "I really need to be close to Manhattan, you just want to get there in 15 minutes and not commute for an hour to maintain a social life. I wanted to be somewhere young and energetic and not in a family neighborhood. Here you have a mix of everything. Things weren't in my price range in Manhattan; it didn't make sense anymore to pay almost 80 percent of my income in rent."

The apartment: "You walk in and the foyer is open. I hate when you walk into an apartment and you run into a wall. An open space just sets the tone. It's really open, and immediately you have four closets, which is unheard-of. One of them is a linen closet—how awesome is that? There are all-new fixtures in the bathroom: vanity, sink, bathtub, the floor, the shower tiles. And there are architectural things other than the four walls: There are beams that come out of the wall a little, so it's not a straight, square box. It's an elevator building. It has a laundry, which I love. You don't usually get those amenities at this price."

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