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Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanLuiza Christofi in her bargain 1BR apartment in Harlem
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Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanBargain 1BR apartment, Harlem
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Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanBargain 1BR apartment, Harlem

Bargain 1BR apartment, Harlem

Luiza Christofi, 19, acting studentRent: $1,299, including heat and hot waterBroker: Brandon Evans, Anchor Associates (347-931-7945,;...

By Lucy Cohen Blatter
Luiza Christofi, 19, acting student
Rent: $1,299, including heat and hot water
Broker: Brandon Evans, Anchor Associates (347-931-7945,;
Broker’s fee: One month’s rent
Deposit: One month’s rent
Moved in: March 2012

HER PREVIOUS PLACE: “I was living in student housing on Church Avenue near Prospect Park. The rent was $1,500 a month for a studio without a kitchen. I didn’t feel safe in the neighborhood, which was not well lit and had a lot of narrow streets. It was not good for a 19-year-old coming home at all times.”

THE SEARCH: “Before I decided to move to Harlem, I walked around the neighborhood with some friends and I really liked it. At first I used Craigslist [], but it didn’t go well. I contacted brokers and a lot of times they weren’t available for showings. I got the name of a broker from a friend. My budget was $1,000, and he kept finding me places for $1,600. He told me I was crazy to think I could find something in Manhattan for around $1,000. Then my mom found Brandon online and he found me a place in a week.”

THE SPACE: “The apartment has a good-size living room—I can fit a couch and a dining-room table. The bedroom is small, but I don’t have that much stuff. Also, the floors were hardwood and the appliances, like the fridge and stove, were new and clean.”

PAYING A PREMIUM FOR BEING AN EXPAT: “Because I’m from Poland and don’t have an American guarantor, I had to sign a 14-month lease.”

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: “People are really friendly here. Since I know some of my neighbors, I feel safe. Plus, I live right above the 2/3 train, which takes me to school at 27th and Broadway in about 16 minutes during peak time and 25 minutes during off-peak.”



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