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Up until recently, Kylie Esco and her partner A. Jay were living in a one bedroom on the third-floor of a walk-up in Bedford-Stuyvesant. When their lease ended during the pandemic, they saw an opportunity to upgrade. Their new place, in neighboring Clinton Hill, is also a walk-up—this time on the fourth floor—but the landlord’s flexibility over the pet policy and the apartment’s original details made it a deal they couldn’t walk away from. They were represented by Jacqueline Howard Beck, an agent at Keller Williams NYC. Here’s their story.
We decided to move because the whole Covid situation made previously unattainable apartments suddenly affordable. We were satisfied with our old apartment—a two bedroom in Bed-Stuy—where our rent of $2,000 went gone up to $2,100 with a parking spot. We said we would only move if we found something we were over the moon about.
Our Bed-Stuy place was spacious, newly renovated, and right in between two convenient trains. The only things that we felt we could improve upon were safety—A. Jay recently had his tires slashed in our driveway—and the trash-strewn sidewalks in the neighborhood, which were pretty annoying.
I had been able to look past the dirty streets until we agreed to take care of a dear friend's dog and I had to keep my eyes on the sidewalk at all times and make sure our new foster pup, George, didn't eat something gross every couple of feet. When A. Jay sent me the link to this place on Clinton Avenue, I was hooked. "I don't even need to see it. Get an application!" I said. This new place checked almost every box on our dream apartment list.
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A. Jay and I grew up in Oklahoma and when we met we bonded over our mutual dream of one day living in a brownstone in NYC. Once we moved into our first place in Brooklyn—a windowless, low-ceilinged, basement room—we realized it might take us 10 or so years before we’d realize that dream. But after six months we graduated to that third story walk-up.
We were there for almost three years. As our lease came to an end I looked at apartments in Manhattan because as a child that was the dream. Then we saw this Clinton Hill place—which has intricate hardwood floors, a huge living room and bedroom plus another smaller bedroom—I couldn't believe it. Not to mention the fact that I think we now live on one of the most beautiful streets in Brooklyn. The asking rent was $2,500 and we signed a 12-month lease. It's still somewhat surreal to us that we found such an incredible new place to live.
One of the things we were nervous about was the strict no-pet policy. We'd agreed to take care of George, a little German Spitz mix that belongs to one of my oldest friends who had a baby about a year ago. The baby girl seemed to take a much bigger liking to the pup than George did to her. We agreed to look after George for a while. We came up with a plan with our broker to try to sway the landlord.
We sent an email explaining our situation, and the owner of the pup sent an email reassuring them that they had every intention of taking the pup back in six months. We snuck in a few pics and videos putting George's cuteness on display, along with a commitment to pay a little more in rent per month in order to sweeten the deal.
It worked. We are paying an additional $100 while we have George with us. We didn't get any free months and in fact we paid a broker fee which wasn't great—but we were really excited about our place. It worked out and here we are! Happy as clams!