Jakob W. Plummer and Vichet Chum spent six years in a small, rent-stabilized two-bedroom in Washington Heights. It wasn’t particularly good: They bought direct daylight for round quarter-hour mid-morning. Fireworks exploded all summer season, sending Lucy the canine cowering below the piano. And one thing was all the time incorrect — a sink was damaged, the gasoline was out, holes shaped within the toilet ceiling.
The couple, who met by means of their work within the theater — Mr. Plummer, 30, is a stage supervisor and Mr. Chum, 36, is a playwright — often had a roommate within the second bed room, serving to to defray the $1,925 hire. They dreamed of shopping for a spot of their very own, however feared it was out of attain.
“As freelancers, it is impossible to convince a bank you are being paid enough to get a mortgage,” Mr. Plummer mentioned. “It’s hard to explain that I have 15 different employers in a year.”
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But their funds not too long ago improved. After being unemployed in the course of the pandemic, Mr. Plummer landed a job doing Covid compliance work on Broadway, and is now again to stage managing. Mr. Chum obtained an advance for a young-adult novel, “Kween,” and his dad and mom provided to assist with a down cost.
“The unspoken ask was that if they visited us they would have a place to stay,” mentioned Mr. Chum, who grew up in Dallas, the son of Cambodian immigrants. Mr. Plummer is from Ohio.
So final fall, with a finances of round $400,000, the couple went on the hunt for a co-op, ideally not too removed from their rental. With mortgage pre-approval from Actors Federal Credit Union, they discovered they might afford a one- or two-bedroom close to their Upper Manhattan neighborhood, or within the Bronx.
Their hunt turned out to be temporary, restricted partly by finances and site. “I didn’t know that we needed to look any further,” Mr. Chum mentioned. “I am sort of debilitated by too much choice.”
Their residence wanted to be close to a subway station, they usually most popular a lived-in, prewar place to one thing new.
“We would also judge apartments on the basis of the selling agent,” Mr. Plummer mentioned. “This is the person they decided to trust the selling to?” Some, they discovered, had been impolite or dismissive.
Among their choices:
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