Home News Bidding on a Brooklyn Brownstone, With a Baby on the Way. Which One Did They Buy?

Bidding on a Brooklyn Brownstone, With a Baby on the Way. Which One Did They Buy?

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When Liuyu Ivy Chen first met Henry M. Clever, his bed was under the piano.

In 2014, Clever lived in a small apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The only furniture I rented was Steinway Grand. At night, he would curl up on his twin mattress under the piano and rely on it to block the sun. During the day, he got together with his fellow New York University students. In one of them, Mr. Chen, from Zhejiang, China, who had recently arrived to study creative his writing, was playing the piano with him. the two fell in love.

“It’s the piano that brought us together,” Chen said.

The couple married in 2016 and moved into a one-bedroom rental in Manhattan in March 2021. Rent was $2,750 a month, but quickly rose to $3,200 for her in the pandemic market. It’s time you needed a new space. And Ms. Chen is expecting her first child and will need even more space.

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Mr. Clever, 31, is a robotics engineer and grew up in St. Louis. In St. Louis, grand Italian and Second Empire homes once dominated the most fashionable neighborhoods. He always liked Brooklyn and its classic brownstones. “I had very specific preferences and from 1870 he wanted a house built between 1900,” he said.

Translator and editor Chen, 32, had his eyes on architectural details and spaces for one or two renters, but he had another goal in mind. I plan to go down and buy it.

“We visited many homes that were chopped up and felt very cramped inside,” Chen said. “I wanted real brownstone.”

The couple were confident they could buy a two- or three-family home and find a renter to cover the mortgage payments. , wanted to find a place that had outdoor space, was close to the subway and Asian supermarkets, and was zoned for a good school. All the while, Chen had his sights set on a formal living room that could accommodate a grand piano.

Their son was due in September, so the clock was ticking. They launched searches in Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant, near where they first met, but their broker, Compass agent Arthur Hunt, recommended they investigate more extensively. . “The way they described their dream home was that they felt they had very limited inventory,” Hunt said. “I thought it would be interesting to explore other areas as well.”

Among the characteristics they considered:

Find out what happened next by answering the following two questions:

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