Home News Harlem or Upper West Side? Two Longtime Renters Test 20 Years’ Worth of Savings on a New Apartment.

Harlem or Upper West Side? Two Longtime Renters Test 20 Years’ Worth of Savings on a New Apartment.

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Saul Robbins and Susan Fruwiller lived in New York City’s equivalent of a golden cage for over 20 years. An affordable one-bedroom apartment in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood of the Upper West Side was too small for my family, but too small. Affordable departure.

An artist and photography professor, Robbins desperately needed space for his home studio. Fruwiller, a self-employed development consultant, wanted an office that he could call his own. We both wanted a second bathroom, high floor, and plenty of natural light.

Squeeze went crazy when their son, Theodore, now 6, stepped into the picture. Rather than sacrifice living and dining space, the couple decided to cram their own bed into the only bedroom next door. Still, they considered themselves lucky to get her 900-square-foot space for $1,625 a month.

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“By New York City standards, it was a very large apartment,” Fruwiller, 56, said.

Still, they were constantly tinkering with upgrade ideas, browsing online listings, and putting money into their savings.

Robbins, 61, who grew up in one of San Francisco’s traditional Victorian townhomes, said: “A little addictive. But we always come back to this place.”

There were also geographical restrictions. Most of Fulwiler’s clients are on the Upper West Side. Theodore, now a sophomore, loves elementary school on the Upper West Side. Mr. Robbins teaches at several universities around Manhattan.

But in late 2019, after 20 years of savings, the couple could pay for a down payment on a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment by limiting their search to co-ops designated as the Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC). I noticed that. building.

There are approximately 1,100 HDFC cooperatives in New York City, forming a unique piece of the city’s affordable housing puzzle. But while buyers are subject to strict income limits, they also need to have sufficient net worth to qualify for the purchase, making apartments an attractive yet thorny option for many.

“The biggest challenge is that middle-class people make too much money to participate in the program and not enough money to write checks for what they need”.Robins in search and Fruwiller. “HDFC is basically about making housing affordable for people — and to keep trust fund babies away.”

During the pandemic, the couple scoured the Upper West Side for an HDFC condo. Among the characteristics they considered:

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

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