Property Dream

We had an excellent posse of real estate players: an observant mortgage broker.

Location Cobble Hill
Price $469,000 in 2005 ($639 maintenance)
Square feet750 (three-room apartment in late-19th-century brownstone co-op)
Occupants Eric Forman (research analyst, i-Deal); Scott Forman (recruiter, midtown investment firm)

You look so excited about your purchase.[Eric] We've only been here three weeks.

You said owning an apartment in New York has been a longtime dream. Oh, yes. [ We go on a tour.] This is sort of the master bedroom.

The bedrooms look alike, postcards on the walls. Do you like theater?Yes! Our father comes here because he loves it. He just visited us. He's an oncologist. [He opens a door.]

A washing machine and a dryer!It's a thing I never thought I would have.

Another dream. When did the first dream begin?In high school, when I first came to look at colleges with my dad. I fell in love with New York.

Is it New York or owning?I wanted New York to be permanent. [Scott] Our stepbrother bought a place in the '90s in Boerum Hill. We loved the neighborhood. [Eric] We were also envious of his prescience in buying a place before everyone else. He's a writer, Ian Sax.

Where were you before?Loyola Marymount in L.A. [Scott] I went to Harvard.

I sense that you are into music, not necessarily the visual world. Also there is a saxophone on the wall. What's playing?[Eric] The Soul of Black Peru.

You two have such an interesting relationship. You wrote in an e-mail that your "shared obsessions"—neatness, urban-planning theory—made you perfect for living together.We grew up in L.A. together. Our mom remarried.

What kind of house?[Scott] Spanish stucco, mission style. [Eric] In Connecticut it was cheesy modern. [Scott] I liked it. In the dining room, there was a giant cylinder. [Eric] It was shaped like a grain silo. When the dining room was done, our parents' rug didn't fit.

God.[Eric] Our mom's a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Our grandfather was also a psychoanalyst. Here's his book.

How Much Pleasure? How Much Pain?[Scott] It's a travelogue.

By Lawrence J. Friedman! He's holding his eyeglasses in that way. Here's a picture of your grandmother. She is next to a white cake with strawberries. Is that snow outside?[Eric] It's the blinding California sun. We bought the first apartment we looked at.

You said you had an excellent posse of real estate players—Shaul Betesh, devoutly observant mortgage broker.[Scott] His brother Shimon, the bank lawyer. [Eric] Howard Brickner, savvy real estate lawyer. Beth Kenkel, empathetic Red Hook–dwelling broker. Her closing gift was a $200 Crate & Barrel gift certificate. There were four or five bidders. I think we had the second highest. Our father helped with the down payment. Our broker really vouched for us to the board. Approval was the major part of the process. The surprising thing is how much personal information you have to provide.

I saw a neighbor on the way in. He said, "Oh, you must be here for the new guys."[Scott] That was probably Don, the board president. [Eric] We're the secretaries. [Scott] Everybody has a little something.

There are only four units in the building.[Eric] When we met the board, Don said, "Are you sure you want to live with a bunch of 40-year-olds?" [Scott] We said, "We've been accused of being in our forties." It was one of several nervous jokes we tried to make. [Eric] Don's dog was on Scott's lap the whole time. [Scott] She's a terrier of some kind.

 
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