Extend their budget by $ 700,000 for a bedroom in Lower Manhattan. Which option would you choose?

Jesse Mico and Elliot Watson have been writing their American adventure for almost a decade. After growing up in England, they met through a mutual friend and fled to Las Vegas in 2013, lived in Los Angeles briefly, and then returned home.

For the next chapter, they decided to become New Yorkers, starting as tenants in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, before moving to a tiny two-bedroom in Chinatown. “We wanted to live in a movie and be in the thick of it, so we moved to Manhattan,” Watson said.

Their $ 2,100 rental “was like an underground thing, and it was dark and cozy,” he said. One room received a burst of sunlight once a day. Mrs. Mico called it “the cave of Chinatown”.

They always renewed the lease for one year rather than two, dreaming of buying. Two years ago Ms Mico, who works as a video producer, and Mr Watson, a freelance writer, contacted Bruce Henderson, associate broker at The Corcoran Group and a former record industry colleague of Ms Mico’s father, who is American.

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“We were completely green, not only for the process, but also for what was available to us,” Watson said.

The couple, both 31, were hoping to find a one-bedroom co-op somewhere below 14th Street for up to $ 700,000. They wanted to stay in Chinatown, but weren’t sure they could afford it. “We knew that in our price range there weren’t a lot of places available,” Ms. Mico said.

Most of the homes they saw felt cramped, with closet-like bathrooms where “people have to have things custom made to fit the tiny space,” Mr. Watson.

Because they lived in darkness, sunlight was a priority. “We never felt like we could spend a day lounging around reading or having a long breakfast,” he said, adding that they longed for a place “where you wouldn’t. you didn’t feel you had to go out. ”

Among their options:

Find out what happened next by answering these two questions:

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