Last year, Natalie Zamani and some of her friends from California visited New York for a few months while working remotely. “We had so much fun,” said Ms. Zamani, 30, a senior software engineer who lives and works in San Francisco.
So much that she wanted to stay. It was fairly easy for her to secure a job transfer to New York, and last fall she considered renting a 550-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in the West Village for $4,250 a month.
“It wasn’t enough space for that amount of money,” she said. “I thought maybe I could get more bang for my buck by buying, as I plan to live in New York for the long term.”
While mostly staying with friends and temporary rentals, Ms. Zamani set her sights on an industrial loft with high ceilings and a location for a large dining table where she could dine with friends. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms didn’t matter, “as long as the space was large enough not to be claustrophobic,” she said.
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Through Zillow, she found Jeff Gordon, an approved seller at Platinum Properties. “I didn’t know the ins and outs of New York real estate,” Ms. Zamani said. “Jeff understood what I was looking for and sent me some amazing ads that I couldn’t find myself.”
She kept an eye out for loft-filled neighborhoods downtown: SoHo and surrounding areas. “The downtown culture resonates with me,” she said. “Being a transgender woman, it’s important that I root myself in a neighborhood that I don’t feel like I belong in.”
Most lofts for sale, in buildings dating back to around 1900, cost over $2 million. Its budget topped out at $1.8 million, and most places in that range were in poor condition. She was willing to make improvements, as long as the location suited her.
“I discovered that the New York market is not like anywhere else,” she said. “Even if I asked friends and family who bought elsewhere, their experiences didn’t apply to buying in New York, so I had a lot to learn.”
For one thing, she hadn’t realized the purchase would take so long. And she was surprised by the many transaction fees and taxes.
“When we started the process,” Mr. Gordon said, “I went over closing costs, and for someone new to New York, those prices can be a bit of a sticker shock. ”
Among his loft options:
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