Seeking a One-Bedroom in ‘a Quintessential New York Brownstone.’ How Far Would Their Budget Take Them?


Mat Batts and Taylor Batts, newlyweds, got their first taste in city life in 2015 when they moved to an apartment in downtown Winston-Salem. The couple who met at University of North Carolina Wilmington were thrilled to be living on their own, in an area with a lot of life. Batts grew up in the suburbs of Winston-Salem. He briefly played minor-league baseball after college. Ms. Batts was an elementary school teacher who spent most of her childhood living in Raleigh, N.C. The couple began to visit New York City on occasion after college and realized that they both wanted to live there. “I remember coming out of Penn Station, and just looking around and being like, ‘Oh my God, what is this?'” he said. Ms. Batts stated that moving to New York had always been a dream. Ms. Mr. Batts was hired as a copywriter by a Brooklyn-based company shortly after. They chose Brooklyn because it had many dog parks, as well as a dog-friendly atmosphere. Rent started at $3.180 per month, and rose to $3.250 by the second year. He had received a gift that could be used as a downpayment from his parents. They calculated that if they put down 20 percent, they would be able to afford an apartment in New York for $650,000, without going over their monthly budget. Mr. Batts stated that they knew nothing about the housing market. They knew what they wanted, a small older Brooklyn building that had character and history. “I wanted something that felt like a quintessential New York brownstone.”

They don’t plan to have children, so they searched for one-bedroom apartments within walking distance of a park for their dogs. Sarah Minton from Compass was able to help them navigate the New York real estate market. She understood their challenges. “Mat and Taylor liked the brownstone feel, but those buildings have more restrictions on pets.”

The pair began searching last summer. Find out what happened by answering the following two questions: