Melanie and Sandro Cozzi grew up a few miles apart — she in Staten Island, he in Park Slope, Brooklyn. After meeting through friends in 2006, they split the difference and moved to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
They lived on the ground floor of a two-family house for nine years, and during that time they married and watched the rent rise from around $1,350 to $1,750.
It was “a very intriguing apartment, with a 1970s flair,” plus a backyard and a front stoop, Ms. Cozzi said. “The street was friendly and threw a block party every year.”
The couple, now in their early 30s, liked living on the ground floor, especially when they had to rush to the subway, but their apartment was small and dim. They saved diligently to buy a place.
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“We were ready for an upgraded interior situation,” said Ms. Cozzi, a music teacher who works primarily in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and commutes by subway and Citi Bike. “We were ready to not have our friends crash on our couch when they came to visit.”
So she and Mr. Cozzi, who works in Lower Manhattan as an administrative assistant in the financial industry, went in search of a new place with a second bedroom, sufficient space for their dining table and an updated kitchen with new appliances. Their budget stretched into the $500,000s.
One appliance missing from their rental was a must: a dishwasher.
“Dishwasher dreams — that was an ongoing theme,” Ms. Cozzi said. “We had spent years hosting friends and family, washing dishes after those events. We’d had enough.”
The couple intended to stay in their beloved Bay Ridge, “as close to the train station as we could afford,” Ms. Cozzi said.
Among their two-bedroom choices:
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