Moving From Dyker Hts to a Williamsburg Condo

This weekend’s “The Hunt” column in the Times tells the tale of a couple who decided they wanted to move from their rent-free house in Dyker Heights to a condo in Williamsburg. The pair settled on Williamsburg because the neighborhood offered better value than Manhattan areas like Chelsea and Chinatown; the commute to their flower shop on Lafayette Street would take 20 minutes or less; and they were attracted to its dining and drinking scene. However, after the two signed a contract for a $695,000 1-bedroom at 125 North 10th, above, they learned that they had a baby on the way. Since this turn of events happened after last fall’s market implosion, they were able to negotiate a $60,000 discount off list on a 2-bedroom in the same building, and moved in this summer. The most interesting part of the article is the description about how Williamsburg isn’t the perfect match the couple thought it would be now that they have a baby on board: “They are concerned about schools, which they never thought about before. The neighborhood now feels young, and not especially baby-friendly. The Wus wish they could take more advantage of their new neighborhood. ‘When we see people having fun eating at the restaurants, just kind of hanging out,’ Mr. Wu said, ‘we feel like, man, this is what we should be doing! We feel we missed out on the night life here.'”
The Hunt: Shifting Priorities [NY Times]

51 Comment

  • quote:
    wanted to move from their rent-free house

    now that’s just crazy talk! who would do that? lol

    eta.. it’s nice to know to people who work in a flower shop can afford a 3/4 of a million dollar apt. im definitely in the wrong field.!

    ‘When we see people having fun eating at the restaurants, just kind of hanging out,’ Mr. Wu said, ‘we feel like, man, this is what we should be doing! We feel we missed out on the night life here.'”

    um no, you have a baby now. time to grow up.

    sorry for three slightly jejune comments in one post, but this thread made me scratch my head for a number of reasons. ill have to go read the full article.


  • Relax rob they got their down payment money from their parents like everybody else in Williamsburg.

  • quote:
    Relax rob they got their down payment money from their parents like everybody else in Williamsburg.

    oh. and here i was hoping they just sold a lot of daffodils.


  • The apartments were cut by 15% in price a couple of months after they moved in, ouch.

    They’re ok for schools if they send their kid, Tyson, to Greenpoint.

  • Williamsburg is crawling with babies. They’ll be fine. But I do appreciate how maybe the apt they have isn’t the one they would have bought if they had a baby. That’s regretful. Not to mention the loss of the parking space.

    I am puzzled by one thing, though. When they signed for the one bed, they said they might plan to move in two years. It’s not a great idea to buy if you might move so soon.

  • When I read this story, I actually wondered to myself “Is the NYT colluding with Mr.B?” This story has many of the necessary elements for a huge number of posts on Brownstoner:

    -moving from old-school Dyker Heights to hip Billyburg;

    -parents helping out;

    -buying Billyburg condo;

    -baby arrives – now what to do?


    I still maintain, however, that the ultimate story for Brownsotner would be “Sarah Palin purchases a modern condo for her daughter. Chooses Park Slope over Williamsburg”.

    Mr. B. would have to increase his server’s capacity on that day!!!

  • it’s annoying when people move somewhere and dont do their research about schools. then they complain about it and dont proactively try to do anything about it. it’s a slap in the face to people who already live in the neighborhood and actually involved in the public schools. why dont parents who move into these kinds of places just homeschool their kids? arent they all creative professionals working from home anyway? stick the little rugrat in front of the tv and call it a school day. just make sure it’s sesame street or something educational or just get them a v-smile. they’d probably be learning a lot more than if they were actually in school anyway.

    fyi, i am very anti-home schooling for the most part, but i think in situations like this it could work out. but i guess if these parents dont have time or desire to make the schools better they will not find time in latte-sipping busy lives to home school. sometimes i dont know what kinds of kids have it worse.. the neglected ones or the ones who are just accessories. :(


  • Don’t they make pills to prevent this from happening?

  • hey, life’s a bitch for yuppie williamsburg folks. mommy and daddy put down $100,000 for their luxury condo. at the same time their trustfund kicks in beautifully.

  • someone said trust funds for the most part normally dont exist. trust funds are supposedly for like old money types, think like, the howells from gilligan’s island. i think a lot of these people just have parents that are nothing more than 24/7 no fee ATM machines. im not jealous, i SWEAR hahah


  • I am a decade older than most Williamsburg residents yet I don’t feel out of place at all when I’m there. I love Williamsburg. Why you can’t go out and enjoy nightlife even if you’re older is a notion that needs changing. One of the things I like about Brownstoner is it’s full of adults, real adults, who both enjoy life and know how to appreciate it.

  • the amount of downpayments in Williamsburg paid by parents ….

  • Ditto, these two’s actions / decisions very un-ASIAN like. Believe they’ve been fully AMERICANIZED – they should’ve drank the tea instead of the koolaid

  • Note to self:

    NEVER, EVER, let the NYT do a piece on your search for the perfect home, or any article about such home when found. Parents and their generosity, your upbringing, intelligence, parenting skills, income and source thereof, taste, and decorative choices will all be scrutinized and criticized by anonymous pundits. Who needs it.

  • Can’t wait for Minard’s tirade about all the ‘young whippersnappers’ who need a haircut.

  • I’m awaiting Wine Lover’s contribution myself.

  • MM, the people in these articles are attention wh0res to the highest degree! they are no better than reality tv trash who go on tv and act the fool. i think that’s why it’s so entertaining! i definitely get a guilty pleasure hatin’ on these types. it’s not a REAL hate, it’s more of a grrrrrrrr are these people FOR real typa feeling that i think many people feel but do not choose to admit it.


  • Wow, I could almost feel sorry for them. The key word here is “almost”

  • I was walking in Dyker Heights once and passed a family sitting on their stoop. “Who’s the stranger?” they said to themselves, thinking I was out of earshot.

  • I don’t get the “not baby friendly” comment. I was wandering around Williamsburg this weekend with the bf and the neighborhood – as mentioned above – is crawling with babies.

  • ditmas, “baby-friendy” is code for many nefarious things. i do not think you and your boyfriend speak the language.


  • I love this about the burg: I lived there in 1998-2000. I outgrew it. Then I moved away and it caught up. Now I want to move back. Where else but NYC can that happen!

  • Rob, what does “baby-friendly” mean in code?
    (as usual, I’m out of touch with things)

  • > Rob, what does “baby-friendly” mean in code?

    Perhaps it means something like this: Mom is going to sit here in the restaurant while her infant wails non-stop.

    Two words: Delivery. Menu.

  • at what age are children’s legs developed enough to get out of strollers and walk?

    Just saw a kid in a stroller who looked about 7 years old.

  • “Rob, what does “baby-friendly” mean in code?”

    how would i know? i dont speak the language or code. that was my point! but in general i’d assume it means people who have to turn EVERYTHING babycentric and really there is nothing wrong with dropping your kid/s off at the chuck e. cheese for the day.

    and dipster, 7 is too old, unless they cant walk.

  • “at what age are children’s legs developed enough to get out of strollers and walk?”

    Depends on how fast you want to travel.

    It takes a 5 year old just a little bit longer to walk a 1/2 mile than an adult.

    If you need to travel faster than a 5 year old and you need to take one with you, your choices are: stroller or automobile.

    Some people don’t have the latter option.

  • “I am puzzled by one thing, though. When they signed for the one bed, they said they might plan to move in two years. It’s not a great idea to buy if you might move so soon.”

    mopar — if you said something like that between 2003-2007 a swarm of angry realtors would have descended upon you chanting “bitter renter bitter renter bitter renter bitter renter” until you recanted your blasphemy.

  • Mopar’s exactly right though. The expense of the agents fees to list your place, closing costs on the new place, and moving costs are going to kill any slight profit these people might have seen in selling their place.

    I would NEVER advise anyone to buy a 1 bed if they’re ever considering at any point having children. Just wait a little longer if you need to save more and get the two bed.

  • Yes, I agree mopar is right.

  • Don’t they make pills to prevent this from happening?

    Posted by: dirty_hipster at November 23, 2009 9:59 AM

    hehe… I was thinking sorta the same thing. I mean, don’t most people in upper income brackets have a plan for having kids? Or not?

  • For the most part, mopar is right. Although I’m sure there are some people who bought in prime areas in mid-2005 and sold in mid-2007 who were able to not only cover the related expenses noted above, but who also made some additional substantial gains.

  • OK, several important issues:

    1. When do the lights go up in Dyker? We’ve got some out of town guests (incl. one small kid) the weekend of 12/12. I assume they’ll be up by then.

    2. I was on this site during the bubble. Don’t remember people recommending that families buy with a 2-year timetable for selling. That’s a post-hoc version of brownstone Brooklyn bubble mentality. Bubble wasn’t like stock tips in 1928 — people were anxious about being priced out, not jumping in and constantly uprooting families just to make a little on the flip.

    3. Montrose, I think you’re biting the hand that feeds you re: NYT. 😉

    4. benson — very funny. We can all deconstruct the Palins’ choice of stroller.

  • Ironically, I did buy a place (in March 04, closed in Oct. 04), ex left one month later, had to sell, but place went up 40 percent in one year. But I wouldn’t recommend PLANNING to do this. Nightmare.

  • I’m still choking on the concept that the 1 bedroom cost $700K. In that building.

    But, uh, moving on from that, I can no longer complain about people getting downpayments from their parents, as I am plotting to do the same even as we speak.

    And I’m like, old.

  • Heather, based on your usage of the word “like” above, you can’t be that old.


  • “But, uh, moving on from that, I can no longer complain about people getting downpayments from their parents, as I am plotting to do the same even as we speak.”

    Trustfund hipster!! 😉

  • Heather, you’re allowed to use the downpayment from your parents as long as you don’t hate on FHA 3.5% downpaymenters as “shouldn’t be buying if they can’t afford the downpayment”.

  • ditto – i’m here!

    think that they’ll fit in perfectly.
    creative business people (entrepreneurial too-extra credit!) – check
    30’ish married condo buyers – check
    super cute stylish baby – check

    they need to join the yahoo group brooklynbabyhui ASAP though. i think they are clueless about the baby/kid resources in Williamsburg. note to this nice couple – don’t worry about the schools! send to Williamsburg Northside for daycare/preschool, PS84 for pre-k and then do the dual language program there or send to PS31 for k thru 5th. Middle school MS577 which you are zoned for – is very very good! you’re all set. relax.

    also, i think that there are young couples in every city, county and rural township across America that get down payment help from their parents. i’m not too fazed by this. old story. my parents got money from my grandparents, etc. etc..

    and, i do like this building a lot. they’ll stay and be happy there. great location.

  • lol @ ‘stylish baby’.

  • Is this one of the buildings I watched the workman glue the “bricks” to the side? They don’t have to worry about schools, Grandma and Grandpa will pay for private school and the bus service there.

  • hahah etson. the scary thing is i think minard was being serious :-/


  • I bet that baby’s outfit costs more than mine :-\

  • Wine lover has missed his calling writing skits for SNL. Honestly…this crap is so absurd, one would almost think it’s a joke.

    Comedy Gold!!

  • Au contraire, Biff. I’ve been using “like” since it came into the colloquial originally :)

    But yeah, no, the 3.5% FHA thing has actually made me more optimistic about the housing market… at least in the short term. It seems like if that can prop up the real estate market for a while, it might not collapse much farther. Now, granted, I am still not interested in anything that costs more than $500K, I want two bedrooms, I want 98% of the space NOT to be bathrooms (one bathroom and not three would be a plus), and I don’t want a kitchen island… so that limits the field considerably.

  • Heather, I’ve met you in person and you are NOT old!
    You look very youthful. Seriously.

  • Heather, I know what you mean about bathrooms, When your’re pushed for space (eg under 1300sq ft), who needs more than two bathrooms – even if you’ve got two kids?
    (excluding any poor souls with GI tract disorders).

  • Even two bathrooms — just another thing to clean. And thanks, Biff! But I can’t help but realize that there’s at least two or three generations of people younger than I doing stuff like buying $700K one-bedrooms in Williamsburg.

    And maybe their youth explains that mistake, at least?

  • Hahaha Heather, that is a very good list of requirements you have there.

  • When a couple moves into a different area, they have to look at many necessary amenities, like transportation. The couple don’t have to worry about that because the L train aka “The Hipster Express” is right on North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue. There should be good schools in the area for their baby to attend. Williamsburg is an upcoming neighborhood in terms of real estate. They got a good deal when they got the discount for a 2-bedroom apartment in the same building.