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Eight Happy Stories From the Recession

The past year’s price dip allowed these longtime renters to become owners.


Karl Alomar, finance executive, and Olga malyuk, model
WHAT THEY BOUGHT: A 3,000-square-foot loft in the West Twenties.
PRICE: Slightly under $2 million.
The market’s retreat in late 2008 saved Alomar and Malyuk from overpaying. They’d been thinking of buying for two years, but found nothing to their liking. “Thank God I was lazy,” Malyuk jokes. “Then the market crashed.” After walking through a dispiriting series of about 40 apartments, they heard about this Flatiron loft from their broker, Corcoran’s Mitchell Speer. It had been stuck on the market for eighteen months. They made a bid at 10 percent under asking and the owner balked. “He wanted to take it off the market,” he says. “Nobody was offering what he wanted.” Buyer and seller met midway between asking and first offer.


Brenda Lando, account executive
WHAT SHE BOUGHT: A spacious new one-bedroom off Lafayette Street.
PRICE: $695,000.
Lando knew exactly what she wanted— a doorman one-bedroom below 23rd Street, but not in the financial district—and was willing to spend up to $750,000. As she shopped, she gradually added a kitchen island, gym, and roof deck to her checklist. Those criteria took her to a new development in Tribeca, where the builders offered her a second-floor unit at $695,000. She passed—but counteroffered the same amount for a higher apartment with a balcony. (She’d been tracking closing prices online.) Some back-and-forth later, they had a deal—transfer taxes and some of the attorney fees included.


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