Moving My Never Empty Nest

We still don’t know when or where our daughter will live on her own, but the moment has FINALLY arrived for an old(er) mama and papa bird to fly onward.

For nearly 28 years, my family lived in the same three-bedroom apartment on East 73rd Street. But now that our twins are grown up, and our son lives in Los Angeles, we no longer need three bedrooms. Although our daughter on the autism spectrum still lives with us, she is almost always out and about with her friends, at EPIC rehearsals, performances or classes. One day in the not-too-distant future we are hoping to help her find (and feather) her own nest, as she is eager to spread her wings.

In the meantime, we have decided to try and buy (rather than rent) a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment IF we can find something we love and can afford. Although our rent is “reasonable” by Manhattan standards, we cannot afford to live here comfortably forever, especially if/when my husband slows down or retires. Unlike most families who buy a home, raise their families and often downsize to a rental, we find ourselves doing the opposite.

Everyone always asked us: “Why don’t you buy something?” The short answer is: we invested in Samantha’s therapies, psychiatry and special ed schools. Our family is grateful and fortunate that Samantha blossomed into a lovely young woman. Against all odds, she became a singer and actress who starred in the amazing 2017 Tribeca Film Festival winner Keep the Change. We still don’t know when or where our daughter will live on her own, but the moment has FINALLY arrived for an old(er) mama and papa bird to fly onward.

Perhaps we are living our lives backwards, but I think a new nest will be wonderful as we grow older—belatedly enjoying the American Dream. Over the years I looked at many coops and condos, hoping against hope that somehow we could afford an appealing home like most of the other families we knew. But there was never any remotely affordable apartment, that screamed “buy me.”

I always seemed to be looking during a “sellers’ market”. Brokers always told us we needed a tremendous amount of money in the bank—sometimes double the purchase price—to be approved by a coop board. Eventually, we gave up on the American Dream—until now.

At the moment, we seem to be in luck. Brokers are hungry for buyers and the market is finally softening. As I started my search for a new nest, I was actually able to look at a couple of exciting apartments—places I’d be proud to call home. One had spectacular river views. Another had open city views and a gorgeous terrace. There were split bedrooms and sun-flooded living and dining areas. One apartment even had an extra half-bath. All of these were in our price range! (Our daughter would still have a bedroom, and our son would always be welcome to crash with us whenever he visits).

Over the weekend I’m taking Howard to see the apartment with the terrace and open views. This apartment is in a great location—across the street from an Equinox (where I practically live) and very close to the new Q train (which I have completely embraced since it arrived around the corner from us on Second Avenue).

We are probably not ready to buy. But—like the young couple we once were—we can finally be optimistic about living in the nest of our dreams. Better late than never.

Previously Published on margueriteelisofon.com

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