Brooklyn Bridge | Buying into Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge is our new series featuring our clients’ real stories of what buying in Brooklyn is really like. Buying a home anywhere is a challenge. But buying in Brooklyn is a true journey. Finding that just-right combination of affordability, location, style, and livability can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s why we wanted to bring you this series, featuring the stories of real Brooklyn home-buyers and their experiences. Not only will it prepare you for what’s in store, it’ll help you see if Realty Collective might be the right fit for you. The series is also a celebration of what’s on the other side of the journey—a place to put down roots, build equity, and make as many holes in the walls hanging pictures as you like. A home. 


Dzula, her husband, and toddler were excited to start their buying in Brooklyn journey.  The longtime renters liked their place in Ft. Greene but with a growing family, broker Victoria Alexander knew they were bursting at the seams in their current place and would soon need more space.

Why Buy Now

The family was in a good place financially and finally buying in Brooklyn just made sense as a way to not only build equity but also a sense of community. “Brooklyn is such a vast and diverse landscape, that there really is something for everyone here. Obviously, cost is a huge factor, but think about what is truly important to you and your family to focus your search, and try to visualize what your day to day would be like—from sunlight, to noise, to commute, to groceries, to bike/stroller parking to closets, to and laundry,” said Dzula.

“Your purchase extends beyond the walls of your home, and for such a big investment you want to make sure you can realistically—and happily—live with it.”

Making a Match

According to Victoria, the entire search process took about a month and the family’s clear expectations and wishlist helped her quickly narrow down the options. “They knew they wanted Sunset Park even before I did,” said Victoria.

Dzula’s advice about the search for would-be buyers? “Once you have an idea of where you might want to begin your search in earnest, find an agent that understands you, and with whom you really feel comfortable. It will help things go smoothly and save headaches along the way!”

Lessons Learned

For people who usually see the home-buying process cut down to a speedy 22 minutes on HGTV, Dzula explains that the real-life version actually looks very different. “It can be a lot of hurry up and wait! You may find a place that you love and decide to make an offer, and it feels like you have to rush to get it in as soon as possible to make sure no one else snags it, but then you can wait a long time to hear back from the other side—this pattern can happen a lot throughout the process. We had to rush a deposit check over late on a Friday afternoon and get paperwork signed, only to wait what seemed like forever to hear back the next week.

A good agent will talk you off the ledge in situations like this, and Victoria definitely did. The process is a negotiation— not just on price, both other details as well, and each side wants to get the best deal. Recognizing this “game” and knowingly playing along when you need to can keep you sane. It’s easy to get bogged down in the emotional aspect, and obsess over little details or perceived slights, but if you can highlight – or ever write down – what is important to you and the end goal, and keeping that at the top of mind, you’ll make it through in one piece. And you’ll forget about all the little annoyances when you’re in your new place!”

What did you love about your apartment that made it the one?

“So many things! It wasn’t just one thing, but a series of things that cascaded in front of us the more we explored it,” explains Dzula. To start, the location across the street from Sunset Park is amazing.Before we even got in the door to visit the apartment, we met two sets of neighbors who were so kind and welcoming, that we got a great feel of the building’s community. Seeing stroller parking on the first floor was great, as we’d previously been in a 4th floor walkup with a baby, which was challenging to say the least”

One of the things that helped Dzula and her family on their buying in brooklyn journey was an ability to think about what living in the space would actually feel like and notice the little things that added up to a comfortable home.”The storage is spectacular, especially for New York. We even have a separate linen closet! There are tons of cabinets in the kitchen, and even some high up small cabinets all around the apartment to store out of season clothes or extra supplies or rarely used kitchen supplies.”

She even sussed out clues from unusual places! “The detailed map of the electrical cabinet was a great touch too, that showed how well taken care of this space had been.”

Think Beyond the Apartment

As Dzula explains, “Checking out the basement definitely sealed the deal for us oddly enough— having a dedicated storage area for our apartment in the basement was awesome, as was the bike room and in building laundry. But the thing that struck us was how incredibly clean and well-kept it was—not a speck of dust or cobweb to be found! We could tell that the building tenants and superintendent prided themselves on having an organized, clean and well maintained space, which really set this building apart. We might be able to find a nice apartment elsewhere, but I think a building this special is hard to come by.”


Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Peace of Mind

Having a buyer’s broker on your team when buying in Brooklyn can make a huge difference. According to Dzula, “Victoria pushed us to think about what we really wanted, figure out what we could afford, and find a team of professionals that we really trusted. She truly had our backs throughout the entire process. I was laid off from my job a few weeks after making an offer on our apartment, which was devastating. Victoria and her team, as well as the Mark Maimon team at Freedom Mortgage, and Andrew Kontzamanis at Serpico, Serpico & Siddiqui, with whom Victoria connected us, helped us figure out a way to move forward responsibly despite this setback. I don’t think that other agents would have been so helpful—and kind—during this tough time. She cared about us as friends going through a difficult situation, not just as clients.


Buying in Brooklyn with Realty Collective

Thank you, Dzula!

Putting Down Roots

When asked what she loves most about her new neighborhood, Dzula did not hesitate. “Food! Sunset Park is an amazing and diverse neighborhood, and has incredible cuisine from the cultures represented within it, primarily South and Central American, and Chinese. You will definitely eat well here!

The diversity of cuisine is of course created by its residents, and the vibrant culture of this neighborhood is a beautiful thing, and we are happy to be able to raise our son within such a place.The park is such a huge draw as well. It has the best views of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey and beyond. It really takes your breath away and we’re lucky to have Sunset Park as our front yard.

We’re lucky to have had Dzula and her family as clients. If you’d like help on your own buying in Brooklyn journey, get in touch!






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