How to Buy a Home of Your Own in NYC

Nordea of Nordea's Soaperie creates her yummy body products in that most elusive space: a home in New York City that she actually owns! Knowing that she splits her time between freelancing and owning a small business, I was curious about how she pulled it off. Herein are the details:

When did you decide you wanted to buy an apartment in NYC?

It was always on my mind...when I first moved to the city, my mom kept telling me I was throwing money out the window by paying rent. November 2001, after returning from a long vacation, I really started to save money and seriously look for a place.

How long between that decision and becoming a homeowner?

I moved into my new home May 2004.

What steps did you have to take to make your dream a reality?

I saved every spare dollar I had. I got advice from friends who were homeowners, and thought about what I wanted in my new home (space, sunlight, and closets!) I sat down and figured out how much I could afford to pay every month (mortgage + common charges) and was realistic when I started looking for a new home.

What was the hardest part about saving for a down payment?

No vacations, no shopping sprees, and no extra anything. I found creative ways to prepare Ramen Noodles.

How did you find the apartment you ended up buying?

NYC Dept. of Housing and Preservation (a lottery system) plus pure luck and patience.

What tips would you offer someone of modest means who wants to buy a home in NYC?

Save your money, and when the time comes, make a large down payment (as much as you can afford.) I had very little money left in the bank after closing, but if my mortgage payments were even slightly higher, I could easily be one of many Americans struggling to keep their home in today's economy.

When did you start your business?

Officially in 2006

How did owning your own place affect your business?

There is no way I could possibly make soap in my old apartment. I don't even know where I would be able to store the finished product. My old apartment had ONE closet. No storage at all. I now have a room dedicated to soaping, formulating, and packaging.

What's the best thing about owning your own place?

More living space and direct sunlight. I can actually grow some plants!

The worst?

These days, money is tight. I'm always worried that my toilet is going to explode....costing me thousands of dollars to repair.


Bath Time with the {NewNew}

Nesting makes me think of nighttime and all those lovely rituals that make me feel cozy and warm. If I had a quiet night to myself, I would take a nice, long, steamy bath. Here are some great NewNew Team items that I would definitely have for my dream bath.
My bathroom would have this lovely print on the wall, from SpinachNPeace.

I would use these wonderful soaps from nordeasoaperie.

Along with these cloths from EcoKate.

I would soak forever with this soothing eye pillow from loveforever.

Jedd, a shark monster from KarensMonsters would keep guard and protect me.

And, of course, I would have to wear my little duck ring from metalsugar.

Wish I did not have to wake up from this dream!

The {NewNew} E-mail Event Newsletter

The {NewNew} York Etsy Street Team Now has a nifty e-mail newsletter for you locals to keep track of our upcoming events.

Our next event being on Saturday, Sept 13, 1 - 8pm, The Handmade Cavalcade
Main Street + N. Cedar in Beacon, NY
Look for further event announcements for our Team hosting a Holiday show...

Fill out your e-mail address
to receive our newsletter!

Indie*Pendence from Joanns and Michael's!!!

(Claude from KarensMonsters is Red White + Blue! Indie*pendence Day Monster!)

That's right, this Indie*Pendence month, put your money where your mouth is and do your supply shopping at local retailers. Yes, that's right, back away from the internet and go take a look at the wares of some of these New York supply shops:

Brooklyn • Williamsburg
THE YARN TREE, 347 Bedford Avenue, between South 3rd and South 4th St

Brooklyn • Bayridge
BEVERLY TRIMMINGS, 7820 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209
Karen from KarensMonsters says " They're incredibly knowledgeable, sell a little bit of everything and can always get what I want and their prices are at least comparable, if not cheaper, than some of the larger or discount stores. I also love the fact that I can go in and dig around to see what treasures I can find. It's paradise for a sewer like me."

Brooklyn • Waterfront district
UNION MAX, 110 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
MaryAnne from WabisabiBrooklyn says "An ever-changing collection of vintage glass beads & findings, costume jewelry, clothing, books, toys, linens, housewares & unusual finds at great prices. Open F-Su:1-7 or serendipity."

Manhattan • East Village
DOWNTOWN YARNS, 45 Avenue A, New York City New York 10009, (212) 995-5991

Manhattan • Soho
THE POINT, 37a Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014
A cafe and supply shop where you can buy a yearly membership to get great discounts on supplies!

Tarrytown • New York
FLYING FINGERS YARN SHOP, Flying Fingers is just a short walk up Main Street from the Tarrytown Station, 914-631-4113 - Passed on by Marilyn of PulpSushi.

If you know of any in your neighborhood that I didn't mention - let me know in the comments!

And there is always your local Etsy selling supply shops

Etsy Buy Handmade GlassHouseSupplies

Etsy Buy Handmade MsKittyLeftovers

Etsy Buy Handmade SweetSwoozie


New York inspired makery

We all get inspired while on vacation, the site sounds and smells of a new environment always seem to get the creative juices flowing. Many times a place can inspire you to create - and New York is no exception. Inspiration abounds in the city that never sleeps! See below for some {NewNew} examples of New York inspired design.

This shirt is a hand print of the elevated line that carries the A train into Rockaway from Manhattan
Keepin it local!

I love this print from ArtByIris, it's totally how I remember the Bowery. She has many paintings that reflect the city aesthetic.

Brooklyn inspiration by WabisabiBrooklyn.

Or this super cute I Love New York Lariat by EmilyEJewelry


Coming up this week.....

--This Saturday from 10-5 is the Brooklyn Homeshow, a small craft show put on by a dozen Etsy sellers. There will be food and drinks, shopping, and most importantly, several members of the {New New} group! It's in Park Slope, Brooklyn at the corner of 11th Street and 4th Avenue; there will be signs pointing to the building.

--On Sunday from 12-4:00, Craft Magazine will be holding a party at Make Workshop at 195 Christie Street in Manhattan.

--On Thursday, March 6 from 7-10PM, the Museum of Arts and Design and the Church of Craft will be hosting a DIY salon at the Museum of Arts and Design. The event will include crafting (embroidery, buttonmaking, fiber art) and a live DJ, as well as a guided tour at 8:00 of the museum's new embroidery exhibit.

--3rd Ward in Brooklyn is hosting a free class in vector graphics using Photoshop Illustrator. The deadline to sign up is today, March 5.... the class is Monday, March 10 from 7-10:00. Upcoming free classes include stenciling (class title=These Ain't Your Momma's Stencils) and Macintosh computer tips and tricks.

--If you're into fashion design or a fan of Project Runway, check out Tim Gunn at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday, March 11, discussing design and fashion.

--Make Workshop in Manhattan has an ongoing schedule of crafting classes. Coming up this week they have two sewing classes, a soldering workshop, and a wallpaper-making workshop.

--A series of six nature photography classes starts Thursday March 6 at Wave Hill in the Bronx; a single class is an affordable $20. Throughout the spring there continues to be a variety of classes focusing on nature and art.