“I love to be the person who brings treats to the office,” said Ms. Bazerghi, who is the president of the New York chapter of Texas Exes, an alumni organization for the University of Texas at Austin.
“I bake cookies at holiday time and pass them out to everyone I know,” she said. A recipe of her grandmother’s involves peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s Kisses. “You can’t stack them until the chocolate is cooled,” she said, “so at holiday time every surface is covered with cookies.”
Last fall, Ms. Bazerghi saw a nice-looking studio with a Murphy bed and a large, renovated kitchen on Realtor.com. The asking price was $349,000, with monthly maintenance of around $600. She contacted the agent, but didn’t hear back.
Her mother connected her with a longtime friend from Austin, James Malone, now an associate broker at Bond New York. He arranged a visit to the studio, in Concord Village in Downtown Brooklyn, a seven-building complex near the Brooklyn Bridge built around 1950. As she stepped inside the studio, she felt that it was made for her.
“I watch a lot of HGTV, and people write letters to the owners,” she said. So she wrote hers: “I would love to spend many future years in this apartment,” she told the seller.
But her sister warned her against buying the first place she saw, so Mr. Malone lined up two other studios to show her what was available in prime areas of the city. “It’s good to have a backup plan,” he said.
One studio, in a big building in Murray Hill, had an asking price of $365,000 and maintenance of almost $800. The kitchen was small, and the window faced the noisy exit lanes of the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. The studio later sold for around $367,000.
Another studio, on the Upper East Side, had a brick wall, built-in bookshelves and a sunken living room. It was $295,000, with maintenance of $833.
“It was tiny, but had so much character, which I can be somewhat of a sucker for,” Ms. Bazerghi said.
But the kitchen had a convection oven instead of a regular one, and renovating felt like more than she could handle. The apartment later sold for $290,000.
Having seen other options, Ms. Bazerghi felt certain about her choice in Brooklyn. Mr. Malone negotiated a price of $335,000.
Ms. Bazerghi considered keeping the Murphy bed for guests, but decided to sell it on Craigslist. She added blue textured wallpaper to create what she called a “wow wall,” and arrived in the spring.
“Most people wouldn’t think Concord Village has character, but the way I’ve done my apartment, it’s super cute,” she said. One small complaint: Over the summer, condensation from an air-conditioner above dripped onto hers, so she taped a towel on top.
Her kitchen and her KitchenAid — which has plenty of room on the counter — are heavily used.
“I have all the space I need,” she said. “It doesn’t feel cramped when I’m cooking. Cupboard doors aren’t smacking into each other. The cabinets are kind of shallow, which is sort of annoying, but I’ve been able to find a spot for everything.”