A single-family home under $800,000? A family of five comb queens for more space.


Back when Bethany and Paul Trust owned a two-bedroom coop in Jackson Heights, Queens, they filled the place with two adopted cats. “Two adults and two cats were perfect for this space,” Ms. Trust said.

When their first daughter arrived a few years later, the space was still habitable. Then came two more girls, at which point the bedroom of the three girls – now 9, 7 and 5 – contained a bunk bed with a trundle bed.

“Once we were outnumbered by the kids, it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to live sustainably in a 750 square foot apartment,” said Ms. Trust, a high school art teacher. in Jamaica. Mr. Trust is an elementary school music teacher in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and a bassist. (While in college, he left the Bronx because his bass wouldn’t pass the subway station turnstile.)

Stuck indoors during the pandemic, the Trusts, now both 46, have received endless noise complaints from neighbours. “We had three girls jumping off the sofa,” Ms Trust said.

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The family needed either a ground floor apartment with no one below, or a house of their own. “We have been so traumatized by the noise complaints,” Mr Trust said. “We wanted our kids to be kids.”

They were hoping to find something with four bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a reasonable subway ride to work. Sufficiently large apartments in their beloved Jackson Heights were well over their budget, which came in at around $750,000. But they could afford a place like this in Richmond Hill North or Woodhaven, both served by the J train and near Forest Park.

“These neighborhoods are still a bit off the grid, which means they have wonderful homes for relatively cheap, with tube access,” said Mr Trust, who is active with the nonprofit QueensLink. lucrative that promotes a transit and park corridor joining the north. and southern Queens.

A friend put the couple in touch with Regina Schaefer Santoro, associate broker at Parkside Realty of Queens, in Richmond Hill. “Driving with Regina was, ‘This is where my sister lives, this is where my niece lives,'” Mr Trust said. “She knows every brick and every tree.”

As public transport enthusiasts, the Trusts had no interest in a car. “Their house didn’t need a driveway and didn’t need to be detached,” Ms Santoro said. “They gave a lot of ‘I don’t need it.’ They didn’t want to do a lot of work, but were open to seeing what was available.”

Among their options:

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