Mr. MacLagger contacted Maxine Resnick of the Morris and Resnick team at Compass, who had helped a friend with a sale. She listed the house at $3.25 million.
The couple told Ms. Resnick that they wanted a three-bedroom, two-bathroom place in Brooklyn, planning ahead for visits from their children.
Mr. MacLagger liked a three-bedroom co-op with a large dining room on Eighth Avenue near Grand Army Plaza. The price was just under $2 million, with monthly maintenance of a little more than $1,600. Ms. Christofer, however, was not a fan of the classic prewar style. And the co-op did not have good parking options or a garage nearby.
A block away, they saw a lovely three-bedroom condominium, with two terraces, that occupied an entire floor of a 2003 condominium building. But the price was on the high side — nearly $2.3 million, with monthly charges of around $2,000. And it, too, lacked parking. Also, the street was congested.
“Let’s say you want to pull up and unload your luggage,” Mr. MacLagger said. “There wasn’t even a fire hydrant. What do I do when I come home from Fairway and have stuff in the car?”
Few three-bedrooms were available, so they decided two would suffice.
In Greenpoint, Brooklyn, they checked out new construction, but were surprised to find small kitchens that often had wine coolers but seemed impractical for cooking. Some layouts didn’t allow enough wall space for a television. Bedrooms were so small that they worried about the furniture fitting.
Williamsburg they found to be too young — “a millennial neighborhood,” Ms. Christofer said. “We go to eat in Williamsburg, and everyone thinks we are the grandparents visiting the kids.”
No place seemed livable until they came across a two-bedroom listing in Hunters Point, Queens: a condominium just a few blocks from Ms. Christofer’s apartment in Citylights.
It was $1.445 million, with common charges of around $900 and a tax abatement that expires next year. The owners were also selling their parking spot in the building’s garage for $90,000, as well as a private rooftop spot, with a gas grill, for $72,500. And the view of Manhattan was spectacular.
The couple didn’t hesitate to offer the asking price, which was accepted, and they closed on the apartment in the summer.
Not surprisingly, Mr. MacLagger’s rowhouse sold quickly, for $3.4 million; Ms. Christofer is renting her one-bedroom.
When they moved into their new place, Ms. Christofer and Mr. MacLagger were well aware of the Long Island Rail Road train yard directly across the street in Hunters Point, with its diesel locomotives that idle all day long during the week. Mr. MacLagger said he keeps the windows closed to muffle the noise.
Another drawback is that few restaurants and food stores are nearby, whereas in Mr. MacLagger’s previous neighborhood, Ms. Christofer said, “he could run out and get a lemon right on his corner.”
Now he has to plan: If he doesn’t walk over the Pulaski Bridge to Greenpoint, he shops at Fairway in Douglaston, Queens, or Costco in Astoria, and unloads the car from the parking spot in the building’s garage.
But when Ms. Christofer returns home at the end of the school day, Mr. MacLagger has dinner ready. And “the fact that we now have one household,” he said, “we’re thrilled about.”