Buying a first home has been part of the American dream for the past half century, but New York’s astronomical real-estate prices can make it seem more like a nightmare. With little availability, ridiculous costs, and odd rules specific to the city, even a tiny closet can seem out of reach. Still, the process of purchasing a house room of one’s own remains something that people should at least know how to do, even if signing a lease is years away (or in another city entirely). To get the low-down on this messed-up market, real estate broker Jay Heiselmann, who specializes in buying and selling in trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bushwick, Greenpoint, and Williamsburg, was happy to hop on the phone for a chat. During our call, Heiselmann was good enough to explain the ins-and-outs of buying an apartment and give us some real talk about NYC real estate

RELATED: Manhattan Real Estate Agent Shares Surprise with Pictures of $2,000 Upper West Side Apartment
RELATED: Real Estate Agents Fired for Treating Client's Home Like Cheap Motel
RELATED: NYC Real Estate Mogul Defaces Art With Large Penises 

RELATED: The 50 Fun Things To Do In NYC