They went to the top of Manhattan looking for two bedrooms and a view. Which option did they choose?

When Amanda Ullman and Joe Brent planned their wedding last year, they had to find more than just a venue: They also had to agree on where to live.

Mr. Brent rents the ground floor of an attached brick house across from Inwood Hills Park at the top of Manhattan. He recently (reluctantly) returned to the city from the Hudson Valley to work on musical theater.

“The apartment is like a recording studio with some living facilities,” said Mr Brent, 46. Multi-instrumentalist and composerhe pays $1,800 a month in rent.

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Dr. Ullman, 41, a medical director for a pharmaceutical company, lives in a one-bedroom apartment she owns in Harlem — too small to accommodate Mr. Brent’s instruments and equipment.

The couple agreed that they needed more space than either of them. But she wanted to stay in the city, and he longed to be back in the country.

With the help of an agent from Core Real Estate and Dr. Ullman’s upstairs neighbor Jennifer Corcoran, they thought they could find a happy medium. Accepted an early $850,000 offer on a century-old house in Maplewood, NJ. “That’s where we thought we could find the space we needed,” Dr. Ullman said.

[Also in Real Estate: E-Bikes Are Exploding Every Week in New York City, Causing Fires and Killing People. Here’s What Happens Next.]

But the couple quickly backed away, unsure of access to a swell market during their rush to the suburbs.

So they settled in upper Manhattan—Washington Heights, Hudson Heights, or Inwood. With a budget of up to $1 million, they can afford a two-bedroom not far from where Mr Brent lives, which will put them at arm’s length from the most congested parts of the borough and bring them closer to several Great park.

“I really needed to touch the blue and the green stuff – the river and the trees,” Mr Blunt said.

The housing stock in the area also suits their needs and tastes. “They really liked the pre-war vibe,” Ms Cochrane said.

Still, parts of the neighborhood were noisy, with motorbikes whizzing by and music blaring, which worried Mr Brent. “If you use sensitive microphones, you have to worry about traffic outside the window, horns and sirens,” he said. “New York City presented unique challenges to the recording environment.”

Among their options:

Find out what happened next by answering these two questions:

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