Take It Or Leave It

Take It or Leave It: Is $7,500/month too much for this 4-bedroom/1.5-bathroom West Village duplex?

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This week, our Take It or Leave It team of longtime renters takes on a 4-bedroom/1.5-bathroom West Village duplex with a private backyard patio. Our trio of panelists—who together have 43 years of rental experience—include RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.

The Apartment:

Size: 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms
Location: 200 Waverly Pl. in the West Village
Cost: $7,500/month+ broker’s fee of 1 month’s rent
Flexible Layout: No
Subway: 1 at Christopher St.; A, C, E, B, D, F, M at W. 4th St.; F, M, L, 1, 2, 3 at 14th St.; A, C, E, L at 14th St.-8th Ave.; PATH at 9th St. Station

Pros and Cons:

Zeb: “This apartment has a great West Village location, an outdoor space, a dishwasher, and lots of rooms—all big pros. As for the cons, it’ll be $1,875 per person (not including the broker’s fee) even after you split this place four ways. It also has a small kitchen and a single shower for four roommates.” 

Lambeth: “A duplex in this always-hip neighborhood is rare. And who could say no to exposed brick walls? On the flip side, while there are technically four bedrooms, some look teensy. Also, $7,500 per month is pretty pricey for an apartment in a prewar building that lacks the deluxe amenities of a newer high-rise—regardless of the fact that it’s located in the highly desirable West Village.”

Lucy: “Obvious pros are the private backyard space and the neighborhood. You can’t get much more quaint than the West Village. Plus, although the rent is steep the broker fee is just one month, which, believe it or not, is low in this city. There are a number of cons here though. First is the fact that it looks as though a good part of the apartment is below ground-level--which means it's dark.  Second, the bedrooms are small. Don’t expect to fit more than a bed and dresser in those. And last but certainly not least, a ratio of four bedrooms to 1.5 bathrooms could make for some serious problems.”

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

Zeb: “A group of well-off students with their hearts set on living in the West Village would be a good fit here. The nine-month lease option is especially student-friendly, but know that you’ll still have to pay the full broker’s fee despite the shorter-term lease.”

Lambeth:  “Four friends who don’t mind sharing one shower. At $1,875/month each, this place could be the perfect spot for some rollicking backyard bashes. Bonus if someone has a green thumb and can freshen up the outdoor space.”

Lucy: “Roommates looking to live in the vibrant West Village neighborhood who don’t mind keeping things minimalist in their bedrooms.”

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “While it’s tempting, since it’s located in the very heart of the West Village, this place is an expensive headache. For this much money a month each roommate deserves his or her own bathroom.”—Zeb  

LEAVE IT “While it’s hard to tell where the one full bathroom is, chances are someone’s going to be schlepping up and down that curvy staircase in a bathrobe to take a shower. Awkward!”—Lambeth

LEAVE IT “…unless you’re dying to live in the West Village and don’t mind a squeeze. Otherwise you can probably get more for your money somewhere else.”—Lucy

Ready to rent? Check out our How to Rent Guide...and if the apartment you like requires a guarantor that you don’t have, see if the landlord accepts Insurent, a guarantor solution from one of BrickUnderground’s sponsors.


Take It Or Leave It is a weekly column in which a panel of long-time renters weighs in on the pros and cons of an apartment that’s currently on the market.

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