Take It Or Leave It

Is Forest Hills Gardens cute enough to sell you on this less-than-perfect studio?

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This $1,195 Forest Hills studio is kind of a doozy. It's pretty teeny tiny and located on what looks like a subterranean level of a townhouse, but it's got some "extras" you might really appreciate, like laundry, outdoor space, and parking. Plus, utilities are included.

And then there's the neighborhood: Forest Hills Gardens is a picture-perfect hamlet lined with multi-million-dollar Tudor and Colonial single-family houses and green spaces that make it feel more like the set of a movie than central Queens.

Forest Hills Gardens is also considerably more expensive than the rest of Forest Hills, which makes this place even more of a steal (it's about $200 less than the median price for a studio in in Forest Hills).

So, is it a great deal or just kind of creepy? I asked our veteran renters, including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin and freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, to weigh in with me on this week's Take It or Leave It.​

Size: Studio
Location: 300 Burns Street (between Overhill and 75th)
Cost: $1,195
Flexible layout: No
Days on the market: 54
Subway: E, F to 75th Avenue

Pros and Cons:

"It's really cheap and there's no broker fee. So those are two major pros. Also, I really love Forest Hills Gardens, so there's that. The apartment itself is pretty small and I don't think I could live with granite floors under my bed or that tiny kitchenette. Plus, there's only a shower, no bath." — Lucy

"Looks like this is a dank basement apartment under a townhouse in Forest Hills. Surprisingly, it's only a 10-minute walk and a 30-minute ride on the F or the E to 14th Street. " — Zeb

"So I’m going to put it right out there. There’s a lot that’s way oddball about this Forest Hills studio and it’s more than the fact that you’ll be sharing the townhouse with a gentleman who occupies the upper two floors (you do have a separate entrance to the place so that helps a tiny bit). On the other hand, the fact that parking is free and you can grill outdoors in the spacious backyard is just one of the perks that come with this place: You can swim! You can play tennis! You can do your wash—for free!" — Lambeth​

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

"Someone who wants to live a quiet existence in a neighborhood that doesn't feel like it's the city at all." — Lucy

"If Forest Hills has some pull for you, like family living nearby, and you need to live alone for $1200, then you should consider this spot." — Zeb

"An active person up for a quirky living arrangement who wants to try out Forest Hills, wants a quasi-suburban setup or feels like flashing back to life on a college campus." - Lambeth

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT "Though cheap, this apartment is still pretty underwhelming. But if you do decide to go for it, we suggest you make sure you're compatible with the 'mature gentleman' who lives on the top two floors. The listing says he travels a lot, but I wouldn't take anyone else's word for it." — Lucy

LEAVE IT "I lived in a basement apartment once. Once. I don't recommend it -- they're generally dark and depressing." — Zeb

LEAVE IT "It’s hard enough to share space with a pal let alone a neighbor/stranger who occupies the top two floors of your building." — Lambeth

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