Take It Or Leave It

This UWS two-bedroom is under $3,000 a month. But you'll see why

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For those of us who've been in this city for a while, we know that the word "charm" in a listing means that the apartment is probably in need of a makeover. Behold, there it is, in the description of this $2,995 two-bedroom on West 85th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

But the less-than-spanking-new nature of this apartment (and the fact that it's a fifth-floor walk-up and there's no laundry in the building), explains why it's a whopping $2,000 less than the median rental price for two-bedrooms in the neighborhood. 

What it does have: A live-in super and easy access to the 1 train approximately two blocks away.

So is it as much of a steal as it seems? I asked our experts (and veteran renters), RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin and freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, to weigh in with me on this week's Take It or Leave It.​

Size: Two-bedroom, one-bath
Location:  510 Amsterdam Avenue (between 84th and 85th streets)
Cost: $2,995/month
Flexible layout: Yes
Days on the market: 2
Subway:  1 to 86th Street

Pros and cons:

"This apartment is no-frills (take a look at the dated cabinetry in the kitchen and you'll see what I mean). But for the neighborhood, the rent is an absolute steal. I'm sure the building is equally no-frills, and the walk-up isn't exactly ideal, but if cost is your main concern and you want to live on the UWS, you may want to check this place out." —Lucy

"This looks like a typical older UWS two-bedroom apartment and it's priced closer to a one- bedroom. Downsides are it's a five-story walkup with just one bath and an old kitchen." —Zeb

"So the fact that this is a two-bedroom for $2,995 could be considered a steal for the neighborhood until you consider the fact that this is a five-flight hike up to the apartment, it doesn’t appear to be as ‘sun-blasted’ as the ad proclaims and there isn’t even laundry in the building (though the ad promises one right across the street but I can’t seen to find one when I research it)." —Lambeth​

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

"A couple (in good shape, of course) who want an extra room as an office. The bedrooms may be the same size but neither appears to be very large." —Lucy

"Budget-minded roommates aiming for the UWS, or a fit couple not making any little ones could do well here." —Zeb

"A foodie who dreams of living on the Upper West Side’s restaurant row—you’ll never have to cook in this dated kitchen with Kitaro Sushi downstairs and Jacob’s Pickles next door!" —Lambeth

The verdict(s):

TAKE IT "Assuming you can handle the climb, live here for a couple of years, save up, and rent (or buy!) in an elevator building next time." —Lucy

TAKE IT "If you can power through the walkup and this is the hood you want, it's a deal." —Zeb

LEAVE IT "...and find something a little closer to street level." —Lambeth


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