Take It Or Leave It

Is this tiny Manhattan studio cute and charming or just crazy cramped?

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Veteran renters like us have seen a lot of small NYC apartments, and we have to admit this is one of the tiniest ones we've seen thus far. But it's also rather charming.

The $1,725 studio co-op is located on 81st between York and East End, so it's also a long walk (about 15 minutes) from the subway.

But it's got nice touches like exposed brick, a decorative fireplace and a separate kitchen (with a dishwasher!). And it's about $250 a month less than the area median.

So is it worth trying to squeeze into?  We 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: Studio
Location: 519 East 81st Street  (between York and East End), Yorkville
Cost: $1,725
Flexible layout: No
Days on the market: 22
Subway:  4,5,6 to 86th

"This apartment feels a bit like a dorm room, sure, but it's a really cute and charming dorm room. I love the exposed brick, and the Deco fireplace, and the kitchen and bathroom are nicely renovated. Plus, the fact that it's a co-op, and probably doesn't allow more than two years of renting isn't a problem here, since you're not likely to want to stay in such a small space for so much longer. That said, you may have to pass the co-op board and it looks like there's a broker fee." —Lucy

"There’s no sugarcoating the cramped space in this little UES studio. But it has its charm, and the price is right." —Zeb

"I’m a touch obsessed with the snug bed tucked right against one wall of this micro-studio. This feels like the sort of cozy spot you’d want to be in while a storm rages outside. On the other hand, the tiny-ness of this place, which looks more like a cabin on a cruise ship, might get very old, very fast." —Lambeth​

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

 "A single person (please do not try to move in here with another person) who likes the quietness of Yorkville and proximity to Carl Schurz Park." —Lucy

"A student or new arrival to New York sticking to a tight budget who is a good walker — since this is almost a mile from the nearest subway stop. " —Zeb

"A single who likes the price, isn't bothered that this might be on the first floor (it's listed as apartment A) and doesn’t mind the huge schlep to the subway." —Lambeth

The verdict(s):

TAKE IT "It's really cute (and a co-op, so chances are the owner will take better care of it than your average large management company), and if your budget is under $2,000 in Manhattan, you could do much worse." —Lucy

LEAVE IT "If this studio fits your needs, you could do a lot worse for a starter apartment in Manhattan." —Zeb

LEAVE IT "Especially if you’re claustrophobic. Are they kidding by suggesting that you could sleep in the loft space? " —Lambeth


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