Take It Or Leave It

This $2,000 Harlem one-bedroom's got charming prewar details, but is that enough to sell you on it?

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Located on the fifth floor of a prewar, Art Deco-style elevator building, this $2,000 Harlem furnished one-bedroom is also a corner unit, meaning double exposures and light. It's got some charming details: like wainscoting throughout, sconces, and large windows. The kitchen, though more of a wall rather than a room, even manages to fit a mini-dishwasher.

The building, which is located on 138th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, has a well-kept lobby and a laundry room. Pets and guarantors are accepted.

So is it worth considering? We asked our experts (and veteran renters), real estate research and analytics firm NeighborhoodX's founder Constantine Valhouli and freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, to weigh in with me on this week's Take It or Leave It.​

The apartment:

Size: One-bedroom, one-bath
Location: 48 West 138th Street (between Fifth and Sixth avenues)
Monthly rent: $2,000/month
Flexible layout: No
Days on the market: 37 days
Subway: 2, 3, B, C at 135th Street

Pros and cons:

"The apartment is certainly charming (who doesn't love wainscoting?) But it looks like it's been on and off the market a bit. It could mean nothing, but I'd try and get to the bottom of it to make sure there are no red flags." —Lucy

"Central Harlem feels like a Brooklyn neighborhood in Manhattan. In addition to the stunning architecture and historic districts, there is the destination restaurant corridor along Frederick Douglass Boulevard that is drawing patrons from around the city. And the Whole Foods at 125th and Lenox is expected to open next year—and that tends to be a stamp of approval for other, similar retailers." —Constantine

"There's lots to like about this built-in-1940s Harlem condo conversion. What I don't like: The price is steep, there's a broker's fee, and it's not nearly as nice as some of the other apartments in the building. How do I know? Because there are several other units for sale which, to me, is a big red flag." —Lambeth

Who this apartment would be perfect for:

"Someone who works off the 2, 3 train who's looking for more space for their money than the Upper West Side." —Lucy

"A grad student or professor at any of the universities uptown. Or someone who works in midtown, but would like a quiet retreat that is still within a short (although cramped) ride on the 2/3. It should appeal to someone who would like the combination of an architecturally rich neighborhood anchored by the lectures of Columbia and other universities, as well as proximity to Central Park, Morningside Park, and Inwood and the Cloisters." —Constantine

"A New York City transplant who doesn't want the hassle of shopping for stuff—this one comes furnished." —Lambeth

The verdict(s):

TAKE IT: "As always, check out the neighborhood and the commute first, but otherwise, it seems like a pretty decent deal." —Lucy

TAKE IT: "Definitely." —Constantine

LEAVE IT "You can do way better with a newly constructed building. Read: Gym. Doorman. Lounge. Anything!" —Lambeth


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