Room for Improvement

Room for Improvement: A lobby mail drop, a playground buffer, and no in-laws

By Kelly Kreth  |
February 25, 2011 - 1:50PM

What’s the one thing you would change about your apartment if you could? Here’s what these five New Yorkers would do…

  • Get rid of my in-laws: The apartment itself is big, beautiful, affordable, in a great area and we have access to the backyard/gas grill. The thing I'd change is to make it not also house my in-laws who happen to own the building and who live on the top two floors. --Margot, actress/comedian, Park Slope, 1 BR (first floor of brownstone), $1900
  • Trade in my landlord: We rent a 1BR co-op from the owner, who drops by unannounced for what seems to be a spying expedition. I guess he wants to make sure we are keeping the apartment clean and are quiet, non-smoking tenants, but he just comes off as a control freak and somewhat creepy. He stopped by during the holidays and my sister was staying with us and he said he was worried we had moved in another person into the unit. I explained she was just here for two days and sleeping on our couch, but he is starting to feel like more of a policeman or parent than landlord. -- Samantha, publicist, UWS, 1BR elevator rental, $2400
  • Exile the school next door: In an ideal world, I'd wish that my apartment was not right next door to a school, because of all the screaming children and parents outside my window every morning. --Gabrielle, education, UWS 2BR rental, $4500
  • Put in a lobby maildrop: The one thing I wish I could change would be to have a mail drop in our lobby. We don't and it is very inconvenient to have to walk to the mailbox several blocks away. -- Jane, freelancer, Roosevelt Island 1BR rental, $1795
  •  Make room for a kid: The only thing I'd change is to add another bedroom. I want to stay here a long time and plan to, but when I have a child, I'll need an extra bedroom and bigger place. The next step will be Brooklyn.--James, photographer, East Village, 1BR co-op, $800 maintenance [Mitchell-Lama]

If you would like to tell Kelly the one thing you'd change about your apartment, and possibly appear in a future Room for Improvement, please email her at [email protected].




Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

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