Roommates + Landlords

An anecdotal survey of NYC real estate regrets

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | October 3, 2012 - 2:55PM

We think it's safe to say that most New Yorkers feel they've given something up to live in this city. And those of us in the 99 percent often find ourselves in apartments that leave us wanting more... sometimes much more.

On that theory, we've made a habit of asking NYC apartment dwellers to reveal the one thing they would change about their apartment if they could in our Room for Improvement series, the focus of this week's SurvivaList roundp.

Here's what  renters and owners kvetch about the most. (Surprisingly, the high cost of living rarely gets a mention.)·      

1. Unusual layouts:  Long, narrow rooms are tough to furnish. Sloping floors are challenging too.

2. Walk-ups: 5 flights of stairs is neither laundry friendly nor friend-friendly. Four flights with three dogs is no picnic either.

3. Odors: Cigarette and marijuana smoke and unexplainable nasty stenches are a frequently mentioned bane of the vertical life.

4. Low or no natural light: Some New Yorkers live with only two hours of sunlight a day!

5. Missing appliances:  The absence of dishwashers is keenly felt.

6. Plumbing issues: H2O problems range from low water pressure to showers that intermittently stop working. Of course, everyone wants another bathroom.

7. Critters: Do you know you can even find caterpillars here in NYC?

8: Annoying neighbors: Un-favored nabes include drunk ones, downstairs neighbors who complain about your kids, and upstairs neighbors who prefer clogs.

9. Space constraints:  NYC dwellers long for bigger rooms,  better closets, more kitchen counterspace... and even (the nerve!) eat-in kitchens.

10.  Outdoor space:  Please. Or at least a key to the roof.

11. Location: Being too far from the subway—say, a 12-block hike—tends to wear on you. So does living too close.

For these, and more, check out Room for Improvement series.


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.