Take It Or Leave It

Take It or Leave It: Should you pay $2,900/month for this Brooklyn Heights 1-bedroom?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | November 20, 2013 - 3:18PM

In this edition of Take It or Leave It, our perpetual renters weigh the pluses and minuses of a Brooklyn Heights 1-bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit laundry and a shared roof deck. Our panelists—who have 43 years of collective rental experience—are RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.

The Apartment:

Size: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
Location: 116 Montague St. between Henry St. and Hicks St. in Brooklyn Heights
Cost: $2,900/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 12 days on the market according to StreetEasy, but it looks like it's actually closer to three months.
Subway: R, 2, 3, 4, 5 at Court St.; 2, 3 at Clark St.; A, C at High St.; A, C, F at Jay St.-Borough Hall; R at Lawrence St.; Ferry at Fulton Ferry Landing

Pros and Cons:

Zeb: “This relatively affordable place in easily accessible Brooklyn Heights is brand-new and has solid upgrades, including in-unit laundry, central a/c, a common roof deck and stainless kitchen appliances. But if these renovations were finished in August and the apartment is still on the market, then there’s probably something wrong with it.”

Lambeth: “As a former Montague St. resident, I can say without hesitation that this is one of the most convenient and prettiest, especially as this apartment is right near the promenade, blocks in Brooklyn Heights. Sure the place is a little pricey, but, judging from the photos, you’re facing the non-commercial side of Montague, which means the space will feel cocoon-y quiet. Added perk: yummy treats await at Lassen & Hennigs, an old-school gourmet shop located right downstairs. Looks like the owner did a nice renovation and extra props for the in-unit washer/dryer. On the flip side, however, this newly constructed unit has been on the market for quite some time, possibly indicating big problems.”

Lucy: “This apartment, located in picture-perfect Brooklyn Heights--look at the tree-lined views from the windows--seems modern and clean, and the appliances are new and seem high-end. Plus, there’s central a/c, a dishwasher, washer-dryer and a communal roof deck. On the negative side, the apartment is a walk-up, though which floor it’s on is unclear. It also doesn’t look particularly large. The fact that the apartment was listed in August and then put back on the market in October—meaning that it’s essentially been on the market since August—raises a red flag too.”

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

Zeb: “A single professional who likes living outside the city, but wants to be able to get into Manhattan quickly if he needs to.”

Lambeth:  “A recent Brooklyn Law grad who works late and wants to live close to the courts, which are just a few quick blocks away.”

Lucy: “A single person who loves the charm of Brooklyn Heights, but wants it with a modern update.”

The Verdict(s):

TAKE IT “…but do your due diligence first and make sure there aren’t any landmines.” —Zeb  

TAKE IT “... so long as you do your research on the building first and find out why the unit has been empty for so long.”—Lambeth

TAKE IT “…but try and figure out why it’s been on the market so long first.”—Lucy

Ready to rent? Check out our How to Rent Guide...and if the apartment you like requires a guarantor that you don’t have, see if the landlord accepts Insurent, a guarantor solution from one of BrickUnderground’s sponsors

Take It Or Leave It is a weekly column in which a panel of long-time renters weighs in on the pros and cons of an apartment that’s currently on the market.

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