Take It Or Leave It

Take It or Leave It: Could this $2,100/month prewar 2-bedroom lure you to Astoria, Queens?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | January 8, 2014 - 11:03AM

For this week’s Take It or Leave It, our trio of longtime renters—who have a combined 43 years of rental experience among them—mull over the merits of a $2,100/month sunny 2-bedroom in a pre-war townhouse in the heart of Astoria, Queens. Our panelists include RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.

The Apartment:

Size: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Location: 34-06 32nd St. between 34th Ave. and Broadway in Astoria, Queens
Cost & concessions: $2,100/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 48 days
Subway: N, Q at Broadway; M, R at Steinway St.; E, M, R at Queens Plaza

Pros and Cons:

Zeb: “A 2-bedroom for just $2,100 is a steal anywhere in NY these days. And Astoria is definitely a cool place to be. But it looks like management cut a lot of corners when embarking upon this alleged ‘gut renovation.’ The finished product appears cheap in the photos--why install closet rods but no closet?--so you’re absolutely going to notice it.” 

Lambeth: “You’ll be hard-pressed to complain about the lack of storage in this apartment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many exposed shelves in my life of looking at apartments! But keep in mind you’ll be schlepping Astoria’s legendary Greek food, and your laundry, five flights up since this 1926 red brick building is definitely a walk-up.”

Lucy: “I love the pre-war charm and the fact that room sizes seem to be generous. Closet space also looks good. But the best part is the price! It’s nearly impossible to find a 2-bedroom for $2,100 in a desirable neighborhood in this city of ours. In terms of cons, I’d have to imagine that this is a walk-up since it’s in a townhouse and doesn’t appear to be on the garden floor. Plus, the kitchen, while large (and windowed!) looks a tad dated.”

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

Zeb: “Students or roommates on strict budgets looking for a place they can stamp with their styles.”

Lambeth: “Either a young couple or two pals who love Astoria and don’t mind sharing a bathroom.”

Lucy: “A family or a couple of roommates, although the value is better for a family.”

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “You deserve better. The landlord isn’t investing, so neither should you.” —Zeb

TAKE IT “At $1,050 per person, the price pretty much can’t be beat.”—Lambeth

TAKE IT “Astoria is becoming more and more desirable and the combination of space and price is hard to beat.”—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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