Take It Or Leave It

Does the chic design of this East Village two-bedroom justify paying $5,100 a month?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | April 30, 2014 - 9:59AM

Whether you’re an East Village die-hard or a temporary Manhattanite reluctant to buy an apartment's worth of furniture, this two-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op—available furnished at $5,100 a month or unfurnished at $4,900 a month—could be the place for you. There are Herman Miller and Kofod-Larsen chairs, a Room & Board couch, and a 50-inch wall-mounted Samsung television. Throw in a washer/dryer and a great looking kitchen with chestnut countertops and a built-in fridge, and you may be ready to sign a lease.

But do our Take It or Leave It renters—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—think the apartment is worth the price?

The Apartment:

Size: Two bedrooms, one bathroom                                       
Location: 248 East 7th Street between Avenues C and D in the East Village
Cost: $5,100 a month furnished; $4,900 a month unfurnished
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 16 days
Subway: L at 1st Ave.; F at 2nd Ave.; F, J, M, Z at Delancey St.-Essex St.; 6 at Astor Pl.; J, Z at Bowery; B, D at Grand St.

Pros and Cons:

“This is a fancy, beautifully decorated apartment in the youthful, edgy East Village. But it’s a tad suspicious that you can’t really see much more than the bed in the master bedroom. Maybe it’s small. And is the second bedroom being used as a closet?”—Zeb

“This place looks like it popped right off the pages of a cool design blog. The kitchen is clearly the star of the show, boasting pretty much every bell and whistle you could think of, including way more counterspace than most places in NYC, and the in-apartment washer and dryer is seriously convenient. On the other hand, I’d hardly call this a two-bedroom as the second bedroom is currently being used as a walk-in closet and faces a wall. And then there’s the long walk to the subway—living between Avenues C and D isn’t as prime East Village as the ad promises.”—Lambeth

“This modern apartment has some fancy extras, but it looks pretty small. The master bedroom doesn’t appear to fit more than a bed. It’s also available for $200 more per month with modern furnishings included, so that could be a pro for some people, maybe short-term New York City dwellers. Note that it’s also a co-op, so there may be a co-op board interview to get through and/or a limit to how long you can rent it. Also, it’s a major hike to the subway.”Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

“Someone with room in their budget and a desire to live in this cool neighborhood.”—Zeb

“A couple—preferably dot-com execs with a design-forward aesthetic—that has just arrived from Silicon Valley.”—Lambeth

“Someone who’s only in New York temporarily--and whose company is paying the rent?. Said person should love nightlife and restaurants and want to take advantage of the East Village’s hipness.”Lucy

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “It doesn’t seem economical—you’d be paying top dollar for the luxury finish.”—Zeb

TAKE IT “…and if you can swing the extra $200 per month, opt to rent it furnished as is. I wouldn’t change a thing.”Lambeth

LEAVE IT “It seems tiny, as well as pricey. If neither of those things bothers you, then take it. But I suspect they probably do.”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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