Take It Or Leave It

Do cathedral ceilings offset scant extras in this $4,500 a month Clinton Hill carriage house?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | May 7, 2014 - 2:30PM

This week, our trio of Take It or Leave It renters takes an in-depth look at a unique two-bedroom/one-bathroom carriage house apartment in trendy Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. With beamed cathedral ceilings, exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and in-unit laundry, the place—which can be rented furnished or vacant—sure does radiate charm.

But do our experts—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—feel that $4,500 a month is simply too much to pay for a no-frills place without a doorman or gym?

The Apartment:

Size: two bedrooms, one bathroom
Location: 266 Waverly Avenue between DeKalb and Willoughby Avenues in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Cost: $4,500 a month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 28 days
Subway: G at Clinton-Washington Aves.; C at Lafayette Ave.; B, D, N, R, Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 at Atlantic Ave.; 2, 3, 4, 5 at Nevins St.; LIRR at Flatbush Ave.

Pros and Cons:

“This Clinton Hill flat has high ceilings, wood floors, in-unit laundry, and lots of eye-catching exposed brick. Missing photos from the second bedroom are a definite red flag though, and the price is still high even after dropping $400 a week ago.”—Zeb

“It’s hard to knock this place with its brick walls and beamed ceilings. But, still, there’s something about this space that feels claustrophobic—perhaps it’s that the windows are so small compared to the living room itself? Another red flag: Why isn’t there a picture of the second bedroom? Is it a closet masquerading as a bedroom? I’d want to know more.”—Lambeth

“I’m loving the carriage house charm the listing mentions, including the beamed ceilings and exposed brick. Also, the apartment has a washer/dryer, which is a plus. The living room and kitchen seem spacious. The one bedroom pictured, on the other hand, isn’t too big. Since it’s in a carriage house and not a traditional NYC building, you may hear your neighbors more than you’d like. And also, your landlord might be your neighbor.”Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

“Someone with lots of books--look at all those shelves!--and a desire for a large living space with soaring ceilings.”—Zeb

“A couple that loves Clinton Hill and wants a cozy carriagehouse feel.”—Lambeth

“A small family or a singleton that works from home and also likes to entertain.”Lucy

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “…unless you’re confident you can fill those massive bookcases.”—Zeb

LEAVE IT “The price seems steep and there are zero amenities apart from the washer/dryer. Plus, the outside doesn’t look nearly as nice as the inside.”Lambeth

TAKE IT “The charm plus the neighborhood make it worth it. Although the price does seem slightly high.”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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