Take It Or Leave It

Does a home office at this $2,950 a month Upper East Side one-bedroom offset the trek to transit?

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | May 14, 2014 - 1:59PM

Although it’s a bit far from the subway, this modern $2,950 a month one-bedroom in a boutique condo building on the Upper East Side has quite a bit going for it. There’s a large living room/dining area with oversized windows, an open kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, a renovated bathroom with a deep soaking tub, a master bedroom large enough for a king-sized bed and a separate office that can also be used as a second bedroom. The building also has a part-time doorman and a common garden for residents to share.

Sounds great… so why has it been on the market for a whopping 71 days? Our experts—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—give us their take on the unit in this week’s Take It or Leave It.

The Apartment:

Size: one bedroom, one bathroom                                         
Location: 435 East 76th Street between York and First Avenues on the Upper East Side
Cost & concessions: $2,950 a month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 71 days
Subway: 6 at 77th St.; 4, 5, 6 at 86th St.; F at Lexington Ave.; N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6 at Lexington Ave.-59th St.; N, Q, R at 5th Ave.; E, M, 6 at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.

Pros and Cons:

“This Upper East Side apartment comes with a part-time doorman, an elevator, laundry in the building and a communal backyard. But it’s pretty far east—about three-quarters of a mile away from an express train.”—Zeb

“While the kitchen in this condo building seems clean and neat, this one-bedroom—listed in broker speak as a junior-4—feels like it would be a tight squeeze.”—Lambeth

“The apartment is well maintained. I love the modern, custom bedroom closet, although it’s not quite a walk-in despite what the listing says. Plus there’s a common outdoor area. But there’s no denying that the place is on the small side. The second bedroom/office looks tiny and the living space isn’t roomy either. That probably explains the relatively low rent—$2,950 a month. It’s also on 76th between York and First, which is a bit of walk to the subway on Lexington and 77th Street.”Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

“A freelancer who’ll make good use of the home office and likes a quiet neighborhood.”—Zeb

“A couple who can’t wait to spend Sundays sipping coffee in the building’s private garden and don't mind schlepping the long bunch of avenues to the subway.”—Lambeth

“A couple or single person that occasionally works from home. A young family might also try and squeeze a baby into the space, but it’s unlikely that they could stay for very long.”Lucy

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT “It’s overpriced for a one-bedroom, and undersized for a two. It’s also far enough from transportation that it could be a struggle to get around.”—Zeb

LEAVE IT “With only a part-time doorman and the aforementioned garden, there just aren’t enough amenities to make this awkwardly configured place worth almost $3,000 a month.”Lambeth

TAKE IT “…unless you're planning on growing your family soon.”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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