Take It Or Leave It

$1,750 a month seems like a steal for an Upper East Side studio—but with a Murphy Bed?

By Virginia K. Smith  | June 4, 2014 - 9:59AM

A well-lit studio on the Upper East Side (or really, anywhere in Manhattan) for $1,750 is a pipe dream for most renters looking to live solo, and at first glance, this cozy apartment on the ground floor of a landmarked townhouse with exposed brick walls seems like a bargain.

But this Carnegie Hill spot is so small it requires a retro fold-out Murphy Bed and a dorm-caliber kitchenette. Plus, the landlords live upstairs—which could be a pro or a con. But how will our experts—including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—weigh in for this week’s Take It or Leave It?

The Apartment:

Size: studio                                       
Location: 126A East 92nd Street between Lexington and Park Avenue
Cost: $1,750 a month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 11 days
Subway: 6 at 96th St.; 4,5,6 at 86th St.; B,C at 96th St.

Pros and Cons:

"This studio apartment is the only rental underneath the landlord's townhouse. While the block looks very pretty and lined with trees, the apartment is tiny with a Murphy Bed and a miniaturized kitchen." - Zeb

"No doubt this is a pretty gorgeous townhouse on a superlative block and it’s nice to know that the owner occupies the rest of the house should you need repairs done--my first request would be to tone down those super-lemony walls. Unfortunately, you’re right on street level, which could mean noisy nights atop the built-in solid wood Murphy Bed and I’d want to be very sure the front door locks well." - Lambeth

​"I think the biggest pro about this apartment is its price--under $2,000 to live on a charming, tree-lined street in Carnegie Hill? You may not be able to beat it. But the fact that it's in a townhouse and the owner lives upstairs might not be so appealing to some. Of course, the place is also tiny--hello Murphy Bed!--and it's on the ground floor, so don't expect too much light. At least the bright walls bring in some brightness." - Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

"Someone who's on a strict budget that needs to live alone, likes the quiet, and appreciates the neighborhood around the 92Y." - Zeb

​"A single guy who is doing a residency at Mt. Sinai and has no problem ordering takeout nightly. Is there even an oven in that micro-kitchen?" - Lambeth

"A single person who wants the mom-and-pop landlord experience and the tony location." - Lucy

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT  "You deserve a real bed and a real kitchen." - Zeb

LEAVE IT "If quaint’s your thing, keep looking." - Lambeth

LEAVE IT "The ground-floor location and the tiny size just don't make it enticing enough. Even for the relatively low price." - 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 acceptsInsurent, 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.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.