A good deal on a Bed-Stuy triplex—but you'll need four-plus roommates
Take It Or Leave It

A good deal on a Bed-Stuy triplex—but you'll need four-plus roommates

By Virginia K. Smith  | July 9, 2014 - 1:59PM

A Bed-Stuy triplex with not one but two kitchens, old school fireplaces, and access to shared a backyard sounds like a pretty good bargain for $4,850, a drop from its original asking price of $5,400. But the listing's mention of "5.6" bedrooms (two of them are unexplained "half-bedrooms") makes it a little unclear just how many people can realistically share this place, and thus, what you'd end up paying in rent. 

There's also a separate listing offering the option of renting out part of this place as a 3.5-bedroom duplex--but you'd end up with third-floor tenants tromping through the common areas.

Between that and the long walk to the train, is a spot in this townhouse still a good deal? Our veteran renters—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: 5.6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms                                                       
Location: 186 Van Buren Street between Lewis and Marcus Garvey in Bed-Stuy
Cost: $4,850/month
Flexible Layout: Yes
Days on the market: 61 days
Subway: J, M, Z at Myrtle Avenue-Broadway; J at Kosciusko; G at Myrtle-Willoughby; C at Kingston Throop; J, M at Flushing; J, Z at Gates; M at Central

Pros and Cons:

"This is a pretty large house, though I'm not quite sure what a "half-bedroom" is, and there are two here. Plus, there's access to outdoor space, three bathrooms and two kitchens! It reminds me of the houses we used to share in college. The ground floor and cellar are not included, which means you're going to be at least one flight up, and potentially three. Plus, the price was recently reduced by about 10 percent, which is either great or a red flag, depending how you look at it." - Lucy

"Is it conceivable to think that there might be an apartment out there that has too much space? We may have found it here. The big red flags: the price reduction--the place is down by $550, according to StreetEasy--and the overall sticker price of nearly $5,000 per month." - Lambeth
"It's a big honking brownstone triplex with five beds, three baths, and two kitchens in Bed-Stuy--not bad. But this place is hella old, built in 1899, and it's a half-mile trek to the JMZ." - Zeb
Who would this apartment be perfect for?
"The post-collegiate set who want a college-like experience all living together. Also, while Bed-Stuy is certainly up and coming, you have to be willing to be a bit of a pioneer." - Lucy
"A group of recent Pratt grads who can knock the price down by sharing the place." - Lambeth
​"This place is marketed to a bunch of people who want to go in and live together in a big house, and that's the only group that could make this space work." - Zeb
The Verdicts:
TAKE IT  "If you can get some friends together to share a place, it's a good deal, and could be a lot of fun." - Lucy

LEAVE IT "Or, at the very least, visit a few times to make sure there aren't other red flags." - Lambeth
LEAVE IT "Unless you already have five or more perfect veteran roommates, you're looking at more drama per dollar of rent than other options." - Zeb
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.​
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