Take It Or Leave It

$1,900/month for a Bed-Stuy brownstone—up four flights of stairs

By Virginia K. Smith  | October 15, 2014 - 11:59AM

Bed-Stuy is getting ever more popular (and expensive), especially parts near the latest crop of restaurants like Saraghina, Peaches, and Therapy Wine Bar. But a lot of renters would pay a premium for a one-bedroom in a brownstone with an extra half bedroom, a freshly renovated bathroom with a skylight, and decorative moldings. Given that it's on the fourth floor of a walk-up, however, is it worth $1,900 a month?

We consulted our experts, BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter, and veteran NYC renters Julie Inzanti and Lambeth Hochwald (who have a combined 27 years of experience in the world of New York rentals), for this week's Take It or Leave It.

Size: 1.5-bed, 1-bath
Location: 346 MacDonough Street (between Stuyvesant and Lewis)
Cost: $1,900/month
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 14 days
Subway: A, C at Utica Ave.; C at Kingston-Throop; J, Z at Gates Ave.; LIRR at Nostrand Ave

Pros and Cons:

"This tidy 1.5-bedroom in the Stuyvesant Heights historic district of Bed-Stuy has retained its original details—love the limestone fireplace and French doors. And, while the oversized, skylit bathroom might not be to everyone’s taste—hello sconces!—the price is right for a brownstone on this gorgeous block." - Lambeth

"This apartment has a lot of charming details: picture molding, multiple fireplaces, pretty woodwork detail on the floors and plenty of natural light. Plus there is a room for a home office or a nursery. The fixtures are a little dated, but I think the whirlpool tub might come in handy after trekking home in the blustery January cold." - Julie

"I really like the fact that this place seems to retain its old-world brownstone charm—the walls, the fireplace—but still has modern updates like the whirlpool bathtub and the modern appliances. And it seems to have a good amount of natural light. Plus that extra little bedroom/office even has a window. Score! Of course, the major con is that it's a fourth-floor walk-up. I know Europeans don't mind, but for us Americans, that can be a dealbreaker, no matter how good the light and views are at the top." - Lucy

Who would this apartment be perfect for?
"A couple who want to try out the neighborhood. Fans of Peaches, the cute cafe on the corner, will be more than happy to roll out of bed on Sundays for decadent brunch with friends." - Lambeth
"This apartment is perfect for a single person who works from home, or a couple starting a family. One kid would fit just fine but more than one would make the 900 square feet start closing in on you." - Julie​
"A physically fit couple or single person looking for a home office. Also, Europeans." - Lucy
The Verdict(s): 
TAKE IT "You’ll work off Peaches’ granola French toast living in this fourth-floor walkup." - Lambeth
TAKE IT "The neighborhood looks really beautiful and you're close to the train. Go for it." - Julie
TAKE IT "The place is a charming option for one or two people. Just don't try to squeeze in any more than that. And prepare to use FreshDirect, and tip generously." - 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.​
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