Take It Or Leave It

Would you pay $4,975 a month to have the de Blasios as your landlords?

By Virginia K. Smith  | October 2, 2014 - 1:59PM

Normally, we only run our Take It Or Leave It column once a week, but when a listing like the de Blasio house hits the market, we're inclined to make an exception. The first family's Park Slope townhouse is now available as a rental for $4,975 a month, and is billed as a three-bedroom (convertible to four). There's only one bathroom (!) but there's a lovely backyard, and a lot of cozy details—a rainbow painted on an arch in one of the kids' bedrooms, some lovely custom tiling in another room. And all things considered, the price is right: we took a quick look on StreetEasy at comparable three- and four-bedroom apartments in the area with outdoor space, and the de Blasio home is the only one in its price range that constitutes an entire house.

The real question here is if you're comfortable having Hizzoner as a landlord—whoever rents this place will undoubtedly become something of a local news story while they're living there. (And, of course, you'll have to shovel the sidewalks in the colder months.

So would you want to live in a mayoral non-mansion? 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 a special edition of Take It or Leave It.

Size: 3-bed, 1-bath
Location: 442 11th Street (between Sixth and Seventh)
Cost: $4,975/month
Flexible Layout: Yes
Days on the market: 0 days
Subway: F, G at 7th Ave; F, G, R at 4th Ave/9th St.; R at Prospect Ave; 2, 3 at Grand Army Plaza

Pros and Cons:

"$5,000 per month for this space is a great deal; four bedrooms and a big backyard and a huge eat-in kitchen. Plus, it is close to the train, and Park Slope is a lovely neighborhood. It will definitely need major decor updates, like a new paint job—​what's with the reading rainbow room? And only one bathroom? Is that a joke? For four bedrooms? I can understand one bathroom for a two-bedroom apartment but a four-bedroom house? Give me a break. Maybe you can bring the chamber pot back." - Julie

"Okay, first off, can you imagine renting the de Blasios' house? I can only assume it'll mean some publicity, so if that's something you want, that's a pro, if not, a major con. Now, onto the place itself: The price seems really reasonable to me, especially for a four bedroom with outdoor space. That said, the living room looks pretty small—the telltale mirror is a sign that they're trying to make it look bigger—and some of the paint jobs are a little too bold for my taste. Though I'd imagine that some kids would love that rainbow paint job. The big pros, to me, are the large kitchen and the awesome outdoor space, complete with a mini crabapple tree." - Lucy

"I knew from the minute I saw that rainbow and the room with the kelly green walls that this was the mayor's old homestead. For that reason alone, it would be super cool to live here—plus the 'round the clock security wouldn't be too shabby either. Love the adorable cottage feel, the details and who cares that you have to share a bathroom—you're living in the mayor's house so just imagine the street cred this would give you!" - Lambeth
Who would this apartment be perfect for?
"This place is made for those with political aspirations, so if you have plans to run the city you might want to consider this rental. Or if you are a family of three or four, who all have different schedules to avoid bathroom conflicts, this place will work." - Julie

"A political junkie perhaps? Or anyone who can deal with having the mayor as a landlord. This seems perfect for a family of four—or even five—who want to live in South Slope but are priced out by most places." - Lucy

"A family or bunch of pals—if the de Blasios would sign off—who want to live where Hizzoner lived, and will return after the Gracie Mansion stint." - Lambeth

The verdict(s):

LEAVE IT "The bathroom thing is annoying and I'm sure you can find a more updated home in the same price range. This place is just meh."  - Julie ​

TAKE IT "For the stories alone." - Lucy

TAKE IT "Revel in the six degrees of separation from Dante!" - Lambeth

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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