Take It Or Leave It

Is a discounted Murray Hill one-bedroom four flights up worth $2,895 a month?

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | December 17, 2014 - 1:59PM

If you're looking for a sparkling new apartment with a gym and a pool, this $2,895 a month one-bedroom, one-bathroom in Murray Hill is not for you. But if you prefer "charm" with your accommodations, read on about this full floor of a brownstone. 

A fireplace and two skylights give it a non-cookie-cutter flair, but it's also on the top floor of a four-story house, so be prepared for a climb. Maybe that's why it costs significantly less than the median rent of other one-bedrooms in the neighborhood ($3,300, according to StreetEasy) and why the owners are having a hard time renting it--the place has been on and off the market several times in the last few months, and the price dropped by $55 in November. 

Considering that it's a far cry from the modern, amenity-filled towers nearby, is it a deal? We asked our veteran renters, including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and myself, to weigh in for this week’s Take It or Leave It.​

Size: 1-bed, 1-bath
Location: 141 East 37th (between Lexington and Third)
Cost: $2,895/mo
Flexible Layout: No
Days on the market: 4
Subway: S,4,5,6 and 7 to Grand Central; 6 at 33rd Street

Pros and Cons:

"There's a good amount of space here--a full floor for a one-bedroom is pretty rare. There's also a10 percent broker's fee is a bit of a discount off the usual 12 to 15 percent. But the apartment itself looks dated. The listing says that the kitchen countertop will be replaced, which is good, but it feels like the whole place could use some updating. I wish they would replace those dark wood cabinets, for one. " - Lucy

"This is a fairly spacious one-bedroom with skylights near the 4/5/6. Unfortunately, you're stuck in Murray Hill and your street is an exit from the Midtown tunnel."- Zeb

"While I give extra props to the skylights, exposed brick and XL feel of this one-bedroom, I’m sure glad the realtor promises new countertops for the kitchen because this one looks like it hasn’t been given an upgrade since the Koch administration. And, heaven help you if you try to open the fridge while you have something on said countertops—did anyone measure to see what would squeeze into this kitchen?"- Lambeth​

Who would this apartment be perfect for?

"A relatively fit couple--sans kids, the stroller would be a headache up the stairs--one of whom works in Midtown and could have a quick walk to work." - Lucy

"Someone who works within walking distance, or who commutes on the green line, could find this location convenient. If you need and are willing to pay for a spacious living room, that's a fit for this spot, too." - Zeb

"A very agile Murray Hill fan who won’t mind climbing to the top floor and can swing the nearly $3,000 per month, plus a 10 percent broker’s fee, for brownstone living--aka no extra amenities." - Lambeth

The Verdict(s):

LEAVE IT "It's just not worth the price tag--and the climb. " - Lucy

LEAVE IT "It's been listed and delisted since October, and looks like it had similar challenges finding a tenant last year. You might have to sacrifice on space, but you can more than make up for that in amenities at other locations." - Zeb

LEAVE IT "You can do way better without living on 37th Street, one of the main arteries into the Queens Midtown Tunnel." - Lambeth

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