5 NYC apartments that are smart buys (and easy on the eyes)

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If your apartment-hunting style is more about number-crunching than ogling listing photos—or if it's a mix of both—you might want to take your search over to RealtyHop, the new sales-focused site from the team behind rental search database RentHop, that offers up classic listings, but with a twist.  

In addition to the usual details, RealtyHop serves up the estimated investment potential of each property in the form of a cap rate, to help you suss out an apartment's value like you would an investment.  (Quick review:  A cap rate is the annual operating profit--estimated rental income minus annual expenses and common charges--divided by the purchase price.)  They also provide a touch-of-a-button mortgage analysis alongside monthlies to help estimate your monthly nut.The cap rate analysis is most useful if you're hunting for condos—many co-ops don't allow or strictly limit sublets, so rental income is a moot point—but it's also an interesting way to look at your apartment's value, and weigh the costs of renting versus owning. 

The following listings—an Upper East Side two bedroom steps from Central Park, an Art Deco studio in Midtown West, a loft-like two bedroom in Downtown Brooklyn, to name a few— all fall within a cap rate range of three to five percent, which RealtyHop says makes them lucrative but reliable investments. If you’re in the market for an apartment that could generate some serious rental income one day (co-op buyers: be sure to inquire about the building's sublet policy), check these out.

One bedroom, 1 bath brownstone co-op at 11 West 95th Street, #3F for $559,000

If you ever fantasized about living like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally (or any other rom-com starring the 90s era sweetheart and filmed in NYC), you were probably dreaming of this type of quintessential Upper West Side brownstone co-op with its tall ceilings, wood-burning fireplace, exposed brick wall and lovely bay window. Located in a six-unit building steps from Riverside Park,  there's communal laundry, a private storage unit, not to mention an absurdly low maintenance ($594/month) and a cap rate of 4.95%.

One bedroom, 1 bath co-op at 305 West 72nd Street, #1A for $639,000


Tall (11.5 feet!) ceilings and new, oversized windows make this Upper West Side one-bedroom co-op feel bright and airy. Located steps to Riverside Park, the elegant, pet-friendly building also has a full-time doorman and elevator attendant, plus laundry facilities and bicycle storage, not to mention a 4.72% cap rate.

Co-op studio at 405 West 57th Street, #1E for $399,000

An over-sized foyer with room for a dining table and/or home office, plus a sunken main room make this Art Deco Midtown West studio anything but cookie-cutter. The pet-friendly, pre-war elevator building also has a landscaped roof deck, a live-in super, communal laundry and video security. Bonus: A super low maintenance ($555/month) and a 4.95% cap rate.

One bedroom co-op at 529 East 88th Street, #5C

With 9.5 foot ceilings, an exposed brick wall, polished hardwood floors and a private roof deck with open city views, this convertible one-bedroom co-op in Yorkville is well worth the four flight walk up.  A low maintenance ($879/month) and a 4.92% cap rate is just the icing on the cake.

RealtyHop is a search engine for NYC apartment buyers looking for undervalued or great investment properties. RealtyHop listings include estimated investment potential in the form of a cap rate: a calculation derived from the annual operating profit divided by the purchase price.