Small Wonder

A well-heeled, renovated Kips Bay co-op that's perfect as a starter apartment

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For Manhattan buyers in search of suitable studios, Manhattan's east side is often the most reliable place to look, with loads of quality, reasonably-priced inventory in Yorkville, Tudor City, Murray Hill, and as is the case with this week's Small Wonder, Kips Bay.

This particular studio is located in Penny Lane, a co-op building on East 24th Street with enticing extras including a 24-hour doorman, on-site garage, package room, storage, and a large planted roof deck with skyline views. As for the apartment itself, it's currently asking $460,000 after a recent $20,000 price cut. (It's been on the market for half a year, so you may have room to negotiate.)

The apartment has been recently renovated to include tasteful dark wood cabinetry throughout (including a built-in wood Murphy bed), but keep in mind that the photo with hardwood floors is the work of virtual staging—in real life, the floors are tile, though wood might be a nice upgrade once you move in.

The kitchen has dark wood finishes to match, as well as new appliances and an all-important dishwasher. The bathroom is simple, but fairly spacious, and we like the black-and-white tile.

However, you'll need to qualify for this place on your own: The building does not accept guarantors nor pied-a-terres. (And while cats are allowed, dogs are not.)

On the bright side, subletting is permitted (with board approval) after two years, which gives you a measure of financial flexibility in the future.