Small Wonder

For studio buyers, how about a Murphy bed in Murray Hill?

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In spite of its reputation as a party neighborhood for fresh-from-the-frat-house types, Murray Hill is also one of Manhattan's better deals for first-time buyers, with a large number of comparatively affordable, small apartments. 

And if you're willing to deal with a fold-up Murphy bed, this $331,000 studio (which recently received an $8,000 price chop) on East 42nd Street is a smart option for a buyer looking to enter the market and buy a home they'll actually live in. (While this building is friendly to parent purchases and pied-a-terres, the listing notes in call caps that this is "NOT AN INVESTORS OPPORTUNITY"). 

The custom cabinet that holds the Murphy bed also includes built-in shelving and cabinet storage, in addition to what the listing notes as  "two large closets" (though they're not pictured, so you'll want to investigate in person). 

While there is room for a full-size fridge—not always a given in studios—the kitchen doesn't feature a full stove, and instead comes with a cook top and a microwave, though there's decent counter and cabinet space. The bathroom is nothing fancy, but has recent finishes, classic subway tiles, and a reasonable amount of space:

The building itself, Woodstock Towers, is a landmarked co-op with a back garden, laundry room, fitness center, and bike storage. It also welcomes pets.

The apartment is also just steps from the United Nations and Robert Moses playground, and also a relatively quick walk to Grand Central, meaning it's a convenient bet if you plan on living here and commuting elsewhere in the city for work. And if you are planning on taking advantage of that "parents buying for kids" policy, a sensible co-op like this should be an easy sell to mom and dad.