Buy Affordable Housing

For buyers under the income cap, a cozy East Village studio for $360,000

By Virginia K. Smith | March 14, 2017 - 1:45PM 

For buyers in search of something even remotely affordable in the East Village, you may be in luck: This well-kept studio co-op has hit the market asking $360,000, with a maintenance of just $490/month, putting it below the typical asking price for similar apartments in this pricey part of the city.

However, you may want to do your homework on this one. The listing notes that it's a restricted sale—with an income cap of $104,000 for prospective buyers—which likely means it's an HDFC co-op, though few details are provided. (Among other things, this could mean the seller is hoping for an all-cash sale, a common issue in HDFC buildings, where it can be tough to wrangle a mortgage). You'll also want to visit the apartment in person for a figurative and literal peek behind the curtain to get the full sense of the living area—is there room for a bed back there, or simply some shelving and storage space? The listing mentions a Murphy bed, but the setup isn't quite clear from the photos:

On the bright side, the hardwood floors look to be in good condition, and though you might want to swap out the counters and cabinets for something fresh and modern, the kitchen is a relatively spacious one for a studio. There seem to be plenty of windows bringing in natural light, too.

The bathroom is similarly no-frills but well-maintained:

As for the building, it has video security, a laundry room, bike room, and shared outdoor patio, and relatively lenient policies for a co-op; sublets are allowed after two years, and co-purchases, guarantors, gifting, and pets are all acceptable here, per the listing.

And while it's a matter of personal taste, if it were up to us, we'd keep the current turquoise color scheme—something about it just seems to suit the space.


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