Take It Or Leave It

Our experts can't agree if this Williamsburg two-bedroom is worth snapping up or not. What do you think?

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There are plenty of shiny, new rental buildings in Williamsburg, with prices to match. This is not one of them. While this  $3,500/month two-bedroom apartment isn't going to get major points for its up-to-date renovation (there's none to speak of), it is right in the heart of Williamsburg and just a couple of blocks from the L train (which, while it's still running, is a good thing).

So is it worth looking into? We asked our experts (and veteran renters), real estate research and analytics firm NeighborhoodX founder Constantine Valhouli and freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, to weigh in with me on this week's Take It or Leave It.​

The apartment:

Size: Two-bedroom, one-bath
Location: 215 North 8th Street (between Roebling and Driggs)
Monthly rent: $3,500/month
Flexible layout: No
Days on the market: 20
Subway: L at Bedford Avenue

Pros and cons:

"The biggest pro here is location, for sure. And if you're okay to move out before 2019, when the L train is supposed to shut down, you're fine. That said, the apartment feels rather worn. And while outdoor space is always appreciated, this one has Astroturf. Not a fan." —Lucy

"On the bright side, the bedrooms are separated from each other, and the roofdeck makes for a nice addition, too. And the apartment's proximity to the L train (um, while it is still running) is also a plus. But the place looks like it was renovated from Home Depot in the 1990s. The kitchen cabinets, doors, and millwork look like they pre-date the gentrification of Williamsburg, but not in a good way. And the windows look older—the downside to many of the main streets in Williamsburg is the traffic noise. Potential residents should look into this when they visit."—Constantine

"Wine lovers, I've found the place for you—a Williamsburg two-bed (with outdoor space) situated right next door to Brooklyn Winery. On the flip side, the apartment is unimpressive with standard press-board cabinetry in the kitchen (though props for the fact that there's a private deck right off that same bland kitchen)." —Lambeth

Who this apartment would be perfect for:

"A couple of roommates who want to be in the middle of it all in Williamsburg for a year, and don't mind an older place." —Lucy

"A young couple who would like a second bedroom for a child, or a roommate split." —Constantine

"Two oenophiles who can't wait to throw wine tastings on the apartment's Astroturfed private roof deck." —Lambeth

The verdict(s):

LEAVE IT: "I can't imagine being super-excited about moving in here, and we're still talking abour $1,800 apiece per month for three people. That said, given the way the rental market is now, the season, and the looming L train shut down, I suggest you ask for a rent decrease (or to slash the broker fee) if you do decide to take it.." —Lucy

TAKE IT: "If you can live with the design challenges, it is priced below the average of $3,900 for a two-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood.." —Constantine

LEAVE IT: "Don't even get me started about the awkwardly placed bath or that this place is L-train dependent...." —Lambeth


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