Take It Or Leave It

Should you jump on this $3,000 Harlem two-bedroom? Our experts are split

By Lucy Cohen Blatter | January 18, 2017 - 2:59PM 

This $3,000 East Harlem two-bedroom, two-bath apartment might be a good choice for a family or for roommates, considering that bedrooms are on opposite sides of the apartment. It's in a co-op building, so you can assume that you'll have to pass a co-op board to move in (which is where the roommate situation may be less than ideal). 

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, two-bath
Location: 1787 Madison Avenue (between 117th and 118th streets)
Monthly rent: $3,000/month
Flexible layout: Yes
Days on the market: 7
Subway: 6 at 116th Street

Pros and cons:

"This apartment feels newly updated and roomy. While it doesn't have a window or stainless appliances, the kitchen is well-sized and there's a dishwasher (a must in my book). The building has a 24-hour lobby attedant and a landscaped garden which is always appreciated in this concrete jungle. If people are unfamiliar with East Harlem, they may want to do some research now." —Lucy

"East Harlem near Central Park is seeing some interesting development, and it is a short walk to the upper end of Museum Mile. And the park. And the emerging restaurant row a few streets over in Central Harlem.The StreetEasy listing puts the property in 'South Harlem,' but at Madison and 116th Street, it is actually in the middle of East Harlem. And, all too common in emerging neighborhoods, the listing does not include square footage, so it is difficult to make an informed decision about the price on a per-square-foot basis. Also, the floorplan seems to have a third bathtub floating off of the second bedroom?" —Constantine

"The layout of this top-floor East Harlem two-bedroom is the true draw here as the bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the apartment making it optimal for privacy (though you'll have to roll the dice to figure out who gets the en-suite bath)." —Lambeth

Who this apartment would be perfect for:

"As long as the co-op board is okay with it, I'd say go roommates are a good option here. Bedrooms on opposite sides of the apartment make for extra privacy." —Lucy

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

"Two pals looking for a place that's a couple of avenues away from the 6 train's 116th Street stop and is packed with amenities—a complimentary gym and planted courtyard. I'm in!" —Lambeth

The verdict(s):

TAKE IT: "Check out the neighborhood and the building, of course, but this seems like a pretty good deal for a true two-bed, two-bath in Manhattan." —Lucy

LEAVE IT: "It is a bit more expensive than the average two-bedroom in East Harlem (which is $2,800/month) and the level of renovation doesn't support the higher price.." —Constantine

TAKE IT: "And cross your fingers you'll pass the co-op board interview.." —Lambeth


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