Take It Or Leave It

Does a decent rent sell you on this basic Jackson Heights two bedroom?

There's nothing flashy or new about this two-bedroom Jackson Heights rental. 

All photos: Showcase Realty

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How much total do you plan to tip the building staff this year?

Jackson Heights has a lot going for it: plenty of subway lines, restaurants that run the gamut from Peruvian to Korean to Nepali, and apartments at relatively decent prices. 

Development is booming in the neighborhood and those surrounding it, and while the flashy new buildings popping up may appeal to a certain type of renter, there are older buildings with more modest apartments on the market, too. This two bedroom falls solidly into the latter camp, and we've decided to take a closer look.

As always when weighing New York City apartment listings, we turn to our Take It Or Leave It experts—myself, Constantine Valhouli, founder of real estate research and analytics firm NeighborhoodX, and freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald.

So, is this apartment worth renting? First, the basics:

Size: Two bedroom, one bath
Location: 85-11 34th Avenue, #2D, Jackson Heights
Price: $1,950
Days on the market: 3
Flexible layout: No
Subway: 7 at 85th Street, E,F,M, and R at Roosevelt Avenue

Pros and cons

"Shiny floors and sunny rooms (pros) don't make up for a super blah apartment. I kept hoping this Jackson Heights two bed would improve the more I looked at it, but then there was the depressing kitchen facing a brick wall and bars on one of the bedroom windows (cons) that only made the place worse."—Lambeth

"Pros: It's unpretentious, in the best way. None of this too-fussy Home Depot granite or misguided renovations to justify higher rents. This seems like an older New York in a good way, like something from the lyrics of Pulp's 'Common People.' The money you're not spending on rent you can spend on doing fun things in the city. 
 
"Cons: Whatever you might complain about, if there are two roommates, your rent is under $1,000, so you hopefully have money for massage/travel/copious amounts of self-medicating to make it right."—Constantine
 
"A big pro is the location: the apartment is in a neighborhood on the edge of hip—you'll be able to brag in a few years that you lived in Jackson Heights. And while the kitchen is old-fashioned, there's something appealing about the cabinets and sink unit. Certainly, the bathroom could use a facelift."—Georgia

Who this apartment would be perfect for

"A new-to-New York City couple who don't care much for flash."—Lambeth

"Roommates who are working in Midtown, who love international food that can be found in Jackson Heights, and want to be close to the nightlife anchor of Astoria."—Constantine

"A young couple's first apartment."—Georgia

The verdict

LEAVE IT "You'll be paying nearly $2,000 (plus broker fee) for an outer borough apartment that's nothing special."—Lambeth

TAKE IT "But ask for the earlier price of $1,800 per month. It was recently jacked to $1,950."—Constantine

TAKE IT "In a market flooded with fancy rentals, it's somewhat refreshing to see a basic apartment that's not pretending to be something it isn't—with a price that reflects that."—Georgia