Renting in a condo or co-op, as opposed to a rental building, is one way to land a better maintained building, often with more services and amenities, like a doorman and gym. Co-op and condo units generally have nicer fixtures and finishes too. And these days, with lots of New York owners ditching the city for the suburbs, it’s also a way to score an apartment that has been renovated to a higher standard.
New Yorkers owners have been making their way to the burbs during the pandemic—an exodus that’s likely to continue, at least in the short-term, with school out for the summer, camps closed, and uncertainty about the viability of returning to school in the fall. Some owners are renting their units out themselves, or paying the broker’s fee, so as a renter you are likely able to avoid this additional expense.
So how do you find a renovated co-op or condo? Search listings sites by adding the term as a keyword or description. For example, you will have to choose “advanced options” on StreetEasy or scroll down to the bottom of Zillow’s search field.
Word to the wise: For apartments owned by New Yorkers who are leaving because of the pandemic, ask about the owners’ plans for the apartment as diplomatically as possible, especially if you envision staying longer than a year and want to minimize disruption. Do they plan on returning to the city in a year? Does the building have any rules about how long you can rent? You might want to ask: Will they be putting the apartment on the sales market? Be sure to check the lease to see what the language is about showings.
To kick off your search, here are some renovated co-ops and condos in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are new to the rental market.
428 Prospect Place, #1R, Crown Heights
This two-bedroom, one-bath co-op is listed by the owner, so there’s no broker fee, and is asking $3,700. The kitchen and master closet have been renovated, and there’s access to a large backyard with a garden, lawn, grill, and two-level playhouse, shared with the owners next door. It’s near restaurants, bars, and shopping and multiple subway lines. The Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park are a short distance.
114 Christopher St., #24, Greenwich Village
There’s a discount of one month free for this two-bedroom, one-bath co-op, and it is being advertised at the net effective rent. The real rent you would pay each month is $4,395 a month—which reflects a recent 10 percent discount. The apartment has an open layout and windows in every room, and the bathroom was renovated recently with a stand-up shower. There’s laundry in the basement and multiple subway lines nearby—it is after all, the heart of the Village, near restaurants and the Hudson River Greenway, and Christopher Street Pier.
58 West 129th St., #2D, Central Harlem
This renovated two-bedroom, two-bath condo has a private balcony overlooking a private garden. It is asking $3,500 and with no fee. There’s an open kitchen with stainless steel appliances, dishwasher, and marble countertops. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, and a walk-in closet. Nearby are Whole Foods, Red Rooster, Corner Social, Babbalucci, Harlem Shake, Lenox Coffee, Sylvia's and Marcus Garvey Park.
845 Second Ave., #5A, Midtown East
This two-bedroom, one-bath newly renovated condo has an open kitchen with stainless steel appliances. There are three closets, including a walk-in. It is asking $3,500 and is listed by the owner, so there is no broker’s fee. The apartment is in a building with only two apartments per floor, a high-speed elevator, video security, and a laundry room. There’s a shared roof deck with views of the Chrysler building. It’s near Grand Central and the United Nations.
161 West 105th St., #4, Upper West Side
This two-bedroom, one-bath co-op in a renovated, walk-up building. The co-op is on the third floor, and has a decorative fireplace, high-ceiling, and exposed brick. There’s a washer/dryer in the unit, and a six-seat counter open to the living room. It is listed by the owner and asking $3,600. There is no fee. The building is a few blocks from Central and Riverside parks and multiple subway lines.
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