Take It Or Leave It

Would you rent this four bedroom near Flatbush Avenue for $3,250?

The photos of this available four bedroom belong to another apartment. Why not take new photos?

Uptown Flats

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If you agree that writing words in all capital letters is the same as shouting, then this listing for a renovated Ditmas Park/Flatbush rental is certainly making some noise. But more importantly, all caps, exclamation points and other cues can be signs that brokers want to make a deal.

No wonder: The rental market in Brooklyn is flooded with new development. According to Douglas Elliman’s Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens rental market report for August, new development represents an increasing share of the market. New rental transactions with some kind of concession, such as no broker fee or a month of free rent, were up 42 percent, showing landlords’ eagerness to get apartments filled.

This apartment, 531 East 22nd St., #5B, has four bedrooms (which can be hard to find in a rental) and two bathrooms. It is asking $3,250 and there’s no broker fee. It is in a 35-unit, 1935 building that has been renovated, and while the pictures show a very modern kitchen with “STAINLESS STEEL” appliances and “GRANITE” counter tops, the images are used for multiple listings in this building, so seeing the place firsthand is obviously a must.

But if the apartment checks out, this could be a very good deal when you consider that a rent split four ways works out to $812.50 a month—pretty much a steal for parts of Brooklyn, but what about living in this part, which is close to Flatbush Avenue? While it’s near King's Theatre and six blocks from the Q train, it’s not exactly hipster central, so is it worth it?

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

Pros and cons

“If the photos aren't exaggerating the interior of this four bedroom, I'm sold. I just love all the attention to detail on what could otherwise be a blah space. On the other hand, this isn't exactly a hop, skip and a jump to work if your job is in Manhattan.” Lambeth Hochwald

“Er, let's talk about the listing language. Did they really need to capitalize "HEART of Flatbush"? 'Cause it's not the same as, say ‘HEART of Williamsburg.’ It's kind of at the intersection of Sleepy and Under-the-Radar, take a left at Affordable-Because-It's-Boring-AF. 

“Also, the gratuitous all caps throughout the ad make me want to send a copy of ‘The Elements of Style’to the listing firm. Dudes, you're a marketing company. Listing language is part of marketing. That said, I actually prefer their spelling of ‘SHEEK’ to the official OED spelling of ‘chic.’Constantine Valhouli 

“These are images of another apartment in the building, which is always annoying. Why not just take some new photos? But if the apartment is similar to what’s shown, then the rent makes this very attractive for four people who want to live together in a bright, modern space, and the price offsets the lack of amenities in the building.”—Jennifer White Karp

Whom it’s perfect for 

“There's a huge food scene popping up in Ditmas Park and that's only one of the reasons to consider this Brooklyn nabe so I'm thinking an adventurous young couple might find exploring this neighborhood to be a total delight.” Hochwald

“Four new New Yorkers who would like a foothold in the city in a surprisingly nice place, with granite and steel thingummies everywhere. (Are steel and granite the 'fine Corinthian leather' for Millennials?) Or a hydrophile who is enticed by the listing language: ‘Equipped with a ... SOAKING tub that will make getting out of it impossible to comprehend'. This sounds like one of those Escape Room adventures. I just wanna lather up and get on with my day, not play Theseus and the Minotaur in the soaking tub.” —Valhouli

“This would be ideal if you had a new teaching gig at Midwood or Murrow high school, or you were attending Brooklyn College, all of which are nearby.” —White Karp

Take it or leave it

TAKE IT “Provided you don't mind a long commute to work (just think how many books you'll read) and the photos match the merch.” Hochwald

TAKE IT “Four bedrooms for under $1,000 apiece? But don't say we didn't warn you that you'll be spending the savings on cabs when you want a night out.” —Valhouli

TAKE IT “It’s over 1,000 square feet. You would have a hard time finding that in Manhattan for this price. —White Karp