Take It Or Leave It

Would you rent this one-bedroom walk-up on the Upper West Side for $2,500 a month?

By Nathan Tempey  | May 3, 2018 - 12:00PM

The living room is simple and snug, but hey, there's a cool decorative fireplace.

Keller Williams/StreetEasy

To live on the Upper West Side, you've got to pay. The median rent in the neighborhood is $2,900, and the proximity to Central Park and Midtown offices is no secret.

This one bedroom in a small walkup building on West 88th Street is compact and fairly basic. The kitchen and bathroom are dated and windowless, and there's just one window each in the bedroom and living room. Still, the rent is $2,900 a month.

Here you're paying for being a few doors down from Riverside Park, four blocks from the 86th Street 1 train stop, and in a historic district. If this apartment were bigger, we'd also mention the highly regarded public schools, but it's too small for ambulatory children unless you're in a real pinch. In any event, the fundamental question is this: is the apartment worth what you'd pay for it?

As always when analyzing 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.

First, though, here are some more photos of the apartment. 





Pros and cons

"It's near a dog run, and in addition to the 1 train, it's close to the Hudson River bike path. The apartment itself is pretty much a small white box with a decorative fireplace. It's not clear if there are any closets, and the counter situation in the kitchen is pretty bleak."—Nathan Tempey

"Pros: It's a reasonably priced, charming one-bedroom for only a bit more than the price of a studio. Southern exposure means good light, and a decent-sized bedroom means that one can almost live like an adult (or at least have more space to throw your clothing on the floor). The pink bathroom and late '70s (er, '60s?) flat-front cabinets in the kitchen are actually kind of charming. The landlord's not trying to impress like every generic apartment slabbed out in gratuitous marble and granite."—Constantine Valhouli

"While this Upper West Side one-bed looks pleasant enough, when I see '#4' in a listing I think, 'Uh oh, walkup,' and I'm not wrong with this place. To live here is to be way on the tippy-top of this brownstone, so get ready for a hike up the stairs to get home."—Lambeth Hochwald

Who it would be perfect for

"A Columbia professor who's looking for an easy commute, and not planning to spend a huge amount of time at home. You could hoof it on a nice day."—Nathan

"Anyone working in Midtown who'd like to walk to work. Or someone studying at Columbia."—Constantine

"A super fit Riverside Park aficionado who loves the idea of regular long runs or bike rides through the park."—Lambeth

Take it or leave it?

LEAVE IT. "Unless you're set on the Upper West Side. You can find bigger and nicer apartments for cheaper elsewhere."—Nathan

TAKE IT. "And selfie the heck out of that pink bathroom."—Constantine

LEAVE IT. "The price is too high for a zero-amenities building, especially when you factor in the broker fee. I love charm, but this is too high a price to pay for it."—Lambeth



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