170 Norfolk St., No. 16
LOWER EAST SIDE — What's in a starter home?
For a young couple considering buying their first apartment, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom Lower East Side co-op they saw Sunday largely fit the bill, offering space, light and character — including grey granite kitchen countertops, expansive southwest-facing windows and oak floors.
"The bathroom was nice," the 29-year-old dancer with her 34-year-old personal trainer companion.
Still, they remained uncertain by small details that were not necessarily deal-breakers, but merited closer consideration before making any decisions.
"I didn't expect it to be in the back," said the trainer of the co-op's entry, which runs through a locked alleyway and courtyard, so the building does not face the street.
Also, the stairs were a concern.
"I didn't expect it to be so many flights up," the woman said.
At the same time, the couple was keeping an open mind, they said, and knew that the idea of a perfect home was a myth.
"It's actually the first one we've even been to," the woman said of the open house.
Some house hunters, however, liked that the house was set back from the street and thought the shaded courtyard — which provided plentiful and safe bike storage — had the vibe of a hidden oasis.
One man told the broker that he enjoyed the quiet.
Though he would be a short walk from the area's hottest restaurants and bars — and close to transportation — he would not necessarily be kept awake at night by the neighborhood's noisiest elements, he said.
The Lower East Side "is one of the last neighborhoods in Manhattan where you can get a beautifully appointed one bedroom at a fantastic price," said Nadia Bartolucci, the Brown Harris Stevens broker handling the property along with Leslie O'Shea.
Another perk of the co-op — perhaps an unstated benefit — was its pet-friendliness: Not only were animals allowed in the two-building property, but this particular unit had an amenity for cats.
Indeed, the present owner apparently wrapped sisal rope around two prominent pipes in the main living area, making for giant scratching posts.
Some weren't entirely fond of felines, reacting to their presence at Sunday's showing well, rather cattily.
"Don't keep cats running around if your having an open house," said a 30-year-old woman. "You can see the litter box."
But would that deter her interest in the co-op?
No, she said.
Even despite her perceived "cons" — cats, allegedly low ceilings and a long entryway — she thought they were outweighed by its size and light.
"I know most of the sales that are going on right now around here," she said. "It's definitely a deal."