NEW YORK — In this highly competitive real estate market, New Yorkers who dream of buying a starter apartment have a number of hurdles to overcome, not the least of which is finding a reasonably priced space in a desirable neighborhood.
These three one-bedrooms with open houses this weekend, priced between $350,000 and $450,000, are in areas that have seen an influx of popular restaurants, bars, shops and services in recent years.
415 Argyle Rd., Apt., 6D, Ditmas Park
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 750 square feet
Maintenance: $598 per month
Open House: Sunday, March 8, 2-3:30 p.m.
Lowdown: Prior owners updated the kitchen and bath of this east-facing co-op shortly before selling to the current owner in 2012, said Tracey McLean of Corcoran Group.
“When you walk through door, you are faced with beautiful tree-shot views of Ditmas Park through the large windows,” McLean said. “Often, when brokers speak of a place being peaceful, that’s code for facing a brick wall, but this is truly quiet and peaceful and overlooks a bucolic street.”
Although the corner kitchen is small, it’s “beautifully laid out and efficient.” The long living room easily holds a dining set, and the closets are custom outfitted.
“There’s zero wasted space, no long hallways, and it gets good light throughout the day,” McLean noted.
Common amenities include laundry in the basement, a garden area with benches and a grill, and storage and parking, but both are wait-listed.
Location: The post-war, elevator building is around the corner from Cortelyou Road, which over the past decade has become a food, drink and entertainment destination. Services throughout the neighborhood are increasing, too: Cortelyou Market by Key Food recently expanded and added local and organic produce; Element Beauty Lounge and at least three new Pilates studios have opened since last fall; and well-curated shops Brooklyn Artery and Collyer’s Mansion sell home goods and gifts.
The Cortelyou Q train station is a few blocks away. The B103 bus, which runs between downtown Brooklyn and Canarsie, stops on Cortelyou.
Why put it on your open house calendar? Other one-bedrooms in the building have sold for more than $400,000, so there’s investment value.
“People are still discovering Ditmas Park, and there’s more upside not yet tapped into,” McLean said. “You’re just three stops out of Park Slope and getting double what you would [for the same price].”
61 Eastern Parkway, Apt. 2E, Prospect Heights
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 575 square feet
Maintenance: $1,037 per month
Open House: Sunday, March 8, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Lowdown: The listing notes that the kitchen and bathroom might need updating, but both are perfectly usable as is, said Saul Evan Shapiro of Brown Harris Stevens.
“There are some older cabinets and the original tile in the bathroom — which I find charming — but some people want brand new,” Shapiro said. “It’s a matter of taste.”
The unit has hardwood floors, nearly 10-foot ceilings, and windows in both the bathroom and eat-in-kitchen. It’s in the back, so it’s “quiet. I call the views very ‘West Side Story,’” Shapiro said, as it faces another building, but he added that it does get natural light since it’s not blocked by a tall building.
The photos show an empty space, but it has since been staged. The kitchen can fit a square table with four seats, and the bedroom holds a queen-sized bed and other pieces of furniture.
The maintenance for the full-service building might seem high to some potential buyers, but it is roughly 34 percent deductible, Shapiro noted.
The live-in super has been there for more than 20 years, keeping the place “super clean. There’s nothing in the hallways, not even strollers,” Shapiro said. Laundry and storage are in the basement.
Location: The building is across the street from Mount Prospect Park, which sits between Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Public Library to the west and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and Brooklyn Museum to the east. Shops, bars and restaurants have been opening along neighboring streets for the past several years.
Even the venerable Tom’s Restaurant on nearby Washington Avenue is increasing its dinner service and adding alcohol for the first time in the diner’s 80-year history.
For transit, the 2 and 3 trains at Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum are steps away. The 4 and 5 trains are two more blocks east at Franklin Avenue; half a mile to the northwest on Flatbush Avenue are the B and Q trains.
Why put it on your open house calendar? Even with the slightly pricey maintenance, it’s a great price for a one-bedroom in a full-service building in this neighborhood.
“The area is just hopping and you can get in at a good price now,” Shapiro said. “The space offers a lot of opportunity to make it really special.”
167 W. 136th St., Apt. 1, Central Harlem
1 Bedroom/1.5 Baths
Approximately 782 square feet
Common Charges: $337 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $0 per month (tax abatement through 2026)
Open Houses: Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8, noon to 3 p.m.
Lowdown: Developers converted the building to condos in 2006. The seller bought this duplex unit in October and is reselling so soon only because he found a larger unit in the same building, said Jani Jaatinen of Keller Williams NYC.
Within those few months, the owner managed to refinish the hardwood floors, add a new stainless steel dishwasher and a refrigerator, paint, and install a home security system and smartphone thermostat system, Jaatinen said.
The "sunny" upper level includes the kitchen, living room and full-sized bathroom. Downstairs is the bedroom, a half bath, and a washer and dryer. There’s also a second door that can be used as an emergency exit.
“It’s a prime area and you’re still in Manhattan,” Jaatinen said. “And the carrying costs are exceptionally low.”
Common areas include a small meeting room and backyard garden that is about to get landscaped and furnished.
Location: Central Harlem has been a hot real estate market for a while, Jaatinen said, especially for investors.
In addition to new restaurants, bars and services opening in the area, Harlem Hospital, the Harlem YMCA and City College are within a few blocks.
The converted condo is situated between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard, which has the 2 and 3 trains at 135th Street. The A, B and C are two blocks away at Saint Nicholas Avenue.
Why put it on your open house calendar? It’s a "great opportunity" for an apartment with low carrying costs that has no income or sublet restrictions, Jaatinen said. “And it’s move-in ready and well managed.”