NYCApartmentFilter: Am I being too picky? Naive? Maybe both?
February 10, 2009 9:46 PM   Subscribe

How small is too small for a bedroom in Hell's Kitchen?

For any fellow New Yorkers:

With the market currently working in renters' favor (relatively speaking - this is Manhattan after all), I'm finding there are some affordable prices on 1 bedrooms off of 9th ave in Hell's Kitchen, and some deals to be had - I've been looking at units that normally go for $2-2300, and are now asking around $1750-1950. Again, I realize this is still an insane amount of money for what is essentially a box, but that's not the issue.

I'm used to studios and, although small, they don't have walls that break up room and limit space. The 1 bedroom apartments I'm finding are great until I see the bedroom - the biggest one I've seen is roughly 9'x7'. This means that my queen-sized platform bed (with storage baskets) will most likely not fit, or will need to be one of two things in the room unless I get a smaller bed - which then decreases my storage space.

So I guess my question is this - is that bedroom size "normal" for the neighborhood and price range, or am I only looking at units that won't sell for a good reason? Am I kidding myself by holding out and waiting for anything bigger? Should I just stick to studios that are generally within that same price range, keep my handy storage bed and just forget about finding a place with more square footage?
posted by longwalks to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I used to live in that neighborhood in a similar priced apartment. It was really my friend's apartment, but the BR was not that small and none of the (legal) one-beds in the building were. Is it possible you are seeing a lot of studios converted to 1BRs with pressure walls or similar? there no closet in the BR? Is the layout kind of insane? Is there a weird distribution of things like power outlets/cable jacks/phone jacks comparing the BR to the other room? My vote is "not normal".
posted by jeb at 9:55 PM on February 10, 2009

Response by poster: That's just it - all of the apartments seem normal in terms of layout - there are closets, and windows, outlets, etc., in the bedroom as well as the main living area. Most of the time, the kitchen separates the bedroom/bathroom area from the living room. It's the pathetic size of the bedroom that is giving me pause, but I don't really have anything to compare it to. The size just seems very limiting.
posted by longwalks at 10:08 PM on February 10, 2009

I grew up in a 3BR apartment in Chelsea in which the children's bedrooms were 7ft x 10ft, but even that would seem small as the only bedroom in an apartment. What's the usable square footage in these apartments? (Are they the same size as the studios you're used to?) Hard to imagine say a 500 ft² apartment with a 63 ft² bedroom!
posted by nicwolff at 10:14 PM on February 10, 2009

I lived in Hell's Kitchen in a fairly large one bedroom for about 10 years, and I think the reason you're seeing such small bedrooms is the price point. The average decent sized one bedroom in HK is still going for well over 2 grand these days. Considering the apartment I used to live in is renting for over $2600 now, those formerly 2000 to 2300 dollar one bedrooms are just naturally going to be the smaller ones.

If you want to get an idea of what a "real" one bedroom in the neighborhood is going for, try checking the rents in The Victory at 42nd and 10th, New Gotham on 43rd between 10th and 11th, or say Ivy Tower on 9th between 42nd and 43rd. All of those buildings have large bedrooms and I doubt you'll find one for under 2500.
posted by JaredSeth at 4:10 AM on February 11, 2009

JaredSeth's reply raises a vital question: are we talking about old HK buildings or new ones?
posted by zvs at 6:11 AM on February 11, 2009

I just moved out of a similar space in Hell's Kitchen. Everything in our apartment was just a BIT smaller than what you'd normally find. It was a railroad one-bedroom, a long hall, that spilled out into the open living room/kitchen. We were in an old building around your price range, too. There was enough room in the bedroom for a queen, dresser, and a couple of stands, but that was ALL of the room.

Our building was built in 1907. Maybe all buildings that old are a bit shrunken? I wonder if our spatial comforts have grown larger in a hundred years.
posted by greenland at 7:05 AM on February 11, 2009

one other good question is how many windows said "bedroom" has.
posted by parmanparman at 7:05 AM on February 11, 2009

When I was looking at apartments last year, it was very common for 1-bedrooms at the lower end of my price point (often in older buildings) to have insanely small rooms. Like, twin-bed sized. We had to go up in price considerably to get a place with a decent sized bedroom.

Another datapoint - two years ago I had friends in HK (46th between 8 and 9) in a large older building with a 250 square foot apartment, with a bedroom that just barely fit their queen-sized bed. They moved after the rent went from $1850 to over $2000. So I know that rents have gone down slightly since then, but I really don't think that the properties you're looking at are uncommon for their price.
posted by twoporedomain at 7:20 AM on February 11, 2009

If your bed doesn't fit, and you aren't in the market for a new bed, it's too small. Aside from that, does bedroom size really matter, especially if you are in a good area? But yeah, cheap apartments in Manhattan and even the better parts of Brooklyn and Queens are generally pretty tiny.
posted by shownomercy at 7:20 AM on February 11, 2009

Give it another six months. I'm pretty sure rental prices (and real estate) are going to slide further. There's a glut of housing on the horizon as more condos are turning rental every day. Fewer people are moving into the city, and lots of folks are leaving. I'm hoping to buy something in the next 18 months.
posted by kimdog at 7:39 AM on February 11, 2009

that's the bedroom size for that price point in Hell's Kitchen.
posted by agentwills at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice. It sounds like this isn't such a great deal if I hold out a bit longer...which I will.

thanks again!
posted by longwalks at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2009

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