Would the same 600sqft apt in the East Village have more value as a studio, 1BR or a 2BR?

Asked by Alex Ginnsz, New York, NY Thu Dec 30, 2010

Right now, the apt is a 1BR. The BR is 160sqft (14.5' x 11')'. On the longer wall, there are 2 windows (3'x6' and 6'x6'), both with lots of light, trees... As a 2BR, each room would get its window. The one with the 6x6 window would be 93sqft (8.5'x11') and the other one 66sqft (6'x11').

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Mitchell Hall, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Dec 30, 2010
Is the apartment in a coop? The coop will need to approve the renovation. They may not allow it. The second bedroom is probably too small to be considered a legal second bedroom. The apartment is a three room apartment with a wall. If you market it for sale as a 2 bedroom you may get into legal trouble.

What is a “bedroom”?
(Source: NYC Administrative Code § 27-2004, -2076, -2058; MDL § 1-4-18)

• Definition: A bedroom is a living room used for sleeping purposes.

• Size requirements: Generally, a bedroom must have minimum dimensions of 8 feet x 8 feet x 8 feet. A bedroom must also have a minimum floor space of 80 square feet, and must be six feet wide at its narrowest part. However, if the apartment contains three or more bedrooms, half of the bedrooms may have minimum dimensions of 7 feet x 7 feet x 7 feet.

• Lighting Requirements: All bedrooms must have at least one window that opens to a street, yard, or court on the same lot.

The window may also open to a balcony that opens on a street, yard, or court. The total area of the windows in the room must at least be one-tenth the floor area of the room. All required windows must be at least twelve square feet in area.

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
1 vote
Allan Erps, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hello, Tough decision for 600 sq ft, The one Bedroom would probably vbe more practical in my opinion(shows larger and more light). The two Bedroom scenario may be more for Single parent w/child or some type of partnership. Just think it would be less marketable as a two Bedroom. Good Luck, Allan
0 votes
Sterling Del…, Agent, Pulaski, TN
Tue Feb 1, 2011
Yes a 1 br or 2 br has more value in the east village...you can see for yourself in the classified ads
0 votes
Rob, , New York, NY
Fri Jan 21, 2011
Hi Alex,

I think a little more info is needed before we can arrive at a good answer here. Are you marketing it for sale or for rent? If its a rental more bedrooms are often a good idea, but not always. If its a sale you may want to draw up floor-plans of the proposed changes and offer the division as an optional service to prospective buyers that want it. Also, the rental and sales markets for 1 and 2-bedroom units do not always move in tandem, so the anticipated sale/rental date should also be considered.

I would be glad to swing by, meet you and see the unit. Once I know more about the space, the timing, your plans, build-out costs and your goals for the space I can advise you as to the best approach. I'm in your area every day so feel free to call me if you'd like to meet. I think it would take about 30 minutes to determine the best approach.

0 votes
, ,
Sat Jan 1, 2011
One of the things that you have to keep in mind about dividing up that bedroom as you have mentioned is that the city is cracking down on the use of pressurized walls to divide up rental units into 2 bedrooms. My son rented an apartment with a friend in Murray Hill. They had a nice sized living room in a 1 bedroom, with total square footage of around 750 because of an added dining area and small foyer. My son's bedroom was the one that was divided off in the living room, and it was 9'6"x12'6". When their lease was renewing, they had to take down the pressurized wall and put up what is called a maze wall, that does not go up to the ceiling, or find another apartment. If, for some reason, the building department would decide to come into your unit, I would say that they would make you turn it back into a 1 bedroom.
0 votes
Veena Prakash, Agent, NY,
Sat Jan 1, 2011
If youre just going to rent it out you will get more for it as a 2-brm in the East Village as the others pointed out its primarily a share market over couples with a baby for the 2nd bedroom unless on 2nd or 3rd floors(not involving a high walk up). You can put up a temporary wall to do so if the Co-op allows (most will as long as no plumbing is moved around)
When you go to sell it you should take the wall down as a good sized 1 brm will fetch you a better price than a chopped-up 2-brm.
0 votes
Mudar Humaim…, Agent, NY,
Thu Dec 30, 2010
It depends if you're referring to a rental or purchase. As a sale it's the price per square foot that is one of the main deciding factors. As a rental it depends on the demographic of the area. The east village is predominantly occupied by roommates, so a 2 BR might not be such a bad idea. You might have to furnish a bed in the smaller bedroom to overcome the objection of a small BR.
As a sale I would keep it as a one bedroom and also provide a floorplan for a 1 + den space perhaps to give te idea of a flexible space. There are many things to consider before making a final decision. If you have a floorplan for the space email it over & I can give you some ideas for it! Any Qs let me know. Good luck
0 votes
Arthur Golden, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Dec 30, 2010
A one bed would definitely be of greater value than a studio. Academically a 2 bed would be more valuable than a one but with the measurements you gave I agree with Eugene. You probably want to keep it a 1 bedroom.

There are several other factors to take into account.
As Jim asked, what are you going to do with it? Sell or rent.
As Ronald mentioned would it be worth the increase to a buyer/renter vs the cost of the renovation.

Other factors include the type of building. Most properties I've dealt with in the East Village were walk ups. If this is a high floor, I've found that couples with a child don't want to do the hike with a stroller.

I've seen a lot of lack of closet space in the East Village. If you add a second bedroom, will there be adequate storage space for 2 people.

You also have to consider if you can legally do the renovation to a 2 bed. Certain factors such as where a door is and egress width become a factor. These can be things that are legal when existing but need to be brought to ADA code if renovated.

If you can do the work one suggestion would be to create the floor plan and you could always market as a convertible and make the work part of signing a contract or lease.

Feel free to contact via Trulia/email/phone if you would like some assistance or have any additional questions.

Arthur Golden
Prudential Douglas Elliman
1995 Broadway
NY, NY, 10023
212.712.6078 office
212.866.8717 cell
646.497.5476 fax
Listings: http://www.elliman.com/aug
Web Reference:  http://www.elliman.com/aug
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Dec 30, 2010
If you are renovating, do what suits your needs/lifestyle best--if you need the second bedroom, then go for it--otherwise, consider leaving the unit as a one bedroom, the second bedroom may end up being too confined to really add any value.
0 votes
Eugene Kopman, , New York, NY
Thu Dec 30, 2010

A 2 bedroom has more value then a 1 bed and a 1 bed has more value then a studio.

In this situation, I would keep it as a 1 bed as it seems like the 2nd bedroom is too small to make a difference.

Eugene Kopman
Associate Broker
Bond New York
0 votes
Jim Lanfranc…, , New York, NY
Thu Dec 30, 2010
More value as a rental, or for resale?
0 votes
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