Enduring the Assessment in Murray Hill

Don't be afraid of the big, bad assessment: Others may fear paying $182.93 a month on top of the costs for a $390,000 studio at 34 East 38th Street, but the enterprising few could benefit from what may be a bona fide deal. Sometimes, buildings have to raise funds for renovations and upkeep and, rather than increase the maintenance permanently, they divide the cost among residents by issuing an assessment. It's a drain on the wallet, but only for a specific period. And it's likely that refurbishments will increase the value of the property in the long run, because the building will be in better shape. (Calls to the listing agent were not returned, but according to the city's Department of Buildings, a permit has been issued for roof and masonry work.) It's best to check with your broker and attorney on the specifics of this apartment, but if the assessment's due to expire in a year or two, it could be worth the investment. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Clarification: According to Lillian Seidman-Davis, board treasurer of 34 E. 38th St., the permits were issued for roof and masonry work in 2003. The work has since been completed. Also, the assessment has since been lowered by 25 percent "due to the self-management policies administered," Seidman-Davis says.