If Manhattan seems to be becoming a luxury wonderland, it’s reassuring to see the likes of this 500-square-foot Inwood studio. According to a Trulia.com search last week, it was the least expensive apartment for sale on Manhattan Island, at $162,180. (Well, there’s one in Hell’s Kitchen for $150,000, but it comes with a rent-controlled tenant.)
The prewar building, now going co-op, lies at the corner of Academy and Cooper Streets. (For downtowners, that’s near 207th and Broadway.) The monthly maintenance fee is $318. At last week’s 30-year mortgage rate of 6.62 percent, the calculus works out thus: If you put down a quarter of the price, or 40 grand, the mortgage plus maintenance will cost you just over $1,000 a month. If you can put down only 10 percent—$16,218—your monthly nut will be more like $1,200. By the usual figuring, you can pull this off on a salary of $40,000 or so.
There’s not much downside, if you’re willing to live 200 blocks above Houston Street. It’s set between Inwood Hill Park and the smaller Isham Park, and the area has become popular with priced-out West Siders. The building’s live-in gardener (!) won an award last year for his discerning pruning, and the apartment itself has new California Closets and a fresh kitchen.
Broker Suzun Bennet of Fenwick-Keats has already fielded a handful of offers and adds that she has similar apartments on tap. “Others are coming up all the time,” says Bennet. “I used to be a doctor, and to me, this is a great mixture of matchmaking and therapy. Starting out with a reasonable income, people can be very safe—and get a beautiful apartment.”