clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Trying To Fit A Piano on the UES

If reading The Hunt stokes your deepest hopes that someday everything in life could work out, then you, too, are obsessed with the New York Times Sunday Real Estate section. Join us as we venture into the depths of this weekend's installment.

Vivian Choi is another apartment hunter who had some piano issues on the search. She didn't have to commute much, so she was looking primarily on the Upper East Side where the distance to the subway wouldn't be too much of a problem. That's not to say that there weren't problems.

-Ms. Choi, 30, began looking for a one-bedroom rental early last summer, staying with a friend in Greenwich Village, which she knew was a “really cool area.” But she preferred the calm of the far Upper East Side, where she had heard rents were reasonable because of the distance to the subway, “which doesn’t really affect me because I am not going downtown to work every day,” she said. -Because of her piano, Ms. Choi’s first requirement was a building with a wide entrance and a capacious elevator. Ms. Choi’s price range, starting at $2,000 a month, quickly rose to $2,500.

-They visited Windsor 400, a postwar rental building at First Avenue and 71st Street, which Ms. Choi liked a lot. It was clean and bright, with a roomy elevator.
But Ms. Choi’s income was too low, so the building required a guarantor in the tristate area.
A possibility came up at the Impala, a condominium on 76th Street near First Avenue. But the owner wanted a year’s rent upfront.

-Manhattan Place, a high-rise condominium on First Avenue at 37th Street, had a lounge with a piano. Ms. Choi heard that it was sometimes used for lessons, “and they would be totally fine with me playing if I wanted to,” she said. “I thought: Piano-friendly building.” But she was alarmed when her ears popped in the elevator. And the neighborhood didn’t seem residential at all.

-A nice one-bedroom at East 79th Street presented especially high hurdles, including a $1,500 move-in fee and the need for board approval. The owner wanted a two-year lease, which Ms. Choi was reluctant to sign.

-This time, Ms. Rolison took her to an apartment at London House, a postwar rental building on 80th Street east of First Avenue. The place had 800 square feet, more than most that she had seen. Here, she easily qualified as a renter.

-At $2,680 a month, the one-bedroom was above Ms. Choi’s price range, but she paid a low fee to Ms. Rolison — 4 percent of a year’s rent, or around $1,300. (The building also paid Ms. Rolison a fee of a month’s rent.) More typically, the tenant pays the agent 15 percent of a year’s rent.

· A Renter With Piano-Sized Issues [NYT]