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A Renter's Guide to Life on the Upper East Side

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The Upper East Side has been seen as the territory of rich folk ever since the Guggenheims, Vanderbilts, Fricks, and others of their ilk made their way uptown. But the rental stock available in the neighborhood these days is actually fairly wide-ranging in size and price, especially once we venture to the neighborhood's eastern edges. (And there's the eternal promise of that new subway line to lure residents, too.) Here now, a quick renter's guide to the Upper East Side:

Rental units: Everything from studios to townhouses, tenements to newer buildings or conversions. When it comes to interior design, be prepared for class and seriousness, crown molding, and the occasional alabaster fireplace or red room. A monocle is never ill-advised.

Rent range: The Citi Habitats market report for the third quarter places the average rent for a UES studio at $1,917/month, for a 1BR at $2,352/month, for a 2BR at $3,430/month, and for a 3BR at $5,575/month. The least expensive UES studio currently listed on StreetEasy is asking $1,300/month; the neighborhood's most expensive unit is a seven-bedroom townhouse hoping for $85,000/month. Which, when it comes to the spread of rentals available on the UES, about sums it up!

Neighborhood highlights: What the UES lacks in trendiness it makes up for, perhaps, in classic cultural fare, especially museums. There are also a few quiet outdoor corners, like Carl Schurz Park. Now that the first snowfall has passed, it's also the season for spotting dogs in those little salt-protection booties.

Pricey corners: Closer to the park, and as far east as Third Avenue, the housing stock trends toward the pricey. Take this $25,000/month 2BR, 2BA at 170 East 87th Street, for example, near the southeastern corner of Carnegie Hill.

Not-so-pricey corners: The lower-budgeted would be wise to head east toward Second, First, and York avenues in search of cheaper fare. (Well, except for the occasional $18,750/month 4BR on First Avenue.)

Sample rental listings:
· 511 East 75th Street: a studio in a "townhouse type building" for $1,500/month
· East 70s: A 14th-floor 1BR with a balcony for $3,100/month
· East 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue: a gut-renovated 3BR for $3,000/month
· Park Avenue and 96th Street: a 1BR with a terrace for $2,650/month

· Upper East Side archive [Curbed]
· All Renters Week 2012 coverage [Curbed]