There used to be a Manhattan Mini Storage billboard on the West Side Highway that read, “Raising a baby in an NYC apartment is like trying to grow an oak tree in a thimble.”

Whether you’re a fan of Manhattan Mini Storage’s New York-centric advertising campaigns or not, they clearly zeroed in on a common conflict of New York City living. The prospect of raising a kid, or two, in an NYC apartment is dismal to say the least and often involves small bedrooms with bunk beds, closets that moonlight as nurseries and living rooms that triple up as playrooms and stroller garages. Oh and you want to live in a nice neighborhood with a good school too, huh? Did we say dismal? Perhaps “dire” would’ve been a better word.

There are, of course, townhouses and more expansive apartments offering true three-bedroom apartments, but they’re hard to come by — especially if you’re on a budget. Just last month the median asking price for a three-bedroom in Manhattan was $3.8M. These prices are steep so when a three-bedroom on the UWS comes on the market for $1.8M and a three-bedroom in Carroll Gardens comes on the market for $1.695M in the same weekend, it’s reason to get excited, or at least regain some hope in the dream of raising your family in New York City.

>>See Three-Bedrooms for Sale in NYC

Both apartments look pretty legit. Both are in well-maintained prewar co-op buildings; both have recently been renovated and have all those nice things you want like an in-unit washer-dryer, European appliances and big bathrooms; and both are in stellar NYC neighborhoods that are great for kids (schools, parks, activities) and have good stuff for adults, too, like fun bars, lots of restaurants and gyms.

So which would you choose? We’ve broken down some of the crucial details below, but the choice is yours.

$1.8M Three-Bedroom at 470 West End Avenue

The living room a $1.8M three-bedroom on the UWS

The living room at the $1.8M three-bedroom on the UWS


  • Three equal-size bedrooms
  • Two and a half baths
  • Private street entrance
  • Chef’s kitchen
The apartment has an open floorplan layout

The apartment has an open floor plan

  • Home office
  • Separate mudroom
  • Huge, custom closets
It's a closet, not a nursery

It’s a closet, not a nursery

  • Built-in bookcases
  • Close to Riverside Park
  • Close to the 1 at 86th Street


  • Bars on windows
  • It’s on the ground level so sunlight could be an issue


  • Street noise
  • Ceilings in the bedroom seem low
  • High maintenance fees ($2,475/month)
The kitchen

The spacious eat-in kitchen

$1.695M Three-Bedroom at 385 Clinton Street 

The living room at a $1.695M three-bedroom in Carroll Gardens

The living room at a $1.695M three-bedroom in Carroll Gardens


  • Separate, formal dining and living rooms
  • High ceilings
The living room

The living room

  • Original woodwork and mantles
  • Modern kitchen with two Wolf ovens
The kitchen

The kitchen

  • Storage room in basement
  • Access to shared roofdeck with skyline views
  • Very low maintenance fees ($375/month)
Great views from the shared roofdeck

Great views from the shared roofdeck

  • Close to Carroll Street F/G stops
  • Zoned for the much-coveted Carroll School (PS 58)


  • Only one full bath
Master bedroom

Master bedroom

  • Third bedroom is small
  • Not a lot of closet space