Jourdan Ludwig had been looking for an affordable studio for more than a year when, in 2012, she found 352 W. 12th St. #1C. She knew right away that she could end her search. “I put an offer in immediately, and it was accepted the next day,” Ludwig says. After six years and one renovation under her care, “The Wee Cottage,” as it’s affectionately known to Jourdan and her husband, Tobin, is now for sale for $499,000. Below, the couple share details of their home, including how they turned 242 square feet of space into what Refinery29 called one of the “Coolest Apartments in NYC.”

The Home

While New York City may be filled with small apartments, the design changes that Jourdan and Tobin made to the Wee Cottage have really made it stand out. The apartment’s charming and cleverly space-saving design has been featured in the New York Post, Curbed, and Good Housekeeping, among others.

“The layout is optimal for such a small footprint,” says Tobin, thanks to the unit’s perfect rectangle shape, sizable bathroom, and 6-foot-tall windows, which let in sunlight from the building’s private garden. “We looked at it as a fresh slate, and knew we could make a supremely livable space for two people if we could start from scratch,” he says. The apartment was stripped to the studs, which allowed for the addition of custom details like built-in storage, a Resource Furniture Clei sofa and Murphy bed, and electronic blinds that drop down from the ceiling.

So yes, the apartment is small, but it’s turned out to be very social. Thanks to the custom-designed, high-end kitchen, and a custom folding dining table, the couple has regularly hosted groups of six friends for dinner.

The Investment

The apartment was originally purchased by Jourdan for $269,000, and received about $33,000 in renovations. It’s now priced at $499,000, which, after 20 percent down ($99,800), would mean estimated monthly payments of roughly $2,619, including the mortgage payment of $2,001 and maintenance of $618. That means the Wee Cottage is priced below the $599,000 median for a studio in the West Village. After the down payment, monthly costs would even be lower than the median rent of $2,775 for a studio in the neighborhood.

West Village Sales Under $1 Million Article continues below

The Neighborhood

The building at 352 W. 12th St. was erected in 1875 by architect William Joel, originally designed to be sleeping quarters for workers on the Hudson River docks. While the unit itself retains plenty of prewar details, like a decorative fireplace and large windows, the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets are just as much of a draw. “The West Village is one of the most coveted ‘hoods in Manhattan for a reason,” says Tobin. “Although some things have changed, what we love about it are those things that don’t change. Quiet, tree-lined streets, brownstones, and not many buildings over four or five stories. It really feels like a neighborhood — and the restaurant scene is as good as it’s ever been.”

Want to see more? Take a look at the listing at 352 W. 12th St. #1C
This listing is represented by Jonathan Abbou of Oxford Realty.
Photography by Anthony D’Argenzio of Zio & Sons.

Manhattan Sales Under $1 Million Article continues below

Got an interesting NYC real estate story or a hot tip? Send it to us at (You will remain anonymous.) And hey, why not like StreetEasy on Facebook and follow @streeteasy on Instagram?