Splurge Vs. Steal, Midtown Edition: Comparing Cheaper Alternatives To Manhattan's Priciest Real Estate

Welcome back to Splurge/Steal, a feature that we’ve shamelessly borrowed from our friends at Eater.

In it, we give you five high-class apartments in a particular neighbourhood and five more affordable (but still probably not all that affordable) versions of each one.

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1) 435 East 52nd Street #4/5E ($9,975,000) / 400 East 52nd Street #2A ($849,000)

Similarities: Both co-ops are located on 52nd Street (a tree-lined cul de sac, according to one listing) and both feature large dining rooms. The cheaper of the two boasts six closets, two of which are walk-ins, while the more expensive, although it fails to provide a floor plan, does mention its 'incredible closets.' (We're guessing that means they're large? How else could a closet be incredible?) Also, both have fireplaces.

Differences: To display how much better 435 is than 400, we'll just list various words and phrases from 435's broker babble. 'Wood paneled library,' 'exquisite,' 'semi-private elevator landing,' 'palatial,' 'grand marble gallery,' 'colossal art deco masterpiece,' 'two additional maids rooms.' Convinced? Oh, and the fireplace in 400 is just for show.

2) 845 United Nations Plaza #77B ($12,950,000) / 419 West 55th Street #4D ($859,000)

Similarities: Anyone searching for a midtown condo with high ceilings, a large living room, and an open kitchen space will find what they're looking for in either of these places.

Differences: There's a bit more to find on the 77th floor of the Trump World Tower, from a reception area (in the apartment), to a media room, to a dressing room (because getting dressed in one's own bedroom is what peasants do), to a swimming pool in the building.

3) 303 East 57th Street #PHA ($9,950,000) / 303 East 57th Street #15J ($525,000)

Similarities: This may or may not be cheating, but The Excelsior embodies both the concepts of the Splurge and the Steal so completely that there was no way to leave it off the list. There are 29 active listings in the building, ranging from a slew of 1,100-1,300-square-foot 1BRs and 2Brs going for around $500,000 to the 5,050-square-foot penthouse, which is going for $9,950,000. That's like at the movie theatre when you get a medium drink and they ask if you would like to make it a large for only nine million dollars more.

Differences: So what justifies the nearly 1900% price difference? Even though the penthouse is bigger, the square footage doesn't tell the whole story--the penthouse costs $1,970 per square foot while the 2BR is going for a lowly $403 per square foot. What the penthouse does have to offer is two floors and a recent gut-renovation, while the 2BR is left boasting that its 'abundant closets are a joy to behold.' (We count four.)

4) 845 United Nations Plaza #44B ($8,250,000) / 110 Central Park South #9C ($950,000)

Similarities: These two are condos with new appliances, marble baths, and nice views, in buildings with gyms and doormen.

Differences: The Trump Tower, once again, is larger and fancier, countering Central Park South's 'Community Recreation Facilities' with its swimming pool and one-upping the one and a half 'well appointed baths' with its 'radiant heat tile floors and heated towel bars.'

5) 435 East 52nd Street #6A ($12,500,000) / 50 Sutton Place South #1J ($995,000)

Similarities: Both co-ops, in addition to containing red rooms, feature dark wood floors and a comparable number of beds and baths (4, 4.5 vs. 3, 2) considering the price difference.

Differences: In addition to the extra bed and baths, East 52nd Street's fifteen rooms include a bar, library, breakfast room, maid's room, and double maid's room, for your maid and your double maid.

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