It’s Free to Look: 116 East 78th Street

If you've grown weary of the usual Upper East Side decor, shellacked in place since the turn of the last century, this gem may be called a rough amongst diamonds.

Be warned, this 1920s townhouse is not for amateurs. This five-story, 7,300-square-foot fixer-upper is currently configured as 11 apartments. "Bring your contractor," reads Vandenberg's advice to buyers. Don't be discouraged, however, with French windows, wrought iron balconies and "limestone cartouches," according to the Sotheby's listing, the townhouse of your dreams is only a gut renovation away.

If that's still not enough potential for you, imagine how nice those soaring ceiling heights, three gas fireplaces and large south-facing garden, and multiple terraces will be when they're not covered in paint tarps. Your townhouse also has an elevator, which is something most of the fancier townhouses can't say.

And, of course, 116 East 78th Street also has a location walking distance from Museum Mile that has lured many an owner before you into the perils of home renovation.

For $8.25 million, down from the original asking price of $8.95 million, it may be time for a challenge. - Laura Kusisto

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If you’ve grown weary of the usual Upper East Side decor, shellacked in place since the turn of the last century, this gem may be called a rough amongst diamonds.

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