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Obama's NYC apartment on the market

Exterior of 142 West 109th Street (center with

Exterior of 142 West 109th Street (center with fire escape and black door). President Barack Obama rented an apartment in the building during his college days. (July 19, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

One lucky New Yorker has a chance to live like the president -- in his younger days.

The Upper West Side third-floor walk-up where Barack Obama lived while attending Columbia University in the 1980s hit the market this week. The two-bedroom prewar apartment will run you $2,400 a month, quite a jump from the $360 Obama and a roommate paid in 1981.

While the railroad-style pad, located at 142 W. 109th St., is a far cry from the palatial luxury of the White House, it has some character, according to Zak Kneider, the Citi Habitats broker listing the apartment.

"The apartment has a little charm, but other than that, it is a typical apartment," Kneider said. "Nothing is out of the ordinary except for that Obama lived here."

The listing for the spot mentions exposed brick, high ceilings and a marble bath, but boasts most enthusiastically that its lineage will make for good dinner conversation. "Who knows, you just might end up in the White House one day," the ad says.

New Yorkers, though, didn't necessarily think Obama's old digs are worth the price.

"I voted for him, so it would be pretty cool. Personally, though, I couldn't afford it," said Travis Stillman, a technical recruiter in midtown. "If I could afford it, I would live in a different neighborhood."

"It looks really small and it's very pricey," said Steve Naught, of Howard Beach, after pausing for a moment of sticker shock.

Still, the apartment has seen quite a bit of sprucing up since Obama's days, when the apartment buzzer was broken and the heat often failed to work. In fact, Obama began looking for a new place after just one semester of college, according to a book about the president.

Kneider says he has been "inundated" with calls about the apartment since it hit the market, and from more than just the usual Columbia students. The apartment was last on the market in 2010, when it rented for $1,900.

The apartment's ancestry had Upper East Sider Rafael Akzasaleib, 28, sold.

"I'd do it," he said. "Obama lived there -- it's history. You can tell all of your friends."

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