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New York City Real Estate Terminology

New York City Real Estate Terminology - Brownstone
1 to 6 floors. No doorman. Constructed during the late 1800s and early 1900s as single family homes. A majority were converted during WW II to create multiple units, from three to ten apartments in each building. Brownstones commonly include high ceilings, detailed architecture, & wood burning fireplaces. Sq. ft. is usually not as much, as in a building that provides a doorman.

Elevator Building
Usually in the mid blocks. Most are 6 to 9 stories and many will be on side streets. Probably does not have a doorman. Many will have intercom security, an on site superintendent and some pre-wars provide an elevator attendant.

Loft Apartment
4 to 12 story buildings. Loft apartments are created from large open space commercial buildings. Usually an elevator, but no doorman provided. Commonly found in lower Manhattan in areas like Chelsea, SoHo & Tribeca. Some lofts may have conditions to become a tenant, such as being a certified artist.

Luxury Doorman
20 to 40 or more floors, and 24 hour door service. These are also postwar buildings. Some larger facilities also have a concierge, that will provide services for receiving laundry and packages. Some of these buildings have a swimming pool, health club and a parking garage.

Walkup Building
Up to 5 floors. No doorman or elevator. Originally constructed as multiple family housing, usually one of the cheapest apartment choices. Sometimes these units are called flats, and can also be smaller units in comparison to newer buildings.

The area next the living room space that can be used as a dining area or be divided or closed off to make a bedroom, den, or office.

A unit with a very large alcove next to the living room that can be converted to a bedroom, or that can be utilized as a dining area. Also known as a flex or convertible, a junior is a 1 bedroom unit with a very large alcove and 1, maybe 2 bathrooms.

2 Bedroom
A two-bedroom can be a 4, 5 or 6 room apartment. A flex 3 is a 2 bedroom unit with enough space for an additional room (3rd bedroom, diningroom, den, maid's room, etc.).

Post-War Building
Constructed from 1946 through present. Outside of the buildings are commonly red, white, or brown brick. Usually not as expensive as prewars. Long hallways with multiple apartments per floor. 8 foot ceilings, large closets, and small kitchens. The basement contains the community laundry room.

A studio is a 2 room apartment, where a kitchen will be considered 1 room. The alcove studio is a studio with an alcove that can be used for sleeping or dining. A studio with an alcove that has a window, with enough room for a bed, is called a junior 3.

Pre-War Building
10 to 16 floors. Doorman or non doorman. Constructed in the 1900's to 1940s. Detailed exterior and interior architecture. Some features include hardwood floors, high ceilings, arched doorways, or fireplaces. Most are co-ops.

Loft Area
Usually you will find a loft area, in apartments with very high ceilings. A loft area will be constructed as an extra living space, sleeping space, or for storage purposes.

1 Bedroom
A 1 bedroom is a 3 room unit consisting of a living room, kitchen and bedroom. A 1 bedroom with an alcove that has a window, with enough room for a bed is also called a "junior 4".

For more information regarding this topic, please call Mike Williams at 516-921-9000 or email