NYC APARTMENT TERMS

Resources

Familiarize yourself with the
nyc real estate market

alcove

Typically this is a studio with a space that can be sectioned off for a separate sleeping area. Picture a studio with an “L” shape.

broker

This term typically describes a licensed real estate salesperson, an “agent”. However, broker can also refer to the “Brokerage” or the individual real estate broker.

classic six

An apartment with a generous layout commonly found in prewar buildings featuring two bedrooms and a third smaller room. The third room is better described as an office, maid’s room, dining room, or other extra room.

condo

This is the most common ownership structure for single owner apartments. Condos will require renters to submit a board package application to be reviewed by the condo board prior to application approval.

convertible

An apartment with either a living room or additional space that can be divided by either a temporary wall, bookshelf wall, or room divider. A large on bedroom with a seperate living room will often be advertised as a “Convertible 2 Bed.”

cyof

Stands for “Collect Your Own Fee”. An apartment that a landlord or management company distributes throughout the brokerage community, but retains the right to advertise and rent through the landlord or management company direct as “No Fee”.

junior 1 bedroom

Usually a functioning one bedroom apartment where the bedroom is not fully private.

op

Stands for “Owner Paid”. This is a listing that will be advertised as “No-Fee”, because the other has agreed to the broker fee. (OP listings are rare in NYC, especially during the busier season, April – September.

pied-a-terre

French for “Foot on the Ground”, New York for an apartment occupied only on a part-time basis. Not a primary residence.

post war

A building built shortly after WWII. Often these buildings have large layouts and large lobbies.

studio

 A one room apartment. Studio apartments will usually have their own kitchen and bathroom, but in cases of very low rent sometimes have a shared bathroom or a “kitchenette”.

sublet

When one roommate is moving out, but the other remains in the apartment and sub-leases the vacant room.

three-room

An apartment with only three rooms. Typically expect a one bedroom, but can also be a two bed railroad.

"winged"

A two bedroom apartment with a small common space connecting two opposite bedrooms. An open kitchen layout is usually contained in the common area.

walkup

A building that does not have an elevator. These types of buildings are extremely common in New York City.

true two bedroom

A two bedroom apartment that also includes a living room. While that might seem like a given, often times “2 Bedroom” means only that.

assignment

When one roommate moves out and transfers the lease to a new tenant. Lease assignment cannot be refused by the landlord, but the landlord typically must approve of the new tenant.

broker fee

This is the fee paid to the broker or agent who shows you an apartment. You only pay a fee in the event you rent an apartment in a building located for you by that broker/agent. Expect to pay 15% of the annual rent in Manhattan and other hot neighborhoods, and one month to 12% in areas of lesser demand. By NYS law, this amount must be negotiable. If an agreement isn’t made between a client and broker/agent, the client can walk away.

co-broke

A scenario when two agents share a listing and split commission 50/50. Usually one agent represents the buyer/renter and the other the seller/landlord.

co-op

With this ownership structure owners are shareholders that own share to represent physical space in a building. Renters are required to submit a board package application to be reviewed by the co-op board prior to application approval. Co-Op boards are almost always more strict and critical than condo boards.

duplex

An apartment spanning two floors.

junior 4

This is often passed as a two bedroom apartment, but more appropriately described as a one bedroom apartment with an office or separate dining space. Limited Listing: An apartment that a landlord or management company distributes to select or few agents or brokerages. Commission is usually paid for by the tenant.

Loft

A large open room. Typical of buildings converted to residential from commercial or industrial. More often “Loft” is used in place of “studio”.

open-listing

An apartment that a landlord or management company distributes throughout the brokerage community. Commission is usually paid for by the tenant.

pre-war

A building built before WWII. Commonly a walkup, but can be doorman/elevator with unique architecture.

railroad

An apartment with any number of rooms connected without doors. Expect to walk through one bedroom to get to the next or both bedrooms to get to the bathroom.

spacious

Remember that everything is relative. If you are not from NYC, this term will probably just mean: not spacious.

super

Short for “Superintendent” is the building go-to maintenance person. Often living on-site, this is the person who will handle leaks and other minor repairs.

triplex

Any apartment spanning three floors.

Kitchenette

A very small kitchen space. Often with minimal storage and a mini-fridge. Commonly lacking a full stovetop or range.

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