Real estate agents in New York City use several different terms to classify various different forms of real estate that are found in the city. A room in Manhattan is classified as a structure that measures at least 65 square feet with a window. In New York City baths are not counted as rooms so a four room apartment for instance would include a living room, two bedrooms and a kitchen or the configuration could include one bedroom and a dining room.
A studio usually refers to one room with a combined living and sleeping area plus kitchen. However, a studio comes in various combinations like a studio which has Pullman Kitchen (a kitchen which has all its appliances lined along a wall) is essentially classified as one room. A studio which has a separate kitchen is counted as two rooms. An alcove studio (an alcove is a small usually contiguous space leading off the living space which is usually used as a dining or sleeping area) is classified as one and half rooms, while if the studio has a separate kitchen it is counted as two and a half rooms.
A one bedroom with a living room and a kitchen is classified as having three rooms while an apartment is classified as a Junior Four if it is a one bedroom apartment which has a separate kitchen and an additional small space which can be converted into a sleeping area, a den, or an office). This apartment is then classified as having three and a half rooms.
A two bedroom apartment with a separate kitchen and living room is counted as having four rooms while a two bedroom apartment which has an alcove dining area and a separate kitchen is classified as having four and a half rooms and a two bedroom apartment which has a separate dining room and a kitchen is said to have five rooms.
A classic six is essentially a two bedroom apartment which has a living room, dining room and a maid’s room with a separate kitchen, while a classic seven has seven rooms which include a living room, dining room, three bedrooms and a maid’s room with a separate kitchen while a classic 8 has four bedrooms instead of three.
Apart from these common classifications, real estate professionals use several unique terms to describe real estate in New York City which can be quite puzzling for an outsider. These terms include:
A half bath – generally refers to a powder room which does not have a shower; some real estate agents use the term to mean a bathroom which has a shower stall but no bathtub.
A floor plan – is a scale diagram that illustrates the arrangement of rooms and their sizes as drawn by an architect. Most real estate listings include a floor plan of the property.
Loft apartment – A loft apartment refers to an open living space that is usually converted from commercial space to residential space. Lofts contain very high ceilings, large windows and open space. In New York City lofts are coveted residences which command high prices and are usually found downtown in areas like Soho, Chinatown and Tribeca.
A duplex – refers to an apartment which has two levels; a quadraplex is an apartment which has four floors, while a triplex is spread over three levels.
A penthouse – refers generally to the topmost residence in a luxury building.
A walkup – several buildings in New York City are classified as walkups. A walkup is essentially a building that does not have an elevator. Most walk up buildings in New York City have four to six floors.
Sublet – The term used to describe a rental when an owner or principal renter of an apartment decides to rent the apartment to another tenant.
Square Footage – The area of a property in New York City is usually measured in square feet. The method of measuring a property can differ with the type of property and is usually considered approximate though condominium apartments have specific laws that determine the way which an apartment is measured. Therefore, condominium measurements are often considered to be more accurate.
Pied a Terre – This French term is used to describe an apartment which is not regularly used by its owner as it is not the primary residence of the owner. The term is used to describe an apartment which is maintained by an owner in New York City for his/her many monthly or weekly trips into the city.
Rental Building – All apartments in that particular building are meant for rentals.
Rent Control apartments – Rents of rent controlled apartments are governed by specific laws in New York City.
Townhouse – A townhouse (sometimes when a townhouse is built of a particular kind of stone it is described as a brownstone) is a private residence (a home) where at least one wall is shared with another residence. This type of residence is sometimes known as a terraced home or a semi detached home in the UK.
Triple Mint – This term is used to usually describe the condition of a residence. Triple mint condition usually means that the residence is in immaculate condition.
Furnished – a furnished apartment in New York City refers to an apartment which is usually offered for rent with furniture and various amenities like dishwashers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, washer/dryers etc. An unfurnished apartment is usually offered for rent without furniture, though it usually has some basic amenities like a microwave oven and a refrigerator.
Floor Rise – it is generally believed that an apartment which is located on a higher floor in an apartment building in New York City can command a higher price because of the views that the apartment affords.