Apartment Terminology and Definitions
Studio: One or two rooms with combined living and sleeping areas.
Alcove studio: A one or two room apartment with a separate alcove which can be used as a sleeping or dining area. Alcoves usually adjoin the living room space of the apartment, are generally less than 100 square feet and can sometimes be walled off to create an additional bedroom.
Junior: An apartment with an alcove off of the living room has been converted into a bedroom or dining room. For example, a Junior 4 would be a three room apartment, (living room, kitchen and bedroom), which has four rooms by using the alcove space to create an additional room.
Convertible: This is typically an apartment with an alcove adjacent to the living room that can be used to create another room by using this "flexible" space to "convert" the apartment from, for example, a one bedroom to a two bedroom.
Classic: The word "classic" is usually followed by a number indicating the number of rooms in an apartment. It is usually associated with pre-war apartments that meet criteria for numbers of rooms and design. However, a "classic" can exist in a post-war building assuming it follows the same guidelines. As an example, a "classic six " is comprised of a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a maid's room. A "classic seven" is comprised of a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a maid's room.
Loft area: This is an additional space created in apartments with very high ceilings. The loft area is constructed above the living area, accessed via a staircase or ladder and used for extra storage, sleeping or living space (e.g. an office.)
Duplex: In Manhattan this refers to an apartment with two floors or on two levels and not to two apartment units.
Building Terminology and Definitions
Luxury doorman buildings: Usually refers to new construction or apartment buildings that were built within the past twenty or so years. These buildings tend to be condominiums, typically stand twenty to forty or more stories tall and provide concierge services. Many have health clubs and/or swimming pools.
Pre-war buildings: By definition, a building built before World War II. These buildings are usually ten to twenty stories tall and are sought after for their larger rooms, fireplaces, hardwood floors and higher ceilings. They may or may not provide a doorman.
Post-war buildings: These buildings were built between the late 1940s and the late 1970s. They are generally hi-rise and most have doormen.
Elevator buildings: This term usually describes a 6 to 20 stories tall non-doorman building which may be pre-war or post-war. Elevator buildings usually have an intercom or video security system.
Walk-up buildings: This is the least expensive type of housing in New York City and the quality can vary widely. Usually these are 4 to 5 story buildings with no doorman and no elevator. They were originally constructed as multi-family dwellings and do not exude the charm or elegance of brownstones or townhomes.
Brownstone or Townhouse: 4-6 story buildings built in the 1800s to early 1900s. These can be single family houses or may have been converted over the years into multiple apartments. They are prized for their charm and elegance. In almost all cases these buildings do not have a doorman.
Loft apartments: Former commercial or industrial buildings that have been converted into apartments. These buildings almost never provide a doorman and usually consist of vast spaces with high ceilings.