Glossary of Terms
Search Type

Price Range


Hold down the "Ctrl" btn to select more than
one Neighborhood.
Financial District TriBeCa SoHo Lower East Side East Village Greenwich Village Gramercy Park Chelsea Sutton Place Murray Hill Midtown East Clinton Midtown West Upper East Side Upper West Side Upper Manhattan Harlem brooklyn Queens Bronx

Apartment Features

Building Features

View Neighborhood Map
Hide Neighborhood Map

Common New York Real Estate Terms:

Alcove Studio
A 1 or 2 room apartment with an alcove large enough be used as a sleeping or dining area.

Classic 6, 7 or 8
Most often used with pre-war apartments the term “Classic” followed by a number refers to the number of rooms in an apartment. For example, a classic-six would be normally be configured as a two bedroom with a living room, dining room, kitchen and maid’s room or office.

Convertible-2, 3, 4 etc.
Apartments designated as “convertible” have the potential space for creating additional rooms by separating the spaces. For example, a one-bedroom apartment with an L-shaped dining area that could be easily transformed into an additional room would be referred to as a “Convertible-2”. However this area must contain a window in order to satisfy legal criteria for its use as a bedroom.

A lobby-stationed staff member of an apartment complex who assists guests or residents by accepting packages, taking and delivering messages, announcing guests, etc.

Decorative Fireplace

An apartment with two levels.

“Eat In Kitchen.”

The face of a building.

An apartment that runs from the front of a building to the rear, often occupying an entire floor. These units may also be referred to as railroad apartments. This type of apartment is often found in brownstones and townhouses.

“For Rent By Owner”

“For Sale By Owner”

Full Service Building
A building that employs both a full time doorman and concierge.

Guarantor (or co-signer)
A guarantor assumes financial responsibility of a lease for a tenant or tenants who otherwise would not meet the Landlord’s financial qualifications. Often used by students and recent graduates. The guarantor promises payment of the rent in the event of non-payment by the tenants. Guarantors generally need to make 80 times the monthly rent in annual income to qualify. Important to note, in cases of shared apartments, the guarantor is responsible for the guaranteeing rent of the whole unit and not just that of one tenant.

Junior Four (JR4)
A one-bedroom apartment with a separate alcove area. The separate alcove can be used as a dining or home office area.

Keyed Elevator
A secure elevator that opens directly into an apartment. This feature is found in lofts and penthouses.

Loft Area
Often found in warehouse conversion, this an additional space 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.)

No Fee Apartment
This is an apartment listing where there is no brokerage fee or the owner is paying the brokerage fee instead of the tenant.

Non-Stabilized Buildings
Known as “market rate” apartments or buildings. The landlord, at his/her own discretion, determines how much monthly rent will be charged on any given apartment. Renewals are not guaranteed unless stated in the lease.

Open Kitchen
A kitchen not separated from the living space of an apartment.

Owner Paid (also known as “OP”)
As an incentive to a prospective tenant or brokerage firm, an owner or landlord may offer to pay the brokerage commission on the rental of an apartment. These type of listings are also known to tenants as “No-Fee” apartments since the owner pays the fee.

Pass-Through Kitchen
A kitchen with an opening to the living or dining space of the apartment.

Pied a Terre
A French expression; translated literally it means “foot on the earth”. It refers to an apartment that someone uses as a second home, usually because their business requires to them to travel and the commute is too far.

An apartment with four levels.

Rent Stabilization
Sets limits on the monthly rental increases building owners can charge for vacant apartments and renewal leases. It also sets guidelines of performance for both landlord and tenant. In stabilized buildings, rent increases are set yearly by a NYC board but have historically ranged from 3%-7%. Tenants are guaranteed the automatic right to renew their leases provided they have fulfilled the terms and conditions of the lease.

Rental Sublet
In the event that a tenant may need to leave his/her apartment for a short period of time, they may opt to assign their current lease to another tenant.

Security Deposit
A deposit, usually one month’s rent, given to the landlord at lease signing as security against damage to the apartment during the course of their tenancy. At the end of the occupancy, the landlord will take the cost of any damages caused by the tenant out of the security deposit.

A one or two room apartment with a combined living and sleeping area. The kitchen is either a separate room or set in a wall off the living area. This type of kitchen is usually referred to as a “Pullman” kitchen.

A roof or part of a roof used as outdoor space.

If the apartment living areas, kitchen and bathrooms are all in mint condition then it can be considered “Triple-Mint”

Three leveled apartment.

“Wood Burning Fireplace”

Stands for “Windowed Eat-In-Kitchen”, a very popular feature

NYC Building Types

Brownstones and Townhouses
Extremely popular, these four to six story buildings were mostly built as single family houses during the rapid expansion of the city from the 1870s through the 1930s. Many converted to multi-family buildings (with 7-10 units) around World War II, but recently many have been restored to single family homes. Generally, apartments in these types of buildings can have high ceilings, fireplaces, gardens and hardwood floors. Virtually none have a doorman.

Elevator Buildings
A building which has an elevator but no doorman. Usually these building have an intercom system.

Loft Apartments
Commonly, former commercial or industrial buildings that have been converted into apartments. Usually consist of vast, open spaces with high ceilings. Many lofts are found in Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, Chelsea and the Flatiron District as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

Luxury High Rise
Buildings over twenty stories tall that were built in the 1980′s or later. They typically are full service. Amenities might include health clubs, roof decks, media rooms and swimming pools.

Post-War buildings
Buildings built between the late 1940s and the late 1970s. They are generally hi-rise and most have doormen.

Pre-War buildings
Buildings 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.

Walk-Up Buildings
A building with no elevator. This term usually refers to four to six story pre-war buildings.