Archive for the ‘Apartment Types’ Category

Pied-a-terre: Condo or Co-op?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

When deciding to purchase a second home, or “pied-a-terre” in New York City, it’s important to consider whether you want to purchase a condo or co-op. Each has its benefits and difficulties, but both are viable options for buyers looking to get a “foot on the ground” in NYC.

If budget is important to you, then you may want to go with a co-op, as condos are generally priced higher than similar co-op units. Co-ops also make up the bulk of available inventory in New York City (around 70% of all available units are co-ops), so if you decide to go with a condo your choices will be more limited. Should you choose to purchase a co-op, it’s important to check out the building rules before you even go to see the apartment, as many co-op boards are only willing to sell to full-time residents and will not even consider pieds-a-terre. A co-op in New York City cannot be purchased without approval of the board. The co-op board may also have rules about how you can use your apartment (i.e. no guests while you’re out of town, no tenants, etc).

While more expensive on a per foot basis than comparable co-ops and not as abundant in inventory, condos offer many attractive benefits. Perhaps the most important upside to purchasing a condo is the fact that no board approval is required, and condo rules are less restrictive than co-ops. Condos are more likely to allow you to loan your apartment to friends and family or rent it out when you’re not using it. Condos also have lower down payment requirements than co-ops, which makes them appealing to people with an acceptable income level but not a lot of liquid assets.

That said, there are exceptions. Some co-op boards are open and welcoming to pied-a-terre buyers. And it’s becoming more common for condos to adopt boards and more restrictive policies. With these points in mind, it’s important before any purchase to be certain of building policies and look at total monthly outlay in addition to up-front costs and make an informed decision that works for you.

The Studio Apartment

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

A studio apartment of current day is not to be confused with the grand studios of the mid-19th century that were built as artist’s studios with attached living quarters. Today a studio apartment is a modest open one room layout with no distinct rooms other than the bathroom. Although occasionally the kitchen area may be separate, it is more common for the kitchen to be part of the open space. (more…)

The Edwardian 5 Apartment

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Sometimes confused with a Classic 5 apartment, an “Edwardian 5” apartment refers to a prewar apartment that includes one full bedroom, a living room, a formal dining room, a kitchen and a maids room. These were spaciously appointed apartments, perhaps for the Edwardian bachelor who favored lavish parties and entertaining. Today, the maids room lends itself nicely to family living as a child’s room or when combined with the kitchen, for an eat-in alcove. Maids room bathrooms can be converted into a washer/dryer niche. Depending on the location and amenities of the building, and the character of the apartment itself including view, fireplace, and architectural details, the price of these types of apartments can vary significantly with some going for as high as $3M. (more…)

The Classic 6 Apartment

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The term “Classic 6” apartment refers to a prewar apartment with six main rooms – a living room, separate formal dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a smaller maid’s room. Size is typically between 1500 and 2000 square feet, but smaller and larger Classic 6 apartments exist. It was common for such apartments to have anywhere from two to three baths. While the living quarters of the primary residents were large and spacious, the maids room was much smaller and located towards the back of the apartment, often directly off the kitchen, with room enough for little more than a bed and a table. The maids bath was generally small with the sink sometimes located in the maids dwelling instead of in the bath. Today, for the space deprived apartment dweller, the maids room can be a useful “extra” room, serving as a small nursery, study or storage area. Some larger maids rooms can also serve as a guest room. One of the most famous Classic 6 apartments might be “Charlotte and Trey’s” apartment on the HBO series Sex and the City. (more…)

The Classic 5 Apartment

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Classic 5 Apartment

The term “Classic 5” refers to a prewar apartment that includes 5 rooms – two full sized bedrooms, a living room, a formal dining room and a kitchen. It is different to a Classic 6 in that it does not have a smaller maids room. However, one should not assume that such apartments are automatically small in nature. Classic 5 apartments can vary in size from extremely spaciously appointed rooms to much smaller spaces. The Classic 5 is also commonly modified and lends itself well to conversion to a 3 bedroom by dividing rooms – especially the large formal dining room. Classic 5 apartments should not be confused with 5 room apartments that were “carved” out of larger pre-war units. These “un-classic 5″ apartments often have 2 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and maids room, where the living room was the former dining room in an 8 + room apartment. (more…)

The Alcove Studio Apartment

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


Alcove Studio
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Guide to New York City Building Types

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The New York City real estate market offers a range of housing choices, from 100+ year old brownstones to modern, luxury hi-rise buildings. Available apartments and prices will vary from area to area in the city, as will quality and amenities, but the following guide to New York City building types will help you gain a general understanding of what to expect. (more…)