Rentals: NYC Apartment FAQ

When you are looking at New York City apartments, do you really know what you are looking at or what you are looking for? There are so many flats, studios, condos, apartments and properties being listed today. It's almost enough to get you saying, "I'll take the next place that is in my price range, no matter what it is."

We understand this, an in an effort to make your apartment search as easy as possible, we provide many resources on our site. This includes:

In addition to these, below we provide some useful information on the types of apartments you will come across during your search. This may help explain why one type or another may be right for you. If you have any questions or would like to contact one of our agents to start visiting some apartments, please give us a call at 212-588-9490.

What is a studio apartment?

These are typically the smallest types of apartments you will come across. Traditionally it will be just one room: your bedroom, living room and kitchen are not partitioned off, but there is a separate room for the bathroom. More and more we are seeing studio apartments that do have a separate kitchen though, so option are increasing. One of the bright features of studio apartments is that they also tend to be the least expensive form of housing in the City.

What is a loft apartment?

This is a popular type of apartment that makes use of space that would otherwise remain vacant. A loft is an apartment type that was once commercial or industrial space. Because of their previous use, many lofts contain very high ceilings, large windows and open space. Some developers will come in and develop a floor plan for a space before it is rented out. It is in downtown New York City where you will mainly find lofts.

What is a townhouse?

This is an option for those looking for some privacy within the City. It is a standalone style of residence, where at least one wall is shared with another residence (usually another townhouse). Because of their popularity and benefit of privacy, they tend to be more expensive than renting a typical apartment in New York City.

What is a condo?

A condominium, or condo, is a unique form of residential living. There is usually a building, or multiple buildings, which are divided up into multiple units which are individually owned. Often each unit contains their own bedrooms, kitchens, living room, bathrooms and more. They will, however, often share some common areas (like game rooms, yards and large entertainment spaces) with other unit owners. When you rent a condo, you typically will rent directly from the owner of that unit.

What is a cooperative, or co-op apartment?

From the perspective of the renter, the physical characteristics of a co-op apartment can come in almost any size or style. But the process for becoming a renter, and living in a co-op, can be very different. There are usually stricter rules associated with living in a co-op and higher renting fees. This, on top of what is usually a lengthy application process that includes approval from the co-op board to accept you as a tenant.

What is a brownstone?

Brownstone is a phrase you hear often when describing buildings in older cities like New York City. It is sort of a hip term, and people who live in them often will use that as one of the main descriptors of their apartment. And many of them do look beautiful. Basically a brownstone is similar to a townhouse, but they have that distinctive brown quarried stone that was popular in the mid 1800s. Brownstones are mostly found on the Upper West Side and in areas of Brooklyn. The phrase 'Brownstone' does nothing to describe the apartment units inside, so it is often not helpful in segmenting out your apartment search list.

You see so many listings - what should you focus on?

One person's bedroom is another person's dining room. When someone says 'big,' 'quiet' or 'best,' how do you know what they mean? You don't. When you look in the classifieds or hear an ad on the radio, focus on the measurables. What are the actual dimensions? Where are the apartments located? How many rooms are there in total, and how many have doors? If you do that you can start making your own judgments as to if the apartment might be right for you. If you focus on the adjectives and how someone else is describing the place, you will see it from their point of view. This may keep you from liking or disliking a particular listing.

Of course, the person putting up the apartment listing may have definitions of the above terms that are slightly different. Because of this we always recommend seeing if you can see pictures of places that sound like they meet your wants and needs before spending time to visit. You can't say it all with pictures, but they may answer some of your lingering questions.

Now that you have a little bit of knowledge to continue your search of New York City apartments, take a look at the properties available for rent right now. Although we are sure there are a number of great apartments within our listings that will meet your criteria, please feel free to call us at 212-588-9490 in any case. We will be happy to set up visits to the apartments you like, or develop a list of New York City properties that meet your specific search criteria.