New York City Terminology (Studio, Alcove, Alcove Studio, Duplex, Loft Area, Classic)

Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Glossary of Terms New York City Terminology

Familiarize yourself with the following terminology. It's almost all unique to New York City. It's also important to know that we speak in "number of rooms," as well as using the definitions below. A room in Manhattan must be at least 100 square feet and have a window...except in the case of a kitchen. Most kitchens are considered rooms, unless they are Pullman types, which would be found as part of the living room. And we don't count baths as rooms. So, a Three Room Apartment would be comprised of a Living Room, a Kitchen and a Bedroom. A Four Room Apartment would have a Living Room, a Kitchen, Two Bedrooms, or One Bedroom and a Dining Room. You'll hear the term Half of a Room, e.g., Three And A Half Rooms. This means that the Living Room has an alcove adjacent to it which is not quite the size of a true room, or in some cases it may mean a foyer large enough for dining. Review the list below, and check with your agent for further clarification.

STUDIO One or two rooms with combined living and sleeping area. If the studio is one room, the kitchen will be of the Pullman variety. If it is two rooms, the kitchen will be separate.

ALCOVE Alcove is an area adjoining the living room space of an apartment. It is generally less than 100 square feet and is not considered a full room, but often called a half room. It can be used as a "dining alcove" or "sleeping alcove". Depending upon size, it may actually be "walled off" to create an additional bedroom.

ALCOVE STUDIO - This is either a one and a half or two room apartment with a separate alcove, often L-shaped, which can be used as a sleeping area.

JUNIOR OR CONVERTIBLE This is an apartment with an alcove off of the living room which can be converted into a bedroom or used for dining. A Junior 4, for instance, would be a three room apartment (living room, kitchen and bedroom) which has the potential to be four rooms by using the alcove space to create an additional room.

DUPLEX In New York this means an apartment with two floors or levels, not two apartment units.

LOFT AREA This is an additional space created in apartments with very high ceilings. The loft area is constructed above the traditional living area, accessed by a staircase or ladder, and used for extra storage, sleeping or living space (e.g., a mezzanine).

CLASSIC The word "classic" is usually followed by a number indicating the number of rooms in an apartment. It is generally associated with pre-war apartments that meet a criteria of room numbers and design for buildings of that period. 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.

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Eileen Hsu 許雅嵐 (email: EHSU(@)

Our team specialize in Manhattan New York Condominiums, townhouses, and condops.

We are condominium residents ourselves so we understand the Manhattan New York condominium community. We also enjoy all Manhattan neighborhoods, especially Upper West Side, Lincoln Square, Midtown East, Murray Hill, Financial District, Chelsea, Fifth Avenue, Greenwich Village, Nolita and etc just to name a few. If you or you know someone that may be interested in selling, buying or leasing their Manhattan New York condo, call us today (917)837-8869 or (646)644-6929 and we can discuss your specific Real Estate goals.

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Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Eileen,

Thanks so much for taking the time to educate us! I may never have a buyer for a place in NYC, or have a buyer moving here from there, but at least I have a primer to the lingo.

Happy Holidays,


Dec 19, 2008 10:13 AM #1
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