A Guide to NYC Apartment Types

Written By Jonathan Tuason | March 03, 2015 | Published in How To NYC
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We were going through our archives, and look at what we found: it's our Apartment Types Guide!  Check out Elegran's quick reference sheet below:

If you're looking for an apartment in New York City, there's more than a few options besides your basic one- or two-bedroom deal. There are a variety of apartment types in Manhattan, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, and choosing one can be a sometimes confusing endeavor. Below is a rundown of the more popular types of NYC apartments. With some research and a good agent, you can find one that best suits your needs and your personality.


If you want to own your own home in Manhattan, condominiums are the way to go. Manhattan condos offer an ownership stake, lower prices, and lower bars to entry — and easier financing, which is no small concern considering the price of Manhattan apartments — than Manhattan co-ops.


Most Manhattan apartments for sale fall under the category of co-ops. Instead of buying a deed to a property, residents in co-ops buy shares in the corporation that owns the building and pay monthly fees for building upkeep, taxes, and other necessities. Co-ops can be more expensive than condominiums, and Manhattan co-op boards are notoriously tough, but membership does have its privileges.


Few phrases in New York real estate are more evocative than “Manhattan lofts.” The very words conjure images of high ceilings, generous open floor plans and plenty of light, usually in a raw, formerly industrial space. While Manhattan lofts are no longer the inexpensive artist havens they were when they first took Manhattan real estate by storm decades ago, their appeal remains as strong as it ever was.


Townhouses offer more space than the average Manhattan apartment — that “house” part isn’t a joke — but they require a larger financial investment, too. It’s easy to see why Manhattan townhouses are among the biggest prizes (and often fetch some of the highest prices) in New York City real estate. They offer more space and privacy than any other type of Manhattan residential listing and have a historic aesthetic all their own.


There may be no more self-explanatory term in New York real estate than walk-up apartment. While the name does kind of takes the guesswork out of how one reaches the apartment in question, there’s more to Manhattan walk-up apartments than their lack of elevators (and the exercise that comes with it). Walk-ups are often just as spacious and airy as any other apartment type in Manhattan, but these apartments are often much cheaper than their more renowned counterparts.


Townhouses are brownstones and brownstones are townhouses, but Manhattan brownstones are still something different — something much more elegant, and much more highly sought-after, than just about any other residential listing in Manhattan. While brownstones are especially easy to find on the Upper East and Upper West Sides, they’re all over Manhattan, and they're always in demand.


Condops, as you may have guessed from the name, are hybrid apartments that are part condominium and part co-op. Where Manhattan condo residents own their own homes and co-op dwellers own shares in the company that owns and operates their co-op, condop residents enjoy the best of both worlds.


Green apartment listings are sprouting up all over Manhattan, and with good reason. Green apartment buildings offer residents the health benefits of improved air and water quality, the financial windfall of notably lower energy bills, and the aesthetic satisfaction of innovative designs. In addition to all those green benefits, New York’s green condominiums are every bit as appealing and luxurious, and notably more efficient, than conventionally designed condos.


If you want to live in Manhattan, chances are you're going to be a renter. Most of the apartment buildings in Manhattan are classified as rentals, and rentals run the gamut of every type of building available. The most prominent benefit of renting is flexibility, with leases as flexible as one year, one month, or even one week. But the biggest draw of rental buildings may be their ubiquity, with every building type listed above available for rent.


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