You’ve probably come across a ton of real estate jargon while apartment hunting, from “rent-stabilized” to “flex apartments.” Here’s a comprehensive dictionary of all the different types of apartments so you can more easily find the home of your dreams.
Studio / Efficiency / Micro Apartment
A studio apartment is a small living space which often combines the bedroom, kitchen, and living room into an open single room. Sometimes comparable to a loft apartment, the floor plan of a studio is typically wide open. However, an alcove apartment features an L partition in a studio sized space that often separates the living room and kitchen from an area that can serve as a bedroom nook. Studio apartment sizes can vary, but are typically around 500 to 600 square feet. For comparison, a micro apartment is typically 200 to 400 square feet. An efficiency apartment is similar but usually has more of a kitchenette vs a separate full kitchen. These units are ideal for an individual with very few possessions or large furniture.
1-2 Bedroom Apartments
One bedroom, or two bedroom apartments, often abbreviated as “1-br/2-br,” are a single apartment that has a separate bedroom(s) from the kitchen and living room. One and two bedroom apartments are the most popular apartment type. Tenants are renters that usually are in a lease with the landlord, property manager, or owner of the apartment building.
A luxury apartment is typically a spacious, high end living space in an ideal location in an urban area. It is not uncommon for luxury apartments to include high end amenities such as gyms, laundry facilities, lounges, parking garages, swimming pools, a doorman, and so on. If you are looking to start living in the city, it’s important to note that luxury apartments can be very expensive but include top of the line appliances, floor plan variety, high ceilings, decor, and convenience.
Buying a co-op – short for “cooperative” – entails buying shares in a corporation that owns your space instead of owning your home. The bigger your home is, the more shares you will have. With co-ops, you are responsible for building maintenance fees, which can include property taxes, management fees, electricity, gas, and more. Your fees increase with the size of the apartment unit and can fluctuate over the years.
Condo vs. Duplex
Condos and duplex apartment buildings mainly differ in ownership. A condo is usually managed by a Homeowners’ Association, and each unit has a separate owner. You can buy or rent a condo, but if you rent, your landlord is the owner of the unit.
A duplex apartment is a style of building that has one single owner with 2 attached living units, rented out to tenants. Differing from that of independent detached houses, each apartment unit may share amenities, such as a patio on the ground floor, swimming pool, or parking garage spaces.
When an apartment is advertised as a no-fee apartment, it means that the landlord or property owner pays the brokerage fees. If you find an apartment complex without a broker’s help and go straight to the landlord, there are no fees included. Broker fees can exponentially increase the cost of moving into a new apartment, adding around one month’s rent in extra fees.
Rent stabilized units are a form of affordable housing usually found in an apartment building built before 1974 that have more than six units. Having a rent-stabilized apartment means there are limits to how much your landlord can increase your rent, and you are guaranteed the opportunity to renew your lease with options.
In New York, a railroad apartment is essentially one without hallways, where each bedroom opens into the next room. It gets the name because the floor plan resembles a series of railroad cars.
If you have an appreciation for gardening or would love to have a small outdoor area full of greenery, consider filtering your search for a garden apartment. Typically located on the ground floor or basement level, garden apartments have access to their own private outdoor area.
Flex apartments are situations where space is split by a temporary wall(s), creating more space, a separate room, and a roommate(s). This solution is a popular option to turn a 1-bedroom apartment into a makeshift 2-bedroom apartment.
At Common, members receive a fully furnished apartment bedroom in a spacious suite layout with beautifully designed shared spaces. Convenience goes a long way when living in a serviced apartment, which is why utilities, laundry, weekly cleanings, and household supplies are all included in one rent check. Learn more about coliving here.