Selling Terminology

BROWNSTONE OR TOWNHOUSE:

4 to 6 story buildings built in the 1800’s through the early 1900’s. These can be single family houses or can have been converted over the years into multiple apartments. As a single family home, a townhouse or brownstone offers buyers or renters privacy and the ability to purchase or rent without the cooperative board process. Some apartments in townhouses can have grand living spaces and, therefore, will be quite expensive. Generally, these buildings afford more “charm” with features such as gardens, fireplaces, beautiful floors and ornamental wood moulding. In almost all cases these buildings will not have a doorman.

ELEVATOR BUILDINGS:

This description is usually reserved for a non-doorman building that is six to twenty stories tall. There is usually an intercom security system, and some may have video security.

These buildings could fall into either the pre-war or the post-war category. They are generally rather plain and unadorned.

LOFT APARTMENTS:

These are, former commercial or industrial buildings that have been converted into apartments. Generally, these are large open spaces with high ceilings. They are usually found in Greenwich Village, SoHo, TriBeCa, the Flatiron and lower Manhattan and often do not have the services of a doorman.

SUPER LUXURY DOORMAN BUILDINGS:

These are generally associated with new construction or are apartment buildings that were built from the 1980’s through the present. These buildings tend to be condominiums or rentals. They are typically twenty to forty or more stories with doorman and concierge services. You may also find many with health clubs and swimming pools. These are the glamour apartments. They have it all! The space may not be as good as in a typical post-war high rise, however.

PRE-WAR BUILDINGS:

Pre-war buildings are those built before World War II. These buildings are usually ten to twenty stories and are not known for views, except of course those being along the Park or River. They are recognized for architectural interest with features such as larger rooms, fireplaces, hardwood floors and higher ceilings. These can be doorman or non-doorman buildings. The more luxurious ones, of course, have doorman services. The modern amenities are, however, lacking. A few might have fitness centers, but that’s more the exception than the rule.

POST-WAR BUILDINGS:

These buildings were built between the late 1940’s and the 1970’s. They are generally hi-rise and are constructed of white, red or brown brick. Most will have doormen. Postwar apartments may actually afford more space than their prewar counterparts in studio, one and two bedroom sizes. If you want services and space, this is probably the best option
for you.

WALK-UP BUILDINGS:

This is the least expensive type of housing, and the quality can vary widely. Usually these are 4 to 5 story buildings with no doorman and no elevator, hence the term “walk-up.” They were originally constructed as multi-family housing and lack the charm and elegance of traditional brownstones or townhouses.