In Manhattan, there are a variety of terms to describe NYC apartments, whether it be one bedroom, two bedroom, etc. One will find that in most cases, similar terms can refer to two enormously different apartments. What's a Duplex, a flex 2? A railroad versus a junior 4? The following terms currently used in the Manhattan marketplace will make you a pro when dealing with apartments.


A one room apartment with bathroom and kitchen area.

A convertible studio is a studio large enough to section off a separate sleeping area or bedroom. It can be either a straight-line studio or an alcove studio.

An alcove studio has an alcove, or distinct separate area or nook for dining or sleeping. Generally, alcove studio implies a larger apartment than a straight-line studio. Often they are configured in an L shape, or they may have an area separated by an archway that can be sectioned off as a separate room.

One Bedroom

Some have full separate kitchens; some do not.

These apartments vary dramatically in size. Some bedrooms can fit only a twin-size bed or cot; others can accommodate a king-size bed and offer a sitting area.

A junior 1-bedroom usually implies an extra-large studio or small loft, large enough to section off a separate sleeping area or bedroom. Some one-bedrooms may have an eat-in kitchen and a separate combined living/sleeping area.

A "three-room" may be an apartment with a third room that is not conveniently situated to be practical as a separate bedroom or full living room, such as in a railroad layout.

A junior 4 is a large one-bedroom that usually has a full separate kitchen and a separate dining area, large foyer, or living room big enough to section off.

Two Bedroom

A full 2-Bedroom or "real 2-Bedroom" has two actual, separate bedrooms plus a living room, and may or may not have a separate kitchen. Bedroom sizes can vary widely, from a baby's room or small office to a sprawling master bedroom suite. Naturally any 2-bedroom is in fact converted from a large one-bedroom, due to the face that it makes the building process easier. In most cases the sight of 1 or 2 bathrooms was originally designed as a legitimate full 2-bedroom.

A Convertible 2-Bedroom, or "flex 2" is a one-bedroom large enough and laid out in such a way that a wall could be put up to create a second bedroom. A wing apartment has two bedrooms and a small common area such as an eat-in kitchen, but no real living room. These apartments are commonly found in Greenwich Village and are good for students or roommates who don't require much in the way of common living space.

Three Bedroom

Common space, kitchen, and size of the bedrooms can vary widely, but it obvious these apartments are composed of the largest spaces.

A convertible 3-bedroom is a 2-bedroom large enough and laid out in such a way that it can be converted into 3 bedrooms.

A "classic 6" is a 3-bedroom apartment--usually found in turn-of-the-century luxury buildings--that was originally designed with two bedrooms, a maid's room, full dining room, living room and kitchen.

Loft Apartment

An open space that usually results from a commercial building having been converted into residential units. These hard to find apartments tend to have high ceilings and extra-large windows. Any prime Manhattan loft has premier wooden floors, and is usually situated in a walk-up building. The layout of any lofts can range from one to three bedrooms with a hefty living room.


This is an apartment with two levels. It could be a legitimate bi-level apartment with an enclosed upstairs and downstairs, or it could be an open space withan extra-high ceiling and a loft or mezzanine.


Same as above, but three levels.

Railroad Apartment

One room leads into another, There are no separate hallways.


Usually refers to a commercial building where some residential tenancy is accepted. A live/work space has a kitchen and full bathroom with shower.

Commercial Loft

Zoned for business use only. This loft usually has no kitchen and a small bathroom with no shower.

Sleep Loft

This is an add-on structure usually found in apartments with high ceilings (10 to 14 feet or more). Typically it's like the upper level of a bunk bed, with a ladder leading up to it. It usually accommodates at least a double-size mattress, although some are larger. The space below is often used as a closet or deskspace, and the higher the ceiling, the more comfortable a sleep loft will be to sleep in.

Furnished Apartments (for rental)

Can include light furnishings (basic furniture) or "soup to nuts" (dishes, utensils, small appliances, etc.)

Balcony or Terrace

Often used interchangeably to indicate an outdoor railed platform extending from the apartment. It can be small enough to accommodate one or two persons standing or large enough for a picnic table, lounge chairs, and plants. It usually has a roof provided from the balcony/terrace of the apartment above.

Roof Terrace or Roof Deck

This implies a larger terrace or patio provided by the roof of the extended floor below. It usually has brick wall barriers around the perimeter, is open to the sun, and some wrap around the corners of the building.

Garden or Backyard

Many ground floor apartments offer private access to the backyard. It can be tiny or large, and in larger buildings with multiple rear exits, it may besemiprivate or shared.