Relocation Glossary: Apartment Types

Do you want to live in a studio? An alcove? A luxury high-rise? What are these words? Searching for an apartment is hard, especially when you start to see the variety of styles available. We've outlined some of the more common types to give you a hand.


This is a one-room apartment that also offers an open area adjacent to the main space which is usually used for sleeping. This type of dwelling is also referred to as an L-shaped studio because of its configuration or a junior—one bedroom.

Doorman Building

The types of buildings that offer doormen tend to be on the larger side, and offer the greatest amount of security. They also afford the highest level of comfort and convenience because your doorman can do a lot for you while you’re not home, like accepting packages, dry cleaning, and other drop-offs. Buildings that have doormen are separated into different formats: luxury high–rise, standard, and part–time doormen.

Elevator Building

These buildings do not have doormen on duty, though some may employ elevator attendants. In terms of security, convenience and price, these kinds of buildings are considered somewhere between doorman buildings and walk-ups. They often have laundry rooms in the buildings, as well as intercom systems, but the amenities stop there. Still, if these buildings are adequately maintained, they can be comfortable places in which to live. 

Flex (Convertible) Two

This is a one-bedroom apartment that features a large space, typically the living room, transformed into another bedroom and a smaller living room by the installation of a temporary, also known as pressurized, wall dividing the space.

Furnished Apartment

These apartments are generally leased for short periods of time—anywhere from one week to one year—and contain all the furniture, kitchenware and bathware you would need to live comfortably.

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Luxury High-rise

These kinds of buildings generally have a full around-the-clock staff consisting of multiple doormen and attendants. They often offer such amenities as hotel-type concierge service, on-site health clubs, pools, laundry service and children’s playrooms. The specific luxury amenities will vary from building to building, but will generally leave you feeling completely pampered.

Part-time Doorman

These buildings usually have doormen for day shifts, but rely on security cameras or some other type of security to protect residents at night.

Standard Doorman

These buildings generally have someone on duty 24 hours a day and offer the safety and convenience of having a doorman without the extra luxury amenities.


This is a one-room dwelling in which the living room and the bedroom are in a single space. In larger studios, the kitchen is in a separate room, while in others the eating area can be found along one wall in the main space. Studios are also referred to as efficiencies.

Walk-up Building

These buildings do not have doormen or elevators. They can be townhouses or brownstones (4–5 stories), above storefronts (usually 1-2 stories), or low–rise buildings (free standing 4–5 stories). They are the most reasonably priced kinds of apartments in the city, yet they have very few amenities. Most walk–up buildings do, however, have double door security and a few have more sophisticated features, such as intercoms and security cameras. As with elevator buildings, the quality of life in walk-ups can vary greatly depending on the degree to which they are maintained.

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