In New York City, no two apartments are created equal. Whether you’re new to the city or relocating within the 5 boroughs, you may have found yourself a little overwhelmed by all the variety of living options. Read on for a guide to some of the more popular choices for apartment living in NYC.


While not unique to this city, these one-room apartments are particularly attractive here for newcomers looking to live in trendy neighborhoods without breaking the bank. A studio apartment’s main quarters consist of one room; if you want partitions, you’ll have to supply your own. Creatively decorated studios can be made to resemble a more expensive multi-room place at a fraction of the cost.


While these names strictly refer to the period in which they were built, prewar (pre-1945) and postwar (1945-c.1970s) apartment buildings have their own distinct qualities. In general, prewar buildings are known for their hardwood floors, non-standardized floor plans and classical architectural touches like crown molding, so they’re considered to have a little more personality. Postwar buildings, on the other hand, built during a rise in housing demand, are more cookie-cutter in some respects but will have more modern amenities like central heating and air conditioning.  

Garden Apartment

These bottom-floor dwellings can differ wildly by floorplan, but they get their distinction from access to a backyard or garden, generally in the back of the building. A rare amenity for an NYC apartment, these spaces can be found at a premium thanks to the excess of greenery you’ll find in them. Be warned, though, that their low placement can be an issue in flood conditions, and they’re more likely to contain pests that won’t make their way to higher floors.


Similar to the “shotgun” houses found in New Orleans, these apartments follow a straight-line floorplan, with every room arranged in a row. This means if you’re in the back bedroom, you’ll be walking through your roommate’s stuff every time you come home. This may be a negative for some people, but that means you’ll be able to find a good deal on these places if you’re willing to live with it.


These highly-sought after apartments are mostly found in converted warehouse space but have become popular enough that many purpose-built loft spaces exist. They’re distinct for their high ceilings, elevated spaces and frequently, exposed brick walls. Prized among artists in formerly rundown areas, lofts have become prized living spaces and are now among the higher-priced options in the market, though those high ceilings generally make them worth it.

Junior 4

These smaller apartments are named for their four rooms: bedroom, living room, kitchen, and a smaller, usually windowless room that can be used as a dining area, a smaller bedroom, or an office (don’t worry, there’s a bathroom, too). While technically one-bedroom apartments, that extra room can be pretty versatile. While it’s not exactly a full bedroom, it’ll allow you to get creative with your living arrangements for less than a full-fledged two-bedroom.