Apartment hunting in New York City is no easy feat. Give yourself a hand for finding this cheat-sheet, demystifying the alphabet soup in most No Fee luxury NYC apartment listings.
If you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of classified ads, fear not! You can always reference this simple guide to help you decode those apartment listing abbreviations. You’ll be on your way to your dream apartment in no time.
ALC – Alcove
An alcove is an area off of the living space, giving the overall floorplan an additional private area. Alcoves are typically used as sleeping, sitting, studying, working, or dining areas. Variation on ALC: If your apartment has a DA, or Dining Alcove, it means you’ll have plenty of extra space for that kitchen table you’ve been eyeing at AptDeco.
BALC – Balcony
Some renters think that moving into a NYC apartment means sacrificing the option of a private outdoor space. While many buildings do offer backyards, you may not match well with an apartment on the ground floor. A balcony gives you the best of both worlds: a private outdoor space high above the ground with gorgeous city views. When the weather warms up, balconies are perfect for outdoor gatherings or simply enjoying your morning coffee.
DA – Dining Area or Dining Alcove
These are spacious areas near the kitchen, perfect for a table and seating. A dining area and dining alcove differ in one important way – an alcove may have a partial wall, or be set back a bit further for extra dining privacy. Once you’ve watched 40 hours of Food Network and taken a gourmet cooking class with the Thelma to your Louise, you’ll be ready to show off your entertaining skills with dinner parties galore. You’ll have a table stylishly adorned and ample seating room. Your guests will be impressed with your command of spice and space, because you’ve chosen an apartment with a dining area set aside just for their enjoyment. Well done!
DR – Dress Room
Sometimes you will find the closets in your dream apartment goes a step beyond the walk-in closet experience. A dress room is an area set aside from the closet, set aside from the bathroom, and still offers privacy apart from the living space. You may add a bench, a mirror, accessory display units, or even just use the space for additional storage.
F2CW – Floor to Ceiling Windows
Larger windows give you more of what you love: NYC! If you’re afraid of heights but still want to enjoy the city views, you’ll want to opt for floor to ceiling windows. These windows will let in a ton of natural light, making your apartment feel warm, sunny, and spacious all year round. Added bonus: you can enjoy the city skyline from a safe distance behind the glass.
HC – High Ceilings
An apartment with high ceilings will feel open and spacious regardless of the actual square footage. Getting that loft-like feel in your space without giving up modern finishes and convenience is that much easier when a luxury apartment listing includes this tag.
HO – Home Office
Even if you don’t work from home, a home office can be extremely useful. Like an alcove, the space can be used as a dining room, a sitting area, or even extra storage. Plus, having a home office may be a great excuse to start working remotely.
Although this abbreviation might not give you extra space in your apartment, it will do wonders for your bank account. Every listing offered at every residential TFC building is a No-Fee apartment. With a No Fee apartment, you pay zero broker, finder, or other external commission fees if you find and sign your lease directly with TFC (the luxury rental building’s leasing manager).
OH – Open House
When you get a sneak peek at an apartment before the current resident has moved out, this typically happens by appointment. The appointment helps respect the time and privacy of the resident who is preparing to move. An Open House means you get to drop by without an appointment and see the apartment in person on your own schedule! When you see the label of OH, note the hours outlined so you can take charge of your own time, and rest assured you will be served no matter when you arrive in that time block to see the space.
OK – Open Kitchen
When apartment hunting, you probably don’t want something that’s just okay. However, you may be looking for something that has an OK – an open kitchen, that is. An open kitchen is a spacious area great for entertaining guests and staying connected while preparing a feast.
OP – Owner-Paid Commission
Hiring a broker can save time and aid in your apartment search. However, you may be wary of incurring additional costs. With an OP apartment listing, you won’t have to worry about spending too much. When you find a TFC apartment through a broker, we help you pay their fee.
What this abbreviation means is: you want to find the perfect NYC apartment, you ask a broker to help out, they find you the perfect apartment, and whereas they would normally bill you for their services, the owner (or apartment offerer) pays the broker on your behalf. OP is not universal – it’s up to the building to make the offer or not.
Sometimes the OP offer pays a portion of your broker fee, and sometimes their offer will cover the whole bill. Be sure to take note of the restrictions on any OP offer so that you can plan your budget accordingly.
Be advised - not every building offers OP, so it can be a real help in your lease process when you love the apartment.
PF or PW – Pet Friendly or Pets Welcome
It only takes a couple of minutes into your apartment hunt to see that your furry friend will be part of your consideration of a new rental space. Apartments that are pet friendly often adhere to a full building policy on pets. Sometimes cats and dogs are specifically mentioned in policy. A starting point may include the listing label of PF or PW, showing you that most four-legged family members are welcome. Refer to the landlord or apartment-offerer for further details regarding your specific pet.
PH – Penthouse
If you’ve ever seen Pretty Woman, you’ll know that the Penthouse is the best. Penthouse apartments are on the highest floor of a building, offering expansive views of the city and a luxurious living space. Bonus: penthouse apartments typically come with luxuriously high ceilings and modern finishes.
PTK – Pass Through Kitchen
Pass through kitchens were originally designed as a means to serve food efficiently while hiding a messy kitchen. This design still serves its purpose and also creates the perfect space for both cooking and entertaining. The wall offers a clear distinction between the kitchen and dining area, while the opening allows for chefs to interact with their dinner guests.
TER(R) – Terrace
Terraces and balconies both offer an extended living space and a taste of the great outdoors. However, there are quite a few differences between the two. For example, a true premium in apartment life, terraces tend to be much larger than balconies. They’re also built differently; a terrace is typically situated on a flat rooftop, whereas balconies are extensions off of the building. Because of their size, terraces are more versatile. They can be used to entertain guests, house a garden, or even just act as a private oasis in the summer heat.
WIC – Walk in Closet
A walk-in closet, although self-explanatory, is great news for anyone with a lot of stuff. Walk-in closets are coveted apartment features that provide lots of additional storage for anything and everything, and typically provide a bit of dressing space, too. When you see this label, the apartment will have at least one closet with enough space for you to walk completely into it.
WIFI – Wireless Internet
When this is included on the list of amenities offered by a luxury apartment building, you can expect for WiFi (wireless internet connection that sometimes requires users to log-in) to be available to residents in the community spaces within the building.
WIK – Window in the Kitchen
Whether you have an open kitchen, a Pullman kitchen, a galley kitchen, or a pass through, having a window in the kitchen can make a world of difference. The natural light and air will open up the space and help you feel less cramped while cooking. You will find many styles of kitchen windows – including ones that stretch all the way to the floor so your children or furpal can enjoy the view.