Abstract of Title: A chronological summary of the recorded instruments and
proceedings on the title of a property.
Air Rights: The right to build additional floors or add square footage to
a building. Public need. Air rights are often
sold to developers to enable the building of taller structures. These build able
rights are regulated by city zoning regulations.
Alcove: An L-shaped area off the main living space. Sleeping alcoves are
usually found in alcove studio apartments
and if large enough, can be walled and made into a small bedroom. Dining alcoves
are found in larger apartments and also can be walled off at times to form an additional
bedroom or office.
Appraisal: Usually conducted by a Certified Appraiser to determine the appraised
value of a property. Appraisers will take into account comparable values in the
vicinity based on actual closing prices, amenities, square footage, condition of
the property, as well as other factors germane to the value.
Assessment: A one time charge imposed by a
co-operative or condominium upon the
apartment principle to be used for the improvements or upgrades made to the building.
Assessments are usually monthly charges above and beyond monthly maintenance or
common charges and are temporary in duration.
Assignment: The right to transfer a lease from one party to another. The
term is often used to describe the process of assigning one's primary lease to that
of a second party until the end of the term. Often allowed by
landlords rather than subletting or canceling of a lease of a tenant who
Attended Elevator: The service of an Elevator Operator to assist tenants.
A practice out of fashion these days except in the case of a full service building
or when a manual elevator is in use. Usually found in
Balcony: An outdoor space that protrudes from a building for the private
use of a particular apartment's tenant/owner.
Building Amenities: Services and conveniences of the building for the enjoyment
of its occupants. Typical amenities in New
York apartments are doorman, concierge, elevator man, valet service, elevators,
laundry room, storage, bicycle room, gym, pool, etc.
Built: The term referring to the dimensions of a building on a building lot.
Capital Improvement: An investment in the physical structure of a property
which enhances the value of the property. This improvement can be of a structural
as well aesthetic nature.
Certificate of Occupancy (C of O): Issued by the City of New York, it stipulates
the rights and restrictions of usage. All properties must have a C of O in New York.
Co-Broke: The term referring to the cooperation of brokers from two different
firms on a sale or rental. Most co-brokes are on a 50/50 split of the commission
"Collect Your Own Fee": The term used when the listing broker invites the
cooperation of other brokers in the rental of a property with no sharing of commission
required. Often used when the listing broker expects to collect an O.P. (Owner Paid)
commission from the landlord.
Combined Apartment: The joining of two or more separate apartments to create
a larger single apartment.
Commission: The fee brokers earn for being the procuring cause in a Real
Estate transaction. In New York City the standard commission in a sale of property
is 6% of the transaction price and is paid by the seller. The standard commission
in a rental is 15% of the yearly rental and is paid by the tenant. Most apartments
from Metropolis are No Fee Apartments,
meaning the landlord pays the commission.
Common Area: The space shared in common by the occupants of a building, such
as the lobby, hallways, stairwells, roof deck, backyard, etc.
Complimentary Listing: A listing for sale or rent advertised by a broker
on behalf of an owner when no sharing of commission (co-broke) is expected.
Concierge: Building employees stationed usually at a desk inside the lobby
for security purposes as well as to announce guests, receive packages, etc. As opposed
to the "doorman" who is stationed at the door to assist guests and occupants entering
and leaving the building.
Condominium: A type of apartment ownership
in New York City which involves the ownership of Real Property, as opposed to ownership
of shares in a Cooperative (see definition
of Cooperative below). Condominium ownership involves the ownership of a unit in
an apartment complex that combines fee simple title to the unit and joint ownership
of common elements shared by other unit owners. Condominiums are generally more
desirable than Co-ops because of the following advantages:
1. Less intrusive Board with fewer rules and regulations. Condo owners do not need
Board Approval in a sale or sublet transaction (the Board has Right of First Refusal,
which is rarely if ever invoked). Pet policy is usually more relaxed. In general
there are fewer "petty" rules imposed by the board on unit owners.
2. Monthly cost of ownership (Common Charge and Real Estate Tax) is usually less
than that of a Co-op (Maintenance).
3. More flexible financing allowed, up to 90% in some cases.
In New York City there are fewer Condos than Co-ops. The shorter supply combined
with the greater demand means that Condo tend to sell for higher prices (all things
being equal) than Co-ops. Condos tend to hold their value better and sell more quickly
Duplex Apartment: An apartment with
two levels, one above the other.
E.I.K.: Eat in Kitchen, or a kitchen large enough to accommodate a table
En Suite: A room that is contiguous to another as in an "En Suite Bathroom"
to a master bedroom.
Escrow: Placing of money in a special account of an Escrow Agent (Real Estate
Broker, Attorney or other) awaiting release upon conditions being met in a contract,
usually for sale or for rent. When a Real Estate broker is the Escrow agent, the
monies deposited cannot be co-mingled with the broker's operating capital.
Exclusive: A contractual agreement between a Real Estate Broker and an owner
entered into when an owner hires a broker to sell or rent his property. The Exclusive
Broker can and should offer the listing to other brokers on a co-broke basis. There
are basically two types of Exclusives:
Exclusive Right: The Exclusive Broker will earn a commission if the property
is sold under the terms of The Exclusive Right to Sell/Rent agreement entered into
with the owner.
Exclusive Agency: Same as Exclusive Right, except no commission is due to
the Broker if the buyer is found by the owner.
Financing Allowed (%): Usually expressed as a percentage, refers to the amount
of financing allowed on a purchase of an apartment in the building. This usually
pertains only to Co-op buildings as Condo boards usually have no restriction in this
area. Example: 80% financing allowed means that the buyer cannot put less than a
20% down payment when financing the purchase.
Fixed Rate: A loan of the type in which the interest rate remains constant
for the term of the loan.
Flip Tax: A charge imposed by the Co-op or Condo association when a unit changes
hands. This charge will be calculated as a percentage of the transaction price or
a dollar value of the number of shares being transferred. The flip tax can be paid
by the seller or the buyer subject to negotiation and board regulations.
Floating Rate: A loan where the rate fluctuates, often with the prime lending
rate, throughout the term of the loan.
Floor-Thru: An apartment that runs the entire length of a building. A railroad
apartment is a floor-thru which takes up half of the floor in a tenement building.
Foreclosure: A proceeding when a bank invokes its right to take possession
of a property as a result of a default on the part of the borrower.
Full Service: A service level in an apartment building suggesting at least
a doorman and concierge. Many full service buildings also offer valet service, maid
service, delivery of dry cleaning, newspapers, dog walking etc.
Half-Bath: A lavatory, WC or powder room--a "bathroom" with no shower or
In Contract: Status of a listing designating that a sales contract has been
entered into between a buyer and a seller. Properties that are "in-contract" are
considered off the market (at least temporarily) and are no longer being shown.
Keyed Elevator: An elevator which opens directly into a private residential
space. A key is required to operate the elevator and/or to open the door on a particular
floor. This amenity is typical in residential loft spaces as well as high end luxury
Lease Assignment: A lease may in some cases be assumed or "assigned" by a
third party before the end of the term of that lease. The new lessee agrees to and
becomes responsible for everything in the original lease agreement. A lease assignment
is used instead of a sublease or a lease break.
Lease: A contract between a landlord and tenant pertaining to the quiet enjoyment
of a property for a term at an agreed upon price. The lease will detail the rights
and responsibilities of both parties to the contract.
Listing: A property available for sale or rent can be "listed" by a broker
and can be an "open" listing or an "exclusive" listing.
Loft Space: A large open living space,
usually converted from commercial space to residential space. Loft conversions became
popular in the 1970's by the artist community in SOHO
for live/work spaces. Since then the prices have skyrocketed and the loft neighborhoods
have become gentrified. Loft living is associated with the celebrity and high end
Maintenance: The monthly charge paid to a Co-op by a member in the Co-op (apartment
owner). The maintenance cost of a unit is determined by the number of shares apportioned
to each unit. Revenue earned by the Co-op from maintenance charges are used to pay
for Property taxes on the building, any mortgage on the building and all the costs
of associated with the running of the building (superintendent, doorman, elevators,
cleaning of common areas, etc.)
Maisonette: A ground floor apartment with a separate street entrance.
Managing Agent: The individual or company hired by a landlord, Co-op or Condo
Association to manage the day to day operations of managing a building.
Mortgage: A mortgage is said to be given by an individual when borrowing
money from another individual or lending institution for the purchase of real property.
The mortgage pledges the property as collateral on the loan.
Mortgage Points: Points are often charges by lenders or mortgage brokers.
A point is equal to 1% of the face value of the loan.
Murphy Bed: A bed that folds away into a built-in compartment in the wall.
Negative Pledge Loan: A loan on a Co-op unit which exceeds the amount normally
allowed by the Co-op Association. In special circumstances a Co-op Board will approve
a loan of this type; however the lending institution is limited in its claim against
the stock and proprietary lease in the event of default on the part of the borrower.
Offer Accepted: A non-contractual agreement on the terms of sale of a property.
The property is still "on the market" and some owners will continue to offer the
property to other potential buyers until a Contract of Sale is signed by all parties
to the sale.
Open House: A date and time when everyone is invited to view a property for
sale. An Open House can be run by an owner or a broker.
Open Kitchen: No door separating the kitchen from the living area.
Open Listing: A listing on a property for sale
or rent that is "open" to all brokers to market. A commission is earned by the broker
who brings the deal to the owner and no co-brokering with an Exclusive Broker is
OP (Owner Pays): A commission paid by a landlord to a broker for procuring
a tenant. Usually the tenant will not pay an additional commission to the broker
(unless agreed to) for procuring the apartment.
Parlor Floor: The second floor to a townhouse containing the public areas
for receiving guests and entertaining. Steps lead from the street to the main front
door opening into the parlor floor. The parlor floor will contain the sitting room,
library, den, etc.
Pass-Thru Kitchen: A kitchen with two doors.
Pied a Terre: An apartment in the city which is not the permanent residence
of the tenant. The pied a terre is usually occupied only part time by the tenant
whose home is somewhere outside New York City.
Post War: Constructed after World War
II, many post-war buildings, especially those recently constructed, offer amenities
and finishings that many young people consider standard. What post-war buildings
lack in "charm" can be made up for in perks like a health club, swimming pool, meeting/party
room, modern appliances, etc.
Powder Room: Also known as a half bath, this room will include a toilet and
sink but no shower or bathtub.
Pre-war: Built before World War II,
aficionados of the pre-war apartment go for the high ceilings, hardwood floors,
crown moldings, arched doorways and other old world charms that one usually finds
in this type of apartment. Those requesting a pre-war often refer to post-war apartments
as "cookie-cutter" and lacking in "charm" and therefore insist on a pre-war apartment.
Pre-war buildings tend to be of sturdy construction offering thick firewalls between
apartments and therefore can be quieter than the dry walled apartments found in
more modern buildings. Watch out for the creaky floors, though. You can sometimes
hear every step of the neighbor above in a pre-war apartment.
Pullman Kitchen: Often found in a pre-war building which has been converted
from a hotel. The Pullman kitchen is not a separate room located in an alcove formed
by a converted closet, usually featuring a half fridge, a two burner stove and a
Quadruplex: A four level apartment.
Reserve Fund: A fund kept by Co-op and Condo boards to meet ordinary and unforeseen
expenses associated with the running of the building. The reserve fund is funded
by owners in the building through maintenance and common charges as well as from
periodic assessments when needed.
Right of First Refusal: In a Condominium, the board has the right of first
refusal on any applicant for sale or rent in the building. Condo boards rarely invoke
Security Deposit: Money paid to the landlord by the tenant and held in escrow
to cover damages to the property caused by the tenant. The security deposit is usually
refunded to the tenant shortly after vacating the apartment if no damage is determined.
The usual security deposit in New York is equivalent to one month rent. Additional
security is sometimes demanded if the tenant lives with a pet, less than perfect
credit or has less monthly income than normally required.
Service Entrance: A door off the kitchen leading to a stairwell. Used years
ago by the servants and tradesmen.
Shares: A share is a unit of ownership in a Cooperative Apartment Building.
The number of shares associated with an apartment is determined by the board and
factors such as square footage, floor level, view and other pros and cons of the
unit are taken into consideration.
Short-term: A rental of less than the standard twelve months is considered
to be a short term rental. Most short term rentals are furnished apartments.
Tax Abatement: An incentive program offered by the City of New York to developers
to encourage development in certain areas of the city. Various programs will offer
tax exemptions tied to construction and rent controls for original tenants of the
Tax Deductibility: A percentage expressing the amount of yearly maintenance
paid by a Co-op shareholder which can be deducted from the shareholder's personal
income taxes. The percentage is determined by the proportion of maintenance which
goes toward paying off the interest on the underlying mortgage of the building and
the property taxes of the building.
Terrace: A terrace is an outdoor space, private or otherwise, which is part
of a roof or setback on a building. A balcony differs from a terrace in that it
is a separate platform extending from the exterior of the building.
Townhouse: Originally a single family
dwelling of three to four stories, the townhouse offers amenities more associated
with a house than an apartment, i.e. private backyard, large eat-in kitchen, private
street entrance, etc. Many grand old townhouses retain their original details and
old world charm not found even in many pre-war apartments. Some townhouses are referred
to as "Brownstones".
Triplex: An apartment consisting of
Unsold Shares: In a Cooperative Apartment Building some apartments remain
the property of the sponsor of the Co-op. The shares associated with those apartments
are considered "unsold" because they did not change hands at the time the building
went Co-op. Apartments with unsold shares are usually occupied by the original tenants
or new tenants of the sponsor. Unsold shares apartments are not subject to most
rules of the Co-op especially those pertaining to the rental and sale of those apartments.
Walk-thru Kitchen: A kitchen with two doors.
Walk-up building: A building, usually limited to six stories, with no elevator
WIC: The acronym for walk in closet.
Metropolis Real Estate of Manhattan | 79 Madison Avenue 7th Floor| New York, NY 10016
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