NYC Real(i)ty Speak

NYC Real(i)ty Speak: Lofty aspirations for the ground floor

By Veronica X.  | February 10, 2011 - 10:15AM

I lived in a garden apartment and mostly loved it, so I am everyone's go-to girl for advice on the possible purchase of a ground floor apartment and my inbox is full of their StreetEasy searches... Herewith, a quick tour of the lingo vs. the reality:   

  • "Best deal on CPW --3 beds for less than 1.5 million--grand spaces in a storied building" - Translation: The apartment is off the lobby with frosted windows, dark paneling, and shades that cannot open fully. Perfect for vampires but not your family.
  • "Sponsor-unit maisonette with private entrance on a prestigious block"  Translation: The doctor's office couldn't afford the rent increase.
  • "Mint renovation in a sprawing home with 1,000 square feet of outdoor place in prime UES location convenient to all transportation' Translation: All windows have security bars on them, giving the impression of a large cage on busy 86th Street.
  • "Feels like a townhouse" Translation:  The fishbowl-on-the-ground-floor feeling (into which passers-by peer in to see the fancy kitchens), not the 6,000-square-feet-with-private-yard feeling.
  • "5,000 square feet, apt 1ABCD, convenient to hospitals and Rockefeller University, waiting for your special touch"  Translation:  Located smack in the middle of Bed Pan Alley, it will seem like the ambulances going down York are flying straight through your living room.

Veronica X. is a Canadian by birth, an Upper West Sider by nature, and an Upper East Sider by choice and circumstance. She has finally found an apartment big enough for her family, books, and shoes and is now in the process of renovating it.

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