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Sometimes, it seems like there are as many real estate jargon terms out there as there are actual apartments. In Bricktionary, we decode them, one buzzword at a time.
Similar to rentals listed as "convertible" (meaning there's space to create an extra room), when a one-bedroom is referred to as a "junior 4," it means it's got some extra space to play around with—just not a full-fledged second bedroom.
"A junior 4—or 'JR4' as it's commonly referred to—is a one-bedroom apartment with a separate dining alcove that can also be used as an office nook or separate bedroom when formally divided," explains Compass broker Aaron Seawood. The "four" in the name comes from the number of rooms in the apartment: generally a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and dining area.
You'll see these most frequently in pre-war buildings, says Corcoran agent Nichole Thompson-Adams. "Since people don't eat so formally anymore, a lot of times they'll use the extra space as an office, for storage, a guest room, a nursery, or even a walk-in closet," she explains. While you will sometimes find these apartments misleadingly listed as two-bedrooms, generally the extra space will be devoid of the features that technically qualify it as a real bedroom. "A lot of these may have the window, but not a closet, or vice versa," says Thompson-Adams.
The "junior 4" also exists in the world of brownstone apartments, which sometimes have a small extra room off the larger bedroom (presumably used by a nanny, back in the day). These can also be referred to as "alcove one-bedrooms," says Thompson-Adams, as they're more commonly known in this kind of setup. (Another example: this one-bedroom in a Greenwich Village townhouse, which has a huge—and presumably divide-able—living room, in addition to a smaller bedroom near the kitchen.)
While you shouldn't let the "junior 4" label convince you you're really getting a two-bedroom (or will be able to sell the place as such when it comes time to move), Thompson-Adams says, "a New Yorker in the know will know that when you hear that term, it means you might find something extra."