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How to Find More Space For Less in NYC


As New Yorkers know all too well, space can be hard to come by in the city. This is especially true for NYC apartments, where more space typically requires more money. However, there are exceptions to the rule. There are actually a few ways to find more living space without paying more, as long as you are willing to compromise a bit on other apartment features. Following are 4 common ways you can acquire more living space without paying higher prices:

1. Renting / buying on the first floor:

Renters and buyers generally prefer higher-floor apartments to minimize noise disturbances and enjoy better views. In NYC specifically, noises ranging from sirens to vehicles to people can be heard at all hours. Rental and sales prices for first floor apartments are typically 15% lower than second floor apartments, and prices for third floor apartments can increase about 10% more, and so on. By living on the first floor you could potentially save 25% or more for the same apartment. If your particular neighborhood is more on the quiet side or has a noise level you can tolerate, renting or buying on the first floor is certainly an option to consider.

2. Older buildings/ pre and post war buildings:

Buyers and renters tend to favor new construction, making older units ripe for deals. Importantly, ‘old’ does not necessarily translate to poor condition. In fact, many older apartments have been beautifully updated over the years to compete with newer offerings. Pre war buildings are those constructed before World War I (between 1900 and 1939), while post war buildings are those constructed in NYC after World War II (between 1947 and 1990). Both have a similar style, yet post-war buildings tend to have more modern conveniences and amenities. Once you enter the apartment itself, you may not find much of a difference in the living spaces of older versus newer units, depending on how recently they have been renovated. Prices per square foot in pre war and post war buildings tend to be lower than new construction. So if you can forgo trendy architecture and ultra-modern amenities in exchange for more space, this option may be for you. 

3. Less sought after locations:

Apartments closer to public transportation tend to be higher than those further away. With so many New Yorkers who commute on a daily basis, the competition for living spaces as close to public transportation as possible makes sense. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind walking a few blocks to the nearest subway or bus station, you drive, or perhaps work from home, these apartments may be just what you’re looking for to get more living space for less. Expanding your search beyond midtown Manhattan also offers big opportunities for lower rents. Choosing a beautiful space uptown or in an up-and-coming area of Brooklyn or Queens is likely to land you a larger space for less. 

4. Walk-ups/non doorman buildings:

Doorman buildings are favored by renters and buyers in NYC for both security and convenience. Those who rent or buy in non-doorman buildings may save around 10-15% on average. Buildings without elevators tend to cost less as well, saving you even more. If a doorman isn’t a priority for you, and you don’t mind walking up stairs to your apartment, you can save quite a bit on rent and get more space for less.

Finding space in New York City can be challenging. But by following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to spacious living for less. 


For more information on renting, buying or selling apartments in New York City, contact us today at (646) 202-1877.

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