Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.
Understanding real estate terminology in NYC can be tricky. For example, let’s say you’re looking for an apartment and come across a property marketed as a junior 4 apartment layout for rent or sale or a J4 apartment. Your first thought might be, what exactly is that apartment? This guide will teach you everything you need about Junior 4 apartments in NYC. So what are they? How are they listed for sale or rent? And what advantages are there to living in a J4? What is a junior 4 apartment layout?
It is a one-bedroom apartment with an extra alcove or living space that gives the apartment an additional (fourth) room, hence the “4”. What is a junior 4 apartment layout? The four rooms include a bedroom, kitchen, living room, and the additional fourth room. This extra room is most often a dining room or alcove.
The fourth room can be converted into a second small bedroom or used as a nursery or home office.
Similar to rentals listed as “convertible” (meaning there’s space to create an extra room), when people refer to a one-bedroom as a “junior 4,” it means it’s got some extra space to play around with—just not a full-fledged second bedroom.
Junior four apartments used to be pretty standard in NYC. Still, landlords will often convert those apartments into two-bedroom apartments whenever possible, as they can get higher rents that way. Although it’s easy to understand what a Junior 4 apartment is, you must remember there is no legal definition.
As no single definition explicitly describes what a J4 is, it can be difficult for sellers and landlords to know how to list their apartments. You want the apartment to be seen by the most buyers possible, and you want to get the most out of the unit as you can, so you might want to list it as a two-bedroom.
But then you likely don’t want to mislead buyers into thinking they’re looking at an actual two-bedroom unit, so you may end up listing it as a one-bedroom and missing out on potential buyers or value. Working with a broker is recommended, as you’ll benefit from their expertise.
There is no correct answer to whether you should list your J4 as a one or two-bedroom apartment. Choosing how to represent your apartment is essential, and talk to your listing agent and real estate attorney. No single, authoritative definition of a Junior 4 apartment in NYC exists. However, those apartments are usually more valuable than standard one-bedroom apartments, and this is because they have more configuration options.
Suppose you have a J4 apartment in NYC that you’re looking to put on the market. Marketing it as a two-bedroom apartment can attract more interest and get you a better price. But a J4 won’t be a legal two-bedroom apartment in most cases. So your broker will likely recommend that you market it as a convertible two-bedroom apartment.
No matter how you decide to market the apartment, be sure you’re upfront and honest about it being a Junior 4!
Now that we’ve explained what a Junior 4 apartment is and how brokers list them for sale in New York City let’s look at some of these apartments’ benefits.
Benefits of Junior 4 Apartments (table of contents)
The main benefit of a Junior 4 is that they are more affordable to rent or buy than comparably sized two-bedroom apartments. Real estate prices are sky-high in NYC, and the price difference between one and two-bedroom apartments can be significant.
That’s why finding a Junior 4 can be of great value. Junior 4 apartments are much more affordable than similarly-sized two-bedroom apartments while providing much of the same functionality if set up correctly.
What makes Junior 4 apartments so highly desirable in NYC is the flexibility and functionality that they give you. Some people live in a Junior 4 and don’t need to turn the extra space into a second bedroom, and they have the perfect space for a dining nook or a home office.
But then, if you ever do need a second bedroom for whatever reason, it’s easy to convert the extra space into a small bedroom.
Junior 4 apartments are more affordable than two-bedroom apartments but also more expensive than one-bedroom apartments.
If you own a J4 apartment in NYC, you will be able to get significantly more value out of it when you list it for sale or rent than a typical one-bedroom. Due to their desirability, those apartments are always in high demand.
The short answer to this question is yes, condos in NYC can also be Junior 4s. However, it’s rarer to find junior four apartments for rent in a condo than in a co-op building. Most condos are newer construction, and developers want to maximize profits. So they’d always opt to build a two-bedroom apartment over a Junior 4. For this reason, most Junior 4 apartments in NYC are in older co-op buildings.
But that doesn’t mean you cannot find junior four apartments for rent in a condo building. Just be prepared to pay a bit more, as apartments in condo buildings are generally newer and more expensive than comparable apartments in co-ops.