Housing Types

Condominium/Cooperative/Apartment Terms

Common area/grounds: The elements of building and grounds that all unit owners own jointly.

Condominium: A dwelling of two or more property units where the owner owns the interior space and, in common with other owners, owns a square foot ratio of the common areas, such as the grounds, hallways, stairways, lobby, mechanical systems of common areas, and parking and recreational areas.

Cooperative (Co-op): A corporation in which the tenants purchase shares that give them the right to occupy a unit in the building.

Courtyard: An outdoor space faced by a building.

Duplex: Two properties joined by one common wall

Elevator building: One that has one or more elevators to reach the units.

Flat: Another name for an apartment.

Full-amenity building: One that offers a variety of services to occupants: doorman, delivery/shipping room, dry cleaner, pool, tennis court, store, exercise facilities, and so on.

Garden apartment: A dwelling unit partially below grade.

High-rise: A multiple-floor building of ten or more floors.

Management company: A professional real estate management company that manages the physical operation of a building.

On-site management: The management of a building who works from an office within the building.


  • Deeded: A parking space that is owned as a piece of real estate.
  • Leased: A parking space that is leased by the building occupant.
  • Underground: A parking space located beneath grade of the building.
  • Assigned: A parking space appointed by the association or management company.
  • Valet: The car is parked and returned by a parking attendant for the occupant of the space.

Self-managed: Buildings and dwelling units overseen by unit owners or unit shareholders.

Site engineer: The mechanical or operations professional for a building who is on-site at his or her place of employment. Some engineers live on the premises and are referred to as the super, short for superintendent.

Walk-up: A building with no elevator.

Other Property Terms

Income/investment property: Property that provides compensation or tax advantages to the owner.

1-4 unit: A multiple-dwelling building of one to four units.

2/3 flat: A multiple-dwelling building that has two or three units stacked on top of each other.

Lakefront: A dwelling unit that has front footage on a lake.

Lake view: A dwelling unit that has visual exposure to a lake.

Manufactured home: All or part of a dwelling unit that is constructed in one location and placed in another location.

Mid-rise: A multiple-floor building that has three to nine floors.

Mobile home: A dwelling unit that is constructed with attached wheels and can be moved from one location to another.

Model home/condo: A dwelling unit that the builder/developer finishes as a sales sample for the public to view.

Penthouse: A dwelling unit of the uppermost occupied floor of a building.

Percent owner-occupied: The number of units in a condo or co-op that are owner-occupied.

Rental: Property for which the occupant/tenant pays the landlord/owner a fixed periodical sum of money.

Riparian: Property rights relating to land bordering flowing water.

Row houses: Attached homes with a common side wall(s).

Quadrominium: Four attached condominiums.

Single-family home: A dwelling unit that has no common walls with another dwelling unit.

Spec home: A home built on speculation by a builder/developer.

Studio: A one-room dwelling unit.

Townhouse: A series of attached dwelling units with common wall(s).

Vacation or resort or second home: A residence owned as a nonprimary residence.

Water rights: Rights by a property owner to use a body of water.

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