Let’s talk about six: What’s a classic six apartment?

Have you ever heard of a “classic six” apartment? From time-to-time in NYC you might’ve crossed this listing term and found yourself curious as to what it actually means. According to Brownstoner, a classic six apartment is “chic, desirable and great for raising a family”. But what makes this style of living just so appealing? What is it makes a “classic six” one of New York City’s most sought after apartment layouts? 

Let’s break it down.

 

The classic layout

A classic six is a prewar (“classic”) apartment with a certain number of separate rooms (you guessed it – “six”). However that’s not all, it must also include a living room, formal dining room with a window, a kitchen, two full bedrooms and a maid’s room (typically smaller than the main bedrooms and usually located off the kitchen). While a classic six can have any number of bathrooms, oftentimes you’ll find the maid’s room also boasts its own full or half-bath.

A Prospect Heights’ classic six floor plan. Image: Brownstoner
A Prospect Heights’ classic six floor plan. Image: Brownstoner

The “other” classics

You might have come across the phrases “classic five” (lacking the maid’s room), or “classic seven” (which includes an additional bedroom), however, the less common, rare surviving “classic eight” with a room for a second maid, also exists.

Searching for six

According to Brownstoner, “the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side are known for having the largest stocks of classic six units in New York, [but] even there, listings are scarce”. Many are in co-op buildings (and occasionally condo buildings) and it’s incredibly rare to find one for rent. 

A good place to start is Brooklyn – Brooklyn Heights, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights or Park Slope – places boasting large-scale pre-war apartment buildings.

Apartment appeal

In addition to the obvious, being the sheer size of a classic six, both the fact that they’re so hard to come across and the distinct layout play a big role in the appeal. More or less impossible to achieve in smaller NYC apartments, the layout of a classic six provides both privacy and a feel of openness. How? The kitchen, dining and entertaining/common areas are often separated from the main bedrooms by a distinct hallway. Because of this, these “apartments” actually have a layout more similar to a classic single family home.

The space separation of the maid’s room to the rest of the home, tucked away by the kitchen, is often a favorite of NYC youth who enjoy the privacy and the idea of occupying their own living quarters. Of course, being so close by the kitchen and that endless supply of coffee, this space also makes for a great home office or studio! If you’ve found yourself with a classic six with a maid’s room that boasts it’s own bathroom or half bath too, why not turn it into a guest bedroom?

A classic six kitchen with a maid’s room converted to a guest bedroom. Image: The Wall Street Journal
A classic six kitchen with a maid’s room converted to a guest bedroom. Image: The Wall Street Journal

Your pre-war classic six: The 2017 update

Given the original construction date on majority of these apartments, chances are, yours might be in need of a little upgrade. Or perhaps you’re ready to do a little renovating to turn that maid’s quarters into your new home office? You might like to enlist the help of someone like All Renovations – specialists in high-end Brooklyn and Manhattan brownstone renovations. Or Brooklyn-based Creative Renovations – whose past client list includes a number of Brooklyn brownstone landmarks!

5 Tips for Moving in Winter

The temperature is dropping which means you might be concerned about your future move being a little tougher. Not to worry! We’ve scoured the internet to bring you the best tips to make your move go smoothly.

winter-moving
Photo courtesy of Two Men and a Truck

#1 Harness the Power of Professionals 

According to Two Men and a Truck, springing for some extra help is worth the cash. Professionals are trained to deal with unpredictable cold and icy conditions. If you attempt the move on your own you’ll risk injury and damage to your possessions.

#2 Rise with the Sun

The Huffington Post suggests that you set your alarm and get a pot of coffee brewing to accommodate the decreased hours of daylight. You don’t want the added difficulty of trying to move in the dark. So, get a good night’s  sleep and get moving early!

#3 Make Sure You’re Covered

Get a cheap tarp to throw down over high traffic areas in your old and new home. imove.com has pointed out that things can get messy quickly when snow and slush is on the ground. Save yourself some clean up time by planning ahead.

#4 Bundle up Your Plants

MakeSpace advises that you protect your indoor plants from the cold by wrapping them in plastic or blankets (being sure to leave an opening at the top so they can breathe). If your plants have spent their entire lives inside, the shock of cold air can cause a lot of damage. So, while you’re piling on the layers your self don’t forget your plants!

#5 Give Your Landlord a Ring

You don’t want to show up to your new home to find there’s no heat! GoGetter urges you to call your landlord and make sure they know when you plan to move, to be sure your first night will be nice and cozy.

Gardening Tips that won’t Leaf you Hanging

For many of our clients living in their new and huge homes (with yards!) in areas such as Marine Park, Gravesend and Madison; falling leaves can quickly turn from color to bother. Here are our tips on what to do in the fall to set yourself up for a beautiful, lush, safe garden.

Need gardening and hardware supplies? We recommend Brooklyn favorites dig and Indoor/Outdoor Gardener.

Practice rakes perfect

151103 - rakeAs we layer up, leaves fall down – all season long. Minimize the pain by being vigilant to your vision of a neat, fertile and safe yard. Clear the way before the first batch of snow crystallizes your yard into a slippery space, stripping your grass from the nutrients and water it needs to be alive and thrive by the time spring rolls around.

It’s an exercise of family fun – whether it’s an arm workout for you or nature’s bouncing house for the kids.

Care to compost

The golden rule of composting is the balance between carbon and nitrogen materials. A healthy compost pile should have about two-thirds carbon (brown) materials and one-third nitrogen (green) materials. The carbon-rich materials provide aeration to speed up the composting process, eliminate foul odors and help produce a light, fluffy finished compost.
Most families’ nitrogen needs are fulfilled thanks to kitchen scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, grass clippings and other fresh materials. Carbon-based materials are harder to come by and this includes leaves, vines, shrub prunings, straw and dried garden waste.

Less is more when it comes to moisture as your compost pile should be covered with a tarp to shed excess rain. Ideally, enclosed composters should be used as they retain the moisture from the materials the materials being composted and deter pests (such as racoons and mice) and speed up the composting process.

Fertilize

151103 - fertilizerBring the day spa to your garden and replace the massage and facial for a good fertilizer. A slow-release fertilizer during this time of year enables your grass to absorb the nutrients over time. Is a dull garden a grass half full or empty? If you fertilize now, you’ll be filled with garden warm fuzzies once the sun shines bright in the spring to a healthy lawn.

Weed out the evil

This one may be for the kids! Weeding during the fall is the smart start your garden needs so when the sunny season kicks in, your garden blooms on a clean slate.

Mulch

151103 - mulchTake the grass catcher off your mower and mow over the leaves on your lawn. Get the clutter to dime-sized pieces and until only about an inch of the grass can be seen through the mulched lead layer. The microbes and worms get to work recycling the leaves and the process helps grass grow brighter and greener. With several passes of your mower, you can mulch up to 18 inches of leaf clutter.

Our insider tip? Scotts® Turf Builder® WinterGuard® can help break down your mulched leaves faster.

Brooklyn Parks: Our Fall Favorites

You’re in for a tree-t! Each year we hear that as the leaves drop, so do rental prices. To celebrate the great news for budding Brooklyn renters, we’ve put together a list of the parks that have left a mark on our borough memories.

Prospect Park
150929 - Prospect ParkThe biggest framers market in Brooklyn. The longest, uninterrupted lawn in the United States. World class free fitness and music events. A historic century-old carousel. Need we say more? Some feel it’s a no-brainer why Prospect Park is the greatest park in the entire city.

As the weather changes, explore the Ravine, Brooklyn’s only forest.

Owl’s head

150929 - Owls HeadAs New Yorkers, we want all of our things to be the best, first or greatest. While you skate back in time at Brooklyn’s first skate park, bask in the historical knowledge that one of the founding fathers of the Dutch Village of Breuckelen lived on the land as well; as did Senator Henry Cruise Murphy who drafted the Brooklyn Bridge construction bill and was a proud founder of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle – which predates the New York Times by ten years. Just saying…

Civic Brooklynite and wealthy manufacturer, Eliphalet Bliss, bought the estate and on his deathbed and turned the land from private property to public land by offering it to the City of New York (at a discount) with the stipulation that it be used as parkland.

Nowadays locals benefit from a dog run, grassy hills and a no-filter postcard view of New York Harbor.

Yelp users call it “another lesser known gem in Brooklyn” and the huge trees and wide pathways make it “perfect for almost anything … to enjoy a picnic, watch the sunset, sit on a bench enjoy your coffee and the waterfront view, or just people watch.”

Brooklyn Bridge Park

150929 - BK BridgeWithin the last decade or so, the 1.3 miles of luscious parkland along the East River has come to be known as Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s somewhat of a sports central, offering visitors kayaking, floating pathways, fishing piers, waterside handball and basketball courts

Yelp users recommend Grimaldi’s for a packed picnic to-go and the nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
Marine Park

150929 - Marine ParkIt’s a great place to nestle amongst nature. Marine Park has 530 acres of wide salt marsh, meadows and sand dunes filled with shrubs, vines and beach plants. Park Rangers are on hand to point out the 325 different kinds of birds, 50 species of butterfly and the occasional rabbit or hawk.

The Wall Street Journal has called Madison “as old school as it gets” when it comes to New York City neighborhoods. In a recent archaeological dig, excavators discovered food preparation pits in Marine Park dating back to the 9th century! Being worlds and perhaps years away from the kitsch Manhattan spectacle makes Marine Park quite the escape.
We recommend Joe’s of Avenue U for a lean mean Italian Marine hero.

How To: Stage your Home to Make the Best Impression

86485111So you’ve decided to sell your home, a place that more than likely holds a lot of sentimental value to you. Now is the time to try to let go of that emotional attachment. View your home for exactly what it is, a “product” you’re trying to sell.

Know your Area & your Potential Buyers

A great way to start determining what you can do to your property to make it as appealing as possible is to know your audience and your neighborhood. Doing so will give you a better idea of who you can expect to walk through the door and what these potential buyers are expecting. For example, if you’re in a neighborhood that’s popular amongst young families, you’ll want to modernize. If you’re in more of an upscale neighborhood, you’ll want to make some higher end upgrades. Try to envision yourself as the potential buyers and think about what you’d like to see if you were in there shoes. If you’re struggling in this department, bring in a few friends and allow them to give you their honest opinion.

realtor-4Buyers like to feel an emotional connection with their potential home. You want them to be able to envision themselves in your home right from the start. We recommend limiting the amount of family photos you have on display and de-cluttering refrigerators or other places where you might have photos or your children’s accomplishments on display.

Clean till it Shines!

Cleaning your home effectively is an inexpensive way to make your home presentable and show well even if it’s outdated. Dust and soap scum will be an automatic turnoff to almost any buyer!213213

Reduce the amount of items you leave out in the open. You’ll be moving soon so why not get a head start on packing? Too manyBefore-and-After decorations can be distracting to someone trying to envision themselves living in your home. Make sure to neatly organize all of your closets so everything appears roomy. You don’t want buyers to see an overflowing closet or pantry leaving the impression that there is inadequate storage space.

Make Repairs

home-repair-400x266Now is a critical time to make any repairs to your home. Leaky faucets, missing kitchen cabinet handles and blown out light bulbs will be an instant turn off. Its one thing for a buyer to plan updates to their future home but no one wants to be planning repairs. Make sure all of these things are in working order before you have your first showing.

Spruce up your Space

A fresh coat of paint on your walls is another inexpensive and highly effective way to make your home show well. We recommend sticking to neutral colors such as beige or a light grey and avoiding colors such asKitchen_BA3-1024x512 white or anything too bold or dark. Neutral colors will allow buyers to envision what they can do to the space.

If you have an outdated kitchen you might want to consider replacing the hardware on the cabinets to something more modern or painting them. Both options can make a huge difference and transform any kitchen.

Slipcovered-wingback-with-pleated-skirt-tutorial-1

Children, pets and those occasional nights of eating dinner in front of the TV can wreak havoc on your furniture. Consider covering your couch with a slip cover and add new throw pillow to brighten the space. Place a runner on your dining room table and a vase of fresh flowers in the center.

DrumPendantBefore_After

If your floors have seen better days consider replacing the carpet or adding an area rug for a low cost but effective fix. Peel and stick linoleum is a great option for kitchens or entryways.

Light fixtures are often considered the jewelry of a home. Having outdated lamps or chandeliers can be a giveaway as to the last time you’ve renovated. Replacing the light fixtures will keep your home looking bright and up to date.

Don’t Forget the Outside

wood-letter-from-far-awaySpruce up your front door with a fresh coat of paint and a decorative wreath. Add a colorful welcome mat or potted plant to the front steps to make your home look even more inviting.

The look of overgrown grass can make a house go from looking fab to drab! Take out your lawn mower and gardening shears and get to work. A well landscaped front yard will give potential buyers a great first impression before they even step inside your home. And of course, don’t forget the backyard, which is often the last place a buyer will view as they leave.

Quick Tips

  • Try to stick with a color scheme in places such as your living room, kitchen and bathroom.
  • Put out potpourri, fresh towels and new shower curtains in your bathroom.N26-2_FreshAir-575x382
  • Hide any toiletries or toothbrushes to keep the space looking fresh and open.
  • Make your beds and decorate with throw pillows. A clean bed will automatically make a room look more inviting.
  • Weather permitting, open windows and blinds to allow for fresh air and natural sunlight.
  • Neutralize odors.
  • Keep pets away during showings.
  • Let your Real Estate agent do their job and leave your property during showings and open houses.

For suggestions specific to your home, always consult the Realtor you’ve retained.