Your First NYC Apartment: Studio or One Bedroom?

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February 7, 2020
should you start with a studio and then move to one bedroom?

Your first New York City apartment is unforgettable. It could be the beginning of a new chapter of your professional career, mark the end of college, or maybe it’s just time to move out of your parents’ house. With so many options, how do you choose the right apartment for you? Let’s explore.

A good place to start looking is at the two most popular starter apartment styles: studio and 1-bedroom. These two styles have a lot in common and each has its own advantages. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which one fits you best.

Determine Your Wants and Needs

The first step in deciding which apartment style suits you best is determining what you want and need. What matters most to you? Is it price? Do you want to entertain guests, or do you mostly keep to yourself? How much do you value privacy? These are all things you’ll need to consider when choosing your perfect home.

The Main Differences Between Studio Apartments and 1-Bedroom Apartments

1.      Size

Generally speaking (because there is a lot of debate on what constitutes a studio vs. a 1-bedroom apartment), the main difference between a studio apartment and a 1-bedroom apartment in New York City is that the sleeping area in a 1-bedroom apartment is separate from the living room and kitchen. This is your typical wall and door. This room must also meet the legal requirements for a bedroom in NYC

In a studio, the living space is usually more open, meaning that the living, kitchen, and bedroom spaces do not have walls separating them. This excludes the bathroom (for obvious reasons). Studios tend to have less square footage, while 1-bedrooms tend to have more. Choosing a layout is completely preferential, though there are specific benefits to each layout, one of which is price.

2.     Price

You’re looking for an apartment in NYC. You’re also wondering what is cheaper: a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment. No matter who you are, your eyes are attracted to the dollar sign. In theory, regardless of whether you’re buying or renting, a studio apartment will be cheaper than a 1-bedroom. Depending on square footage and amenities, the difference may be significant. In some cases, studio apartments can be more expensive than 1-bedrooms because of location, amenities, or other factors. 

Either way, price is a huge factor in determining what style home is for you: if saving money is your top priority, going for a studio may be your best bet. Because studio apartments have less space, you’ll likely spend less on utilities and décor. However, if you value the privacy of a separate bedroom, you may opt to spend a little more for it.

3.     Lifestyle

should you get a studio or one bedroom as your first apartment

If price is not your deal-breaker, the relationship between your lifestyle and the layout of the apartment may be. If you love to entertain, a studio apartment may not be for you. Blurring the lines between your living and sleeping areas may make you or your guests uncomfortable. Comparatively, a 1-bedroom apartment with distinct living and sleeping spaces will give your guests a comfortable area to relax.

4.     Storage Space

This one is simple. Less space = less storage. In most cases, the only separate room in a studio apartment will be the bathroom. This means your “closet” will have to live with you in your main space. Regardless of whether the studio you’re looking at has a closet, your clothing and other possessions will take up precious square footage.

Searching for your First NYC Apartment

Finding your perfect home has never been easier. will give you the truth about any NYC apartment, helping you search with confidence and giving you peace of mind that you won’t regret your decision.

Localize City for finding the best apartments in NY

Featured NYC Studio

The first listing we’ll look at is at 330 East 83 St. #LE. On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, this furnished prewar studio features huge 10 ft. ceilings, hardwood flooring, a newly renovated kitchen, two great closet spaces, an elevator, in-building laundry, and so much more. 

Insights from Localize will tell you that this building has had no violations, building complaints, or elevator issues in the last year, nearby school PS 290 ranks in the top 10% of schools for student achievement in English and Math, and there is less crowding on the nearby 4, 5, and 6 trains than ever before. This could be your perfect home for just under $400,000!

Check out this apartment here. 

Featured NYC 1-bedroom

As far as 1-bedroom apartments go, 186 Prospect Park West #D2 takes the cake. This modern 1-bedroom corner apartment sits directly across Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Roof access provides a beautiful spot to sit and watch the 4th of July fireworks, entertain guests, and more. Laundry, bike storage, and personal storage are available in the basement. 

Exclusive Localize insights tell you that this apartment gets a whopping 12 hours of sunlight in the summer, and 7 hours of sunlight in the winter. This listing also boasts premium connectivity to transit hubs and nightlife. You could make one of Brooklyn’s most cherished green spaces your backyard for $675,000.

Check out this apartment here.

The Cheapest Studio in NYC

what is the cheapest studio apartment in NYC?

Just for fun, let’s check out the cheapest apartment you can find on West 57 Street #20L. This 400 sq. ft., $100,000 studio is in the heart of midtown Manhattan and close to Central Park, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. The building also features a valet, bike room, and personal storage. However, Localize insights say that the building also has received 3 complaints in the last year for mold, issues with power, and outdoor air quality.

Check out this apartment here.

The Most Expensive 1-Bedroom Apartment in NYC

what is the most expensive aparmtent in nyc?

The most expensive 1-bedroom apartment listing on Localize  is at 900 5 Avenue #11A. This one bedroom, 2.5 bathroom apartment in the Upper East Side has beautiful Central Park views for $6.3M. This apartment was converted from a 4-bedroom apartment into a 1-bedroom dream come true. Luxury amenities include three roof terraces (facing north, south, and east), a gym, and a garage. Localize insights tell you that the monthly fees on this apartment (just over $8000/month) are 283% higher than other listings and gets limited natural light: 3 hours in the summer and no direct natural light in the winter.

Check out this apartment here.

In short, selecting your first NYC apartment depends on what you want and need: more space to entertain, low price, storage space, prime location, etc. No matter what these wants and needs are, there is no better place to find your perfect home than Localize. Insights driven by data analysis unlock the truth on any NYC listing so you can confidently find your new home. Good luck!

Find the right apartment for you on Localize. Try it today.

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