For many incoming New York City residents, a doorman building is a bit of an unfamiliar concept. After all, you are probably quite comfortable opening your own doors. But for those who swear by them, doormen provide a much more significant service than just opening doors, they provide peace of mind in an oftentimes stressful city. In this article you'll find a couple of main reasons people like doorman buildings as well as the drawbacks to having a doorman.
When you're new to New York City and living in a non-doorman apartment, you are on your own. No one to sign for packages. No one to help you when you forget your keys. No one to provide a number for a plumber or to wait and let them in. You get the idea. As you might have guessed, a doorman can help you with all of these things. Particularly for busy professionals, having an additional "safety net" can make a huge difference. After a long week of work, you probably don't want to wait for a locksmith at midnight or stand in line at a far-away UPS depot to pick up a package.
In addition to convenience, a doorman can add a layer of security. If they're doing their job well, every visitor to the building will be asked to sign-in and be held at the front desk until a tenant confirms that they are welcome. For people living alone or coming in and out late at night, that screening process can provide quite a bit of peace of mind.
As you might expect, having a doorman comes at a price. Although there is no hard and fast rule to the cost of a doorman, you can expect a 10-20% premium on rent price compared to an identical building with no doorman. Additionally, you will be expected to tip your doorman every holiday, a courtesy that can add a couple hundred dollars of expense. After all, you don't want those packages getting lost in the mail.
In addition to sacrificing a bit on rent, you will also be sacrificing some privacy. Some people would rather not have someone know every time they have a visitor or when they are home or away. For most people, this isn't a big issue, but it's one of the realities of having a doorman.
There are a lot of perks to having a doorman, but it does mean you might have to sacrifice on location or space to stay within your budget. There's no right or wrong answer on that trade-off, it's up to you and your priorities.