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Do You Need a Doorman in NYC?

That’s one question that pops up when it comes to buying a New York City apartment -- do you really need a doorman?

Depending on your lifestyle and attitude, a doorman could be a very important value-add to living in your apartment, or not.

Doorman or no doorman?

Here are some of the pros and cons of having a doorman:

Pros:

Signs for packages: Do you have lots of packages and deliveries you expect during the day? Having a doorman to sign for your Amazon or FedEx packages provides a nice side benefit as opposed to wondering if the shoes you ordered from Zappos will get stolen before you can even try them on.

Security: Yes, it’s nice to have someone open the door for you, but it’s also reassuring knowing there is a watchman at the entrance to vet for strangers, solicitors and other unwanted visitors.

Cons:

Tipping: Let’s face it, tipping is a way of life in New York City and doormen rely heavily on tips. In April 2014, the union representing NYC’s doorman won a new contract agreement with the Realty Advisory Board, which means the average salary for doormen will go from its current rate of about $44,300 to about $49,400 by 2018. Clearly these are not the salaries of the Wolves of Wall Street or the other 1-percenters. Doormen rely on your tips: move-in tips and holiday/end-of-year tips.

Invasion of privacy: If you’re a private person and don’t like making small talk, having a doorman could be irritating. And there’s the potential gossiping factor as well as the requisite end-of-year tipping, which can add up.

Summary

So, doorman or no doorman? Having a doorman is a matter of personal taste, habit and sense of security. Plenty of people live in New York and manage their lives just fine despite having to open their own front door, or arrange for package delivery. Plenty of people prefer not having to make small talk or pay the big holiday tip.

And many feel a live-in super is just as good, if not better than a doorman.

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