Pick a Posh Pied-a-Terre

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- A second home? Plenty of people have second homes. Not everyone has a pied-a-terre, though -- that's for the rich.

What's the difference? Well, nothing, really. Deep-pocketed people might occupy their pied-a-terre or part-time residence for part of the week, part of the month or just for part of the year, but so might people who consider themselves firmly middle-class.

Atop Seattle's Mosler Lofts building is a one bedroom/two-and-a-quarter-bath duplex with dramatic double-height ceilings offering taggering views of the city and Puget Sound -- perfect for a pied-a-terre.

If there's a difference (beyond the fact one sounds fancier) it's in the details. Some people find it worth it to buy an exceedingly luxurious and comfortable apartment in a world-class city, and it's properties such as this that somehow say "pied-a-terre," not "second home" -- and properties such as this we look at today:

New York City
The sky's the limit when it comes to real estate in prime Manhattan neighborhoods. In the formerly boho but now fully gentrified West Village lies a one bedroom/one bath penthouse in a full-service prewar building listed at the heart-stopping price of $5.5 million.

The small entry -- less than 1,000 square feet -- does double duty as the dining room. The generously scaled step-down living room, meanwhile, has 12-feet high ceilings and a wood-burning fireplace.

The kitchen, a closet-sized space off the entry and dining room, has a window providing a spectacular view of the bustling city.

The lone bedroom boasts floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a surprisingly large walk-in closet. The attached bath isn't large but does have a window -- somewhat rare in even the largest and most expensive New York City apartments.

Casement-style French doors open from the living room to a 6-footwide planted terrace. The terrace itself runs the full width of the penthouse and offers panoramic views that include the Empire State Building.

For information, call Chris Kann (212-893-1426) or Robert Browne (212-893-1728) at Corcoran in New York City.

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