When choosing an apartment in New York City there are so many variables to consider. Which luxuries are worth it and which can you live without? Do you pick the larger walk-up or the studio with the elevator? Close to the subway or new appliances? What about having a doorman? Is this a luxury or a necessity?

Doorman buildings have many benefits that cannot be overlooked. Here some things to consider:

Added security

Feeling safe in your home is reason enough to live in a doorman building. You will never have to worry about someone following you in when you unlock the lobby door, or worry if they are really a neighbor or a thief. There will always be someone there to greet you and ask any other passersby what apartment they are visiting. Crime and theft isn’t eliminated in buildings with doormen but they are significantly less frequent because they make it inconvenient for the potential troublemakers. If that isn’t enough, here are some other great perks.

Guest retrieval and announcement

Having visitors in apartment buildings is a pain. Let’s say your college roommate is visiting and he wants time to drop off his luggage before meeting you at happy hour. You either have to leave a key under the mat, which isn’t safe, or you have to take time out to go pick him up. With a doorman all you need to do is let him know that your buddy is coming and it’s all taken care of.

Don’t forget the added perk of preventing unwanted visitors. If your ex-girlfriend shows up to get her old box of stuff from your apartment, hoping to catch you with your new hook-up, she won’t be let in without being announced.

Help with luggage and heavy items

If you travel often, and come in and out with heavy bags, a doorman can be a real plus. They will gladly help to get your bulky items up to your apartment so you won’t have to worry about making two trips or not having a free hand to get the mail.

Assistance for elderly tenants

This may not matter to you now, but it will someday. Doormen can be the one thing that keeps an elderly person out of assisted living. Sometimes all they need is hand with some groceries or help into a cab to help them living an otherwise independent existence.

Receiving packages

This perk may be at the bottom of your list, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Even if you don’t buy everything from Amazon.com or order all of your groceries from Fresh Direct chances are you will get a package or two during the term of your lease. Nothing is more annoying than coming home to a missed delivery slip and having to pick it up at the post office the next day or next week, only to find out the package has already been sent back. Doormen completely eliminate that problem, which seems well worth it.

Think of a doorman as a really helpful friend. They always give you a cheery greeting and are there to help you when you need them. But what is the actual cost of having a doorman? Buildings with these amenities can be an extra $100-500 per month, depending on the neighborhood and style of building. You should also factor in some extra cash for holiday time tipping (which is a necessity).

Before taking the plunge, make sure to find out what type of coverage you’re getting. Some buildings will boast about “doorman service” when in actuality it’s a kid sitting in a folding chair in the lobby, never looking up from his iPhone to even notice you. You should also ask if there will be a doorman on duty 24 hours a day and if there are multiple people on staff simultaneously. For example, your doorman may not be able to leave his post to help you with your bags if there is no one to watch the door in his stead. As long as you’re getting the level of service you desire, the added cost is well worth it.