When it comes to apartment hunting, you usually have a wide selection of apartment types to choose from, depending on your needs and budget, of course. One of the many options you may come across is a garden style apartment, sometimes simply referred to as a garden apartment. Even if you are not entirely sure what a garden style apartment is, it is important to have an idea since it may just what you are looking for on your next apartment hunt.
What is a garden style apartment? A garden style apartment is a residential unit that is situated on the ground level and has access to considerable garden space or the lawn. These types of apartments are usually one, two, or three stories high. Since they are more outdoor in nature, you are more likely to find them in suburban or rural areas.
Garden style apartments are units that are usually found on the ground floor or on the street level of a low –rise apartment complex surrounded by trees, gardens, lawns, and shrubbery. Many garden style apartments have one or two bedrooms, but the number of sleeping areas will mainly depend on where the unit is located. Other than access to the garden/lawn, living in a garden style apartment means you will be closer to common amenities the apartment complex may have.
A. Basics of a garden style apartment
Enjoying access to garden space within a city is considered a privilege, especially if you are constantly surrounded by a concrete jungle. In big cities such as New York, the term “garden style” apartment is rarely used, although you will likely find them in townhouses or brownstone buildings. The size of the garden surrounding the complex may vary in terms of square footage and the amount of greenery you will find. Instead of being referred to as garden style apartments in listings, these units will be advertised as having access to a garden. However, keep in mind that the “garden” may just be a patch of grass, or it could simply mean you will get access to a balcony. Generally, you are more likely to find proper garden style apartments in the outskirts of cities such as New York and Washington, DC.
A walk-up apartment is a variation of a garden style apartment that has an outdoor staircase. The unit may be situated on top of a parking garage, and you will most likely have a designated parking spot. In some cases, the garden style apartment may be on the basement level, so it is important to inspect the unit before signing the lease so that you know what you are getting.
B. Pros of living in a garden style apartment
The upsides of living in a garden style apartment include:
1. Access to a garden and other amenities that may be present
One of the main benefits of living in a garden style apartment is the access to the surrounding greenery, flowers, and landscaping. The “outdoor” aspect is one of the main attractions of a garden style apartment. A garden is a nice space where you can unwind and catch up on your favorite break on the weekend or simply relax after a long day at work. Many garden style apartment complexes have amenities such as a swimming pool or a barbecue area you can take advantage of.
2. No need to worry about stairs
Since you are on the lower level of an apartment complex, you don’t have to worry about endless stairs. You will have an easier time carrying items from your car to your unit than someone who lives on a higher floor.
3. Cost of cooling in a garden style apartment is lower
Since hot air tends to rise, apartments on lower levels will generally experience cooler internal temperatures. This is especially convenient during warmer months when the temperatures are somewhat uncomfortable. You won’t have to rely on the air conditioner as much as someone who lives on the top floor.
4. They are generally cheaper than apartments on higher levels
Other than a cheaper electric bill in the summer, the rent for garden style apartments is cheaper than that of above-grade units.
5. You don’t have to worry about downstairs neighbors
This is especially true if you are on the ground level or in the basement. You won’t have to worry about being too noisy in your unit and disturbing the neighbor below you, which is normally of tenants who live on higher floors.
6. Faster exit
In case of an emergency, such as a fire or floods, you are more likely to make a faster exit than someone who lives on the top floor. Since you are on the ground floor, you will be able to evacuate quickly, greatly reducing the risk of danger.
Similarly, when you are in a rush in the morning, you will be able to slip out of the apartment building faster and save some valuable time.
7. Great for pet owners
Since you have access to the street in a garden style apartment, it is easier to take your furry friend for a walk when it needs to do its business. This may seem trivial, but if your dog needs to go outside several times in the course of a day, living so close to the ground is especially convenient since you don’t have to deal with stairs.
8. They are great if you work at night
Garden apartments are ideal if you work at night. This is because they are usually dark even during the day, allowing you to sleep. Additionally, if you come home at odd hours due to work commitments, you won’t have to worry about disturbing neighbors since you are on the bottom floor.
C. Cons of living in this type of apartment
There are some downsides you need to take into consideration as well:
1. You may not receive natural light
Garden style apartments generally don’t receive as much natural light. This may leave your apartment dull and gloomy. Additionally, you may have to rely on artificial light during the day which means your electric bill may increase.
2. Exposure to noise
You will have to get used to the noise from your neighbors above you, as well as from foot traffic outside your unit. You will also have to bear with noise from the street especially if you live in a busy area.
3. Your security may be compromised
You are more vulnerable to incidences of burglary when you live in a garden apartment. Since they are on the bottom level, they are easier for thieves to access than apartments on higher floors. You will want to take preventive security measures if you are considering living in a garden style apartment.
4. Look out for pests
Since you are on the bottom level, there is a higher likelihood of encountering insects and other pests in your unit. The fact that you are in such close proximity to a garden only serves to increase these chances.
5. Bear with the cost of heating
While the cost of cooling your apartment may be lower during the summer, your unit will likely be cooler in the winter due to the rising heat. As a result, you may have to pay more for heating.
6. More prone to dampness
If you live in a humid area, your garden style unit will retain moisture, consequently resulting dampness.
7. The views may not be so great if your unit is in the basement
If your garden apartment is at basement level, your view will mainly consist of street activity. Watching people walk by on a daily basis is hardly the ideal view you want.
- What is a basement apartment? Just like the name suggests, a basement apartment is situated below street level on the bottom floor of a building. There are strict rules in place when it comes to legally renting out a basement apartment. The ceiling has to be at least 7 feet high, and every room in the unit must have a window that is at least half as high as the street level. Due to the risk of mold, the walls should also be damp- and water-proofed in order to ensure the safety of tenants.
- What is a junior 1 bedroom apartment? A junior one bedroom apartment sometimes referred to as a conversion apartment, is a slight step up from a studio apartment since it comes with a separate sleeping room. In some cases, the sleeping area may not be fully separate from the living area, although you have the option to install a room divider to distinguish the two. Junior one bedroom apartment are generally bigger than studios, and they also offer more privacy.