It’s no secret that finding your perfect apartment can be a challenging experience. Not only do you need to find a place that’s in your desired neighborhood and matches your budget, but you also want to live somewhere that aligns with your personality and lifestyle. If you’re apartment hunting and you’re searching for a truly unique unit with nature right at your doorstep, then a garden apartment might be the ideal style for you.
What is a garden apartment?
The definition of a garden-style apartment may be slightly different based on where you live.
Generally, most garden apartments refer to an apartment complex surrounded by green spaces like gardens, flowers, woods, or large lawns. The apartment building is no more than three stories tall and the green space is shared by all of the tenants.
However, if you’re looking for garden-style apartments in Boston, MA, or Brooklyn, NY, you’ll find that the east coast has a more strict definition for the apartment type. A garden apartment on the east coast usually refers to a unit located on ground level and has direct access to a private garden or patio space.
Garden-style apartments vs basement apartments
It’s common for people to use the terms garden apartment and basement apartment interchangeably. However, there are some subtle differences between the two.
While you enter both apartments through the first floor, a basement apartment will have at least 50% of the unit located below ground level. In contrast, a garden apartment typically never goes below ground level. Another key difference is that a basement apartment generally won’t feature any green space or have a private patio area.
Pros and cons of garden apartments
As with any apartment type, garden apartments have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re thinking about renting a garden apartment, here are some pros and cons to consider.
Bonus outdoor space – Possibly the biggest advantage of garden apartments is their outdoor space. Whether the unit has a small patio or a large community garden, it’s great to have a living space surrounded by greenery.
Energy efficient – This apartment style may help save you money on utility bills in the summer. Since hot air rises and garden apartments are mostly located on the ground floor, your apartment may stay cooler than the ones above you. – This could allow you to cut down on cooling costs and save you money.
Better value – Having an apartment located on the ground floor isn’t for everyone. Because of that, they generally have a lower monthly rent than units with similar square footage.
Great for pets – A garden apartment is ideal for renters with pets. Having easy access to an outdoor space is great for pets to burn off some energy and enjoy some fresh air.
Pest problems – Pests like flies, gnats, and cockroaches have an easier time getting into apartments located on the bottom floor. When touring this apartment type, it’s a good idea to ask the landlord if they spray for pests and what steps they suggest tenants take to ensure bugs don’t enter the unit.
Little sunlight – This apartment style usually has units with small windows which let in little natural light. This can be great for night owls or those who work night shifts, however, some renters may feel like the space is too dark.
Moisture and mold – Garden apartments can suffer from moisture problems. Those wanting to rent this style should check the unit for any preexisting mold problems before signing a lease. While living in the apartment, keeping moisture at bay by fixing any leaks immediately and using a dehumidifier is a must.
Privacy issues – As with any street-level apartment, garden apartments often give little privacy. If you’re not comfortable with seeing people walking outside from your window, this style may not be right for you.
Limited availability – “The biggest problem I see with garden apartments is finding availability. In Florida, most of the complexes were built in the 50s and 60s and unfortunately have not made a large comeback. They’re the kind of apartments that many put up a “for rent” sign rather than listing on a public website. If you’re wanting this apartment style, driving through neighborhoods that you’re interested in living in may turn up more options.” – Rae Anna Conforti, Tampa, FL Realtor, Tampa Real Estate Insider
Final thoughts on garden apartments
When searching for apartments, it’s important to take the apartment style into consideration to make sure it’ll fit your lifestyle. Garden apartments are ideal for:
- Pet owners
- Night owls
- Renters on a budget
- Nature lovers
If you align with more than one of the above characteristics, then it’s worth it to tour a garden apartment in person.