What is a Garden Apartment? The Good and Bad of it!

You can find garden apartments throughout the US in both urban and rural areas.

These apartments typically have access to green space. Many people get confused when they come across the term ‘garden apartments for sale’, so in order to help you gain more insight keep reading.

In this blog post, you will learn about garden apartments.

You will also learn about the pros and cons of garden apartments so that you can make an informed decision about renting or buying these types of flats.

What are Garden Apartments?

Garden apartments are a type of apartment that is usually built on lower levels. These apartments generally have direct access to a garden or backyard.

The ground floor units have patios with access to green spaces, while units on second or higher floors have balconies similar to a typical apartment.

Queensboro Corporation built the first garden apartments in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1914. They had constructed different buildings such as Chateau, Hawthorne, and Towers that are the central part of the present historic site of Jackson Heights. These apartment units had large green spaces instead of paved courtyards.

The original garden apartment complexes spread out horizontally instead of being vertically stacked together.

Each unit had an attached garden or a courtyard that made them different from traditional apartments.

How are Garden Apartments Different from Basement Apartments?

Garden apartments are residential units situated at the ground level. Many people mix up garden apartments with basement apartments since both are at the ground level.

Basement apartments are different than garden apartments in that half of the apartment units are below the ground level.

Half the height of the apartment is above the ground and the other half below the ground level.

Building codes in most states require that the ceilings should be at least seven feet high. Moreover, the walls of the basement apartments need to be damp and waterproofed.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Garden Apartment?

Garden apartments are not for everyone. You should know about the pros and cons of the apartment before you make any decision.

Pros of Garden Apartments

Let’s have a look at some of the good things about the Garden apartments.

Great Views of the Garden Space

People who love greenery will be delighted with a garden apartment.

They can grow trees and plants in the attached green space. You can have a great view of the green space from inside.

Moreover, everyone can enjoy fresh air sitting outside.

Outdoor Parking

Most garden apartments have outdoor parking spaces. Typically, there is no covered parking or garage in a garden apartment. Just park the car outside and enter the apartment through the garden area.

While garden units can be convenient in accessing the apartment, outside parking can also expose the vehicle to harsh weather elements.

No Need for Stairs or Elevators

Are you afraid of elevators? Do you dread climbing the stairs? If so, a garden apartment is right for you due to easy accessibility.

You can access the garden units through the front gate or attached garden. Some garden apartments also have ramps instead of stairs.

Street-level access to garden apartments is ideal for the elderly and people who have children or four-legged friends. If your pet has to do their business, it can go outside to relieve itself with ease. There is no need to go down the flight of stairs to take your pet out for a walk.

Save Money in Rent

Garden apartments are generally less costly compared to a typical apartment.

The cost of these apartments can be about 30 percent lower compared to a traditional apartment. The rent of the garden apartments is also lower.

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Furnish an Apartment?

Save Money on Utility Bills

Garden apartments will also save you money on utility bills. Units on the lower floor generally require less energy as compared to upper floor units.

Hot air always rises to the top, so the lower floors are not as hot as the upper floors during the summer. As a result, the lower units will require less heating, which in turn helps save electricity costs.

In winter, the carpeting and ceiling will also hold the heat, which means you don’t have to crank up the thermostat to stay warm.

Also read: 8 Reasons Why Your Apartment is Hot (+ Tips to Make it Better)

Cons of Garden Apartments

While there are a lot of positives about garden apartments, there are also some negatives that you should know about.

Low Natural Light

Garden apartments are typically at the ground level. Light will not penetrate the rooms, particularly during the winters.

You may have to use artificial light even during the day due to low natural light.

Humidity Issue

In case you live in a place that constantly experiences rain, moisture and dampness will be an issue if you buy or rent a garden apartment unit.

Moisture will increase the risk of mold and mildew formation. Moreover, the place will be prone to critters and pest problems.

Low Property Value

Garden apartments are not a good investment as they sell for less and appreciate in value slowly. If you plan to buy apartments for investment purposes, garden apartments are not the best fit.

The demand for garden apartments is generally lower than traditional flats, due to which you will face difficulty making a profit from the purchase.

May Feel Claustrophobic

In most garden apartments, the ceiling is much lower, due to which you may feel claustrophobic.

When coupled with the fact that there is less light, space becomes not so ideal for people who prefer bright and open spaces.

Privacy Issue

Privacy is another con of a garden apartment. No walls are surrounding the attached green space. So, forget about a romantic dinner with your partner in the attached garden.

The green space is an open community space where everyone can enjoy the outdoors.

Do not consider the attached outside area as a private place to gather your thoughts or spend some alone time.

Things to Consider When Renting or Buying a Garden Apartment

If you have decided to buy a garden apartment, you should consider several factors to ensure that you will have a comfortable time living in the apartment.

Here are a few essential considerations when buying or renting a garden apartment.

Ceiling Height

Interior space should be the foremost consideration when buying a new unit. The interior space should not feel cramped.

A garden apartment with a high ceiling is preferable since it will not only feel less cramped but will also be more energy-efficient.

A unit with high ceilings will get less hot during the summers as the air will be spread over a larger area. Moreover, a high ceiling will also collect more light, due to which the unit will seem less like a dungeon.

Square Footage

You should consider the square footage of the garden apartment before buying or renting a unit.

Find out if the dining area, kitchen, and bedroom are of suitable size. The space inside should not feel too cramped as it will create stress among the family members.

Water Drainage

Another critical consideration in the case of a garden apartment is water drainage. A garden apartment is more likely to floor during rain due to drainage issues.

Drainage problems will result in high maintenance costs due to water damage.

Be wary of signs of recent damage caused by water.

You should find out if the streets are wide enough to drain water during the downpour. Make sure that the edges of the road are curved instead of straight.

Water won’t form into puddles when it rains if the edges are curved.

Moreover, you should see if there are signs of cheap solutions to water drainage issues like slapped-on paint, drywall panels, and other similar indicators.

These quick fixes are only temporary solutions that do not address the underlying drainage problem.

Security & Privacy

Security and privacy are also important considerations when buying a new garden apartment. Since garden apartment units are at the ground level, there is a greater chance of a break-in.

Make sure that the garden-level apartment has bars on the windows. The doors should also be fitted with secure locks to prevent a break-in.


The location of the garden apartment should be a major consideration. You should check if the apartment is in a good neighborhood.

Find out if there are restaurants, cafes, parks, and other attractions nearby. Is the neighborhood adequately lit? How far away is your workplace?

Location is an important consideration. Don’t rush into buying or renting a unit without considering the site.


Noise is also an important consideration when buying or renting a garden unit. You should make sure that the neighborhood is not too noisy.

A noisy place will not be a pleasant space. It will create stress and other psychological problems among the family members.

Investigate the area before committing to a purchase. It is essential to ensure that you won’t lose sleep due to a noisy neighborhood.

Also read: How to Tell If an Apartment is Soundproof?

Final Thoughts

Garden apartments can be a great place to live in for people who want a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Make sure that you do your research before purchasing or renting a unit.

The apartments have specific pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision. The information in this blog post will help you arrive at the right decision.

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