Apartment types

What You Need to Know about Garden Apartments

Rob Whiting
Boom Team

Living in big cities is not always conducive for those who want to have access to green spaces like parks and gardens. If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance to a city park such as Central Park in New York or Boston Common in Boston, you’re probably there as much as you can to soak up the fresh air and be as close to nature as possible!

However, for people living far from city parks or those living in crowded urban areas, these green spaces might not be as accessible. For those who want the urban vibe of big city life but still want to be able to relax and connect with nature, a garden style apartment is a great choice.

What is a Garden Apartment?

A garden apartment is a type of apartment with direct access to green space. They are typically found on lower levels of a building so that the residents can simply walk out of their apartment and enjoy the open area. For apartments on the ground floor, they can have private patios while units that are located on higher floors can have balconies.

In a garden apartment complex, the green spaces are usually communal so that all the residents can enjoy them. While these are usually outdoor gardens, a pricier apartment complex can have clubhouses, pools, and playgrounds.

Considering the additional space requirements, garden apartments are usually found in suburban areas, but they can also be found in large cities that put a premium on integrating nature with urban design. In NYC, you can find a garden style apartment in neighborhoods like Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Harlem. In Boston, these are common in neighborhoods such as South Boston and Back Bay.

Garden Apartments vs. Basement Apartments

Every now and again, you might find a listing that lists a “basement apartment” as having the same description and amenities as a garden apartment, but is there a difference between the two?

In a nutshell, yes! Garden apartments are typically found on the ground floor, but there are some units that are built below ground level, hence the confusion. However, basement apartments are legally required to have half the height of the apartment below street level, with at least one window in each room, and the ceiling height must be at least seven feet. These restrictions do not apply to a garden style apartment.

Pros of Renting a Garden Apartment

Here are some of the pros of getting a garden apartment:

Easy Accessibility

Since most garden apartments are found on ground floors, you won’t have to worry about walking up multiple flights of stairs like you would have to do in a walk-up apartment! This is great for people with mobility issues or parents who have children. You won’t need to worry about lugging up groceries or deliveries either.

Great for Pet Owners and Plant Lovers

Finding an apartment that allows you to take care of your fur babies or have a garden of your own can be a challenge, but not for residents of a garden style apartment! Most garden apartment owners are amenable to allowing their renters to keep pets or take care of plants because of the open green space. What’s more, easy access to the street means that you can easily take your pet out of the apartment whenever they need to “take care of business”.


Since garden apartments tend to be found in suburban areas, rent is usually cheaper compared to other types of apartments with comparable floor space. Even if you rent a garden apartment in big cities, you’ll usually find them at the lowest level of a townhouse or a brownstone, so you might have the chance to haggle at a lower rent if you play your cards right.

Energy Efficient

NYC tends to get pretty warm and humid during the summer, but if you’re living in a garden apartment, you can save money on your electricity bills. Since hot air rises, your garden apartment can stay comfortable with minimal cooling. You can simply open a window and turn on a fan instead of having to run your air conditioner to cool your apartment.

Great for Night Owls

If you love staying out late or you work nights, a garden apartment might be perfect for you. The interior tends to stay dark and cool during the day, allowing you to sleep comfortably. What’s more, you can quietly come and go from your apartment without bothering other people in your building.

What You Should Consider When Getting a Garden Style Apartment

While there’s no denying that garden apartments have so many pros, there are also some things that you need to consider before renting one.

Lack of Natural Light

Since your apartment is located on the bottom floor or on lower levels, there won’t be as much natural light coming into your apartment. This can be an issue if you live in a city where sunlight is sparse during the winter months.

Prone to Dampness

Since there is not much light coming into the apartment, this tends to attract moisture and dampness. This could make the apartment prone to mold and mildew. It might not also be an ideal setup for people who have asthma or respiratory issues.

Prone to Pests and Critters

Considering the proximity to green space, garden apartments are known to be prone to attracting pests and critters. Flying insects and rodents are common pests in garden style apartments, so you might want to consider getting some form of pest control.

Usually far from Urban Centers

As mentioned above, garden style apartments are typically located in suburban areas. This means that you’ll be far from city centers where you’ll find the majority of shopping, dining, and leisure options. While many garden apartments do have space for cars, you’ll be forced to drive whenever you want to shop, eat out, or have a night out with friends.

Is a Garden Apartment Right for Me?

Garden apartments are fantastic options for people who enjoy being close to green spaces, want to care for pets or plants, or simply have access to open space while still living in a big city. In fact, when you consider that most of the “cons” of a garden apartment can be fixed with a little bit of proactive planning with pest control and proper ventilation, you might end up wondering why more people aren’t getting these awesome apartments!

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