Depending on where you live, the term garden apartment can mean different things. In some cities, it simply means that you have access to green space, while in other cities it suggests a certain number of stories, amenities, etc. But what are garden apartments in New York City?
A garden apartment in New York City typically refers to a ground floor apartment in a multi-unit building that comes with private access to outdoor green space.
Garden apartments can be a perfect fit if you’re looking for private or semi-private outdoor space, but as with any Manhattan purchase, it’s best to learn all there is to know about the pros and cons of garden apartments before you make an offer on one. In this article, we’ll cover the difference between a first floor and parlor floor, pricing of garden apartments, and the pros and cons of purchasing a garden apartment in NYC.
What You Should Know About Garden Apartments in New York City
As with any market, there is some variety to what agents and brokers call different types of apartments. The technical definition of a garden apartment is a ground floor apartment in a multi-unit building that comes with private access to outdoor green space…but some brokers will use the term garden apartment to refer to a garden-level apartment, even if there’s no private outdoor space attached.
Garden Apartment Levels – First Floor, Parlor Floor, Etc.
We briefly mentioned this above, but in NYC the ‘first floor’ can actually be one of two floors – the ground floor or the parlor level.
The reason for these two separate floors is the era in which many NYC buildings were built. A large number of NYC garden apartments were constructed in the late 1800s or early 1900s when most transportation was still provided by horse – and with horses comes manure. In an effort to keep the inside of these homes clean, architects added a flight of steps to the second floor (or parlor floor) to enter the home.
Therefore, an apartment that enters into the parlor level of the home that has access to ground-floor private outdoor space is still considered a garden apartment, even though there’s technically a floor beneath the entrance level.
Pricing of Garden Apartments
As with any other apartment type in NYC, pricing depends on a variety of factors.
Location is always one of the biggest pricing factors – the closer to Manhattan, the more expensive things tend to be. Brownstones often come with private outdoor space (though not always) and are highly sought after, resulting in a higher price tag. Renovated spaces, those with more square footage, and those with larger green spaces tend to be priced higher as well.
Another key determining factor for pricing within the garden apartment category is how you actually access the garden space from within the apartment. The most desirable setup is to have direct access from the living or dining space, followed by access from the primary bedroom.
Any other type of access, like through a secondary bedroom, tends to fetch a lower price – and it’s easy to imagine why. If you have kids or company sleeping in a bedroom that you need to walk through to access your private outdoor space, you’re much less likely to be able to use it without disturbing someone.
Pros of Purchasing A NYC Garden Apartment
Garden apartments already come with one huge advantage over many apartments in New York City – outdoor space. But they are certainly different from those with terraces or rooftop decks, and there are a few less obvious benefits that are important to take into consideration when apartment shopping.
1. They’re Easily Accessible
If you choose to buy or rent a garden apartment, moving in is a breeze. You can say goodbye to the days of carrying boxes and heavy furniture up many flights of stairs or dealing with elevators. The same can be said for everyday access – there’s no waiting for an elevator or climbing up countless steps to enter your home.
2. They’re Great For Pets
If you’ve ever lived in a high-rise apartment building in New York City with a dog, you know how difficult it can be to time bathroom breaks. In a garden apartment, you can let your furry friend out the back door off leash to sniff around to their heart’s content.
3. They Tend To Be Quiet(er)
NYC is not a quiet place – but any New Yorker already knows that. You’ll likely always hear sirens, horns, and alarms if you live in the city. But if you’re looking for more solitude, garden apartments may be a perfect choice. These homes tend to be quieter for a variety of reasons: they are lower to the ground and therefore better insulated from sound, the larger buildings that surround them absorb some of the sound as well, and they tend to be built in more residential areas that simply don’t generate as much noise as the high-rise parts of NYC.
Cons of Purchasing A NYC Garden Apartment
While it’s true that there are many reasons to move into a garden apartment in New York City, there’s also a few good reasons not to. It really just depends on your household’s priorities and preferences.
1. No Sweeping Views
Part of living in NYC is appreciating it from above – there’s something magical about watching a Manhattan sunset bathe the city in golden light. Because of their height relative to the buildings around them, garden apartments are not known for their breathtaking views. Being halfway below grade, the windows you do have typically look out at street level – so you may get to know your neighbor’s shoes well.
2. Rodents and Pests
It’s no secret that NYC has more than its fair share of rodents and pests – it’s inevitable anytime there’s a huge number of people living close together. But since garden apartments mean you are closer to the ground, you’re more likely to encounter unpleasant guests more often than if you were higher up in a high-rise building. This is especially true if there’s nearby construction – it’s very common to hear about an uptick in rodent and pest sightings if a building in close proximity is undergoing work.
3. Staging for Construction
Extra critters aren’t the only concern that comes along with construction – if you own a garden apartment, you might even find your private outdoor space become a staging area. Often the building actually has final say of who gets to use the private outdoor space, even if you ‘own’ it. This is actually something that can happen with private terraces, too.
Looking for more resources? Check out our dedicated Buyer and Seller info pages!
Enjoy A Little Slice Of The Great Outdoors In A Garden Apartment
Now that you’re familiar with the pros and cons of owning garden apartments in New York City, you can get on with your search for your new home. Visit Corcoran’s website to get a glimpse of the available garden apartments in New York City.
Whatever type of apartment you choose to go with, it’s important to have quality representation in the form of a knowledgeable and seasoned expert real estate broker.
Contact the Gasdaska Conlon Team for help buying or selling apartments in Manhattan, no matter the size or location. We work tirelessly to provide the greatest value possible for all our clients. Let us show you how.