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Why People Buy Garden Level Homes

Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the South End are three of Boston’s most iconic neighborhoods and have become increasingly desirable places for residents to call home. The juxtaposition of the quiet residential streets with the bustling activity on the nearby downtown streets makes these neighborhoods unique, charming and inviting.

Historic brownstone homes are ubiquitous throughout these neighborhoods in the form of condominiums, single family, and multi-family dwellings.  Most of these brownstones were built back in the early 1900’s, originally constructed as single family or multi-family homes. The concept of the Condominium was conceived in the 1960s and has been growing in popularity ever since.

During the conversion of a single or multi family brownstone into condominiums, multiple units are designed and developed, one on top of the other, creating some combination of lower level, middle and upper level units. The lower level unit is commonly referred to as the garden level unit. The middle level(s) is often referred to as the parlor level and the upper most level unit is most commonly referred to as the penthouse.  While condos can be designed spanning any number of floors, we often see floor-through units, which are all on one floor; duplexes, which span two floors; and triplexes which consist of three levels. While every individual has his/her own idea of what makes a home “perfect”, there are pros and cons of living on each different level of a brownstone condo building. 

Below, we will explore some of the advantages of living in a garden level unit and offer our thoughts on how lower level units overcome the stigma of being “darker” and less desirable.

What motivates a buyer to purchase a garden-level home?

  • Easy access from the street
  • Fewer flights of stairs
  • Often there is a separate, private entrance from the other units in the building 
  • Outdoor space tends to be slightly larger offering the opportunity for a garden/entertaining
  • Direct access to parking if a deeded spot is available behind the building
  • Units tend to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer creating energy efficiency
  • Pricing tends to be slightly lower than comparable units on mid or upper levels because of the “stigma” that all garden level units are dark and less desirable

Understanding the pros and cons of every unit will help you make an informed decision when exploring your options. If you’re considering a purchase, let us guide and help you find the perfect fit for you. 

Click here to view some of our favorite garden level homes in Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End.

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