Colleen Corgan
Colleen Corgan
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4 years ago
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Should I rent a basement apartment? Pros and cons needed, please

I have actually been LOOKING for an English basement in Georgetown, which makes everyone I've talked to think I'm crazy. I'll admit that the reasoning behind it is a little bit "off" ... I have a treadmill that I want to keep and it would be too loud if I had a downstairs neighbor.

I've actually never lived below anybody before (all of my apartments have been on the top floor or just townhouses), so I'm kinda new to the whole basement idea.

Besides being able to bring a treadmill, jump around whenever you like, etc, what are the pros of renting a basement unit?

Cons?
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marc mcgee
marc mcgee
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4 years ago
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Two things to be aware of when renting a basement apartment: (1) personal safety, since it is more 'accessible' than higher-up units; and, (2) be sure there is a very good drain(s) and that it is kept free and clean of debris (leaves, etc.) because one good summer downpour and you won't believe how much water can get into your unit! This would include window well covers and a good drain at the bottom of open stairs. They also tend to be dark, which some prefer, and you don't have to carry heavy stuff very far.
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Alfonso Lucero
Alfonso Lucero
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2 years ago
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Is it bad for a person to own two apartments? For example, I rent a basement apartment under my name but have my family live there and I rent another apartment also under my name and actually live there. Can that be a problem?

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Robert Yelton
Robert Yelton
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4 years ago
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Hi Colleen,
The positives related to a basement apartment fall mainly in the area of savings on your heating and cooling costs. That depends to some degree on the orientation of the dwelling in relation to the sun's path and how many exposed (above grade) walls there are. Reduced noise from outside sources can be another benefit. Although that does not include haevy-footed neighbors living above you. The most significant con is possible long-term existence of moisture and mold. If this is not new construction ask the owner to tell you if and when the basement was last tested for mold/moisture levels and by whom (contact information and receipt) or when the basement was last waterproofed. Again providing you with contact information and receipt for the work performed. Hope this helps.

Robert

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WHISTLE STOP REALTY LLC
WHISTLE STOP REALTY LLC
Real Estate Professional
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4 years ago
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I have never come across a basement apartment that did not have some type of moisture problem. Besides the obvious allergy problem, excess moisture attracts water bugs, etc. and may cause your belongings to "smell"; Just be sure this apartment is "legal"; You can check with your local building code enforecment. Just because it has been previously rented does not make it "legal" to rent. Better safe than sorry. I have heard stories where there was a fire and come to find out, the person was renting out a basement apartment illegally. (windows have to meet the code and exits must meet the code). Same goes for a garage. Someone cannot just decide to make a garage into an extra bedroom. There are codes that this violates.

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Christina Williams
Christina Williams
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4 years ago
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My family's been in a basement apartment for more than a year, and I am SO glad to be getting out. I actually like the cave-like atmosphere, but I don't like the persistent water and mold issue. It's a constant battle keeping this place safe for my family. That's not to say that your apartment would have the same issues, but you can't tell by looks alone, and a landlord isn't exactly going to tell you if your apartment is prone to flooding. Personally, I wouldn't do it again.

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Nick
Nick
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3 years ago
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By chance or design, I have lived in 3 different basement apartments. Given the option, I would do it again if given the option.

Some thoughts:
-Inquire about Radon levels. I was in one unit that had just over the 'normal' level and we installed a small vent system and it brought the level down.
-Cooling is cheaper; but if you like having your apartment warm in the winter this will work against you; your heat tends to benefit those above you.
-I worked non-standard shifts at the time and the little daylight worked to my advantage. I placed some mirrors on the window ledge that increased the usable daylight in the main rooms.
-Typically cheaper than the other units in the same building/location.
-Flooding can be very bad. I had one unit have a sewage main back up through the toilet and the landlord was unsympathetic. Essentially the whole building was flushing sewage into my apartment as the blockage was at the street and there were several units above me.

Good luck!

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David Rossi
David Rossi
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4 years ago
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I have lived in a basement apartment twice. Access has always been very private which is huge. Invest in your dehumidifier - alergies/dust/mites/bugs go away immediately. Very cool in the summer regardless of time of day. Winters tend to be cold so make sure you've got your own heat that you control. Treadmill can be a challenge too since you have to stand on the machine elevating you 6-10 inches depanding on where you are and then if you start to run - your going to hit your head - everytime. Check the plumbing thoroughly - flush the toilet - run the sink - etc. If ANYTHING backs up - it's coming in through your shower/tub.
I've always enjoyed the basement living - I'm 6'2" and kept the running to the streets - weights in the apartment.
Good luck

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Colleen Corgan
Colleen Corgan
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4 years ago
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Interesting, thanks. I spent the night at my girl friend's basement apt last week and my allergies have been terrible ever since. I know it's likely not all attributable to those 24 hours, but something to think about.

We'll see what I find, but I"m going to look at non-basement apartments now too.
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r w
r w
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4 years ago
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Let's be real. You're a grown woman. You're not worried about noise people hear while you're "exercising." I've had a basement apt twice because... well privacy is important. I loved both of my basements because of the floor space for the price and the private entrance. Plus your roommates (if you have them) dont have to hear the butt-smacks and moans when you're exercising. Also, Mr. Mcgee was right when he talked about the drainage issue, but if the homeowner isn't a dumb a%% and put a decent system in place down there you'll be perfectly fine. To you and anyone else that wants a basement apartment for the "privacy" and exclusivity--GET IT.

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megan young
megan young
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2 years ago
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I currently live under a bar in a walk out basement. for me the cons definately out weigh the pros!
Cons:
1) no sunlight, except through the two windows in the living room 2) condensation is terrible when you take a shower! When you get out, it is a literal cave! the water is dripping from the ceiling. 3) because of this condensation, there is a bad problem with mildew. 4)location! I LIVE UNER A BAR! It was a good idea after a couple duis but now it just sucks. I'm up till 2-4 every night dealing with people playing pool over my bed and listening to bad bands who think that the loud music makes them sound better. 5) there is only one exit door to my unit, and the windows don't open, I'm sure there is a fire hazard in there somewhere. 6) Parking sucks. 7) always be sure to lock the door even when you are in your apartment, it is incredably easy for people to come in! 8) since I am under a restaurant, the fire alarms go directly to the firestation. There is no ventalation in my place, there is a ductless range hood, the windows don't open and there is only one door - the firemen know me by now. Even backing salmon on wood planks set off the fire alarm!
Pros:
1) No Duis in the past 4 years that I've lived here. 2)I have never had an apartment this size for the money! But honestly the bigger rooms aren't worth everything else. 3)Moving furniture in and out is easy!

My advice;
If the unit itself is nice, if there is natural light, if the landlord seems reasonable to work with - go for it! It's not like its a permanent residence so you can always move if things don't work out. If possible though, I would try to find a 1st floor apartment instead.
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megan young
megan young
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2 years ago
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I've had problems with bugs too, mainly spiders.
You utility bills will be a lot cheaper. Mine were half the cost of my former apparment!

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Colleen Corgan
Colleen Corgan
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4 years ago
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I'll start.

Pro: - can walk around in heals without bothering your downstairs neighbor

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Shana Simpson
Shana Simpson
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4 years ago
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I lived in a basement floor unit before. It was alright but I guess I did have some cons:

The opposite of your pro, we could hear the upstairs neighbors whenever they walked around

We had a really big bug problem (I don't know if this was jsut my apartment)

There wasn't as much sunlight

The ceilings were definitely lower than a normal floor apartment

My roommate had really bad alergies from living there (again, don't know if this was just my particular place, but she doesn't have them anymore)
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deborah dixon
deborah dixon
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2 years ago
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Hi Colleen,i also had a basement apartment,and just like Marc and Shana said,there are some cons to living in a garden apartment(that's what they're called where i live.garden,basement,they r the same.but as for my apt,i had problems with both flooding,and bugs.but i blame alot of that building on my owners of the unit.i was young,just proud 2 have my own place/space.but there are also some very nice basement apts.i just prefer the 2nd floor for more security reason.right now i am on the 3rd floor with no elevators,and the commute up and down is killing me.just 4 me 2 laundry i have 2 go down 36stairs,and back up them same 36stairs.didn't have 2nd floor unit avail.but back 2 ur question.basement apartment are good 2 live n,just have 2 find the right 1,and the right owners/management.good luck 2 u.

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Elizabeth Akers
Elizabeth Akers
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2 years ago
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DO NOT DO IT!!!!! I live in a basement apartment and I absolutly hate it. There is no tv reception what so ever. I hear everything that happens above me like im in the same room. When the residents above me busted there hot water tank all the water came down in my apartment. When it rains the water comes in and the water bugs come with it. Im looking to move asap. If you are looking for an apartment I highly suggest the 1st level or higher.

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A HotPads user
A HotPads user
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4 years ago
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pros cooler in summer.

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Barry Bates
Barry Bates
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3 years ago
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Colleen, I just helped a client to lease a basement apartment and what I learned is that: 1)No windows is bad, no matter how much space there is or other conveniences, and 2)Similar to purchasing a home, renters love windows/lights in their living spaces too! The unit he selected was only about 50% underground, so utilities will be nice in the warmer months. So don't compromise or limit yourself. Keep you options open and wear fluffy houseshoes if you move into an upper floor living area!

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Tamika Rowley
Tamika Rowley
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2 years ago
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I've been living in a basement apartment for two years now. And even though I do love it I can't wait to move out next month. Pros: obviously no one below you, normally cheaper, cool in the summer annnd that's all i got! Cons: bugs, extremely dark, people upstairs an be honest wih yourself if you are easily depressed DO NOT get basement apt. Natural light and lights from a lamp have a huge difference I wake up at 8 on a summer morning and it seems as thought its 6pm. If these things don't bother you then go for it but it is difinatly something to think about

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A HotPads user
A HotPads user
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Only cons. It's bad feng shui. You're essentially buried, you know, like what happens after you die. And that's how you will start to feel. It will become very bad for you on both a physical and emotional level. Basements are not to be lived in. They are JUST for the treadmill...and jumping around.
BTW, you don't want to be over a garage either.

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Tanner Plauche
Tanner Plauche
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2 years ago
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I don't know about Georgetown, but my wife and I rented a basement apartment for a year in a small town in Utah. We loved it. Just like other people said, it was warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It was in Utah, which is really dry, so moisture was not a problem. I enjoyed the "nook" feeling...like we were hidden away out of the way from other people. Lighting wasn't too bad, but can see how it would be if the the basement apartment is in a city or urban area. I like them. Good luck to you!
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A HotPads user
A HotPads user
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Tanner, I just wanted to tell how comforting it was reading your comment about basement apartments. Almost everyone says horror things about them and I was wondering if at least there was one person in the planet that could say that really loved living in there. It's such a difficult thing to find an apartment that meet your needs and also at a good price. I'm seeing one tomorrow and hope I really like it so I stop this exhausting chasing.

Thank you,

Mariela

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Roee Leblanc
Roee Leblanc
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2 years ago
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Loved my basement unit. Stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Make sure land and unit have sufficient drainage or get renters insurance just to be safe on the front. Good luck!

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A HotPads user
A HotPads user
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1 year ago
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Do not forget, if it is cold where you live, basement apartments lose heat very fast. The upstairs ones steal it (heat rises) so invest in a small space heater and some nice heated blankets, also put on window insulation. I live in one right now in Fargo, ND, it is minus 30 degrees with a -50 windchill, and thank god for my fun little heater :)

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Galloway Ewing
Galloway Ewing
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2 months ago
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Benefit is low cost, get lot of friends and negative i thing no security. if you want sell your property using Craigslist means just contact the http://www.classifiedadposter.com

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