I am interested in the basement condo(?) whose windows are on the ground level. Is there any con?

Asked by Carol, 20815 Wed Oct 6, 2010

I like everything except that fact condo is located in the basement level. The windows are small.
Is it better to avoid those listings? What will be the problems to own such a unique place?
mold, flooding etc.?

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Barak Sky, Agent, Bethesda, MD
Sat Aug 3, 2013
I have sold a good amount of terrace level units in building ranging in size from row house conversions to high rises. Something to keep in mind is you will usually buy them at a lower price per sq ft and sell them for a lower price per sq ft however they sill still appreciate and depreciate with the market. There are some terrace level units depending on the building that will actually demand a higher price due its great and sometimes unique/rare outdoor space. Just make sure that if you chose to move forward that you have a home inspection and in some cases radon inspection. When it comes to having your windows on the ground level that is for sure a aspect that you need to think about. However, that is one of the reasons that usually make a unit more affordable. So its give and take.

Barak Sky - Realtor
Selected as one of REALTOR® Magazine's "30 under 30"
Licensed in DC, MD, and VA
Cell: (301) 742-5759
Office: (240) 497-1700
Fax: (240) 497-0350
Sky Group
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barakskyrealtor
Zillow: http://www.zillow.com/profile/Barak-Sky/
Trulia: http://www.trulia.com/profile/baraksky

Long & Foster Realtors
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
1 vote
xraybrain, Home Owner, Boston, MA
Sat Nov 3, 2012
There are "basement" condos and their are "garden level condos". I would suggest only considering a "garden level" condo because they are not far under ground like a true basement. I own one and it's about 4 feet below ground. I have been in it almost 20 years and no leaks, or mold although I encounter a few ants and spiders strolling about but not a big problem. THE BIG ADVANTAGE of a garden level condo is as follows.....(1) even though not far under ground they are considered basement units thus you can get a great deal on one taking advantage of the stigma of being a basement. I got my unit so cheap I paid off a 30 year mortgage in 7 years.(2) They are great if you like to exercise, run in place, lift weights etc because there is nobody living under you to hear it...and complain. (3) We all get old and it's really nice not having to go up or down stairs to get to your unit. (4) God forbid there should be a fire you can get out fast, even if you have to go through a window. CONS; (1) they can be a little harder to sell (2) They are an easy target for burglary....you can reduce this risk by placing alarm stickers on your windows and doors and have good double deadbolt locks on all doors. I have ADT alarm Co. stickers on windows and doors...and yes, my place did get broken into "once" (in 20 years).....thats when I got smart and got the deadbolt locks and stickers on all windows and doors. So if you plan on staying in the same unit for many years you can get a heck of a deal on a garden level unit...AND......don't be afraid to make a real low offer, they just might take it, My unit is in a very expensive area of metro Boston. I threw the agent a ridiculas low offer and the took it. I was floored
1 vote
Judy Glazer, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Mar 9, 2011
When you say basement it certainly conjures up thoughts of flooding and low light issues. There are however many wonderful ground level condos that offer beautiful terraces that you can walk out onto and even put up tables and umbrellas to enjoy the spring and summer months. I have a listing like this coming up some time this summer. It is well above ground so flooding and light are not an issue. It also faces the front which adds more security. It combines all of the conveniences of a condo with the benefits of a home.
If you are interested in learning more about this or other condos like this please feel free to contact me.

Judy Glazer
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
703-929-0463 (c)
1 vote
Craig Fauver, Agent, McLean, VA
Mon Oct 11, 2010

Basement condos often come at a discount for various reasons including:

1. Flooding
2. Poor Cell phone & Mobile Internet reception
3. Less window area and reduced natural light entering apartment
4. Less secure
5. Harder to resell / Less liquid of an asset

Let me know if I can help you in your property search!

Best Regards,
Craig Fauver

Long & Foster Realtors
(202) 643-HOUSE
(888) 814-4987
Web Reference:  http://www.craigfauver.com
0 votes
Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Carol -

Some potential problems are :

Potential Flooding
Lack of Light

These potential issues may lead to difficulty selling the property in the future. Historically these properties will sell for less than similar units on higher floors.
Good Luck!

If you like the answer - please consider making it a "Best Answer" !

Gerard Dunn
Associate Broker
Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Assisting Homebuyer's and Seller's for 28 years
0 votes
Lisa Thorik…, , San Diego, CA
Sun Oct 10, 2010
My experiences with basement properties has been that they are extremely problematic due to water issues, such as mold and flooding. In my opinion unless you can't afford better, there's probably a great deal with better resale potential.
Web Reference:  http://www.lchometeamsd.com
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Oct 10, 2010
Dogs relieving themselves at eye level . . .
0 votes
Eric Brooks, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Sun Oct 10, 2010

I am not sure about what building your are reviewing but I can offer some insight from experiences I have had with other buyers on condos...

- Ground floor unit are convenient for buyers with walking problems.
- Need to review the unit to see if any issues with water, bugs (ants) and if headlights from cars parking come into unit.
- For re-sale, it seems that in most cases, buyers want to live in 2nd or 3rd floor for security reasons.

There are more issues to be concerned with ground floor units than 2nd and 3rd floor unit but sometimes it comes down to pricing and location.

Eric Brooks - REALTOR ®
Long & Foster Realtors
4733 Bethesda Ave #100
Bethesda, MD 20814
Cell: 703-622-2001
Fax: 301-951-4997
Licensed in DC, MD and VA
0 votes
Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Wed Oct 6, 2010
Carol - You should consider the security issues for the unit. Windows at ground level provide easy access for prowlers and predators.

Although you can find these properties for a cheaper price in Bethesda - you will have more trouble selling them when the time comes.

I have 3-4 listings in Bethesda - 1 block from Bethesda Row and less than 4 blocks from Metro's red line.

Can I help you find something in the area that may make sense?

Let me know!

Good luck!

Gerry Dunn
Associate Broker

Serving Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. for 28 years
0 votes
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