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Moving Tips

Our Guide to Basement Apartments

Renting a basement apartment can help you live in neighborhoods or boroughs that would otherwise be out of reach. Basement apartments come with a few benefits as well as some significant drawbacks to consider. Make the most of your apartment hunt by considering these pros and cons, as well as tips to make your basement apartment more appealing.

Pros of Basement Apartments

Although basement apartments definitely come with some drawbacks, they offer some unique advantages that aren’t found in other apartment units.

cheerful woman surfing the internet in her basement apartment

More Affordable

The main reason most people seek out basement apartments is that they’re more affordable. Bargain hunters can have access to neighborhoods or boroughs that would otherwise be outside of their budget. If a basement apartment’s affordability knocks off a significant portion of your commute, it may improve your quality of life.


Basement apartments give their occupants much more privacy than traditional apartments. You typically won’t have people living next to you on any side. Your entrance will be more private, and there will be less full-size windows exposing your living space.


Many people work overnight shifts, and come home as the sun is coming up. For these people, a darker ambience could be super helpful in aiding their sleep habits. It can also be helpful to have a darker apartment if you suffer from migraines.


Basement apartments are typically much more spacious than other units. There’s usually only one unit per building because of things like heaters, A/C, laundry, and other large appliances.


You can beat the heat of the hot summer sun in a basement apartment. Around half of the unit will be under the ground, therefore cooled by the soil surrounding it. Sunlight won’t touch on as much of the apartment either, so it will be a major benefit when the city gets hot.

Cons of Basement Apartments

dark basement apartment

Low ceiling

Unfortunately, basement units usually don’t have ceilings as high as the rest of the floors in an apartment building. This means less brightness and natural light, which can be difficult for certain people.


Street-level noises will be closer to your apartment than they are to other units. Also, major appliances are usually located on the basement level, which can add to unwanted noise levels.

Mold and Pest Problems

Basement apartments are closer to unwanted pests that live on ground level and underground. This can mean more insects such as spiders and ants. It can also mean more rodents, like mice, or even rats.

It can also be problematic due to increased chances of mold. The moisture in the air is higher, and if any apartment above you experiences a leak, the water is flowing downward towards your living space.

No Balcony or Patio

Living in a basement apartment will likely mean that you don’t have any outdoor space to call your own, such as a patio or balcony. However, some buildings have common areas up on the roof, which can solve this problem, though they won’t be private.

It Might Not Be Legal

If a basement apartment is really a cellar apartment, it may not be legal in NYC. A cellar apartment is an apartment that is more than 50% underground. Even if you’re fine with the living space, it may not be legal, and you could be forced to move out.

Reference this helpful guide for NYC renters when shopping around for your next living space.

Make the Most of Your Basement Apartment

well-decorated basement apartment

If you’ve decided that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and you’re moving into a basement apartment, you should make some extra considerations to make it more homey and appealing.

Look for Daylight Basement Apartments

Also known as an “English basement”, a daylight basement apartment have one large window or glass door fully above ground, bringing in natural light and adding a cheerful vibe to the basement apartment.

Invest in Good Lighting

Basement apartments may have less natural lighting, but you can make up for that by installing higher-quality lighting. Recessed lighting looks really great in basements, and there are a number of unique lamps and fixtures that can dramatically improve the look of your living space.


Due to the fact that basement apartments attract more moisture, it is a wise decision to invest in a dehumidifier. This reduces the chances of harmful or unpleasant mold issues.

Colors, Decor

Your apartment may have lower ceilings and less natural light, but you can make up for this with creative, unique decor that makes the apartment feel uniquely yours.

It’s also a great idea to consider bright, cheerful and bold colors. Whether painting the walls, decorating the interior, or buying furniture, bold is better.

Hire Reputable Movers

metropolis moving truck

Once you make the final decision on your new living space, you’re going to need a team of professional, dependable movers to help you get there. Metropolis Moving has gained a reputation for being one of New York City’s most reliable, trustworthy movers. Stay one step ahead of the game, and request a quote today.

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