Most Denver homes have basements, and many of the ones that don’t are condos

A perfectly lovely basement that I'll never want to rent. (Proccers/Flickr via CC 2.0)
A perfectly lovely basement that I'll never want to rent. (Proccers/Flickr via CC 2.0)
A perfectly lovely basement that I’ll never want to rent. (Proccers/Flickr via CC 2.0)

If you’ve ever searched for a place to rent in Denver, you probably have feelings about this phrase: “garden-level.” Or maybe you spot a reasonably-priced place in a great neighborhood, only to discover it’s subterranean.

Well, in this Readers’ Choice/Chart of the Week crossover, we’re looking at just how common these lower level dwellings are. 

First, it’s worth noting that the relative popularity of basements varies a lot across the country. In California, people wonder why there are so few. In Florida, basements are an oddity. So if you’re from out of state, you might be from a basement-deficient area.

The National Association of Home Builders put it all in perspective in 2014: the colder your area, the more likely that you have a basement. In our part of the country, over half of single-family homes built in 2013 included a basement, according to their analysis.

Well, here in Denver, roughly 60 percent of all homes, including condos, have some sort of basement, according to data from the Denver Assessor’s Office.

Side note: There actually is a difference between basements and garden level units, at least in terms of home assessments. The office’s Lisa Chamber says that a garden level unit often has one above-grade window, though whether or not it’s recorded falls to the individual assessor.

Here’s where all those basement and garden level homes are:

Basements are basically everywhere. So, what’s with the 40 percent of houses that don’t have a basement? About half were condos, again, according to Denver Assessor’s Office data. Perhaps not surprising given that 91.9 percent of condos didn’t have a basement, at least not according the Denver Assessor’s data.

Percentage of homes without a basement, by type of home

Now that you know most homes have a basement, I encourage you to find a good use for them. I’m thinking a sleepover where we all play Mario Kart until 2 a.m.. We should go to your place unless you want to play in my building’s laundry room.