Edinburgh’s vertical street structure is very unique. In the city centre you can find many properties including flats with at least one storey below the street level allowing passers-by direct view into your home. However, in some parts you can find flats even two storeys below the street level.
Most basement flats are in converted houses from Georgian and Victorian era. They were originally used as quarters for servants working for the wealthy owners residing upstairs. They were later turned into independent apartments, but some were used as brothels or illegal drinking and gambling dens.
Nowadays they are sold as a separate properties allowing you to get more space for less money than you’d pay for a flat on an upper floor. Many basement flats have their own entrance. Older properties often have a useful storage area under the front steps of the house, which generally belongs to the basement. Such flats doesn’t let you enjoy much direct sunlight. However, you can often enjoy fantastic garden area at the back. Simply, they offer an opportunity to live central at a lower cost.
Can you picture yourself living two storeys below the ground, albeit in a New Town 18th century architectural delight in a city centre that’s worth it?