By: Bob Kozik | May 25th, 2014 | 2 comments

Immigrants from Poland would come to America and buy a house as quick as possible. Which mind you wasn’t an easy task because there was quite a bit of discrimination back in the day. Once upon a time Poland was a very mixed country, and the western-Europeans who settled America thought of them as sub-humans. Because of the discrimination and the difficulty of finding work they’d jack their houses up and create a partially sunken basement. Which became a condo for newly weds, family that was coming across, grandparents, etc. They’re also referred to as German Duplexes and Two-flats.

1Advantages – Like all basement-style apartments these guys are near the bottom of the ladder in terms of pricing. You can save a lot of money, and still have the space for when you are at home without the price burden. That all being said if you don’t mind the inherent problems of a hundred year old retrofit they’re fine place to live for most folks. Just don’t expect to live in one forever.

2Problems – Again, we’re going to file this under the, “Is this a legal apartment?” category. These constructions are often very old and done by less than accredited engineers a hundred years ago. One of the biggest faults is improper drainage, so if you get a real heavy rain they will flood. Which is also a common problem with basement apartments in general. If the place hasn’t been inspected recently you’ve got two big problems: there probably isn’t a fire barrier and it wouldn’t exactly be hard to break into.

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