Single-family home on a walkout lot. Note the above-grade basement in back.

Walkout Homes — and Condo Buildings

By convention, the floors in high-rise buildings generally start at “one.”

So, the first floor (main level) is #1, the floor above it #2, and so on.

Ahh, but what if the building has two underground parking levels, both of which are above grade in back because the building sits on a downward sloping lot? (what Realtors call a “walkout”).

Floor Confusion

That not-so-hypothetical scenario describes a Lilydale condo building where I’m currently listing a unit.

So, instead of calling the garage levels “G1” and “G2” (or the equivalent), they’re labeled “Floor #1” and “Floor #2” — which makes the main level of the building “Floor #3.”

Lilydale condo building on walkout lot overlooking Minnesota, Mississippi Rivers.

That confusing state of affairs caused at least a few prospective Buyers to assume, quite reasonably, that my client’s main level unit (#308) was actually on the third floor — and to pass when they discovered otherwise.

No matter.

The unit quickly found a Buyer who loved the condo’s corner location, space, and floor plan; it’s now “Pending,” and closes in late July (it didn’t exactly hurt that the sloping lot the building sits on overlooks the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, with a gorgeous view of same).

See also, “(Manhattan) Real Estate Term of the Day: “View-Break”; “Arizona Walkouts“; and “Minneapolis’ Biggest Walkout.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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