Beautiful Brownstones of the Hudson River

If you’re shopping for homes in the New York or Hudson River area of New Jersey, you’ve probably been hearing the words “brownstone” or “rowhouse” a lot. So… just what exactly is a brownstone, and how does it differ from a rowhouse or townhome—and why would you want to buy one?

beautiful brownstone homes

What is a Brownstone?

A brownstone is a type of rowhouse (attached multi-story home very similar or identical to the ones it connects with) or a townhouse (attached or detached multi-story home built close to the street in the same style as those around it) built of brown sandstone.

They are commonly seen throughout older neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Upper West Side of Manhattan, as well as the Hudson River communities of New Jersey, particularly Hoboken and Jersey City.

Why Are There So Many in This Area?

Brownstones first made an appearance in New York City in the early 19th century. The brown sandstone from which they were constructed was less expensive than marble or limestone, yet more durable and elegant than brick or lesser materials. With a growing upper middle class demanding affordable yet still upscale housing, brownstones were constructed to meet the needs of a burgeoning class of residents.

brownstone architecture

What Makes Brownstones Unique?

Brownstones can be identified from rowhouses or townhouses by their dark brown coloring and stone facades. Many tend to have tall stoops (steep staircases) leading to a doorway on the second floor, and many of the homes in New York and Hoboken were also built in an ornate Italianate architectural style.

Italianate architecture is inspired by Italian palaces constructed during the Renaissance era, and as such, brownstones often have very ornate detailing, particularly around their entryways, including foliated molding, carved keystones, acanthus brackets, or even columns. Additionally, brownstones are usually between 2 and 4 stories and are characterized by flat roofs and long windows.

brownstone homes

Why Buy a Brownstone?

Beautiful, unique, quaint, historic, elegant… Brownstones are all of the above. But their historic charm and old-style elegance aren’t all they have to offer. Property taxes on brownstones can actually be lower than on similar-sized (or smaller) condos, and the brownstones themselves can actually be less expensive.

Additionally, you won’t find yourself paying any unnecessary condo fees for amenities you won’t use, and though you’ll definitely still live in close proximity to your neighbors, owning a multi-story residence means no foot traffic up above (or worrying about disturbing neighbors down below). You might even find a brownstone with the benefit of a small yard or garden.

rowhouses in hoboken

Looking for a Brownstone, Townhouse, or Condo on the Hudson?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in Hoboken, Jersey City, or one of the other outstanding New Jersey communities located along the Hudson River, then it’s time to contact us. We’re your local real estate experts, and whether you’re looking for a townhouse, a rowhouse, a brownstone, or a condo, we can help you find the perfect match.

Hudson River Real Estate Resources