Should You Get a First Floor Apartment?
When you think of apartment location, you generally think of high-rise apartments as being cream of the crop. After all, these top floor apartments do have a lot of good things to offer such as amazing views, tons of natural light, privacy, and a feeling of exclusivity. So, it’s only natural to consider apartments located on higher floors first.
In the past, first floor apartments have been seen as somewhat less desirable because of their proximity to the street and noise from neighbors. However, that’s not to say that first floor apartments don’t come with their own charm and benefits!
Let’s find out whether a first floor apartment is a great fit for you.
What is a First Floor Apartment?
At first glance, you might think that all first floor apartments are built equally, and for the most part, the name is pretty self-explanatory. However, it’s the layout of the apartment and its location within the first floor that will give some units the edge.
First, let’s talk about the layout, which can depend on several factors such as the size of the building when the building was built, and even the address of the building. Larger buildings typically translate to larger units, and modern units also translate to newer amenities. A first floor apartment in the Upper East Side will have a different vibe to a first floor apartment in the Bronx.
Now, let’s talk about the location of the unit within the building. Obviously, first floor apartments that are closer to areas with a lot of foot traffic (i.e., the entrance, elevators, or other common areas) would be noisier compared to units that are further away.
When trying to choose a first floor apartment to rent, try to look at these factors during an apartment tour! You’ll have a much better idea of what it will be like living as a tenant.
Pros of a First Floor Apartment
Moving In (or Out) is Much Easier
You won’t have to deal with stairs or elevators, so moving in isn’t a problem at all. The same goes when your lease is over; you won’t need to struggle with moving heavy furniture or appliances.
First floor apartments can be appealing to families with small kids, seniors, and people with mobility issues. You’ll also have an easier time when it comes to deliveries and running errands - no more lugging heavy laundry up and down the stairs!
Lower Cooling Costs
Since hot air rises, you won’t have to spend as much money to cool down your unit during the summer months. You might not even need to get an air conditioner if you’re living somewhere with cool and windy summers! Just open your windows and you’re good to go.
Many first floor apartments can come with cheaper rents since they are deemed less desirable. If you’re lucky, you might even snag a steal on your rent if you look for an apartment during off-season.
Close to Common Amenities
Living on the first floor makes it easier to access common amenities such as parking spaces and gardens. If you live in a high-end condo with amenities such as pools and office spaces, these are often found on lower levels as well.
No Downstairs Neighbors
Living on the first floor means that you won’t be bothering any downstairs residents with heavy footsteps. This is great news if you work the graveyard shift or you’re a night owl since you won’t be waking up your neighbors whenever you leave the apartment or come home.
If your apartment complex accepts pets, living on the first floor is much better for you and your pet. It’s much easier to take them out for walks or bring them to the vet since you won’t need to bother with elevators or stairs.
Cons of a First Floor Apartment
This is the number one issue that most people have with first floor apartments. The location of the apartment makes it easy prey for thieves, especially if your apartment has an entrance facing away from the street.
Living in a first floor apartment pretty much means that you’ll be situated right next to common areas. You can expect to run into your neighbors pretty regularly whenever you go out.
Lots of Street Noise
Your proximity to the street means that there will be no muffling the noises coming from the street. While there are ways to dampen the noise, you won’t be able to shut them out completely.
Higher Heating Bills
This is the other side of the heating-cooling coin. If you live somewhere with cold winters, you might experience pretty brutal weather conditions in a first floor apartment since cold air settles down. Be prepared to shell out a bit more money to heat your apartment.
Prone to Pests
Since the apartment is close to the ground, it’s much easier for insect and rodent pests to enter. You might notice an uptick of pests during summer or winter since your home offers food and shelter. Make sure that the building has a good pest control program in place!
Is a First Floor Apartment Right for You?
A first floor apartment isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to adjust a little bit, they’re a great choice! They’re usually cheaper than similar units in the building, they’re perfect for pet owners, and they offer easy access. You simply need to invest in securing your apartment and making sure that there are no cracks where pests can enter.