Choosing a ground-floor apartment or condo presents both advantages and challenges. Is ground-floor living right for you, or would you be happier higher up? Here’s what to consider in making your decision.
Positives of a ground-floor apartment
Convenience is the biggest attraction of a ground-floor apartment or condo. You don’t have to climb stairs or take an elevator to your home. This comes in handy on moving day and when carrying armloads of groceries. Taking the dog for a walk is easier, too.
Another bonus is that rent for ground-floor apartments is generally lower than for upper floors. And unlike upper-level spaces, which have only balconies, your first-floor unit may have green space outside your door. You don’t have to worry about disturbing neighbors below you when walking around. And because warm air rises, ground-floor apartments and condos tend to be cooler in summer.
Noise is one of the biggest drawbacks to ground-floor living. You’ll probably hear your neighbors walking around overhead, and you’re more likely to be bothered by street sounds and other outdoor racket, particularly if you enter your unit directly from outside rather than through a lobby or hallway.
Security can be an issue if you live on the ground floor, which can be easier for burglars to access. You may need additional security measures, such as bars and gates on windows and doors. Speaking of unwanted visitors, pests are more prevalent at ground level. And because you’re closer to the street, you’ll have more dust and dirt to contend with.
Living on an upper floor can also present challenges. Apartments on the highest floors of a building are more expensive to rent and harder to access. And though you’ll be more sheltered from pedestrian and vehicular traffic noise, you’ll have to contend with sound from the floors above and below you. But dust and pests are less of an issue, and you’ll enjoy a better view and more natural lighting from above.
Choosing a unit wisely
If you decide to go with a ground-floor living space, here are some ways to maximize your enjoyment.
- Look for a space away from sources of noise, such as the building’s mailboxes, elevators, parking areas, and street and pedestrian traffic. You may dream of living near a pool, but keep in mind that these units are potentially noisier.
- Since you won’t have the commanding view of an upper-floor apartment, try to get one with big windows to allow in as much light as possible.
- Check to see if the building has added security for ground-floor units.
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