Where Should You Live: Top Floor or Ground Floor Apartment

Trying to decide whether you should live upstairs or downstairs in an apartment building can feel like a weighty decision — because it is! After all, this choice will affect you for the next year or more, depending on your lease’s length.

Before you start pulling your hair out, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for each unit type. That way, you can narrow down your apartment search to what suits you best!

Should You Live in a Top Floor or Ground Floor Apartment?

The Benefits of Living in a Top Floor Apartment

  • Spectacular Views: Whether your apartment complex is two stories high or thirty — the views are better the higher up you go. Opting for a top-floor apartment can make you feel like you’re living in the clouds. Enjoy those pretty views outside while you’re sipping your coffee in the morning.
  • More Privacy: It’s harder to peer into windows when they’re 20+ feet off the ground! Enjoy more solitude (and fewer looky-loos) in your high-rise home.
  • Peace and Quiet: Avoid the daily hustle — and the noises that go along with it — when you’re removed from street-level happenings. You’re less likely to notice voices of passersby, construction sounds, and cars wheezing by when you’re a few stories removed.
  • Fewer Pests: Because of the sheer climb, creepy crawlies are less likely to make it to the top floor. Enjoy a bug-free home when you live on the top floor.
  • More Secure: Break-ins are less common on top floor apartments, as thieves tend to choose places with a quick getaway. Stairs, elevators, and high windows help prevent burglars from targeting your top-floor home.

The Cons of Living in a Top Floor Apartment

  • Daily Inconveniences: Living on the top floor means lugging up groceries, shopping bags, and other bulky or heavy items up the stairs or elevator — especially in a highrise. However, some apartment communities provide parking structures that easily connect to your level, alleviating this pain! Keep this in mind when searching for your next apartment.
  • Higher A/C Bills: Heat rises. So if you live on the top floor in a warmer climate, this can result in higher A/C bills or even complications with your air conditioning inside your apartment.
  • Longer Emergency Exits: In case of an emergency, it can be more difficult to evacuate your building when you live on the upper stories of your building. If you ultimately decide that a top-floor unit is best, make sure you’re aware of escape routes near you.
  • Increased Rent: Top floor apartments tend to be in higher demand, so expect to pay a bit more every month for this luxury.

The Pros of Living in a Ground Floor Apartment

  • Outdoor Living Space: One of the main luxuries of living downstairs is having an outdoor living space! This is especially favorable if you’re a pet owner and need extra room for Rufus to stretch his legs.
  • Accessibility: Unlike your top-floor neighbors, you’ll find sweet satisfaction in avoiding the stairs and elevators when bringing in groceries and other heavy loads!
  • Fewer Noise Complaints: Because nobody lives below you, you’re less likely to have noise complaints filed against you when you live on the bottom floor of an apartment.
  • Cheaper Rent: Since more renters tend to want a top-floor apartment, you may find that bottom-floor apartments cost a bit less! If you don’t notice a price difference, you could try negotiating rent with your leasing agent.
  • Higher-Grade Amenities: In addition to lower rent, some communities install higher-grade appliances in bottom floor apartments to entice renters who may prefer an upper-level unit.
  • Cooler Temps in the Summer: Living in a downstairs apartment can be like living in a cool cave during the summer. Since heat rises, you’ll find your home is naturally cooler compared to units above you.

Top Reasons You Should Not Live in a Bottom Floor Apartment

  • More Overall Noise: While you’re less likely to have a noise complaint filed against you, you may find yourself bothered by your neighbor stomping around upstairs. Plus, bottom-floor apartments are closer to ground-level noises such as chatty pedestrians, ambulance wails, and dogs barking.
  • Less Secure: It’s true that bottom-floor apartments are more susceptible to break-ins. However, talk to your leasing manager to understand what kind of security is in place to mitigate these risks.
  • Pesky Pests: A major drawback from living on the ground level — bugs! It’s easier to crawl through cracks in bottom-floor apartments than scale steep walls and creep into upper levels.

Top floor, ground floor, and everything in between — ApartmentSearch helps you sift through available rental units near you to find your diamond in the rough!