When it comes to apartment hunting, you might think you want the highest floor and the best view, or to be away from the noise of residents coming and going or talking outside. You may also estimate that you’ll be safer from the risk of theft.
For these reasons, first-floor apartments tend to get a bad reputation. But is it really justified? There are actually many benefits to renting a ground floor apartment!
Moving in is much easier
Avoiding the stairs makes moving in so much easier. Trying to lug heavy furniture up narrow stairwells is a hassle, even for pros. It’s not much better trying to cram your belongings into an elevator. First floors do away with all these challenges. In fact, you may be able to access your apartment a second way – through your patio – which is extraordinary if you have sliding doors and large furniture.
Getting in and out is easier/more convenient
If you have a patio that you can lock from the outside, that exit may easily become your favorite. No more meandering through hallways or shared entries to get out. If you’re more introverted, the first floor can be appealing for the layer of privacy a second (private) exit can provide. You don’t have to deal with nearly as much neighborly small talk.
Not having to deal with stairs and elevators is always appealing to the senior population. If you’re shopping for an apartment for a parent or elderly friend, the first floor deserves a serious look. Apartments for disabled renters are typically on the first floor, too, to be near the parking.
Heat rises: you’ll be cooler in the summer
If you live in a southern state, you know how brutal the summer months can be. Living on an upper floor can be tough. Your cooling bill is higher just trying to keep the place comfortable. You don’t have that problem to the same degree in a ground floor apartment.
There’s no denying it: many people prefer an upper-level apartment for security reasons. Choosing the first-floor apartment, then, can mean paying less in rent each month. This may not be advertised, so just ask the leasing agent if that’s the case; you might get a nice surprise.
Because heat rises (see above) you could also have a lower utility bill. A westward-facing window could offset this, however.
To make a first-floor unit more enticing, some managers will put upgraded appliances and other amenities into the unit. This is something to keep in mind when you’re comparing apartments.
You don’t have neighbors below you
When you live in an upper floor unit, you have neighbors below you, hearing your every move. However, when you’re on the first floor, you don’t have to worry about how walking about in shoes, moving furniture or letting your kids or dog run around a bit affects the neighbors. This is especially true if you have small children. With today’s trend toward hardwood floors, this is more of an issue than ever.
Courtyards and gardens
Living on the ground floor allows you easy access to the courtyards, gardens and green space of your apartment community. It’s like having an extended patio.
Proximity to your car or bike
Not having to climb stairs or wait for an elevator is a real blessing, especially when you’ve worked a long day or come home with lots of groceries. And if you forget something in your car or apartment, it’s only seconds instead of minutes to retrieve it.
If you enjoy cycling, it’s great to step outside and jump on your bike. And if you have to store your bike inside your unit, think of the hassle you save by being at ground level. You might even find that easy proximity to the great outdoors serves as a catalyst for all sorts of outdoor activities, from swimming to walking.
Pets can manage stairs, but they don’t necessarily love them. And other residents don’t necessarily love sharing an elevator with animals. Being on the ground level solves all the above, plus gives you quick and easy access for early morning or late-night dog walks. A fenced patio at ground level is a huge bonus for you both to step outside
Proximity to the mailboxes
Your mail comes nearly every day. It’s pretty nice to quickly step out and grab it.
There’s a lot to be said for ground floor apartments. If you’re on a tight budget, first-floor apartments can give you a good bang for your buck. A landlord’s first priority is to occupy all the units, and that can be a good bargaining chip for you regarding price on a first-floor unit. There are many beautiful and affordable first floor units out there; it just takes a little searching to find the one you love.
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