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Aethelwine's avatar

Apartment rentals: Better to live upstairs or downstairs?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) March 9th, 2018

What are the pros and cons of each?

Which do you prefer?

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15 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Upstairs because it’s harder for someone to get in through a window.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

For security upstairs, for winter upstairs you get the heat of the lower floors coming up.
In cases such as fire probably the ground floor because easier to get out.

YARNLADY's avatar

With children, I preferred lower level because they like to run and jump. I wouldn’t like anyone under me to complane. I also would hate to have to carry all my groceries and laundry up the stairs.

rebbel's avatar

I would want to add daily extra flights of stairs to my program, and thus living on the top most floor, just to be free from upstairs neighbors’ noise nuisance.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Upstairs. No one walking above you; you don’t hear their heavy footsteps.

And safer.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Bottom, they always feel roomier and like you have some grass. Plus if you have a treadmill or friends over, less noise. Easier to move furniture in or out, too.

cookieman's avatar

Growing up, we were downstairs until I was ten, then moved upstairs until I was twenty.

Based on my experience, I preferred upstairs.

Less noise. Safer from break ins. Better view of the neighborhood (for what it was). If a salesperson or religious saver came to the door, we’d just open the second floor window and say, “Whataya want?”. Generally warmer due to heat rising.

Only downside was we had to cautious about our noise, so as not to annoy the downstairs neighbor.

thisismyusername's avatar


I lived downstairs for a couple of years below a woman who decided to set up a bowling alley in her apartment above me – or at least that is what it sounded like.

Jeruba's avatar

Upstairs if you don’t have to climb stairs. More privacy, less of a view into your windows, no one walking around overhead, less street noise.

Stairs are an obstacle for me these days.

I did have first-floor apartments twice and liked them. I liked the street-level view (contradiction, I know) and the ease of access in and out. But when the man upstairs got mad at his wife or kids, it was awful.

johnpowell's avatar


Getting some furniture upstairs can be a real pain. But upstairs less worry of someone crawling in your window. Upstairs you don’t live in a bass drum.

At my last place we were upstairs and our hot water heater exploded. The person below us had a ton of her belongings destroyed.

Pandora's avatar

I’ve lived in both. So for me there were pros and cons as stated above.
First rule of living in an apartment. Make friends with your neighbors. You will want to do so, so that it will be easier to bring up things like noise in a casual conversation.
Two, be considerate about your own noise. I use to tell my neighbors below me stuff like: I sorry if my husband may have had the tv too loud yesterday. Feel free to let me know if I ever have it on too loud or we are making way too much noise. Floors in apartments can sometimes be really squeaky. But never worry after 10 pm. My husband is already fast asleep and I make sure to keep the noise down by 10 like the apartment agreement states.

I find it’s easier to live with people under you than over you if you are considerate about noise. Usually after the statement I made about noise they will follow it up, with let me know if I am ever noisy. Not so easy if you are the one living below. It’s too easy for them to jump to the conclusion that you are complaining about their noise. And it can turn ugly quickly. Now if you are a very sound sleeper or hard of hearing, then it may not bother you to live below. However, it would be hard to hear intruders.

Oh, one other reason to live on a top floor. When your pipes clog, you don’t have to worry about the buildings sewage coming up and you don’t have to worry about about the someones broken pipes or clogged toilet draining down to your apartment as you sleep.

However, it is easier to get out in case of fire in a downstairs.

kritiper's avatar

Downstairs. Better heating and cooling comfort and $aving$ in both winter and summer.

Aethelwine's avatar

I asked this question thinking I knew what I wanted but now I’m not so sure. This is a tough decision. You have all given me so much to consider.

I was thinking a ground floor apartment would be easier for our dogs. A patio would be nice and I wouldn’t have to worry about making too much noise that would bother neighbors below us.

One thing I forgot to consider is my husband’s podcast he records in the afternoon. The afternoon is busy for most people and there might be a lot of noise coming from upstairs neighbors when he records.

Maybe the top floor might be better suited for us. The privacy would be nice when looking out windows. I like the idea of a deck. One complex I’m looking at is surrounded by trees and next to a creek and nature preserve. That would be a lovely view.

Thanks for responding!

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Upstairs. You hear less noise. Flooding from plumbing will not be as big an issue when you are on top. Security; you can sleep with you windows open if you like. Privacy; not much change of a peeping tom or neighbor. Flooding from rising water not an issue.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I suggest upstairs. You’ll have no one running across your ceiling at 3:00 am. You’d be surprised how hard some people walk when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. Also, when you’re downstairs, the sound from their TV or stereo will travel down much easier than it travels up. Living downstairs is similar to sharing an apartment with your neighbors. Living upstairs is more like having your own place & they have to worry about whatever it is that you do that bugs them. Lot better than you worrying about them!!!

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