In New York, there seems to be a way of thinking that the higher floor the apartment is on the better the apartment. And while we all want those stunning views (who wouldn’t?) an apartment on the ground floor isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world. In fact, it can be quite the blessing in disguise.
1.) They often have more space. It’s true, in many pre-war buildings, the first few floors weren’t used for residential reasons, they were used as offices or other had other commercial functions. When these floors were converted to apartments, they kept the higher ceilings and open layouts.
2.) Convenience and amenities. Someone on a higher floor might not have access to a yard or a garden, while someone on the bottom floor may have access to these things. Plus, while you may not have a problem with walking up six flights of stairs, you might think differently after a month of doing it over and over again after an exhausting day’s work.
3.) They’re quiet. There seems to be a misconception that a ground floor apartment is louder than higher floors. Of course every place is different, but many times traffic noise is just as much of a problem for a higher floor as it is for a lower floor. Ground floor apartments, however, are often placed just to the side or the back of a building, with the main area underneath the second floor being used as a lobby. This means you don’t have to hear anyone above you, and if you’re located in the back the amount of traffic noise decreases dramatically. In addition, you don’t have to worry too much about treading lightly, as there’s no one below you to complain!
4.) They have a lower asking price. If you’re just starting out in New York you probably have better things to worry about than whether or not you’re able to see the Empire State Building from your bedroom window. Even if you are in a pricey building, the cost of a spot on the first floor may be generously lower due to preconceived stigma in the buying/renting community. Just because the apartment is on the ground floor doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s dark, loud or dangerous. If people are overlooking it due to those reasons though, the price might have to be lowered to bring in more prospects, meaning you get a great place for a fantastic price.
5.) Safety. Many people consider lower level apartments to be unsafe, the reasoning being that criminals are going to break into the first apartment they come to rather than waste time going up and down an elevator. However, it can be argued that a ground floor apartment is actually the safest apartments in the building since it usually has several options for an exit. During a fire, or a gas leak, or even a rogue gunman, all you have to do is walk out the door and you’re in the clear, which isn’t quite the same situation as the guy on the 24th floor.