Why You Should Never Buy A Top Floor Apartment
So, you’re considering buying an apartment, and the lure of the top floor beckons. I get it. The views might be unbeatable, and you don’t have to hear footsteps above you. Plus, there’s that certain sense of pride in telling people you live “all the way up there.”
But pump the brakes for a sec. The penthouse-level life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Beyond the glittering skyline views and the allure of being on top, there are some very real downsides to consider. Don’t get swayed by the high-rise dreams just yet.
13 reasons why you shouldn’t buy a top floor apartment
1. Heat goes up, and so does your energy bill
The age-old saying “heat rises” isn’t just for hot air balloons. If you’re living on the top floor, you’ll experience this science lesson firsthand. During the warmer months, your apartment becomes the collecting ground for all the heat from the floors below. This means cranking up the AC and consequently, a heftier energy bill.
2. Roof maintenance concerns
When the roof has an issue, guess who’s gonna feel it first? That’s right, you. Whether it’s a leak, storm damage, or just regular wear and tear, roof-related issues can often mean disturbances, repairs, and sometimes even temporary displacement for top-floor dwellers.
3. Limited escape routes
Safety first, always. In the event of emergencies like fires, top floor residents could find themselves in a pickle. Elevators are out of question, and that leaves the stairwell as the only escape.
While modern buildings are equipped with fire safety measures, it’s still a longer route down from the top, making evacuations more challenging.
4. Elevator dependency
If the elevator breaks down – which isn’t as rare as we’d like – you’re in for a real workout. Those who live on the lower floors can easily take the stairs, but if you’re several stories up, you better hope you’ve been keeping up with your cardio.
Living at the top also means the elevator usually travels a longer distance to reach you. During peak times, like mornings or after office hours, this can result in prolonged waiting periods. It’s a small inconvenience, but when you’re running late for work, every second counts.
5. Noise from external elements
Higher up means closer to birds and their dawn chorus, the hum of nearby freeway traffic, or even the low rumble of airplanes. Additionally, being exposed to elements like wind can also produce an orchestra of odd noises, especially during storms.
6. Potentially weaker water pressure
Ever dreamed of a shower with the intensity of a light drizzle? Me neither. Yet, the higher up you go in some buildings, the weaker the water pressure might be. So, unless the building has solid pumping systems, be prepared for some unimpressive showers.
7. Move-in/move-out challenges
Remember that giant, comfy couch you love? Imagine hauling it up to the top floor. Even with elevators, moving in or out of a top-floor apartment tends to be more cumbersome. It’s more time-consuming and often costs more if you’re hiring help.
8. Higher cost for the view
While this might seem obvious, it’s worth noting. Top floor apartments, thanks to their premium views and perceived exclusivity, often come with a steeper price tag. But with all the potential downsides, you’ve got to ask yourself – is the view worth the price?
9. Limited expansion opportunities
If you ever want to expand or renovate, top-floor apartments often have structural restrictions. The roof, being directly above, can limit your ability to add additional spaces or even change the layout significantly. While lower floors might have a tad more flexibility, top floors are boxed in by the very structure of the building.
10. Vulnerability to external factors
Higher floors often bear the brunt of weather-related issues more directly than their lower counterparts. Think about the intense sunrays during hot summer days or the full impact of snow and hail storms in the colder months. The external wear and tear can sometimes lead to more frequent maintenance and repair needs.
11. Potential for vertigo or acrophobia issues
If you or any of your family members have a fear of heights (acrophobia) or suffer from vertigo, living on the top floor can exacerbate those feelings. Even if it’s a mild discomfort, it’s worth considering, especially when you’ll be facing that height daily.
12. Resale concerns
While some folks are drawn to the allure of a top-floor unit, not everyone feels the same way. When it’s time to sell, you might find that the pool of interested buyers is smaller than you anticipated. Some people will be turned off by many of the points we’ve discussed, potentially making resale a longer and more challenging process.
13. Isolation from community spaces
Many apartment buildings have communal areas on the ground floor or basement, such as gyms, pools, or lounges. Living on the top floor might make quick trips to these amenities feel like more of an expedition than a convenience.
Wrapping things up
Finding the right place to call home is more than just selecting a floor or admiring a view. It’s about understanding how the day-to-day dynamics of that space will mesh with your routines, desires, and needs. The top floor might offer panoramic views and a certain status symbol, but as we’ve delved into, it also comes with its unique set of challenges.
Every apartment, irrespective of its location in a building, has its advantages and drawbacks. While some might cherish the quiet and views from the top, others might prioritize proximity to amenities, a sense of community, or simply the convenience of not climbing too many stairs or waiting for elevators.
In the end, it’s all about trade-offs. Before making a decision, evaluate what you’re willing to compromise on and what’s non-negotiable for you. Because, as you already know, the best place to live is one that feels like home, in every sense of the word.