Advantages And Disadvantages of Living in a Top Floor Apartment
Apartment living isn’t for everyone, but those who choose it are quick to point out the benefits.
There’s less maintenance, no lawns to mow, no exterior to paint, no driveway to keep tidy etc. Apartments are generally more affordable too, and living in close proximity to your neighbors can help to foster a sense of community spirit.
Apartment blocks vary in size and height. Central Park Tower (New York) is the tallest residential building at 1550ft. Built in 2020 by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the 98-floor building offers superb views of Central Park.
Of course, not all apartment blocks stand as tall, but top floor living generally affords you at least one room with a view. There are other advantages, and a few disadvantages too. We’ll explore both the pros and cons of top floor living so you can make up your own mind.
Advantages of Living on The Top Floor
If you’re hankering after a top floor apartment you’re not alone, lots of residents enjoy living the high life, let’s find out why:
Pleasant Views & Natural Light
Top floor apartments tend to be lighter and brighter. They are less likely to be overlooked by other buildings or cloaked by trees and bushes.
This allows for more natural light to flood into rooms. Being up high also affords you better views.
Less Street and Road Noise
If you’re on the top floor you won’t have to deal with people chattering outside your windows, and cars driving by. The noise and bustle will be far below, which means more peace and quiet for you!
Plenty of Privacy
Top floor apartments still overlook communal areas such as yards, paths and car parks, but again, you’re up high, so won’t be privy to the same level of disturbance.
You won’t get people wandering past your window, and there are no nosy neighbors to glance through your curtains!
Top floor apartments are less easy to access, so there’s a lower risk in terms of being broken into.
It’s difficult for a burglar to negotiate a locked exterior door, communal hallways and stairwells, and then break through your front door without attracting attention.
As there are no external entry points either e.g., accessible windows, a thief is more likely to pick an easier target.
Cleaner and fresher
As you’re up high you won’t get as much dust and grime blown into your home from the nearby road and streets.
You might get the odd flying insect, but you won’t get many crawling bugs making their way into your home via any gaps and cracks.
Disadvantages of Living on the Top Floor
Living on the top floor has its plus points, but there are a few potential problems too:
Difficult to access
Top floor apartments are further away from entrances and exits, so you’ll have to negotiate elevators or stairs to get to your home.
If you have mobility issues, are disabled or are entering your twilight years, you might want to think twice before committing to top floor living, as it may become more problematic over time.
If you’re able-bodied you can probably manage physically, but traipsing up and down can still be a pest (especially if you’ve just left the building only to realize you’ve left your car key on the kitchen table)!
You’ll also have to get used to waiting for the elevator, and carrying heavy items from the entrance to your front door.
Lack of access to outdoor space
Research indicates spending time outside can be good for your mental wellbeing. Unless you have a balcony or roof terrace, top floor living won’t provide you with direct access to the great outdoors.
You will also be further away from communal gardens, parking areas and other facilities such as basement laundry rooms.
Hot in the summer
Heat rises, which means living on the top floor equals a toasty apartment. This means you will save on utility bills in the colder winter months, but on the flip-side, you might find your apartment a bit too warm during summer.
If you have air conditioning you might need to run it more frequently, and you will have to pay for the privilege.
Difficult to Renovate
Giving a top floor apartment a makeover can be an arduous job. Just moving in can be tricky enough, as you try to maneuver sofas, beds etc. to your new home.
A renovation project will prove challenging, as you need to address the logistics of getting materials and equipment on-site before you even make a start.
Top Floor Apartment Vs Ground Floor
We’ve looked at the benefits and drawbacks of top floor apartments, now let’s see how they compare to ground floor units.
First off, top floor apartments usually benefit from lots of natural light, and, if you’re lucky, you might get a decent view too.
Unfortunately, ground floor living can be comparatively gloomy, especially if the apartment is surrounded by shrubbery and taller buildings.
However, you do have to keep in mind that ground floor apartments are more convenient. Go through the main entrance and you won’t have far to go to reach your own front door. When you’re on the top floor you have a trek ahead, that will inevitably involve elevators or stairs.
Accessibility comes with plusses and minuses. If your ground floor flat is easily accessible to you it means it is also more accessible to others, therefore burglaries are more common. Top floor apartments tend to be safer and more secure.
Top Floor Apartment Vs Middle Floor
If you’re put off by the security and disturbance of ground floor living you could opt to live on a middle floor instead. More accessible than top floor apartments, mid-floor units are cosy and still have a safe, community feel.
However, do bear in mind that you will have neighbors above and below you. This means you might suffer from more in the way of disturbances, and you also have to be considerate of your neighbors below.
Top floor apartment residents are free from noise above, although they do still need to give some thought to the inhabitants the floor below.
Do Top Floor Apartments Get Hotter?
We’ve touched on this briefly, but just to re-cap, top floor apartments do tend to get hotter at certain times of the year.
Science dictates that hot air rises – so if you live on the top floor, you’re going to be cozy!
Why Do Top Floor Apartments Cost More?
A number of factors affect the selling price or rental cost of an apartment.
The location and demographics of an area play a part, as does the condition of the property (inside and out). The state of the housing market also has an impact.
Top floor apartments are attractive as they tend to be lighter and brighter, more secure and further away from the hustle and bustle. All of these qualities appeal to tenants and property owners, and they are willing to pay for the ideal pad.
Is It Safer to Live in A Top Floor Apartment?
Both ground floor and top floor apartments have windows and doors, but ground floor apartments can be accessed from the street. This makes the units easier targets for criminals.
Top floor apartments are more secure, wannabe thieves have to get into the main building (and past other residents) in order to break in. As for top floor windows, these are inaccessible to the average burglar (unless they possess Spiderman like powers).
Tips For Living in A Top Floor Apartment
Top floor apartments are located away from the main entrance, so it’s a good idea to formulate an exit plan in case of emergency. Familiarize yourself with fire exits and extinguishers, and keep a torch handy.
Top floor apartments are also hotter, but there are ways to keep your cool in the summer. The most obvious one is to invest in an indoor air conditioning unit. You can also try closing your blinds to block out the afternoon heat.
Are Top Floor Apartments Quieter?
With no-one above you moving about, you won’t hear footsteps and other sounds coming through the floor from your neighbors.
You will also be less likely to hear the sound of traffic from the road, kids playing and people going about their business outside.
Do You Get Less Bugs on The Top Floor?
If you open your windows, you can expect the odd fly or wasp making its way into your home, but in general you will get less bugs in a top floor apartment.
What is the top floor apartment called?
A top floor apartment is traditionally known as a penthouse. Penthouse apartments are typically luxurious and spacious, and often boast high-end appliances. You can also expect quality materials and expensive flooring.
With this in mind its little surprise to learn that penthouse apartments cost more than the average apartment. Take a look at this YouTube video featuring a NYC Penthouse (priced at a cool $6,500,000) to see what you get for your money.
Should I Live in a Top Floor Apartment?
If you’re a fan of living in a light and airy apartment with views, then a top floor apartment could be just the thing.
Security, peace and quiet, less bugs and dirt – it seems being high up has plenty of benefits. If you can stretch to a penthouse, you’ll love top floor living even more!