Upstairs or Downstairs Apartment

Should I rent an upstairs or downstairs apartment is usually not your first question when starting the apartment hunt. However, it is one you should definitely be considering. You’ll be staying in your new place for at least a year, so you need to think carefully about living on the top or ground floor. While most people get caught up in the views of an upstairs apartment, they forget about climbing stairs every day. Moving furniture or getting groceries up 2 or 3 flights of stairs can become a daunting task.


Our guide to upstairs or downstairs apartment living discusses the practical factors that are often overlooked when choosing a rental. Each person has their own preference, but it is always good to weigh the pros and cons of choosing either an upstairs or downstairs apartment.


Infographic discussing the pros and cons of an upstairs or downstairs apartment.
Upstairs or Downstairs Infographic

Why is it Important to Choose Between a Downstairs Apartment & Upstairs Apartment?


The unit you choose can affect your daily activities. While a top floor offers a view, having to walk up and down stairs every day could become a hassle.


For seniors, walking up a flight of stairs with groceries and other items can become a chore. Think about doing this for an entire year.


For families, some might be concerned about children running and jumping causing noise disturbances to the neighbors below.


When you see the pictures of an apartment you like online, don’t get swept up in the moment. Take a step back and think about the benefits and the practicalities of living in the ground or the top floor.


Choosing the right apartment is important because you don’t want to find yourself so unhappy in your rental that you think about breaking a lease! You should be so comfortable and content that you want to extend your lease!


Other topics you might like:

  1. Why Live in An Apartment Complex?

  2. Why Do Landlords Take a Deposit?

  3. What Is An Apartment Lease?


Is it More Expensive to Live Upstairs or Downstairs?


The cost of apartment living is influenced by demand, location, apartment size, and utilities. Depending on the location and type of rental, you may find that the upstairs apartments are generally more expensive than the downstairs apartments.


What you may find on the top floor are higher costs for air conditioning. Hot air rises and you will probably find yourself relying on your cooling systems a lot more. Simple steps such as keeping the blinds closed on a hot sunny day or using a floor fan can help cool the interior. When you live downstairs your apartment is cooler in summer. However, during the winter months, you will find yourself using more energy to heat the apartment. As with anything, you have to weigh the pros and cons.


A graphic of text "upstairs apartment" with an arrow pointing upward.
What Are the Pros & Cons of Living Upstairs?


What are the Pros & Cons of Living Upstairs?


While you may have your heart set on that upstairs apartment, first, you should weigh all the options. A person or family looking to move into an upstairs apartment should consider the amount of travel up and down, the noise level they may impose on their downstairs neighbor, and/or its ease of access among other things. Below we will go over just a few options to consider before choosing to fly upstairs.


Pros of Living Upstairs


The Views: Depending on your location, living upstairs offers a better view than living downstairs. Most people enjoy looking beyond traffic or parking areas.


Less Noise: The most obvious advantage of living upstairs is the lack of noise from above. Many downstairs apartment tenants are disrupted by stomping or movement of neighbors from above, so living upstairs can prevent these disruptions.


Light: Upstairs units will have more natural light. If you enjoy letting the light in, then an upstairs apartment will suit your needs.


Privacy: Living on the top floor means less traffic passing your door. It is a more private rental option.

Cons of Living Upstairs


Higher Cost: As previously mentioned, you may be spending more on cooling in the summer.


The Stairs: From moving your furniture to purchasing