Author Topic: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?  (Read 21267 times)

limeandpepper

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Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« on: June 28, 2013, 03:06:30 AM »
I don't feel it is a necessity to buy my own place yet, but every now and then I see little apartments that I feel like I wouldn't mind owning. Today, for example, I see that there is a little apartment up for auction. There are many elements about it that I like, the only thing I'm not sure about is that it is a ground floor apartment, and they tend to have a bad rap. I've never lived in one, but I've heard things about security issues (more likely to be broken into), lack of privacy, etc.

What do you think about ground floor apartments? If buying or living in an apartment, which floor do you think is ideal?

katieboo

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 05:19:33 AM »
I've lived in countless apartments and if I move again I will only move into a ground floor apartment. It makes bringing in a big load of groceries easier, moving furniture is easier, and where I live summers are awful, and the heat that rises to the upper floors can be unbearable. For those reasons  I'll always choose ground floor. Never had too many problems with noise, I've been able to live with it.

Re security: I was always a single woman living alone on the ground floor. The one time I've been broken into I wasn't home and it was when I lived in Japan, never here in the U.S. But there may be another factor, at all times I lived on the ground floor in the U.S.,  I had dogs. Those dogs, especially the small dominant barky one I truly believe have protected me. As a single female living alone security is very important to me, and dogs, hands down, especially a small barky part chihuahua mix have probably saved my property as well as my personal safety. No one is going to surprise me in the middle of the night with my dog there, no one gets past her without her knowledge.  And burglars will approach my apartment and hear my dogs and probably move on to the next apartment with no noise to worry about.

Mind you, this is assuming your apartment is not in a really bad neighborhood with a lot of kids in subsidized housing. Some of those kids can turn into teenage after school thieves.

I grew up in a bad neighborhood and in that neighborhood my family had been broken into so many times, even once while I was home. So I think I have a healthy fear of danger and can get a good feel for which areas to avoid.

So there you have it. If you are a dog person in a dog friendly apt, definitely go for the ground floor apt, unless it's in a really bad neighborhood or complex.

Dogs who make noise when they see an intruder are really the best security system, better than an alarm I think.

Good luck!

limeandpepper

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 06:41:12 AM »
Thanks katieboo! I've always lived a couple or so floors up, it's nice to have insight from someone who has done the ground floor thing. I don't have a dog (I like the idea of having pets, but not sure if I can devote the commitment to one at this stage in my life), so hmm... I wonder if one of those "barking dog alarms" could be nearly as effective as a deterrent? I tend to look at neighborhoods that are generally pretty safe, so hopefully that helps as well. Interesting that you were broken into in Japan, especially with its reputation as a pretty safe country, but I guess there are always exceptions.

herisff

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 06:50:09 AM »
Another thing to consider is light - drop by at nighttime, and see how headlights/streetlights would hit the windows. If there is a driveway or parking lot situated such that when cars turn their lights would hit your bedroom window, it's something to be aware of if you are light sensitive. You could, of course, put up blackout blinds/curtains in that instance, but it's good to know about beforehand.

One thing to watch w/ a dog is how noisy they are - I too have a chihuahua mix but I don't let her bark (she wears a bark collar most of the time but doesn't trigger it. At this point, it's a reminder to stay in vocal control). If someone rings the doorbell or if she hears something different, she sounds off and that's all I need. Noisy dogs tend to get neighborhood complaints, which can get animal control after you.

DCUrbanMM

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 07:35:31 AM »
My wife and I live basement level ("garden level").  It's awesome for heating and AC bills.  My electric bill has never been lower.  I've lived in several apartments before and I would definitely recommend the basement level.  It's also great for bringing in groceries, furniture, bikes, etc. 

One thing, make sure to ask about history of flooding.  I know sometimes that could be an issue and if so you'll want to look at your renter's insurance policy. 

Spork

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 07:40:07 AM »
I've had both ground and above... The security never worried me, but the noise from above always grated on me.  This probably varies with how well built your apartment is... but... my luck was always bad. 

onehappypanda

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 07:44:24 AM »
All of my past apartments have been ground floor, there are pluses and minuses like the others mentioned.

It IS much nicer for moving in, hauling groceries in, being able to put a bike inside at night. It tends to be cooler in the summer, although not as warm in the winter.

That said, if it's an iffy area the fact that your windows are all ground-floor can be a bummer. In one neighborhood in particular, I always worried about leaving my windows open at night because break-ins were fairly common. This may not be an issue in your area.

You most likely will hear the people above you, but how loud it is depends on factors like the thickness of the floors, whether there is carpet vs. hardwood upstairs, etc. If you're sensitive to noise, I'd ask if the apartment upstairs is carpeted and what room your bedroom will be under. The worst noise I dealt with was when my bedroom was directly under the kitchen of the upstairs apartment. Upstairs neighbors were always in the kitchen cooking, hanging out, dragging chairs around all night, and it was bloody loud. But I had another place where my bedroom was under another bedroom, and it was carpeted, so that was much quieter (except occasional, ahem, bedroom noises). Most noise becomes background noise at some point, the worst is when you're sleeping.

So basically, pluses and minuses. You have to decide whether particular factors would bother you. Personally, I'd prefer not to live in a ground-floor apartment but it wouldn't stop me from moving into a place I otherwise loved. But I'm someone who doesn't mind stairs and is sensitive to noise and safety.

pachnik

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 09:12:05 AM »
I live in a ground floor apartment now with my husband.   

The first few months were great with a quiet upstairs neighbour but about two weeks ago a family with a toddler and a baby moved in upstairs.  They have their evening meal around 9:30 p.m. - dragging chairs around - not to mention kids crying in the middle of the night.  We asked our building manager to suggest that they buy those adhesive felt pads for their furniture legs but no luck yet...

Anyway, the previous suggestion about finding out about what the suite above you has on the floor is a good one.  Also, if possible, try to see the upstairs floors for yourself. 


StarryC

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 10:56:05 AM »
I live in a ground/ half basement apartment.  Yes, people can sometimes see in our windows, so we have sheer curtains that are closed all the time.  I'm not any more worried about security than a second story- someone could break into the building and then in the door about as easily as they could crawl in our windows.  However, the neighborhood is a relatively safe one. I think the fear of burglary is usually overblown.  I don't have anything that expensive.  It would be annoying if someone broke in and stole my TV, and creepy if they took my underwear, but it is really uncommon.  Break ins when someone is present are even less common. 

For buying, I do think the resale value might be lower but presumably your purchase price is lower. Factors you can't control and that may change without notice, like the upstairs neighbors and the quality of the neighborhood, can reduce the livability.

KatieSSS

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 12:17:02 PM »

One thing, make sure to ask about history of flooding.  I know sometimes that could be an issue and if so you'll want to look at your renter's insurance policy.

This x 1,000.

I will never, ever live in a ground floor apartment due to this. Bad experiences with flooding and resulting mold problems. Not worth it.

limeandpepper

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Re: Ground floor apartment - what do you think?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 07:46:45 AM »
Thanks everyone, lots of food for thought. While it seems ground floor doesn't have to be as bad as I fear, from the sounds of it, unless it has plenty of redeemable qualities, I am probably still a little more partial towards first or second floor, if possible. Hmm.