Pros and Cons Of Living at The Top, Middle or Bottom property

I've been lucky, and unlucky enough to have lived on various floors in different properties. All with their pros and cons.  Finding somewhere suitable to live especially in a built-up city can make all the difference between having somewhere to call home or a place that's pure hell.  
Whether you're looking for a new home or flat, or simply exchanging your property. these are some important things to consider. If you've similar or other experiences, please feel free to share. This article does not contain any "buying a property" tips.

Top Floor
The penthouse suite: my favourite place to live. Either a top floor of a house conversion, or top floor of a high-rise building, although all have their good, and bad points. 

Top Floor Pros
Top floor properties always have better views, safer from flooding, and probably less, or more pollution. (I don't know) Having stairs to reach  any property will always make you fitter. No noise from anyone living above, or from the traffic below. ★ No one throwing stones at the windows to grab your attention, or for more sinister reasons.★ No heavy, or loud walkers. Having access to a loft or attic is very desirable, or just plain handy for storage, or renovation reasons, and access to the roof via a window is even handier for viewing, ventilation, and potential escape reasons. No passing foot traffic outside my door. ★ Minimal chance of infestations from rodents Being able to leave the windows open all the time - provided there is no easy access for criminals to climb up ★ Less chance for thieves who boost the signal from key fobs inside homes to steal cars.

 My favourite Pros when living on top is knowing the 'middle' and 'ground' floor Cons.

Top Floor Cons
Not all blocks have two lifts, and sometimes, one lift won't work so being physically fit and able to tackle all the stairs, especially with heavy shopping helps. Much harder to vacate in any event of a fire which will involve going down hundreds of steps if the lifts out of service - not good for people with disability, or mobility problems. Lifts smelling of urine. When leaving the building, the lift will usually stop at random floors for others to use. This could involve being confronted with smelly undesirables, drunks, excited teenagers 'and' adults when all you want to do is leave without any unnecessary discussions or confrontations - other times, I'm pleasantly surprised by random lift guests. Neighbours below who like to smoke illegal substances, or burn incense sticks which always drift up into my home, unless the windows are closed. Recent news - A man was killed and three persons was injured in a fight between neighbours over the smell of boiled instant noodles, saying they found the smell offensive.
Middle Floor
One of the worst positions to live. People living directly above and below.

Middle Floor Pros
Unless the building, walls and floors are made of a solid concrete construction, or properly sound proofed and insulated, then I wouldn't mind living in the middle, but from my experiences, its not always the case, although it is always warmer from the neighbours upstairs and downstairs heating.

Middle Floor Cons
People living above 'and' below is never good with noisy neighbours who like to walk heavy, or even light footed steppers who can't help talking loudly in buildings which don't have adequate soundproofing, and continually dropping things on the floor. ★ At one property, the curtains had to be continuously drawn to stop passengers on the top deck of a bus from staring in.★ Vibrating floors because of washing machines. ★ Music lovers, aka (DJs) who feel the need to impose their music tastes on others by blaring their music which may sound good inside their flat, but all I hear is boom, boom, boom, and the vibrations can take it's toll. ★ Having said that, the people living opposite at one property made far more noise than the neighbours living above 'and' below ever did with their loud mouths and music.★ The ground floor tenants, whom I'm sure never owned a cooker by the amount of barbecues they had, plus they'd burn rubbish on every given occasion sending toxic smoke straight into my home.
Bottom / Ground Floor

One of the worst things about a ground floor property is visitors are never content with just ringing the bell, or knocking the door. They cannot help themselves from looking 'into', and tapping 'on' the windows to see if I'm in. Very annoying and never again...unless they can find a very tall ladder.

Bottom / Ground Floor Pros
Much easier to enter and leave the property. Ideal for guests and delivery services. If you're ever locked out, it's much easier to get back in through a window or somehow. Most ground floors will have a basement. Ideal if you've ever wanted one. The ground floor can be a great place to live if you have access to a garden, one that's not shared is ideal.

Bottom / Ground Floor Cons
I don't like pedestrians gawping into my home while they walk past, so I had to keep the main curtains always drawn. I bought net curtains, which I'm not a fan of. They don't always work depending on the sunlight and time of day. Depending on the locality of building, expect the bright headlights of vehicles shining into your home whenever they turned the corner, or while drivers were stationary in the adjacent car park at another property - their cars beaming bright head lights, the equivalent of someone continuously shining a large bright torch into my  face, so blackout curtains are a must. Properties with a garden had its problems. I was fed up of weeding and removing rubbish which had been thrown over my fence, or fallen accidentally out of a flat above. At times, pedestrians sitting on my property wall and talking outside and being forced to listen to their unwanted conversations. Again, depending on the locality of property, the possibility of a vehicle crashing into my home due to faulty brakes, a vehicle accident, drunk driving, or a driver falling asleep. It does happen I've had my fair share of bathroom and washing machine accidents due to my carelessness, and have flooded three previous neighbours. Living in a tall block of flats, living directly next to the bins is not great. Be prepared for the sound of thuds, and breaking glass as rubbish drops down from the bin chutes. It's not just noisy, but smelly and unhygienic too, and when the dustmen come to empty them, and because of the dust particles that float around, windows have to always be closed. People spitting and flicking cigarette butts from above, disgusting and disrespectful. Be prepared for spiders, rodents and ant invasions who have easy access. Hearing the neighbours going up and down the stairs all day and night. Its all an unnecessary nightmare You can never leave windows wide open for fear of being robbed - even limiting how far the window opens can still have its hazards. Once, I had my curtains ripped out from the rails, so no items can be left near the window - Garden accessories and ornaments get stolen. Lower floors are more prone to burglaries.

Garden or no garden access, I detest ground floor flats.

Noise is impossible to avoid in busy cities, so having a property with 'front' and 'back' of property access is handy when it comes to avoiding unwanted front or rear sounds.
Basement Flats - Pros and Cons

I'd never live in a basement property again unless I had too, because they're too dark, not enough light coming through. Pedestrians walking past peering down, or just standing above the flat conversing. Potential flooding. Rubbish always seems to end up in basement properties. A neighbour always had homeless people sleeping on his stairs which he did not mind. More prone to mould and damp. Ideal location for staying cool in the summer, but it will be colder in the winter. That's probably why basement flats are one of the cheapest places to rent.

Final Round-Up
  • You could be situated in the best place in the World, ruined by unruly, disrespectful, loud, obnoxious neighbours # neighbours from hell. Or live next to the loveliest elderly lady who has her TV on all day, very loud and overpowering mine. Or the noise from the neighbours bird cage resting on the window ledge tweeting away, which is the equivalent of someone continually whistling outside (very badly) does takes its toll, just as much as the prolonged dog barking, screaming children and couples arguing and making out do.
  • If possible, check-out the area at various times, on different days to get a feel of the place. Find out what local shop keepers and neighbours think about the property you're interested in moving into. If you've access, see inside, check the sound-proofing by knocking all the walls, and bang the floor to get a feel of the construction and for squeaky floorboards.
  • If you're thinking of staying long or short term, the following may be required - ear plugs, double glazing / sound proofing - possibly bars and CCTV will be useful on all lower levels... and good neighbours. Knowing your legal rights concerning noise pollution will also come in handy.
  • We all have certain breaking points especially when it comes to excessive noises, but what about 'pets' and their tolerances - they're far more sensitive, so deciding where, and which floor to live on is something else to consider. 
How to deal with noisy neighbours is another story yet to be written.

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About TOWP - - - 15.7.17.

January, 2018 Update: A recent documentary.

Due to not enough housing in the UK, there is a growing industry building modular, prefab houses in factories and then plonking them onto the top of existing buildings, so be cautious of where you rent or buy in future. 

1 comment:

The Only Way Productions said...

RALEIGH — A Raleigh man says he’s getting close to giving up on his home after it was hit by a driver for the sixth time.