High-Rise Vs. Low-Rise Apartment Living: Which Is Right for You?

For most Americans, the long term goal is to buy a house. It gives you privacy, outdoor space and usually a couple of extra rooms that allow you to stretch out and build a family. But whether it’s for convenience or affordability, millions of Americans live in apartment buildings. That’s nothing at all to be embarrassed about. Some apartments are absolutely gorgeous, and offer all sorts of perks that a standalone home could never touch. For instance, how many houses include gym facilities, roof decks and a concierge service? Those obviously won’t be found in all apartments, but they are there for the taking if you are so inclined. Yet before you can ever make those choices, you’ll have to decide if you want to live in a high-rise or a low-rise apartment. So how can you determine which situation is right for you?

In the end, it’s going to be an entirely personal matter. But there are some serious perks to the low-rise apartment lifestyle. First of all, you’ll be much closer to street level. That means easier access to the outdoors, and less time spent in elevators on on staircases. This may not often be a problem, but in the heat of summer when the electricity goes out you’ll be much happier only having to navigate a couple of floors. Low-rise apartments are often found in quieter neighborhoods, without the massive population or tight quarters found in big city living. And since there are less people in the building overall, you will have a bit more privacy. You’ll also notice low-rise apartments generally come with more affordable monthly rents.

Yet it’s not all perfection in the low-rise. Remember all of those high end amenities? You won’t usually find them here, as there aren’t enough tenants to validate the expense. There’s also less of a chance that you’ll have laundry facilities on the premises, and the landlord or building supervisor probably won’t live there. That means it will take longer to have repairs handled. And if city life is what you’re looking for, you probably won’t like the suburban or city’s outskirts location of most low-rise apartments.

So what’s the alternative? Well, in the high-rise apartment you’ve got all of those amenities to look forward to. There might even be a grocery store, a dry cleaner and a pool, depending on the type of building. High-rise apartments also offer flexible lease terms more frequently. Since there are a lot of apartments the owner’s don’t suffer as much of a loss with turn over. That means they’re probably willing to go month-to-month with you, which could be beneficial. You’ll have the use of an elevator, which is certainly convenient, and there will probably be several different apartment layouts to choose from. You’ll enjoy life in the center of a bustling city, and will have dozens or even hundreds of neighbors to socialize with and get to know. And best of all, the landlord will be right there, ready to come up and fix your leaky faucet with five minutes notice.

It’s not all perfect in the high-rise apartment, however. They are often far more expensive than the low-rise, even if you don’t take advantage of most of those amenities. Elevator or no, it will take an awfully long time to get to and from your apartment most days. The air quality may suffer, and it can get seriously hot way up there, causing you to run your air conditioner more frequently. The chances of a nice outdoor space are slim, and even if you do have a balcony there won’t be any privacy out there. It can certainly take a toll on your mental health, and you’ll notice yourself flipping through those Atlanta real estate guides more often, wondering how you could afford a private home. But for those who enjoy a particularly metropolitan lifestyle, all of those negatives may not outweigh the positives one bit.

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