New York City
Northern New Jersey
Search Better With
Shop for a Broker
Open House Planner
Saved Listings & Folders
Stats and Figures
Manhattan Condo Market Index
Anyone here have experience living on the ground floor. Did you experience issues with vermin (considering trash is often kept at street level for collections), or flooding (my friend experienced this, but she had a duplex and the basement portion flooded)? Any other downsides to living on the ground floor?
I live on the ground floor...only item of inconvenience is I hear the front door open and close whenever someone comes in or out. Good thing there are only 9 other people in my building. I am in a carriage house though so idk if its different for anyone else.
Noise. Bugs. Bars on your windows. Noise. Car exhaust right outside. Noise. If you're going to be on the ground floor, at least arrange so that you're in the back side of the building and not the street-facing side.
The doorman can hear you(or your guest(s)). ; )
I lived in a ground floor rear apartment for many years. It was very quiet (except for the paper thin internal walls) but it was truly a cave with no natural light. I had bars on all my windows but that was a different New York so I'm not sure if they'd be necessary today. As for vermin, never had an issue but then I always had a cat so there was a natural deterrent (twice when they were doing construction next door my cat caught a mouse...fun for her, gross for me, worse for the mouse). On the upside I never had to rely on the (not so reliable) intercom to know who was ringing my bell, nor did I have deal with trying to get furniture into the micro sized elevator or carry it upstairs.
Like most things in life, ground floor living has its pros and cons.
I have lived in a ground floor/basement duplex and a ground floor rear facing apartment. There are more roaches on the ground floor, especially if your building is near restaurants and even if not. Ground floor apartments also have issues with privacy and safety if people can see into your apartment from the street. Given that ground floor apartments also generally lack light, you may find yourself with the curtains permanently drawn (it also hides window bars). Ground floor apartments are loud - One of my apartments was on a cross town bus block which meant turning the TV way up. The windows also accumulated grime faster. That being said, I currently live in a ground floor apartment because the price difference can be worth it.
There have been numerous conversations about ground floor apartments on this board before. On the right side of your screen there is a Search Discussions box- enter Ground Floor into the search box and you can read extensively on the topic.
Flooding when it rains hard and drains outside clog. I had this BAD. Once is enough.
And yes vermin are more common here too. Avoid!
My 1st apartment (in 1981) was a ground floor, front facing studio at 90 Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill, which I lived in for just over 2 years. My 1st year lease was for $272.25, which went up to $315.81 when I renewed (I still can't believe I remember those figures!) It was 9 feet wide by 22 feet long (but had the holy grail of exposed brick-YES!) A friend of mine likened it to a toothpaste box.
The 2, north facing street level windows were in the direct path of the exhaust belching from the 18 wheelers continuously screaming down the avenue. As an added bonus, my window seat was actually formed by the built in exterior garbage can storage bins. Surprisingly, I never had a vermin problem, but was awakened &/or startled numerous times when someone was throwing out their trash & slamming the bin doors.
The kitchen window, at the opposite end of the apartment, faced south but with zero benefit of a southern exposure because it looked out onto an air shaft. For only a few days around the summer solstice, did a sliver of sunlight briefly illuminate it; I guess one could call it "Cobblehenge". I was a little tqken aback when my neighbors directly across the shaft told me that they knew when I was showering because they could smell the Irish Spring! Hopefully that was all they smelled-they never mentioned anything else, & I as sure as hell wasn't going to ask them.
BUT: Despite all that, it was only one subway stop to my office in the Financial District (whichever line you chose-take your pick), which made me pretty much shake off everything I mentioned-very easy to do, especially when you're in your early twenties. And come the weekends, those same trains whisked me into Clubland like lightning. The Village, Midtown...all within 15 - 20 minutes. Locally, all the Middle Eastern restaurants on Atlantic Avenue, others on Montague Street, the Promenade...LOVED IT!!!
It all depends on the apt. I live in a ground floor apt in the back of my building. No noise at all. In fact, it is quieter than apts several floors above in the front of the building. The buildings behind me are brownstones so the light is decreased but not that bad. My super keeps the building exceptionally clean and there are no mice or roaches. At least not visible in my apt. It is extremely easy coming and going, taking the garbage down etc. No waiting for the elevator or climbing the stairs. I wouldn't live in any other 1 BR in my building.
I agree with WoodsidePaul only that its a bit trickier to get light and keep private in a low floor apartment. If it has big windows than you get light than only the privacy is an issue. Living in Brooklyn I see lots of ground floor apartment with shutters or wood blinds. When drawn or half closed you get light and privacy. When the windows are small or blocked and there is limited light then it gets trickier.
(sheer curtains that let light in but are not see though are a good option) All in all from light/privacy stand point you need to be more creative but sometimes its worth it if the price is much lower (to rent or to buy)
I think it is worth the tradeoff for a large private garden space.
I installed a custom sliding shoji screen for my ground floor window. It is translucent which allows most of the sunlight when it is closed- yet maintains privacy. The material is plexiglass but it looks like rice paper- so it is durable. It also adds a terrific design element to the room and everyone that enters my apartment loves it.
I lived in a rear ground floor apt, but it was a few steps up to the lobby and the building sloped in the back so I was 1/2 a story above ground. No flooding or roaches. No noise (pre-war and facing an unused courtyard). No security bars. I did have mice at one point. My biggest complaint was that it was dark.
"I installed a custom sliding shoji screen for my ground floor window. It is translucent which allows most of the sunlight when it is closed- yet maintains privacy. The material is plexiglass but it looks like rice paper- so it is durable. It also adds a terrific design element to the room and everyone that enters my apartment loves it."
Presumably you've never had any Japanese people born before the war at your house: they'd blanch at the thought of a shoji screen made of *plexiglass*. ^^; (It probably reflects heat a lot better than traditional wood-and-paper, though.)
Depends on how sensitive you are. If you face front, there will be idling trucks, and tenants/deliverymen chatting up the doorman, and saying hello/goodbye at all hours, and coming out for a smoke (which drifts in your windows),