Printed from at 03:06 PM, Jan 18 2017
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First Floor Apartments


In general, what's the price difference between 1st and 2nd floor in a co-op?
Good area, well-maintained building; p/t DM. Some windows face street, others the back.

Not sure about prices differential, but having lived on the ground floor, I can say, it kinda sucked. And I was even a little pushed back b/c I was above a basement entry and there was a locked gate separating that entrance ramp from where people could walk on the street. I could hear people talk and it sounded as if they were inside my apartment-- very weird. Also, the smells of the city sidewalks sometimes came inside in waves - lovely. This was a very nice, DM, full service building. And I am absolutely vigilant about cleanliness and taking advantage of the exterminator service, but still periodically saw a water bug or two. I've also lived in a 2nd floor walk-up, which faced the back of the building and it felt MUCH more private.

some folks don't like first floor apartments. i love them! i hate elevators and stairs even more. i have a 1st floor duplex, and it's like living in a house. plus, outdoor space is nice. also, then you can find buildings without elevators and have lower common charges/maintenance.

I think it really depends on area and street. Noisey streets will see a bigger haircut than quieter street. In general, expect a 10% discount for ground floor unit +/- 5% due to location and noise.


lol 30yrs, btw, reading ringer as we speak... LOVE IT! thanks again for the advice.

I've lived on the first floor of a pre-war co-op for about 10 years, and have recently been hunting for a new apartment. To my surprise, many higher floor co-ops that we've looked at get less light, because their windows face other buildings or an air shaft. Our current first-floor apartment has very high ceilings, oversized windows, low buildings in the front and no building in the back, so we get a lot of good light all day long. That's a long way of saying that I think the price differential should depend partly on whether there is a real difference in light between the first and second floors you're comparing.

Thanks very much. ALC10.
I will look carefully at the building height across the street.
Window size is quite large.

I don't care at all about any stigma of being on the first floor.
Knowing I got more space or paid less than those on a higher floor will reinforce the great value I'm getting.

"i hate elevators and stairs even more. i have a 1st floor duplex"

You have an escalator in your apartment?


People ground floor apartments facing the rear of a building are often happier than those in the front, for privacy and noise reasons, not to mention water pressure. If you have small children the first floor is great (they can ride their trikes and play basketball in the apartment) and if you have a dog that needs walking three times a day, you won't have to wait for the elevator. And you definitely get more space for your money.

I blogged about the bottom vs middle vs top comparison a few weeks back...

Also, my first real estate story for the NYT was about ground floor living - five years ago but still pretty relevant. The appraiser I interviewed then said that first floor apartments in an elevator building are worth 10-20 percent less than 2nd floor and 15-25 percent less than the third floor. It's a bit different in walk-ups, where higher-floor apartments are worth less because of the stairs.

I'm on a top floor currently and there are days I dream of a ground floor apartment. As it is, I work from home, have 3 yr old and a dog. I swear I spend hours either waiting or riding the damn elevator. With that said I wouldn't risk putting my money into one and I bet many others feel the same.

I lived in a 1st floor apt for several years. It was nice to be able to walk right in or out without elevator waiting. The down side: You live in the dark. Also, hot water is very very hot and if there is any vermin problem in the building you will know about it first.
On the other hand, you'll pay less than others.

"It's a bit different in walk-ups, where higher-floor apartments are worth less because of the stairs."

Maybe if they remove some of the stairs the values will go up?

A little more on our first floor experience: I agree it's lovely to be able to walk right out of the building. Forgot your umbrella? No problem--just walk right back in. I also like it that my trips to the grocery store for last-minute ingredients can take less than 5 min. Our water pressure and temperatures are great--dreamy,really, BUT I know that other units on the first floor have complaints about both, so maybe I'm in a lucky line. The downside is that it can be noisy. When people on the higher floors send their kids to play in the lobby so that they can have some peace and quiet, we hear it. We hear every game of dodgeball and every kazoo-playing 5-year old. I guess the upside to that is that we can make as much noise as we want without bothering anyone else.

spinniker, did you buy that sponsor unit on 83rd? (west) on the 1st floor I saw awhile back? :)

No need to answer, I think I know. I actually thought it was a "good" deal at the time ( if you didn't care where the market was going :) ).

i live on a ground floor apartment and love it. It is in the back of the building with a private patio/deck and is really quiet. The windows are north facing but the buildings in the back are only 3 stories so it gets light. My maintenance including the 600 sq ft patio is the same as the apartments above because it is on the ground floor. As others have mentioned, it is really easy coming and going and my building is well kept with no mice or bug problems.

my bad... should learn to read spinniker...

let me ask.. was it the top floor sponsor unit on west 83rd?

67 - I'm renting at the moment. The all mighty board will decide on the next move. A lot depends on how they view our 5 year sabbatical. Out of my hands now. My first experience with a board, wife's second but its really freaking me out not to be in control.

If you're doing a first floor apt, isn't it more desirable to have some rooms facing the front and others, preferably the bedrooms, facing the back? Seems from these comments that all windows facing the back is way to go in a first floor apt. I would think that would be more isolating and have worse views as first floor is typically over trash area and inner courtyard used for building supplies.

> I lived in a 1st floor apt for several years. It was nice to be able to walk right in or out without elevator waiting.

If thats the only pro... I say go for second floor. One flight is a very small price to pay for getting rid of a lot of the problems. I have friends who live in walkups, and they always aim for the second floor.

Thinking of putting a bid in on this apt. Building seems incredibly well maintained. The unit is #1H and is a bit set-back from the street. I would imagine that the noise issue can be rectified by city windows. The living room and 2nd bedroom face 65th St while the master bedroom faces the private courtyard in the back. The light is an issue I worry about. The size is more than we could afford if on a higher floor.

Thoughts on the building if people know? Anyone else seen this particular unit?????

Also, if anyone can speak to the A/C in first floor apts, I would appreciate that. Some articles say it's cooler, which makes sense, but this living room is long and big and I worry about cooling it off ... are first floors that much cooler?

That building is so cookie cutter with low ceiling.

The ceilings are actually an extended height in the first floor. They match the height of the lobby instead of being a standard height.

wow, only one bashing of the building... thought there would be more. no one has opinions? :(

Being set back from the street -- with the greenery outside the front windows -- is good, as is the outdoor space in back.

60's buildings often have chilled water pumped to the below-window units for A/C, so lower might be better.

Median listing discount has been 5% lately, so a bid below the 2005 price wouldn't be unexpected.

What is an appropriate price per square foot on a first floor co-op in an ideal west village location? Very quiet street, apartment comes with a deeded parking spot in the basement (with garage door opener). 14 foot ceilings. Lots of light 3 bedrooms study, 2 baths laundry and modern kitchen?

Comment removed.

Neil, if it faces the street and is at a street level, all bedrooms have windows ( not loft bedrooms) and apt is mid end Reno in the last 10 years, $1100-1200 per sq ft max for a coop without counting the lofted area. Extra for deeded parking space. Second or third floor would be 25 premium.

There are certainly pros and cons for 1st floors but in general they trade for 10% less than 2nd floors. If any part of the apt is below grade subtract another 5% or more. Other factors include back yard access, proximity to garbage cans, overall noise level and how far set back the apt is from the street.

Nwt, that one is sold but that is what I had in mind in answer to the question.

Nwt, I see why you posted this listing. $2.7mm for this apt in the current market assuming 150k for parking space.

I really appreciated being on first floor in sandy's aftrrmath

I would never buy a 1st floor unit facing the front, ESPECIALLY downtown. God I lived on the 2nd floor in the W Village for 3 years and the noise was deafening.

I would never buy a 1st floor unit in Flood Zone A, B, and probably C.

I would definitely like to live in a garden level apartment that faced the rear. I had one of those in Beacon Hill area of Boston for 4 years, with a private entrance through the garden and it was absolutely awesome to have such quick access to the street.

Right now I'm living on the 4th floor on a quiet street and loving it.


This listing is not prime west village. And ceiling height doesn't match (12 vs 14)

I think that 1st floor apts can be fine if the surroundings are right, but I wanted to share my favorite Curbed comment of all time.

Ground floor and first floor apartments constitute a special real estate market, and aren't for everyone. They have many drawbacks, including:
Much less PRIVACY.
Very poor SECURITY, with constant perils.
Many get little DAYLIGHT.
Poor VENTILATION if your vulnerable windows have to be kept closed and locked, or are blocked by the window treatments you need for privacy or security.
More and worse ODORS: from being above or near the basement or outdoor garbage collection areas; from your building's laundry room; from vehicle exhaust; from street repairs or repaving.
If your apartment is near the garbage, you can also expect more VERMIN. And your windows may attract squirrels, stray cats, raccoons, skunks, etc. (even in Manhattan), in addition to the usual burglars and rapists.
More NOISE, from the basement garbage compactor, the boiler room, the laundry room, vehicles, passersby, neighbors, street excavations, or from nearby playgrounds, schools, bus stops, businesses (or their customers), etc.
CARBON MONOXIDE from boiler rooms and clothes dryers.
At or below street level, there is also more DUST, DIRT, SOOT, GRIME and EXHAUST.
FLOODING from rain, water main breaks or storm surges.
SOCIAL ISOLATION if you seldom ride the elevator with your neighbors.

They forgot mosquitoes in the private garden, rendering it almost useless.

I just met a couple who is breaking their lease on a ground-floor apartment 5 months early, in prime Park Slope, because they can't stand living there. They think a better landlord would help, but in any case they are not looking at any ground floor apts now.


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