Upper or lower floor on a co-op?


Mar 3, 2007
New York
I was pretty dead set on a lower floor. I'm thinking about changing my mind because of a few people telling me horror stories about hearing people above them.

Can I get opinions, please?!

My pros about getting a bottom unit were that there are obviously no steps. The steps bother me when it comes to moving furniture, groceries, etc. because it's only me. I can manage moving into a downstairs unit...upstairs would be tricky.

The second pro about a downstairs unit is that I can have a cat or dog without worrying about the person downstairs complaining about the animal running around, or I can exercise and do my jumping jacks without any concern lol.

The third reason I wanted a downstairs apt is because I want hard wood floors. However, I think this complex allows hardwood floors on second floor units.

What do you guys think?


Jul 11, 2007
Jack Rabbit Slim's
It sounds like downstairs is the way to go and hope your upstairs neighbor is quiet. I lived in a 3 story condo in the middle section and it was the person UNDER me that drove me nuts...the person above me was quiet as a mouse! Good luck!


couch potato-ing
Jun 11, 2007
i like upper floors just bc i was acoustically abused over the years by my upstairs. the bed banging on the walls in the middle of the night...the 3am walking around apt that woke me up...the crazy dog having a race upstairs..you name it.


Mar 3, 2007
New York
Yeah, I'm starting to get worried about having noisy neighbors upstairs. I think the inconvenience of the stairs might be worth nights of peaceful sleep.


Mrs. KarraAnn!
Feb 10, 2009
It sounds like downstairs is the way to go and hope your upstairs neighbor is quiet. I lived in a 3 story condo in the middle section and it was the person UNDER me that drove me nuts...the person above me was quiet as a mouse! Good luck!
I had the same problem when I lived on the second floor of a 3rd floor. The plus was that the second floor was the cheapest rent, but the people below me always blasted their music and I rarely heard the upstairs neighbors. We all had carpet though.

miss alice

Dogs Rule!!
May 24, 2006
In the Shoes with Red Soles
i live on the top floor now because previously, i had an upstairs neighbor who was a great neighbor but there were so much sound from footsteps, furniture moving, etc. it was inevitable i suppose but i just dont really want to deal w/ that noise anymore so i am happy to be on top floor now. i dont know if your condo has balcony but you also get more privacy on your balcony if you are the top floor.


Sylvie Guillem fan
May 10, 2006
Top floor ALWAYS!

Safer for girls
You can leave a window open in summer
Almost always quieter
Carpet is never enough. And your facility allows hard wood floors upstairs. Yikes!
Get men to carry the furniture. Groceries for one person aren't much.
Good exercise for your legs.


Bargain Hunter!
Aug 25, 2008
Depends on the structure. If it's a massive apt. building, higher floor might be better. If it's a Brownstone/Row House type structure, I'd go with lower floor. I live on a lower floor and the peace of mind of not having to deal with stairs, elavators, of being able to own exercise equipment and use it (no downstairs neighbors to complain), and in fact its just much quieter because you have less people surrounding you.


Sep 9, 2006
i had the same dilemma when i bought my apartment. it was between a unit on the very top floor, which had a grueling six flight walk-up (no elevator in my pre-war building) or the basement level. i ended up choosing the ground floor and i am so happy i did. no steps, so moving in was a breeze. bringing in groceries is no hassle at all. it's peaceful since i'm isolated from the rest of the co-op, and i can make as much noise as i want without fearing that i'd be disturbing anyone below me. i've also never felt unsafe in my apartment either.


Jun 10, 2009
I would only go top floor. I'd rather worry about being acoustically kind to my neighbors than have to hope they have the same sensibilities. It's also safer, as ProfNot pointed out and you'll find the steps aren't really a hassle - it automatically builds that little extra bit of exercise into your day!!


Sep 11, 2008
The Mall
I have an upstairs condo...

The Pros:
- I don't have any noise from an upstairs neighbor

The cons:
- I have to carry groceries (and anything else) up a flight of stairs (ie pain in the butt)
- I have a child and feel the need to constantly ask him to "walk lighter" even though I'm sure he's not making noise. I just don't ever want to be the one people complain about
- I can't do "heavier" cardio, like taebo or jumping jacks or whatever... well I can, just won't.

So there's my experience... but to be honest, I'd still rather live upstairs. Even though I've only listed one pro, it's a BIG pro...


Building a rainbow
For me, I'd go with the upper floor for 2 main reasons: 1) overhead noise concern and 2) more natural light on upper floors. Of course, that's because the things you mentioned aren't a concern for me personally -- I don't mind the walk upstairs, movers should be able to take care of furniture issues, and I don't exercise at home.


Mar 3, 2007
New York
Right now the prices are around the same. The bottom floor unit has a crappy location (right by a highway) and the top units are all the way across the complex so you don't hear the noise. I think I'd have more bargaining room for the top floor unit because it needs work (I'm fine with that because it's like a blank canvas).

I'd get used to the stairs so I guess the biggest pain would be moving in and out. I wasn't planning on hiring movers but I could always look into it.

I belong to a gym so I guess the exersize isn't a big deal, I'd just like to know I could do it if I wanted to.


Jul 16, 2007
Santa Monica
I would pick the upstairs. Especially since you said the second floor is allowed to have hardwood and living underneath someone with hardwood is a nightmare. Believe me, the peace and quiet is well worth the expense and extra work to move.