Bekah Steenbock
ground floor apartment

When it comes to apartment hunting, you might think you want the highest floor and the best view, or to be away from the noise of residents coming and going or talking outside. You may also estimate that you’ll be safer from the risk of theft.

These all give first-floor apartments a bad reputation. But is it really justified?  If you don’t mind a couple trade-offs, there are many benefits to renting a ground floor apartment!

Moving in is much easier

Avoiding stairs/elevators makes moving in much easier. Trying to lug heavy furniture up narrow stairwells is a hassle, even for pros. Elevators don’t may help you move things to upper floors, but they make up for it by being cramped. On the first floor, you don’t have either challenge. There might even be a second entrance, like a patio with sliding doors, which is extraordinary if you have large furniture.

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Getting in and out is easier/more convenient

If you have a patio that you can lock from the outside, that exit may easily become your favorite. No more hallways or shared entries to get out. If you’re more introverted, the first floor can be appealing for the layer of privacy a second (private) exit can provide. You don’t have to deal with nearly as much neighborly small talk in the hallways or elevators.

Not having to deal with stairs and elevators is always appealing to the senior population. If you’re shopping for an apartment for a parent or elderly friend, the first floor deserves a serious look. Apartments for disabled renters are typically on the first floor, too, to be near parking. In some states, residents who rely on oxygen are required to live on the ground floor.

Heat rises: you’ll be cooler in the summer

If you live in a southern state, summer months can be brutal. Your electricity bill goes through the roof trying to keep the temperature comfortable. Since heat rises, it’ll be much less of an issue living on the ground floor.

Lower cost

Many people prefer an upper-level apartment for security reasons. Choosing the first-floor apartment, then, means lower demand and possibly lower rent. This may not be advertised, so just ask the leasing agent; you might get a nice surprise.

Because heat rises (see above) you may also have a lower utility bill.  A westward-facing window could offset this, however.

More amenities

To make a first-floor unit more enticing, some managers will put upgraded appliances and other amenities into the unit. This is something to keep in mind when you’re comparing apartments.

No downstairs neighbors

When you live in an upper floor unit, you have neighbors below you, hearing your every move. On the first floor, you don’t have to worry about noise from walking about in shoes, moving furniture or letting your kids or dog run around a bit. Hardwood floors intensify this issue, so if you make noise, especially if you have small children, living on the first floor can be worth it just for avoiding conflict with your neighbors.

Courtyards and gardens

Living on the ground floor allows you easy access to the courtyards, gardens and green space of your apartment community. It’s like having an extended patio.

Proximity to your car or bike

Not having to climb stairs or wait for an elevator is a real blessing, especially after a long day or when coming home with lots of groceries. Did you leave something in your car? Now it’s only seconds instead of minutes to go and get it.

If you enjoy cycling, it’s great to step outside and jump on your bike. Have to store your bike inside your unit? Think of the hassle you save by being at ground level. You might even find that easy proximity to the great outdoors serves as a catalyst for all sorts of outdoor activities, from swimming to walking.


Pets can manage stairs, but don’t necessarily love them. Other residents don’t necessarily love sharing an elevator with animals.  Being at ground level solves all the above, plus gives you quick and easy access for early morning or late-night dog walks. If you’re lucky enough to have a fenced patio at ground level, it‘s a huge bonus for you both to step outside easily any time.

Proximity to the mailboxes

Your mail comes nearly every day. It’s pretty nice to quickly step out and grab it rather than going up and down stairs.

Privacy issues can be mitigated

A first floor apartment, especially with windows facing the street, can present some issues with privacy. While it will always be an issue, you can mitigate it with good blinds and curtains, making one of the biggest drawbacks much more manageable. If you’re willing to adjust your habits slightly, you might be able to take advantage of the times of day when people are more or less present to open the blinds and enjoy the view out your window without worrying about too many people going by.

There’s a lot to be said for ground floor apartments. If you’re on a tight budget, first-floor apartments can give you a good bang for your buck. A landlord’s first priority is to occupy all the units, and that can be a good bargaining chip for you regarding price on a first-floor unit. There are many beautiful and affordable first floor units out there; it just takes a little searching to find the one you love.



About The Author

Bekah Steenbock is a freelance writer with a background in real-estate and business growth. She is a native Austinite, but has called Seattle, Mankato, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Atlanta home. Bekah, her husband, and their three children love exploring the outdoors in their spare time.