Higher Floor vs Lower Floor Living: Pros & Cons

With high rises becoming the norm, especially in urban areas, the question of which floor to invest in has gained some importance, more so because developers often charge a premium for higher floors. The choice of floor is ultimately a personal one, depending on the investors requirements and choices. However since higher floors in India, come at a premium, it is important to make an informed decision.

Here is a list of Pros and Cons to help investors decide.

Higher Floor Living

Pros:

  • Views – Higher floors are generally desired for the view they afford. Even in an urban environment, being high up above the surroundings means panoramic city views and a freedom from the claustrophobia associated with living in crowded, urban cities. Scenic sea or lake views are much sought after in metros like Mumbai and Bangalore.
  • Privacy – Higher floors mean more privacy from prying neighbours! Windows can be left open for cross-ventilation without the fear of random passers-by peering into your home.
  • Security – Higher floors are generally thought to be safer than lower ones as far as the risk of thefts and burglaries are concerned, since they are more difficult to get to.
  • Cleaner Environment – Dust levels are lower on higher floors and can make apartment maintenance easier. Natural light is more because of unobstructed access. Ventilation is good and noise levels get lower as one leaves the roads far below. They are also relatively pest-free zones as compared to lower levels where access is easier.

Cons:

  • Access – Senior citizens with mobility issues can find higher floors difficult to access, especially in times of emergencies and power failures when lifts are unavailable, and staircases are the only access. Medical and emergency evacuations can be hampered because access takes longer. Moving can get quite complicated with furniture and appliances having to be hauled up many floors. Lift waiting times can get long especially during school and office hours.
  • Child Safety – Many parents worry about accidents that can happen when toddlers/children wander on to higher floor balconies, even when they have railings. This may not be a prime consideration, but families with children must be alert at all times to prevent unfortunate accidents.
  • Increased Power Consumption – Higher floors generally get heated up in Indian summers, especially top floors with a flat roof above. The cost of cooling the house with fans &/or ACs can be quite high! However, this is generally balanced out by a lower cost of heating in winters, when warm air rises and keeps the higher levels relatively warm.
  • Water Seepage – Top floors are often at the direct mercy of the elements, especially the Indian Monsoon. Seepage is a common problem seen in India, especially in coastal cities with high humidity that receive high rainfall. Poor construction exacerbates this problem.

Lower Floor Living

Pros:

  • Accessibility – The biggest advantage of lower floors is their easy access to ground level and other facilities. As a result, shifting, emergency and medical evacuations and access to common facilities like the swimming pool, gym, gardens etc becomes easy. This makes lower levels attractive to families with elderly members, members with limited mobility and children, who can have a relatively easier access to play areas. Lift waiting times are shorter too.
  • Decreased Power Consumption – Lower levels tend to stay cooler in summers and this can translate into reduced electricity bills through a reduced usage of ACs. However, this is usually balanced out by higher heating costs in winters.

Cons:

  • Security – Lower levels are considered a high risk for burglaries and pests, although these are directly related to the security checks and maintenance of the building itself.
  • Privacy – Lower levels are notorious for their lack of privacy. Ground floor apartments, especially facing busy streets or internal common passageways, can get noisy and must have their windows covered at all times to protect their privacy. It can be very inconvenient and frustrating.
  • Environmental Issues – Lower levels tend to be noisier since they are closer to road traffic. Natural light is often obstructed by near-by surrounding structures. Dust levels are high, and ventilation can be an issue, if windows are kept closed to keep out dust. Proximity to the outdoors means mosquitos and other pests can be a serious issue.

Today, developers often turn high level flats into penthouses that are sold at a premium. However, ground floor flats with their own private gardens are also in demand. In the end, floor-choice is an individual decision, and investors must decide what works best for their families and their circumstances.

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