The thought of living on a high floor in New York City might seem glamorous: the loftiness, the view, not to mention street noise reduction. But there are a few things to consider when you commit to residing in a “deluxe apartment in the sky,” and a lower floor could be more practical and convenient.
Take it from me (I have the first-hand experience), living high isn’t as fabulous as it sounds. Hence, that is why I downgraded from a 29th-floor apartment as a renter, to an 8th-floor apartment as a buyer. I did love looking at the East River, but I don’t miss that high floor one bit.
I suggest that you think long and hard about these six points before living high up in Gotham.
1. If the elevator breaks, you’re screwed.
That’s right. If you live on floor 15 and the elevator breaks (some pre-war high-rises have just one elevator), you’ll have to use the stairs until it’s repaired. Extra cardio? That will be more than a workout when you need to carry your 70-pound Labrador Retriever (he’ll tire after about nine flights); or, if you have to lug several grocery bags from Trader Joe’s. Did you think a delivery guy would climb 15 floors? If he will, be prepared to tip big time.
2. If there’s a power outage or catastrophe, you’re also screwed.
Your view of the Chrysler Building is awesome from the 22nd floor. But during a hot New York summer, there’s no knowing when the city’s circuits will cause overload so that a blackout can occur at any time. Even with a second elevator, you’ll have no option but to take the stairs –– all 22 flights of them. You’ll find the same issue if there’s a fire and you have to get out of the building quickly.
3. You could be afraid of heights and not know it.
If you’ve never lived in the heavens before, there is the chance that you’re afraid of heights, but you don’t know it. Even if you don’t suffer from acrophobia, you might not relax or sleep easily just knowing that you’re sleeping so high above the ground.
4. Coming and going will take longer.
The higher the floor, the more pick-ups, and drop-offs. You’ll most often ride the “local” elevator during rush hours, and the “express” will be reserved for late nights only, which happens to be the opposite of the New York subway.
5. Your magnificent view could change, or go away completely.
New York is a city of construction and expansion with new buildings breaking ground regularly. As thrilling as that might sound, you could eventually lose your Empire State Building view, and be staring at something much less attractive, like a cookie cutter high-rise.
6. Higher floors cost more.
If you want that view, you will have to pay for it, and the better it is, the more it will cost. Higher floor apartments can run as much as 15 to 20 percent more than those on lower floors, which is just one more reason to opt for apartment 4B rather than 19C.