As first-time apartment buyers six years ago, we never really stopped to think about the size of the building we were buying into. It was all about the apartment itself (was it big enough and could we afford it) and the neighborhood.
But after living in a small co-op building for awhile (35 units), our perspective has grown more nuanced. The scale feels right: Cozy without being claustrophobic, and small enough to know our neighbors' faces (if not all their names) and a fair amount of their backstory too. With only one building employee (our live-in super, Mike), holiday tipping is a cinch.
Still, it’s become clear to us that small has its disadvantages. The cost of improvements are born by a narrower group of people. (Periodic musings about adding a part-time doorman are quickly quashed by the realization that our maintenance would rise by about 20 percent.) Our elevator replacement project was an ordeal last summer because our one and only elevator was taken out of service for two months. Fewer willing and qualified owners are available to join the board or spearhead initiatives for special projects. The comparatively tiny fees we pay to our managing agent don’t give us much clout when it comes to getting the best service. As for amenities….what amenities?
We are not moving anytime soon but we are curious about life on the other side of the street…
To all of you who’ve lived large, what’s life like in a big building? Which do you prefer and why?