Why high-rise living may not be all it's cracked up to be

By Jennifer Laing  | August 28, 2014 - 2:59PM

In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.

Think living in a high-rise is the NYC dream? Think again. All of that privacy and panorama come at a price. Besides the mild bother of not being able to take your daily fashion cues from the pedestrians in the street (Is it cool enough for a sweater? Huh, that guy just walked by in a Canada Goose!) not to mention gauge the depth of snow on the sidewalk or the puddles on the corners, there are some very real quality of life issues to consider:

Noise…from below and above: Without other buildings around to run interference, a surprising amount of street noise (sirens, car alarms, garbage trucks, drunken screaming) reach skyward. What’s more, high floor apartments are also vulnerable to noise from above, in the form of air traffic from planes and helicopters, both of which emit low frequency noises that travel long distances.

Elevator inconvenience: Elevator dependence is a major issue. Imagine a scenario in which you live on a high floor and there’s a power failure. Elevator gridlock is another concern since not all buildings have enough cars to ferry residents around fast enough for their liking, especially during the busiest times of the day or when one or more elevators is out of service. And, if you have a dog, a long elevator ride can make multiple daily walks inconvenient (and accidents inside the elevator common).

Dizziness: With ear popping in the elevator and vertigo from the bird’s eye views and the swaying of the building, even those with the strongest of stomachs can suffer from living the high life.

For more things to consider when buying on an upper, upper floor, read "The ups and downs of sky-high living."


How much is a higher floor worth?

How high is too high for a roof deck?

High-rise syndrome: A fall thing

How to spot a smoke-free high-rise: look for this sticker


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.