On which floor to choose an apartment in a new building

Since Soviet times, apartments on the ground floor and apartments on the top floor are cheaper, since such options are considered not the best choice of housing. And this opinion holds true when we are talking about Khrushchev’s five-story buildings and old panel houses. But in modern new buildings this arrangement of living space is no longer considered inconvenient. In this article, we will consider in detail the topic of whether it is worth buying an apartment on the top floor, and we will list the positive and negative aspects of such apartments.

Features of the apartment on the top floor

Not so long ago, apartments on the upper floors were considered not the most comfortable. They received such fame because of the poor quality of their houses. In spring and autumn, the roof could leak, but in winter it was much cooler in them due to poor thermal insulation; we should not forget about the attic with all its “charms” in the form of dampness and parasites. And with a broken or missing elevator, the picture looked even more deplorable.

However, today modern construction and renovation methods, coupled with current technologies, have eliminated all the disadvantages that in the past inevitably accompanied apartments on the upper floors. Instead, people discovered a number of significant positive aspects: no neighbors above, good lighting, fresh air and much more.

Nowadays, the price of an apartment on the top floor varies significantly, it all depends on the building in which it is located. For example, in an old Khrushchev building it will cost very modestly, and in some elite high-rise building a penthouse will cost 10–15% more than a regular apartment.

Nowadays, apartments on the top floor are no longer considered a bad option and, as a rule, there are no discounts on them. When purchasing such an apartment, special attention should be paid to the appearance and condition of the ceiling.

As a result, we see that the cost of an apartment directly affects its location, both in the direction of increasing prices and in the direction of decreasing prices. So before you buy, you should determine for yourself all the pros and cons of such housing, and also pay attention to your financial capabilities.

First, we will look at the pros and cons of apartments located on the top floors of the Soviet era, because as can be seen from practice, most of the claims are made against them.

Advantages of an apartment on the top floor

One of the most common reasons why people choose an apartment on the top floor is the beautiful view from the window. Of course, not every window can see the Kremlin or St. Basil's Cathedral, but still the window offers a pretty beautiful view of the city, and this is much nicer to see in the window. than the gray wall of the house opposite.

With the possible exception of old five-story buildings, even from the window of the fifth floor, sometimes only the crowns of trees and the roofs of lower buildings are visible. But the other advantages of apartments located on the upper floors do not depend on the type of construction of the house.

If we denote a time period, then “old” houses, perhaps, include houses built before 1991.

If you have purchased an apartment on the top floor in such a building, get ready for the fact that you will have to solve problems with the roof above your apartment.

True, you won’t have to re-cover the entire roof, but the rest of the residents can only lukewarmly support you, and in addition to the neighbors below, your enemies may also be the members of the HOA who voted for painting the entrance, for example. And they don't care about your roofing problems, but it's a human factor. If the condition of the roof in panel houses is not monitored in a timely manner, then roof leaks in this case are a regular occurrence.

And as a result, this leads to the appearance of fungus. In addition, be attentive to the heating system and plumbing if you do not want to pay for repairs to your neighbors below.

Many people decide to buy an apartment on the top floor due to the lack of neighbors above. Most people who lived in apartments on the top floor and moved to the lower ones often recall how they did not experience such problems there as the shaking of the chandelier, noise and stomping overhead, shaking of rugs, ashes, and much more.

No one will like the fact that freshly washed laundry hanging on the balcony suddenly turns out to be dirty because the neighbors above suddenly decided to feed the birds from above, and the absence of neighbors on the floor above does not mean that the neighbors below will not suddenly turn on loud music, or will not wake you up on the weekend with the sound of a hammer drill, but the majority are willing to put up with this.

It has also been noticed that if you buy an apartment on the top floor, you will get less dust from the street and annoying noise compared to the lower floors of houses.

Most often, the main advantage why most people choose apartments on the upper floors is the view from the window. The picture of the sunrise over the city can lift your spirits in the morning, and the sunset in the evening can calm you down.

Also, one of the huge positive aspects is the absence of the need to constantly curtain the windows, fearing prying eyes. In addition, such apartments are brighter.

Those who like to walk around the house in their underwear can safely go out onto the balcony without fear of people snooping.

Many also believe that there are significantly fewer flies and mosquitoes on the top floor. In recently built houses, hot water is distributed from above, so the upper apartments are always warmer and the water pressure is always better.

Also, the appearance of the apartment excludes heating and sewer pipes stretching to the ceiling, which makes renovation more convenient. But not all plans are like this. As for the staircase, it is worth noting that traffic here is much less, and this greatly affects cleanliness. Also, during repairs, you can take some of your things to the site without fear that they may be stolen.

In some modern houses, the ceilings in apartments on the upper floors are much higher than in other apartments, but not all types of houses have this advantage.


What else is harmful about living on a high floor? Maximum concentration of radio waves that negatively affect the health of the body. The disadvantage of living on a high floor especially affects the elderly and children. Think about the fact that if the elevator suddenly breaks down, it will be quite difficult to climb to a high floor.

There are also advantages to living on a high floor. If you are wondering which floor has less dust and no exhaust gases, then the answer is undoubtedly on the top floors. There is clean air on high floors, especially in Moscow. In addition, there is less noise on a high floor.

Disadvantages of an apartment on the top floor

But neither a leaking roof nor neighbors below cause so many problems. Real dangers that many people don't know about when buying an apartment. The disadvantages of an apartment on the top floor in Soviet-era buildings is the lack of technical floors, although this does not apply to all types of houses.

Apartments on the top floors are fraught with danger for children and pets. There is a high probability that a cat dozing off on the balcony railing may fall down, and children in this case require more careful supervision.

On the top floors, such a nuisance as sounds in the ventilation can also arise - the noise of the wind and the voices of birds settling on the technical floor can be heard.

Also in the layout of the top floors there is such a detail on the heating radiators as Mayevsky taps intended for purging the heating system. This means that you will have to put up with occasional visits from plumbing workers, which may bring you some inconvenience. Also, some discomfort in some homes may create the need to drain the water from the tap while waiting for hot water.

It also creates a lot of anxiety if your apartment is located next to an elevator shaft, noise and vibration from a working elevator will very often be felt in your apartment. When buying an apartment, pay attention to the location of the elevator motor compartment; it will be better if it is located on the roof.

Also, residents of the upper floors in buildings equipped with an elevator may from time to time encounter such a problem as a non-working elevator.

When buying an apartment on the top floor, prepare for the fact that you will have to shell out a certain amount of money for installing an alarm system, not only on the doors, but also on the windows. Since burglars most often break into apartments on the top floor through the windows.

Still, if you decide to buy an apartment located on the top floor in a modern building, where the presence of a technical floor is mandatory, this still does not guarantee protection from the problems described above. In practice, it is clear that a lot depends on the developer’s compliance with all building codes.

In the worst case, even in a new house on the top floor you can get acquainted with all the “delights” that are common mainly in old-type houses. In addition, in a new type of house, you may be quite annoyed by such a thing as forced ventilation, which is provided in all new houses.

In houses built in Soviet times, this same ventilation may become clogged over time and lose draft, plus various odors from the lower apartments will be heard in yours, this, of course, can be eliminated, but it still causes discomfort.

Therefore, when buying an apartment, be especially careful, it will bear fruit for you in the future.

When inspecting an apartment before purchasing, pay attention to the presence and functionality of the garbage chute. Are there any smells coming from it? There is another problem associated with the garbage chute; smokers often throw unextinguished cigarette butts into it, which leads to a garbage fire, from which all the smoke rises to the top floor.

In such cases, a strong smell of burning garbage is guaranteed. To avoid such troubles, residents often, by common agreement, seal the garbage disposal, thus avoiding cases of its improper use.

In Soviet-era panel houses, sometimes there is a layout with pipes “extended” from the ceiling. This greatly affects the height of the ceiling, significantly reducing it, and accordingly affects the price of the apartment itself.

Buying an apartment on the top floor for subsequent rental is not the best option; the three methods mentioned earlier are especially not suitable for renting out an apartment. An apartment on the first floor is more suitable for them.

About modern bonuses of the last floors

Today's houses, with modern layouts, for the most part do not have the shortcomings that existed in apartments on the top floors, in houses built in Soviet times. Roof leaks have become less frequent; the presence of a technical floor and the separation of the elevator shaft from the apartments by a hall also brought good results.

Newly designed houses are being built higher and higher. Those people who love sunlight and enjoy the view from the window should buy an apartment as high as possible. The last floor is less and less perceived as a disadvantage. The low cost of an apartment located on the top floor most often concerns mainly old buildings and economy class apartments.

In high-class housing, apartments located on the top floors are equal in price to apartments located on the middle floors, and sometimes even an order of magnitude more expensive. The fact is that not everyone can afford to buy such housing.

Bonuses of an apartment on the top floor:

  • the ability to install a fireplace, not only as a decorative item, but also quite functional. Fortunately the roof is not far away;
  • the opportunity to have a romantic dinner on the roof;
  • if the house has a technical floor, then by agreeing with the HOA, you can organize a storage room directly above your apartment;
  • There is also an opinion that you can buy out the entire technical floor area located above the apartment and make yourself a two-level apartment. Unfortunately, this is not done officially.

Firstly, the house must have this very attic, since it is not provided for in the layout of many houses. In addition, it should not be used by technical services.

Secondly, if you open the Housing Code, you can see that according to it, the design of this premises is almost impossible, due to the fact that attic spaces are included in the general cost of the house and are the property of all residents equally. Therefore, privatization requires the consent of all residents of the house.

However, due to the constant review and changes in legislation, there may be a way to legalize this point. If this happens, then people living in apartments located on the top floors will receive a wonderful bonus in the form of the opportunity to expand their living space.

✘ Increased danger to life and health

High altitude is a certain risk, especially if small children or animals live in the apartment. Falling out of a window or from a balcony on the upper floors always has disastrous consequences. This problem can be eliminated by installing protective or blocking devices on the windows.

Doctors note that residents of upper floors more often suffer from headaches, insomnia and high blood pressure.

Another important point that is worth paying attention to: in the event of a fire or emergency, evacuating from the top floors is much longer and more difficult than from the lower ones.

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