Weighing the Pros and Cons of High-Rise and Low-Rise Apartment Buildings

By: ROS Team June 18, 2021

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If you live in a big city, you probably have seen apartment buildings of all sizes and shapes. Every building has unique floor plans for its apartment units.

We can also categorize apartment buildings based on other features, mainly, whether a building is a  high-rise apartment building or a low-rise apartment building. Which type is best to live in? Let’s compare high-rise and low-rise apartment buildings to see how each stacks up.

Pros of Low-Rise Apartments

Pros of Low-Rise Apartments

  • Residents don’t need an elevator to access apartments on the lower floors.
  • These apartments have a better resale value, making them perfect investment properties.
  • Patios or gardens are often included in low-rise apartments.
  • Low-rise apartments are closer to the street, which means easier access to surrounding shops and areas of interest.
  • Since there will be fewer residents in the building, residents will likely have fewer parking issues.
  • Low-rise apartments usually offer more privacy since fewer people populate the building.
  • Maintenance is relatively easier to execute in low-rise buildings compared to high-rise apartments.
  • There tends to be a greater sense of community among residences in low-rise apartment buildings.
  • Low-rise apartments are often located on the outskirts of the city, which means less traffic noise and pollution.

Cons of Low-Rise Apartments

Cons of Low-Rise Apartments

  • Floods can cause damage to low-rise apartment units.
  • Residents don’t get to enjoy a good view of the city’s skyline from their windows.
  • Shared corridors and hallways may be busier since low-rise apartments don’t have elevators and stairways.

High-Rise Apartments

Apartment buildings with more than four floors are usually considered high-rises. Apartment units in high-rises may or may not be more expensive than those in low-rise buildings depending on the building’s location.

Pros of High-Rise Apartments

Pros of High-Rise Apartments

  • Most high-rise apartments are found in densely populated parts of the city where there are land constraints.
  • High-rise apartments have better airflow and ventilation.  As a result, utility cost tends to be lower in warmer months since air is able to travel and cool things off.
  • High-rise apartments are ideal for those who like to socialize; given the number of residents in the building, there are more people to meet. In some buildings, management organizes social activities to foster a sense of community among residents.
  • Residents are likely to find more common areas and amenities compared to low-rise apartments.
  • High-rise apartments usually have more secure premises compared to low-rise buildings since there is often more support staff in high-rises who can keep an eye on things.
  • High-rise buildings have elevators.
  • There’s generally less noise.

Cons of High-Rise Apartments

Cons of High-Rise Apartments

  • Building evacuation plans are more complex due to the number of floors.
  • These apartments are going to be more expensive than those located in low-rise apartments because it costs more to build.

Which Floor Should You Live On?

The simple answer: it depends. A first-floor apartment unit in a low-rise is great since you have easy street access, but you won’t get to enjoy views of the city. Similarly, living in a high-rise will mean further access from shops (if you live on a higher level), but you’ll have access to cleaner air and less noise.

The Latest Trend in Real Estate

It’s interesting to note that low-rise buildings are being replaced with high-rise buildings. This is primarily because the real estate value has increased significantly, especially in bigger cities.

Additionally, cities like New York City are swelling with people, and there is a limited supply of land available to live on. So, to accommodate the growing population of people, it’s becoming necessary to build up in order to maximize the living space.

The Bottom Line

There is no “good” answer as to whether a high-rise apartment building is better than a low-rise. When deciding, keep your unique needs in mind.

Related Article: Mid-Rise Apartments