Walk-Up Apartment – Pros & Cons of Renting Walk-Up Apartments

By: Abdullah Haroon May 5, 2021

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Not everyone can afford a luxurious apartment in the heart of Manhattan or on the riverside. Many New Yorkers look for a cheaper living option to have a few dollars under their sleeves and that’s where Walk-Up apartments come into the picture.

In NYC, where rental prices are going higher with every passing day – the pandemic crisis is an exception here – it’s hard to find an affordable living place. But the city of dreams also embraces middle-class New Yorkers with cheap living options. Yes, we are talking about Walk-Up apartments.

If you haven’t heard the word before, don’t worry, at the end of this read you may be looking for a Walk-Up apartment in your surroundings.

Walk-Up Apartment

As the name suggests, Walk-Up apartments are located in buildings that have no elevator and one has to use stairs for up and down movement in the building.

There are multiple variants of such apartments like studios and multi-bedroom and such apartments are often located in dense and old areas.

The normal height of these buildings is 6 floors and you would have an easy time going if you are looking for a Walk-Up apartment in NYC.

Are Walk-Up Apartments Right for You?

The answer is quite personal and varies from a person to person. Only you have an idea of your family and only you can answer questions like: is there any old member in the family? Will your kids survive going down and up for school daily?

However, regardless of these questions, if your only aim is to save money then Walk-Up apartments are a brainer for you. To have a better understanding of these efficient apartments, we recommend you to have a look at their pros and cons.

Pros of Renting Walk-Up Units


The obvious advantage of living in these cheap apartments is their affordable rent. If you can’t afford to pay $3000 per month, Walk-Up apartments are an ideal choice. And if you can get hands-on on a lower floor, it would be the icing on the cake.


As discussed before, Walk-Up buildings have no more than 6 floors and they are smaller than their counterpart urban buildings. Smaller buildings mean fewer tenants and this leads to more privacy.

Health Benefits

If you are on a tight diet plan and looking to lose fat, climbing 20 stairs twice a day will do all the good to you. You will lose calories without doing anything special as walking up and downstairs will be a routine matter for you.

Disciplined Life

Living in a Walk-Up apartment will make your living routine disciplined and organized – who wants to go 20-stairs up again for a lost item?

Cons of Renting Walk-Up Apartments

Difficult Up and Down Movements

Making your way to the 6th floor twice a day is a challenging task and if you are a 9 to 5 employer, your tired legs will be souring when you will knock at the door.

Shifting Headache

One of the worst things to face while living in Walk-ups is moving in and out. You may damage furniture and appliances while shifting and depending upon the location of your walk-up building, the moving company may charge a premium amount.

Grey-Haired Building

Most of the walk-ups in NYC were typically built before World War II and you can’t expect anything but noisy walls and outdated appliances and amenities.

Facts to Know About Walk-Ups


Walk-Up buildings have no doormen service, you have to pick the parcel yourself. This is one of the reasons the rents are low in such units.

Perfect For Homebodies

If you are working for a remote company and you sit at home from 9 to 5, believe me. Walk-Ups are a perfect match for you as you don’t need to climb up and down stairs daily.

Kids, Groceries, and Laundry

Prepare yourself for multiple climbing sessions for taking groceries and laundries up to the apartment. Wait a minute, where is your toddler who was accompanying you while you were at the building entrance? Yes, he is crying over there, go and get him up.

Older Pets and Older People

The duo can’t survive a day with 20-stairs up and down. If you are planning to bring any of these, think twice.

Which Neighborhood has the Most Walk-Ups?

Visit Park Slope, Cobble Hill, and Bed-Stuy for the affordable units and in Manhattan. You can have a look at the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side.


Walk-up units are a supreme choice for someone who is looking for a cheap option. However, they come with pros and cons. If you are comfortable paying more for the moving company and your family has no older member. Shifting to a walk-up unit may be a good option.

Weigh up the pros and cons of these units and determine whether they are the right choice for you.