Real estate purchase

First floor or high up: which floor should my apartment be on?

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June 2024

For people looking for a home, the number of floors is one of the most important pieces of information about a property. Particularly in the city, prospective buyers often have a very precise idea of which floor their future apartment should be on - especially if they want to live in it themselves.

However, it can be worth questioning your own ideal ideas and taking a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of the different floors. In this blog post, we give you an overview of the advantages of the different floors.

Right at the top: For those hungry for light and movement

"The higher, the better" - you could approach your apartment search with this attitude. In cities in particular, apartments on the upper floors are often brighter than those on the lower floors. However, in order to assess whether this is actually true in individual cases, you should always check the lighting conditions on site - preferably at different times of day. It should be noted that the north-south orientation of the apartment also influences the incidence of light. For example, if the balcony faces south, it offers ideal conditions for as much sun as possible - but this is not so important for a bedroom. For people who are very sensitive to noise, an attic apartment can be a real blessing, as at least there are no neighbors to hear above them.

Sloping ceilings, on the other hand, are usually seen as a disadvantage, as furniture such as cupboards are difficult to store under them. However, they also have an advantage that many people are unaware of: There is often more living space available in an attic apartment than is stated in the rental or purchase agreement. This is because, according to the Living Space Ordinance, only rooms with a height of more than two meters count as living space. Areas between one and two meters in height, on the other hand, only count as half.

Climbing stairs is sporty, but not practical at every stage of life

However, if you are considering an apartment at the very top, you should bear in mind that getting there usually involves a long climb up the stairs. Especially in old buildings, there is usually no elevator, and even in new buildings, installation is only mandatory from five floors upwards. For young people, climbing stairs up to the fourth floor is usually not a problem. However, this can quickly change in the course of life: With small children, it can definitely become a test of endurance - even if the baby carriage can be left on the first floor. Climbing stairs can also quickly become a problem for dog owners: frequent stair climbing can have a negative impact on the health of young and older dogs in particular, and an apartment high up in the building does not necessarily make daily walks with the dog any easier. And an apartment on an upper floor can also be a challenge for older residents - not only because of their own weight-bearing capacity, but also when it comes to carrying shopping upstairs.

Mezzanine floors as an attractive interim solution

The statement "the higher, the brighter" is not always true. How bright an apartment is during the day depends not only on the floor, but also on the architecture - for example the height and number of windows -, the orientation of the house to the cardinal points and the development of the surrounding area. So if you value a lot of light in your home, you don't necessarily have to choose an apartment on the fourth or fifth floor. Apartments on the second or third floor can also be very bright and, in case of doubt, are somewhat easier and quicker to reach. One advantage: if you don't commit to a specific floor when looking for an apartment, you have a little more choice. And if you want a bright and warm apartment, you can influence this yourself by designing the interior. Brightly painted walls and flooring made of a warm-looking material usually make rooms appear much brighter than a dark design. Furniture should also be positioned in such a way that it does not block the light.

Apartments on mezzanines are easy to heat

If it's not just about visual warmth, apartments on mezzanine floors have another advantage: especially in old buildings that are not yet optimally insulated, the apartments on mezzanine floors are usually easier to heat thanks to the warmth of the apartments below and above. However, consideration is required when living with neighbors: residents must expect noise from the apartments above and should preferably move loud activities outside so as not to disturb the neighbors below them too much.

Living on the first floor - barrier-free and quickly outside

First floor apartments are probably the most frequently excluded when looking for a home. However, if you talk to people who live on the first floor, they often report many advantages. First of all, you need to know that not all first floors are the same - there are also many apartments on the so-called mezzanine floor - these are half a storey above ground level and can usually be reached via a few steps. Many people looking for a home are afraid of burglaries in first floor apartments, and residents of first floor apartments should indeed take care to keep their windows closed when they are away.

To assess how high the risk of burglary is, a look at the police statistics can help - as a rule, burglaries are not equally frequent in every district of a city. And what is often initially seen as a potential danger - easy accessibility - also proves to be an advantage for many people in everyday life that they no longer want to do without. People who live on the first floor can not only leave their home more quickly in the event of danger, e.g. a fire, but can also get out more quickly in everyday life to do some quick shopping, get some fresh air, chat with neighbors or take the dog for a walk.

Some first floor apartments have their own garden.

This is a great advantage, especially for people with limited mobility. If you are looking for a first floor apartment, you can also find properties with their own garden - even in the city, there are first floor apartments that have their own small front garden. If the house is poorly insulated towards the basement, the first floor apartment may be more difficult to heat. However, as more and more properties are being renovated to meet ESG requirements, this does not always have to be the case. And in the face of climate change, ground floor residents are often happy that their home is easier to cool in summer than homes on higher floors.


Whether first floor, raised first floor, mezzanine or attic: each floor has its advantages and disadvantages. However, it is not possible to say in general terms what these are, but only to find out during a viewing - also of the immediate surroundings of the property. When looking for an apartment, it can be worth being open to all floors at first.

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