The Pros and Cons of Living in a High Rise Apartment Building

by Jeannieinabottle

When choosing the perfect new home to rent, you might want to consider renting an apartment in a high rise building. Before doing so, you should consider the pros and cons.

Many people opt to live in an apartment for different reasons. Some people prefer the price of apartment living over renting a house. Other people enjoy maintenance-free living. When something breaks, you just call the landlord about getting it fixed. Still, there are folks that prefer the smaller space.

Even if you do decide to live in an apartment, there are many types to choose from. You can pick anything from a garden style ground floor apartment to an apartment located on the top floor of a high rise apartment building. Depending on your needs, the high rise apartment building might be perfect for you. Before moving in, you simply need to consider the pros and cons of high rise living.

High Rise Apartment Buildings

High Rise
High Rise

The Pros of Living in a High Rise Apartment Building

If you enjoy living in an apartment building, you might find a high rise apartment is just the place for you.  Living in an apartment is not for everyone, but if you enjoy the sense of community and prefer to rent a home rather than own one, this could be the perfect situation.  Let's explore a list of positive aspects of living in a high rise apartment building:

  • Most high rise apartment buildings have activities for residents.  This can be something as simple as Bingo once a month or something fun like planned bus trips.  If you want to meet your neighbors and make new friends, this is great for you.
  • If you live in one of the apartments on a higher level, the views are usually spectacular.
  • High rise apartment buildings are built so you go inside the building and then walk down well-lit hallways to get to your apartment.  This is a much safer option than some garden style apartment buildings.  Also, it is much nicer fumbling for your keys in a dry, warm hallway rather than standing out in the rain, the dark, or the snow. 
  • Many high rise apartment buildings have security guards, front desk attendants, or even a security system where a person must be "buzzed in" to get into the building.  It is great for someone living alone that would like an extra sense of protection.
  • You have neighbors close by in case an emergency should arise.
  • Most high rise apartment buildings have indoor garages.  Your car is usually safer in an indoor garage.  Furthermore, you often don't even need a car since most high rises are in the city.
  • Not only do you have a covered garage protecting you during bad weather, you never have to worry about shoveling the snow or putting down salt during the winter.  All of that is taken care of for you.
  • In most high rise apartment buildings, emergency maintenence is available 24 hours a day.  Even if that is not the case, someone else still makes your repairs for you in your apartment once you notify the leasing office that there is an issue.
  • Apartment living is perfect for someone that is not sure if he or she is staying long in a particular location.  Many apartment complexes offer short-term leases.
  • If you live on one of the higher floors in the apartment buiding, you can hardly hear the traffic down below.  Also, if you are really high up, no one in their right mind is going to try to climb in through a window, too.  On a higher level, you feel like you are viewing the world below, but you don't have to be a part of it at that moment.


The View is Amazing

View from the 15th Floor
View from the 15th Floor

The Cons of Living in a High Rise Apartment Building

Of course, with every situation, there are some negative aspects. Apartment living can be great, but there are moments when it is not so great, too.  So let's explore some of the not-so-nice aspects of living in a high rise apartment building:

  • There is a lack of privacy in many high rise buildings.  If neighbors sit in the lobby, they can pry into your business and they know whether you're home or not. 
  • Some of your neighbors can be inconsiderate.  In a building with so many people, you can often hear someone at any given time.  This is especially the case if the walls are thin. 
  • Depending on the location of the high rise apartment building, the winds can get pretty gusty if you are on one of the highest floors.
  • If the fire alarm goes off for any reason in your area of the apartment building, walking down more than a dozen flights of stairs can be a real challenge.  This is especially the case if you have a pet and you are toting the pet down the stairs in a carrier.
  • If you want to have a dog for a pet, living in a high rise apartment can be really impractical.  The dog has no yard to run around.  Often, it can be a nuisance taking the dog in and out for walks if you are on a higher level.
  • When living in one of the upper levels of the apartment building, taking the stairs is often not an option.  It always seems like the elevator takes forever to get to your floor if you are running late for work.  If you are running really late, the elevator will inevitably stop on every floor on the way down.
  • If you are afraid of heights, a high rise is just not the place for you.  A high rise apartment with a balcony is definitely not going to work out. 
  • Some apartment buildings make you pay for parking in the garage.  This is really not a great situation if you have more than one car.
  • In many high rise apartment complexes, there are no washers and dryers in the actual apartments.  I have three annoying words for you: shared laundry room.
  • If a pipe bursts in your neighbor's apartment, it becomes your problem, too.  The same goes for neighbors that set the kitchen on fire, somehow flood their apartment by not turning off the sink, or bring rodents/bugs into the building.


You Don't Have to Shovel Snow!

Snow in Baltimore
Snow in Baltimore

Thanks for Reading!

If you are considering moving into an apartment, I hope you've found this information helpful.  Personally, I grew up in the suburbs, but I have been living in apartment buildings for about 10 years.  We all have different reasons for choosing apartment living, but as a single woman, I will say I love not repairing anything myself, never shoveling any snow, and feeling safe in a building with 24 hour security.  Give apartment living a chance and you might just find you really like it!

Updated: 04/16/2012, Jeannieinabottle
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Jeannieinabottle on 01/09/2014

I am lucky since my apartment building does not sway. Scary! Thanks for sharing your experience.

Rose on 01/08/2014

I've only ever lived in a high-rise once - and the building used to sway in high winds. If you turned on a tap, even the water used to sway! I think I prefer to be nearer the ground!

Jeannieinabottle on 04/23/2012

It can be lots of fun living in a high rise. I am sure it is more exciting to be in New York, rather than Baltimore (like me!) though. Thanks for the comment!

katiem2 on 04/22/2012

Very interesting, the writer in me has always wanted to move to New York City and live in a high rise apartment in the hustle and bustle of the busy city, getting lost in it all.

Jeannieinabottle on 04/17/2012

Oh, I don't think high rises are boring at all! My building is about 20 floors up and completely round. It used to be the coolest apartment building in my area. Now there are many new buildings popping up and it can't compete. I do agree that they take up less space, so therefore, more green is left in the area. Thanks for reading my article and thanks for the comment.

FloraBreenRobison on 04/17/2012

We have lots of condo buildings and apartment buildings where I live, but none of them high rise. Some of the apartment buildings have 12 floors. Condo buildings are no more than 4 floors. So not all the cons exist here. They are boring to look at, but I'd rather they were built than houses built on the hillside. I want as much green space to remain as possible.

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