Apartment Living?

[deleted account] ( 32 moms have responded )

We need to find a cheaper place so we are considering moving to an apartment. We have never lived attached to anyone before. I would like to hear others experiences with this pros and cons etc...



We looked at an apartment in our price range but are on a waiting list. I want to be sure what to do when one comes available. I asked for a bottom unit preferably on an end and near the playground.

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[deleted account]

as long as you are the type of person that will take the time to bring your kids to the playground/pool then not having a yard wont matter as much

Maybe I'm way too sensitive w/ my PMS right now, but that just sounds completely insulting considering what I just posted... I do take the time to take my kids to the playground, but when sitting in the sun for a half an hour gives you a migraine and your kids don't even START getting tired for 2-3 hours.... Yeah, it makes a difference.

[deleted account]

For $100/month and having kids.... I wouldn't give up the fenced in yard if it were possible to make it work. Your kids are younger now, so need supervision anyway.... but w/ my personal situation.... I've got two 9 year olds that are not allowed to be in the playground unless I am there w/ them and that part sucks. If we had our own yard they could be out there all the time and I wouldn't be worried about the punk neighbor boys (not OUR neighbors, but the next place over) coming over and throwing rocks at my kids and threatening to beat them up.... even though my girls are twice their age...

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Brittney - posted on 04/21/2011

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I'm living in an apartment right now with my two month old and I haven't had any problems except climbing stairs. The only noise I notice is the street noise and if people are right outside talking. Most of my life was spent living in houses and it's been a long time since I lived in an apartment. You'll get used to the noise and adjusting to apartment life should go easy once you know who lives around you.

Rachel - posted on 04/21/2011

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I have personally lived in many apartments and the big thing is the neighbors. I currently live on the first floor of an old converted house and my neighbors are very quiet it is 3 adults that share the 3 bedroom and they are never home so it is nice and they have never complained about my 14month old crying in the middle of the night since she still doesnt sleep through. I would deffinately go for the apartment you can take the kids to the pool and park and not have all the maintance issues. it will save you time and money. I say go for it. Good luck

Angela - posted on 04/21/2011

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We lived on the first floor of our first apartment. It was convenient for carrying groceries, but our upstairs neighbors were so loud walking around they sounded like elephants at times. After that experience, we always lived on the top floor. I hope you find the apartment you are looking for.

Ewanna - posted on 04/21/2011

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You're talking of not just around 100 per month but much more since the utilities are included in the apartment and not in the house. I'd go for it.

I went from a very large house where I grew up with nearly 2 acres of land in the city limits to a smaller house with a fenced back yard and front yard when I married and moved to Texas. Now I have an 1800 sq foot third floor apartment with balconies all around. I brought my kids to the apartment when they were 8-1/2 and 6-1/2. They were used to having the yard and we had to give up their trampoline and pool. But no one dared to complain if they were noisy or if I yelled at them since we are the building owners. Yes I traded a west TX house with a mortgage and tons of insurance payments for an apartment that was totally paid for in sunny GREECE. I could do without those expenses and my girls soon go used to not having a back yard or swimming pool by going to the beach everyday or to the mountains to their Gparents on weekends to play with the farm animals and to run free.
In today's economy we don't have many choices and the difference in expenses often means the difference between that extra side dish of veggies on the dinner table.

[deleted account]

We had no real problems with living in apartments (townhouse or flat style) There is always a possibility of issues with the neighbors but an extra metre or two between walls has rarely made any difference in our opinion. Either way you risk having them hear you or them disturbing you - best way is to randomly drop past the unit in question and see what the noise levels are like (but then would do the same with a house).
I cant comment on the issue of smoke as we have never lived in a place that allowed it so was never much of an issue...

Rachel - posted on 04/20/2011

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i live love living in my flat , i moved in a month before i had my daughter and she has just turned 9 .i feel very safe as there is a security door . aslo when she was a baby i didn't have to keep goin up and down stairs when ever she cried plus it's easier to keep clean . my daughter dosen't miss havin a garden as we spend lots of time at my parents who's garden is big plus she loves goin to the local park and playground when it's lovely

Blackwood - posted on 04/20/2011

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Ashley, it sounds like with the added costs of living in a house is going to be more then $100.00/ month plus you would have to make time to do the upkeep for your landlord to lower your cost. So really you're looking at a min of $1200.00 a year! If you do decide to live in an apartment it's not like you are making a perment decision, with the money you guys could possible save you could start a mortage fund, then one you're done school and hopefully can find some higher paying jobs you might beable to one day own your own house. With the pool and a playground there, then it would be a child friendly place and your children could swim with you, lower cost on entertainment in the summer. If you stay were you are or live in an apartment you are gonne have cons no matter what. What you have to decide is money more importand right now then your own back yard. I know for me growing up in an apartment ( I know have my own home with my husband and child, we moved into my in laws for 2 years to save) that it's the time you spend with your children, the lessons you teach them. I have to say if it were me and money is as tight as you say it is and you have to do for right now, I'd take the apartment, that's just me.

Kim - posted on 04/20/2011

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Sorry I didn`t mean my comment like that at all. I just meant that some people have no problem and have fun packing the kids up and chasing after them at the park forever so they can play. I personally find it a hassle and would much rather them play in the yard with me frequently checking on them. I know some people that hardly ever take their kids to the park because they don`t like going and don`t like the packing up etc so I was just saying if she was one of those people that it probably wouldn`t be a good idea for her to give up her yard. If that makes sense at all.

Terasa - posted on 04/20/2011

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if you can find older communities you might find a house for under $1000.00 i lived attached duplex and found it unsatisfactory. but also been told landlords in attached living can be really good if it's not working out for you.
hope that helps good luck

Krystal - posted on 04/20/2011

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pros if there are anyother kids to play with your kids and adults you can become friends con---- some one bringing in bugs we start by bombing before we move in and cleaning really good and putting mouse and roach traps out just incase you never know get the bug spray that last for 6-9 months and do all cabinets and windows and outer rim of the apartment it will help we moved into our apt in nov someone moved in next door in feb and brought roaches so we clean and spray once a week cuz some people are just dirty... good luck an lots of prep but it will save you in the end

[deleted account]

@ ASHLEY ~ After reading the price difference, and learning that both you and your husband are in school, I think (just my opinion here) that the apartment (if it meets your standards) might just be a good idea. You could look at it as a temporary thing. While you and hubby finish school, live there, save money, enjoy the playground and pool and then when you get out of school and different (maybe better?) jobs, then go for a house. It sucks, but money is a HUGE factor for most of us and I totally get what you're saying about that $100 making a big difference. How much longer will you and hubby be in school?

Elfrieda - posted on 04/20/2011

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That's ridiculous, Teresa. It's so frustrating when there are rules for every little thing that should be up to the parents to decide, and usually they don't even make sense!

[deleted account]

Elfieda, my kids are 9 and are not allowed on the playground w/out me (housing rules). Yet aren't allowed to PLAY on the playground once they are older than 10 (again housing rules)....

Elfrieda - posted on 04/20/2011

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Huh, I figured the kids could go play on the playground by themselves, but I just took another look at the ages of your kiddos. You probably want to wait 2 or 3 more years before that even becomes possible. If you'd have to watch them the whole time, that would suck.

Kim - posted on 04/20/2011

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It's hard to say what is right for your family because they are all different but I think that as long as you are the type of person that will take the time to bring your kids to the playground/pool then not having a yard wont matter as much. When we lived in a townhouse we didn't have those things but my son and I walked to the park almost daily. It is nice not having to pack things up and actually leave your house but if it makes it more affordable for you then I would do it. Having your own yard is definately nice and I personally wouldn't give mine up now but it is definately doable once you get used to it. Is there a patio or something you can set up for them to get some fresh air when you don't have time to go to the playground?

Elfrieda - posted on 04/20/2011

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Wow, a pool and a playground on site? That sounds good to me. The only concern of mine with kids in apartments is that they can't go out and play, but that takes care of that problem! I think I'd do it.

[deleted account]

So far its 50/50... everyone i talked to just makes it harder to decide. I cant tell if it right for MY family or not. I guess what it is going to come down to is price. Its a 100+ difference doesnt sound like much but when ur both going to school working and supporting 2 kids that $100 or more helps.



these are the specifics...

Our current house is slightly smaller than apartment but has a fenced yard costs 725/month but landlord lowered to 675/month starting in may if we mow his parents yard and the yard of his vacant property. Utilities (internet, water, sewage, trash) NOT included.

The apartment is slightly bigger with no yard but there is a pool and playground on site. no yard maintainance =) 650/month including ALL utilities except cable which we dont have anyways (netflix lol $8)



What would you do if you were me?

Kim - posted on 04/19/2011

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I have lived both upstairs and downstairs and they both have their perks and drawbacks. Since you aren't comfortable upstairs I would ask about who would be living above you. If it is someone with 3 kids you may want to rethink it because as you know kids make a lot of noise. Every day noise you will get used to but if they are thumping and banging when you are trying to get yours settled it will get annoying. Ask the buildings policy on partys and how they deal with excessive noise. Where I lived the landlady was friends with my neighbours who constantly partied and refused to do anything. The worst part was the smoke. There was no smoking inside but the lady downstairs did anyways. We had no shared ducts or anything and it still came in my house. Any small cracks etc it can seep through. Definately check on the smoking policy and ask if the neighbors do. Even if people smoke outside every time you open your windows it will come in your house. But, all in all it isn't terrible. If you can rent a house for the same price I would definately suggest going for the house.

Jayce - posted on 04/19/2011

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I don't mind apartment living. Since moving out on my own 14 yrs ago I've lived in apartment buildings. Some are better than others and the one you described sounds pretty good.

Right now I'm living on the 2nd floor of a 3 floor building. The only neighbour I hear is the upstairs neighbour and it's usually only if she drops something or she's playing with her dog (who gets a Whippet when they live in apartment? but that's another story). I don't have to worry about the noise my son makes, my unit is above the laundry room. I have a balcony which I love. In nice weather I'll go out there with my 3 yr old and do messy crafts and projects. Otherwise we spend a lot of time in the pool (when weather's nice) or the play area.

I like that I don't ahve all the hassles and surprise expenses (ie. leaky pipes) that go along with home ownership. And in my area (Southern Ontario) it's much cheaper to rent than buy.

Blackwood - posted on 04/19/2011

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I grew up living in an apartment building. I enjoyed it there are always children to play with, when I was old enough, I had tons of babysitting and even tho at times it was annoying to share a room with my sister we are super close I think becuz of it. We lived on the ground apartment and I have great memories of playing with friends, running through the sprinkler ect. . . It really wasn't that bad.

[deleted account]

Yeah, it's all about what you feel safe and comfortable with. Good luck with the search and sorry I've been no help at all!
Oh, and soak up some sun for me will ya??? LOL It's still in the friggin' 30's here and it's been a cold and rainy last two weeks. After such a long winter, I'm half tempted to pack up and move back home lol Take care :)

[deleted account]

I'm in the panhandle right under alabama. I still dont feel comfortable about the stairs and balcony if it was an enclosed stair case I wouldnt mind but its outdoors and he can fit thru the bars. The unit we looked at the other day was upstairs and we brought the kids. My oldest was making me nervous the whole time we were there. Another thing I was thinking is its rains a lot here so running them both up the stairs along with groceries would be terrible. I wish I could look at an upstairs downstairs at once and let my husband stomp around upstairs so I can see how sound the building is.

[deleted account]

My friend lives in an upstairs apartment. She has an almost 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3.5 month old. It's doable. You don't want a downstairs unit if the floor/ceiling isn't sound proof.... Unless you have quiet adults as upstairs neighbors instead of kids.

We live upstairs and I'm constantly telling my son not to 'stomp on uncle's ceiling', but thankfully the guy downstairs is very kind and has never complained.

I get cigarette smoke in my windows quite often and occasionally in my bathroom vent. That's the worst part of this living arrangement for me since it triggers my coughing issues. I've been puffing on my inhaler for about a week now and my cough hasn't cleared up yet (usually one or two days does it just fine).

Our new next door neighbors have a toddler that runs and throws LOUD tantrums in the house. Before they moved in things were pretty quiet. I think MY kids were the loud ones.

We moved here when my now 3 year old was 6 months old and he's been going up and down the stairs on his own for about a year and a half...

That's the only input I have. :)

[deleted account]

What part of Florida? We left Titusville a year ago for the snowy north. Y'all are enjoying spring and it's 38 degrees here :( My flip flops are dusty....that's NEVER happened lol

[deleted account]

Joy- I am in FL and what I am worried about most is noise but I just wouldnt be able to take an upstairs unit. I got a 2 yr old and a 3 month old I would be able to carry them both upstairs and the top units have balconies which also makes me nervous. I did request an end unit so I wont share walls on both sides. Decisions decisions...

[deleted account]

I DESPISE apartment living. I've spent most of my 39 years living in apartments/townhouses/condos. I'll never share walls or floors or ceilings with anyone ever again if I can help it. As for cost, it really depends on where you live and the cost of living in your area. I'm in upstate NY and here, a house rental is almost as cheap as an apartment so we went for the house. But before here, we lived in Florida and it was WAY cheaper to live in an apartment. And if you have kids....look at it like this. If you're on the bottom floor you may have the convenience of not having to lug kids and groceries up the stairs BUT you also get the "pleasure" of listening to EVERY MOVE the people who live above you make. On the other hand, if you live on the top floor, your neighbors get to complain about you and your kids trodding through the house because they are hearing YOUR every move. If I had to go back to apartment living, I'd definitely go for an upstairs unit. If I were you, I'd look for something similar to the last two places I lived in in Florida. One was a one story condo where we only shared walls with people on either side of our unit. No one above or below us.....one long strip of condos all connected. The other place I would recommend was a two story townhouse. Same concept as the condos except each unit had its own upstairs/downstairs and we only shared walls on either side. Good luck!

[deleted account]

These aren't in a building they are more like townhouses so the front door leads outside instead of a hall. These are only 2 story so you have your choice of top or bottom. I asked about noise and was told the walls are sound proofed but not the floor/ceiling. I also asked about cigarette smoke from neighbors and I was told these apartments all have completely seperate duct systems and thermostat. They put in new carpet, repaint, and clean duct work before you move in too. Does all this sound pretty standard or are these apartments a better deal than i thought?

Elfrieda - posted on 04/19/2011

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I've lived in a small town, in the suburbs, right downtown in a small city, and now am in the country, so I have lots of opinions on this question!

pros: no yard maintenance, probably live within walking distance of library, grocery store, parks, shops, often friendly old people who are glad to babysit, chat, pick up mail and water plants if you go away, very little storage so you get rid of all the clutter

cons: no extra space for diy projects, no garden, often can't control the heating and air conditioning, smoking neighbours and it comes under the door, no air flow unless you open your windows and convince the neighbours across the hall to open theirs, noisy neighbours or neighbours wanting more quiet than your kids can give, lack of privacy, very little storage.

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