You’ve searched for New York apartments and narrowed your choices with organization, research, and skill. You’ve nailed all the common pitfalls of signing a lease, and you have steely-eyed confidence that nothing, nothing, is going to get past you. You will not be ripped off, scammed, or bamboozled in any way, shape, or form. Right? Hold on there, tiger. Here are three common housing issues in NYC that you’ll want to check in any apartment you’re considering.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Lease Signing In New York

Ground Floor Apartments Are Cheaper For A Reason

This one’s probably the easiest to miss, out of all the housing issues in NYC.

That ground-floor apartment caught your eye all right. It’s the least crazy-expensive option in the building. You don’t have to fret about feeling like a Sherpa as you haul groceries up several stories on a bi-weekly basis. But why is it the cheapest, exactly? Pests, crime, and traffic. That’s why.


Cockroaches are appallingly durable little critters, but do you think they relish the idea of scaling the side of a skyscraper and clinging on for dear life just to snack on some tasty garbage? Of course, you don’t. Because that would involve thinking about consuming trash and that’s weird. But bugs prefer to infest bottom floor apartments because there are more cover and less exposure to predators.

Related: 5 Apartment Features You Have to Check Before Signing a Lease.


This might be pretty crazy to think of, for housing issues in NYC, but the city just has so much to offer!

You don’t want to carry a big screen TV up five flights of stairs. Do you think a burglar feels any different doing it in reverse? It’s not as if they got into the burglary biz because of their sterling work ethic. Burglars often focus on bottom-floor apartments. More cover, less time. Lower exposure to the police. So, uh . . . for the exact same reasons cockroaches prefer them, basically.


New York never sleeps. Anyone who’s lived in a bottom-floor apartment with headlights constantly blazing through the window like photonic scythes harvesting sweet dreams can attest to that. Cars pulling in and out, people walking by and talking, laughing, or arguing, the occasional late-night crazy person doing . . . something. Something puzzling, morbidly intriguing, and undeniably loud. So if you’re looking to save some cash by sticking to the ground floor, check those windows and check them well. They should form a solid seal to diminish sound, and the shades should be made of solid material that you can pull down and block out light on demand. Those slotted Venetian blinds are like sieves for headlights.

Related: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Sharing An Apartment For The First Time

Top Floor New York Apartments Are So Hot!

Not sultry hot, just muggy hot. Hot air rises to the top floor. In the sweltering summer of New York, the apartments higher up can be miserable if the dehumidifiers aren’t up to the task. Increased heat and humidity put the apartment at risk for mold and mildew. So make sure the HVAC system can take the heat and keep the apartment comfortable. Even if it can, expect to pay considerably more for utilities in the summer. Although you won’t have to fork over as much of your hard-earned cash once winter comes around.

Going Down? Elevator Certification

Elevators in New York apartments and around town are so common they just fade into the background. Like pink flamingos in Florida or swimming pools in Arizona. It’s easy to forget that those things can break, and when they do, it could well mean you’re walking until they get it fixed. When was the last time your apartment building’s elevator got checked out? It should have a certificate in the elevator itself. Scope them out before you commit to signing a lease. Not just the one you plan to use because it’s closest to your room, but the backup options as well.

Have you ever missed something while looking at New York apartments? What was it? Post your comments below.

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