What are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Top Floor Flat?

When you’re looking to buy a flat or a serviced apartment, you will quickly find that they come in all shapes and sizes as well as on different floors, whether it be in a purpose-built block or in a conversion. One of the questions you will have to ask yourself is whether you would buy a flat on the top floor of a building. In this article, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of top floor properties, so you can equip yourself with good knowledge to make an informed purchase decision.

5 benefits of a top floor apartment

1. Great views

There’s no denying that one of the main attractions of a top floor flat is the views it will afford compared to apartments on lower floors. If you’re in an urban environment, this may in fact be one of the property’s main selling points. The Holy Grail surely has to be a penthouse flat in central London with uninterrupted panoramic views over the capital’s iconic cityscape!

2. Natural light

Among the top criteria on every home buyer’s list is that the property should offer plenty of natural light. A recent survey revealed that 84% of people viewed this as the most important factor when buying a home. This is where top floor apartments and Penthouses for sale Miami really come into their own, with a real advantage over their competitors on lower floors. Being higher up generally means more sunlight, which makes for the bright, airy feel that buyers love.

3. More privacy

Many people choose top floor properties because they prefer high levels of privacy and seclusion. Moving upwards means less traffic on industrial stairways and lifts, and fewer disturbances from traffic and other noise from the street below. With no neighbours upstairs, it should be nice and quiet too, while fluffy carpets underfoot should protect against any noise travelling down below.  

4. Investment potential

In addition to having no neighbours above you, there may be a loft with extra storage space that you can use. Better still, depending on the terms of the lease and subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents, there may be scope for development into the attic. If the loft space does not form part of the demised premises, you may be able to buy it if you can negotiate a mutually agreeable value with the freeholder.

5. Better security

Since a top floor flat is, by definition, the highest and the least accessible property in the building, it is also the most secure place to live. Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves who take advantage of inadvertently unsecured doors, windows left open carelessly, and valuables left in plain view. This makes ground floor and basement flats particularly vulnerable to break-ins.

5 disadvantages of top floor properties

1. Too many stairs

How many flights of stairs are you happy to climb every day to get to your home? Most people start getting uncomfortable after reaching the second floor. If the top floor flat you are thinking of buying is on the 3rd floor or above, and there is no lift, this may well be an issue. For older or less mobile people, it could even be a dealbreaker.

2. Difficult access

What’s more, it is not only people that have to get upstairs, it’s things too. From grocery shopping to babies in prams, having household appliance delivered or taking the bins out, everything takes a lot more effort when it’s several flights of stairs up (or down). Make sure you have realistic expectations of your own fitness and ‘botheration level’ before you act in haste and repent at leisure.

3. Leaky roofs

One of the main drawbacks of living on the top floor is the vulnerability to any problems occurring with the roof. In the event that there is something wrong with the roof such as a leak that leads to water damage, you will be the first (and possibly the only tenant) to know about it. Not only that but it will be up to you to report the issue and you’ll have to live with the inconvenience until the roof has been repaired or roof replacement has been made by roofing contractors.

4. Poor thermal insulation

Top floor properties are typically hotter because of direct sunlight. If you are really unlucky and the flat is badly insulated, you could be moving into a sauna in the summer and icebox in the winter. This can push up your heating costs during the colder months and your air conditioning costs in the summer, resulting in higher energy bills. Definitely get this checked out before you make an offer.

5. No outdoor space

Many ground floor flats and basement flats have a private garden for the occupier to use, providing a valuable added amenity for alfresco living and entertaining. Usually, the landlord will hire a landscaping and tree service to keep this area tidy and appealing. Outdoor space is much more difficult to find with top floor properties. If you find one with a balcony or, better still, with a roof terrace, you may have struck gold.

If you’re after a top floor flat, you may be wondering if there are any good ones in your area. If you’re located in the West Midlands, we’d recommend getting in touch with Estate Agents Statford Upon Avon. Sheldon Bosley Knight are professionals with years of experience in the industry, so you can be sure that they’re recommending the best flat available for you. Additionally, if you have any questions regarding the moving process, they’re more than happy to assist you at all times. For more information, please get in contact with their customer service team today! 

Mike James

Mike James has over a decade of experience in business and cybersecurity. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing. Find out what he's been up to on his Twitter: @MJArtemis