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Apartments and kids - Page 3

post #41 of 60

LOVE our apartment living after ten years of single family homes...We are in a nice building with concrete walls and noise rules regarding flooring choices so we have no noise issues.  There are four apartments per floor (six floors) and two of our neighbors left DD "Santa" gifts at our door two weeks after we moved in.  The lift works fine, we have garage parking and I was so happy to downsize I don't think I ever want to go back to enormous consumption! 

 

 

post #42 of 60

Almost nothing but apartment living here in Hong Kong. :)

 

I agree w/ previous posters who wrote about having a washer in the house- very important. If possible, get a flat that also has some outdoor space (a balcony or a roof-top). We live in an apartment complex ("estate") that has a small playground, a pool, and a kids' play room. These really helped when the kids were young. If you don't have an estate or complex like that, try and find an apartment near a park where it's easy to take the kids.

 

Having an elevator helps - especially w/ groceries.

 

We live on the 5th (top floor) of a block w/ 4 flats per floor & altogether 6 blocks. 120 house-holds. We own our section of the roof-top and are able to garden (container) and BBQ there.

 

re: noise - try and get a place where there are other people w/ kids. Concrete walls and floors & rugs can help keep down the sounds you make.

 

re: space - practice discipline and try not to accumulate too much stuff and get rid of stuff when you can.

 

 

post #43 of 60

I've done apartment, house, and duplex. my favorite was the duplex because in the house (my mom's house, middle class neighborhood) i felt like we didn't fit in with the neighbors...they all drove minivans and suvs and sshuttled their kids from one activity to another. There were no kids for him to play with and even thought the backyard was nice there were no sidewalks in the front, and the park was deserted all the time. the duplex was in a more crowded neighborhood and there were zillions of kids. I can deal with cramped quarters inside as long as there is some kind of yard and the street is safe for ds to roam around with a pack of neighbor kids. Right now we're looking for an apartment complex or neighborhood that also has townhomes, so that we can have our own dedicated backyard that we can use for a garden. I would be ok with an apartment if it was on the first floor so that I can send ds out to play without me. I wouldn't be comfortable sending him out to play if we were in an upstairs unit. However, ground floor apartments are less safe in terms of break ins. so it's a toss up.

post #44 of 60

I can imagine it being okay, but it stinks for us. We do live in a safe building in a safe area with an excellent landlord but an ungated pool area.  But everyone thinks we are noisy and we probably are. Traffic noise and hooligan noise is terrible. The air quality is bad. The walk to the laundry takes forever and we cloth diaper. We don't have any safe outdoor space for anything and our floors are uneven so no push toys or scooters will work. We have great parks but they all require a car ride. Everything still requires a car ride. We have to spend an additional $2400 to get a second parking space which we much have because of poor street parking and nanny.

 

I am SO DONE with apartment living.

post #45 of 60

We did pick the condo over the commute.  It's great to be a renter in some ways, financially, when stuff goes wrong it's not our problem (like the brand new fridge that broke!) but I DO miss having a yard.  We have a playground we can walk to but it's not the same.  We end up driving to family's houses that have room to run around when it's a nice day and we want to BBQ or fill up the baby pool.  So if you have people nearby who welcome you to drop in and use their yard, it's not too bad.  Two hours wasted driving every day would not work in our family, we don't have enough hours in the day for everything that needs to get done as it is, but others with more flexible schedules and different needs deal with it just fine. 

post #46 of 60
nod.gif This is a huge plus for apartment living for us. There are always kids outside playing soccer, jumping rope, climbing trees, and riding bikes. One of DD's friends is always knocking and asking her to come out to play. In the summer, the pool is awesome. A lot of the house neighborhoods are often vacant. I don't understandy why, but no kids are outside playing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

I've done apartment, house, and duplex. my favorite was the duplex because in the house (my mom's house, middle class neighborhood) i felt like we didn't fit in with the neighbors...they all drove minivans and suvs and sshuttled their kids from one activity to another. There were no kids for him to play with and even thought the backyard was nice there were no sidewalks in the front, and the park was deserted all the time. the duplex was in a more crowded neighborhood and there were zillions of kids. I can deal with cramped quarters inside as long as there is some kind of yard and the street is safe for ds to roam around with a pack of neighbor kids.

post #47 of 60

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Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 8:18pm
post #48 of 60

Well i guess it depends. We moved from the farm to a 'Luxury Apartment Complex' we got the ground floor and the attached garage and for the most part its been okay. people always complain about kids from all the whinging I hear other places but we've been botheres by the people above no matter what. the Air Force lady sounded like she was indoor bowling with cats at 3am. the next couple were okay. then they leased the two bed upstairs to two college girls. things were fine until they threw a tuesday night 2am party. then quiet until I had to go tell them to quit two nights ago and they have gone out of their way to be noisy ever since. We are moving as the complex is isolated and i cant function very well here. Another apartment but a big open one downtown whee we can walk to parks and zoos and shops and things. a 5min commute for hubby. its just for one more year then i can buy a house or go home to england or whatever. for us it was the lesser of two evils. DH can come home for lunch and be with his boy. I can function without a car and quit being a shut in. Its cheaper than the farm. on the downside. We HAVE to go to the park to play outside. No garden to plant or wander barefoot in. No pets. I miss the countryside and its a physical need for me BUT I can function. thats the most important bit. Where can everyone function best. If its time at home and easy access to things that you want then the apartment may be the better choice. choose your complex with care.

post #49 of 60

We're doing some apartment-hunting right now. Our choices are very limited because we're pretty poor, but right now we're trying to choose between a tiny (and I do mean tiny) apartment with a playground and a library and YMCA within walking distance or a townhouse with a full basement that would be a great playroom, but has no playground and isn't in walking distance of anything (but everything is within a short drive, including a science museum we have a membership to). It's really hard to decide!

post #50 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by minkajane View Post

We're doing some apartment-hunting right now. Our choices are very limited because we're pretty poor, but right now we're trying to choose between a tiny (and I do mean tiny) apartment with a playground and a library and YMCA within walking distance or a townhouse with a full basement that would be a great playroom, but has no playground and isn't in walking distance of anything (but everything is within a short drive, including a science museum we have a membership to). It's really hard to decide!


Depends.  Do you have one car or two?  Do you like or dislike driving?  Are you a homebody?  Does the townhome have a yard, even a small one?  If your son will go to school, how far is it?

 

We bought our 700sf condo when we had one 18mo baby and now that we have two we are definitely looking for more room...will probably move after only 3 yrs here!  I say go with the townhome, but that may be a case of the grass is always greener.

post #51 of 60

I couldn't do the apartment. No way. I lived in an apartment when DS was little, and I hated not being able to let him outside. We did have a ground floor unit with the door to outside, but it was near a busy street and risky. Now I have two children, so I wouldn't go back to that. DH has nearly an hour commute by bus. He hates it. Unfortunately, our location doesn't translate into a HUGE yard, but it's bigger than that in the city proper. DH would rather get a house in the city - of which there are many - but that means getting a very small yard, which for me is nearly as bad as an apartment. But I grew up on a farm, and I just have issues with city life. ;)

post #52 of 60

We've done both, and I would swap my apartment for our old house with garden and the 80 minute commute any day - the quality of life for the kids was just SO much better back then, I really regret moving - but then we moved country as well, small village by the sea for a flat just on the outskirts of Paris, 5 minutes from the beach is so much better than 5 minutes from work!!  Our kids also say that they preferred the life out in the open space to living where we do - but then I guess its horses for courses!!

post #53 of 60

We live in an apartment, in fact we always have and we like it OK, especially with regards to the commute. It would be nice to have a yard, but it's nice to be closer in than we could afford otherwise. Never had anyone complain about crying, and I even had a homebirth here. :)

post #54 of 60

I am 2.5 years into apartment living with young children and unless you have an elevator or are on the ground level I wouldn't recommend it.

 

I live on the 3rd floor, which is great for safety reasons and I never have to worry about noise above me.  But while walking up may not seem like a big issue at first, trying to get 2 toddlers up and down is quite a drag.  It also means that I can't really go grocery shopping during the day with the kids unless I want to leave them unattended in the apartment (which I don't) while I go back and forth from the parking lot to the building.  I am also pregnant with my 3rd and physically it's a lot of work.  We live in a place that has a pretty horrible winter so it means we stay pretty cooped up from November-February.  If you can get a garage, that's a bonus, as having to truck through slush, snow, and -20 temps with kids has not been very fun for me.

 

On the positive, I live only having 1100 sq feet to clean; I like the freedom of being able to move on to a different place when possible; and it's nice not having to worry about any maintenance issues.  Our complex is clean, in a good neighborhood and close to our library, but I do wish there was more for us to do within walking distance.  (We live in a suburb so you pretty much have to go every where by car.)  We also have a washer and dryer in our unit which was non-negotiable for me.  

 

I would really think about seeing if you can rent a duplex or townhome if you are used to the comforts of living in a house.

post #55 of 60

With kids renting on the first floor is ideal! I dont care if there is an elevator.  Trucking in groceries with kids is a pain even in an elevator building. I suggest enjoying apartment living in a mainly home like neighborhood. Meaning, find a professionally managed community that isnt surrounded by other apartment communities.  It helps the experience feel much better when traffic and schools arent congested and a neighborhood with lots of homes vs apartments just feels safer for families with smaller children and teens. Enjoy it because there is something super special about having maintenance men who work specifically on your apartment and a swimming pool, multiple washers and dryers....and LOW utilities.

post #56 of 60
Thread Starter 

Ha, just found this old thread. I did decide to move into an apartment very close to campus, and it was the best decision ever. I found a really nice little place with a big grassy enclosed courtyard. We're on the ground floor, and it has washer-dryer facilities. It's also feels really safe and well-maintained.

I have to drive down to my old office once per week (basically the reverse of the commute that I would have been doing every day, had we stayed in our old house) and that just really proves to me that I made the right choice. Rush hour commuting sucks! I don't mind it so much once per week, but it would seriously impact my quality of life if I was doing it every day.

Other good things:

--I love seeing the maintenance guys mowing the lawn and stuff. Gawd, how I hate doing yard work, and how I love that someone else does it here. I have my potted plants, and that is more than enough for me to maintain (and even that is touch and go sometimes). I love that I can shoot an email to the apartment manager if something breaks, and a guy is over fixing it (for free) the next day.

--I love living in a pedestrian-friendly urban environment. It really makes me happy. And DS and I both have so many friends in a three-block radius. His daycare is a 10 minute walk down the street. There's also a lot of parks and coffeeshops and stuff super close. This weekend my boyfriend and I rode our bikes downtown for South by Southwest (a big music event) and it was so much fun being able to do that. 

--I do sort of miss having a yard for DS, but the courtyard is a pretty close substitute. He seems happy with it.

--I like that the space is smaller and easier to keep clean.

--I feel safer in an apartment than I do in a house. As a single woman, something about being surrounded by people makes me sleep easier at night. I'm not aware of every creak and noise like I was in the house. All the windows are really secure and visible, and there's no sliding door, so it seems safe. I would definitely notice if someone was breaking in.

Thanks for all the advice -- it definitely helped!

post #57 of 60

I'm curious how you all might look at things if:

 

a) the nice apartment near work costs more than the super nice house with big yard in the burbs

b) the commute involves sitting in a commuter train which is walking distance from the suburban house, NOT driving (one car family)

c) the suburban home is itself in a place with a pretty downtown, shops, restaurants and nature...all walking distance.

 

how would this sway your preferences?

 

I am finding this decision more difficult than I ever imagined! dizzy.gif The pros and cons of each seem to keep cancelling each other out. lol 

post #58 of 60
We lived in a townhouse while DD was 9-15 months. It was pretty stressful. It was small and difficult to babyproof. We had a bit of yard, but every time we went out there I had to be on guard for the inconsiderate neighbors who would let their dogs out without a leash.

The good thing was that the walls between units were thick. I was so nervous the first week. dD would cry and night and I would worry about the neighbors. After a bit I realized that we hardly ever heard them so they probably rarely heard us.

I was so happy when our house was ready and we could move. Having some space and a yard made a huge difference for me.
post #59 of 60
If I was to do an apartment again I would look for thick walls, dedicated indoor parking, and a washer and dryer in the unit.
post #60 of 60
I'm so glad it is working out for you. I too feel safer when I am home alone in an apartment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by *MamaJen* View Post

Ha, just found this old thread. I did decide to move into an apartment very close to campus, and it was the best decision ever. I found a really nice little place with a big grassy enclosed courtyard. We're on the ground floor, and it has washer-dryer facilities. It's also feels really safe and well-maintained.

I have to drive down to my old office once per week (basically the reverse of the commute that I would have been doing every day, had we stayed in our old house) and that just really proves to me that I made the right choice. Rush hour commuting sucks! I don't mind it so much once per week, but it would seriously impact my quality of life if I was doing it every day.

Other good things:

--I love seeing the maintenance guys mowing the lawn and stuff. Gawd, how I hate doing yard work, and how I love that someone else does it here. I have my potted plants, and that is more than enough for me to maintain (and even that is touch and go sometimes). I love that I can shoot an email to the apartment manager if something breaks, and a guy is over fixing it (for free) the next day.

--I love living in a pedestrian-friendly urban environment. It really makes me happy. And DS and I both have so many friends in a three-block radius. His daycare is a 10 minute walk down the street. There's also a lot of parks and coffeeshops and stuff super close. This weekend my boyfriend and I rode our bikes downtown for South by Southwest (a big music event) and it was so much fun being able to do that. 

--I do sort of miss having a yard for DS, but the courtyard is a pretty close substitute. He seems happy with it.

--I like that the space is smaller and easier to keep clean.

--I feel safer in an apartment than I do in a house. As a single woman, something about being surrounded by people makes me sleep easier at night. I'm not aware of every creak and noise like I was in the house. All the windows are really secure and visible, and there's no sliding door, so it seems safe. I would definitely notice if someone was breaking in.

Thanks for all the advice -- it definitely helped!

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