I spent almost 20 years living in apartments before moving into a house, and they were good years. I moved into my first apartment as a teenager with my parents to save money, but there were many reasons why I stuck with apartments for so long.
Location, location, location
I’ve lived in multiple cities and provinces, and my biggest reason for sticking with apartment living was always location and the convenience it brought. I’m not a driver, so I like to be in or near downtown areas where buses are plentiful and I can walk to lots of places. I spent years being able to walk to work in less than 20 minutes, and I loved it. Walking is cheap, lets you avoid rush-hour frustration, and is an easy way to get exercise outdoors. (And yes, I still walked to work in Winnipeg winters. The trick is bundling up properly, and I’ll take that over +30℃ weather any day.)
It was also nice to be able to walk to the grocery store, coffee shops, and restaurants. Going to a concert downtown? No problem. I strolled right past the line-ups of cars trying to leave the venue. I was often home before most cars had been able to move two blocks. And when I lived in Osborne Village, I had several friends who lived in the neighbourhood, so get-togethers were a cinch.
Not handy? No problem
Another thing I loved about apartment living was not worrying about upkeep. I am the opposite of handy, so it helped that the most I ever had to do was reset a breaker. If something broke, such as the air conditioner or stove, I didn’t have to fix it or pay to replace it. I also never had to cut grass or shovel snow. I truly miss my shoveling-free days.
I also liked the safety and sense of community I felt in an apartment building. I didn’t always know my neighbours, but sometimes I made friends and it was nice to have people to say “hello” to on my way in or out. Being a single woman for many of those years, I always felt safer in a secure building with neighbours within earshot. Being alone at night in a house (particularly if it was a large house) always brought out the worst in my imagination.
I’ve done quite a lot of moving around, and apartments were ideal for that too. I never had to worry about selling a house or what the market was like when it came time to move. I just gave my necessary notice and was off.
I’ve always liked having a smaller place, too. (Even my house is small.) I like not having to furnish lots of rooms, and more importantly, I hate having to clean a big place. I could clean any of my apartments in less than an hour, so I didn’t waste my precious time on dreaded housework.
The one downside
My only beef about some of my apartments (always the older buildings) was when I had no control over the heat in winter. Those apartments were always too warm for my liking. In my last apartment, butter would half-melt on the counter because it was so hot! For this reason, I recommend looking for a relatively new building where you can control your own thermostat.
Overall, there’s so much to like about apartment living that I’m surprised more people don’t try it. They’re missing out! What’s your favourite aspect of apartment living?