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Mid-Rise Apartments: What Are They & How to Find Them

June 1, 2022

You may already know about small apartment buildings, walk-ups, duplexes, and towering high-rises, though did you know there is also an in-between option? Here's everything you need to know about mid-rise apartments and how to find one for yourself.

What are Mid-Rise Apartments?

A mid-rise apartment building is shorter than a high-rise apartment building and usually has more than four but less than twelve floors. You're likely to find an elevator, on-site fitness center, swimming pool, and other amenities.

Keep in mind the term "mid-rise apartments" may mean different things, depending on where you live. For example, a landlord in New York City may advertise a building with 14 floors as a mid-rise complex. It makes sense to take liberties with the definition if the building is surrounded by towering high-rises.

Pros of Mid-Rise Apartments

Mid-rise apartments offer a sweet spot between high-rise living and small, low-rise apartment buildings. Here are some of the pros to consider.

More Personal Outdoor Space

Mdirises typically have more personal outdoor space. For example, you might find a courtyard or garden area attached to the ground floor. Apartments on higher floors often have balconies that are more spacious than what you'll find in taller buildings. Premium buildings may also offer rooftop terraces for the units on the top floors.

More Privacy Than a High-Rise

It's not uncommon for high-rise apartment complexes to have hundreds of tenants. Exceptionally tall apartment towers may even house thousands of people.

Mid-rise buildings have fewer tenants than high-rise buildings, and renters enjoy more privacy and fewer crowds in shared areas like the laundry room or the gym. You're also less likely to run into neighbors every time you leave your apartment.

Less Walking and Wait Time

Mid-rise apartment buildings are more convenient for getting where you need to go. You're not waiting for an elevator with a crowd of tenants to get to the top floors or leave the building for work.

You're also less likely to walk very far when you're going from your apartment to the laundry room or lobby to receive a food delivery. Some taller complexes also have multiple buildings on one sprawling property, making it harder to get on your way.

Desirable Views

Some renters prefer lower floors to reduce their time taking the stairs and elevators. Most amenities are also located on the bottom floors, like a fitness center or pool.

If you want to soak up the views, consider finding an apartment on a higher floor. Of course, high-rises boast incredible views, but you may need to live on the 20h floor or higher to see past urban buildings or other obstacles.

Convenient to Retailers and Restaurants

If urban convenience is essential to you, many mid-rises offer commercial space on the ground floor. Renters can walk out the front door and enjoy coffee shops, retail, and pubs without venturing away from their block. You'll save time and possibly money by having everything at your fingertips.

Cons of Mid-Rise Apartments

Before you make up your mind about a mid-rise apartment, learn about some of the cons.

Can Be Difficult to Receive Packages

If there's no dedicated staff member at the door to receive packages, accepting deliveries is challenging. Packages may get left in the vestibule or lobby area and visible from the street. Some renters have their packages sent to their workplaces to avoid missing deliveries.

Communal Laundry Area

Waiting for laundry is more common in high-rises. It isn't easy to provide a common area that accommodates everyone with so many tenants. Mid-rises typically have communal laundry areas, which can feel crowded or mean wait times to get your washing done.

Street Traffic Noise

The lack of street noise is one benefit of tall complexes. The higher the floor, the less likely you’ll hear noise from below. Mid-rises are usually noisier when it comes to traffic and street activity. Consider which street your apartment windows face to maximize the peace and quiet.

Less Anonymity

Some renters love the anonymity of living in a large apartment building and want to avoid potentially nosey neighbors. It's easy to give a nod and be on your way when living in a high-rise building. But mid-rise apartment buildings make it harder to blend in when only a handful of tenants live alongside you.

How to Find Mid Rise Apartments

Mid-rise apartments are often easy to find, although it may prove challenging in a big city with high rises, brownstones, and rowhouses.

1. Start Your Search Early

When you have your heart set on living in a specific type of apartment building, it's crucial to start your search early. If you're coming up empty in your search, it may be worth asking your landlord if they'll consider switching to a month-to-month lease. It will give you more time to find the living situation you're looking for.

2. Be Ready to Strike Fast

Come ready to sign once you find an ideal mid-rise apartment building. You'll need proof of income, a government-issued ID, landlord references, and cash or credit card for the application fee. If you don't have landlord references, you can ask your boss, supervisors, or an organization you volunteer with to provide one about your work ethic and character.

3. Know Where to Look

The area you live in should offer clues to where the most mid-rise buildings are. New developments downtown are more likely to have high-rise buildings. Older parts of town are more likely to have mid-rise apartments and smaller buildings.

Suburban areas also have mid-rise apartments. New commercial mix-use spaces are more likely to be high-rises, but smaller retail and restaurant areas may offer the mid-rise options you're looking for.

4. Be On the Lookout for Rental Scams

No matter what apartment building you settle on, stay proactive and look for rental scams. Although a modest application fee is common, renters should never pay upfront to tour an apartment. In some cases, scammers even collect application fees for years from multiple renters and never lease out the apartment.

Some scams advertise incredible amenities to charge a higher rent and attempt to secure the lease before the tenant notices what's happening. Other scams include promoting a property for which the tenant isn't signing a lease.

Using Apartment List to Help You Find the Perfect Apartment

Mid Rise apartments offer the convenience of a low-rise building and the amenities of a high-rise. If you're ready to find the perfect apartment, sign-up for Apartment List and get started on your search.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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