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Living in third floor tenament flat with a one-year-old?

(87 Posts)
AlbertaWildRose Mon 09-Jul-07 21:27:06

Hi there, I'm looking for advice! DH and I and our one-year-old DS are going to be moving house shortly, just letting, not buying. Many of the properties available here are in tenament buildings, on the 2nd or 3rd floor. Am I mad to consider living on anything above the 1st floor with a one-year-old (and hopefully 2nd baby at some point)? I am willing to go look at flats on upper floors, but DH thinks it is a waste of time, and can't imagine me lugging shopping, DS, and eventually a pregnant bump and small baby up 3 flights of stairs. Does anyone have any positive stories to tell about life with small children on upper floors? Thanks.

MerlinsBeard Mon 09-Jul-07 21:29:21

i live in a split level falt above a shop. i have 1 room downstairs (kitchen) and everything else is up. its a nightmare! We do however have a small garden which you prob won't get with a flat. Altho i don't know what a tenement is tbh

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:31:30

Done that.

Don't want to do it again.

It sucks.

People will tell you it's a piece of piss. They either forgot or have never lived like that.

We now live on the 2nd floor with a 4 and 1 year old and it sucks so much we're moving to the other side of the country to get away from it.

We're letting, too, and if we can't find a decent house to rent long-term after this, we'll be leaving the country.

Flats on upper floors when you're anything but young and kidless blow royally.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:31:56

We have no garden space, either. It's a car park.

Carmenere Mon 09-Jul-07 21:32:15

I lived in a flat on the third floor when dd was born. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, YOU ARE BEING EXTRAORDINARILY NAIVE.
the caps were on puropse, really, don't do it to yourself, it will be miserable and I nearly got serious depression because leaving the blardy house was almost impossible.

nickytwotimes Mon 09-Jul-07 21:32:55

"...any positive stories...?"
um, no. don't do it if at all poss!!

AlbertaWildRose Mon 09-Jul-07 21:33:06

I spelled it wrong; it's actually tenement. It's a Scottish thing: a building (usually 3 floors) of separately-owned flats, with a common stair, and usually 2 or 3 flats per floor.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:33:45

And don't forget, you'll have to go back down for your buggy, too, to lug that up.

On top of your shopping, your bump, you babies, etc.

Aitch Mon 09-Jul-07 21:34:00

i'm at the elevated ground floor level, can't imagine being any higher up. no garden, but a bowling club next door with unused greens and parks by the dozen. it's okay...

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:34:08

I'm in Edinburgh. Tenement city.

Hence, we're moving out.

AlbertaWildRose Mon 09-Jul-07 21:35:05

Yikes, OK, thanks for all the feedback! It just seems that so many of the nice available flats are on upper floors, but I will definitely heed all your advice and avoid it. Overwhelming negative, it seems!

Aitch Mon 09-Jul-07 21:35:43

well, if there's parking you cna leave the buggy in the car. but that's if there's parking, which isn't likely let's face it.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:36:14

They're available because they're a pain in the erse.

Bink Mon 09-Jul-07 21:36:24

There was a thread like this before, someone looking in/around Edinburgh.

Anyway, we are on the third/fourth and a bit of fifth floor - with no lift - and really it's fine, so long as (a) you do not need to lug the pushchair up the stairs (very very important that you can leave that downstairs) and (b) you yourself are fairly robust. Also helps if you can get the heavier groceries delivered.

The only really grim time is coming back from holiday, when you have to do six trips each up & down the stairs carrying sleepy children, fetching suitcases, etc.

Ds and dd were climbing (well, crawling) up the stairs themselves from about 18 months, & dd in particular has lovely long legs. (They're 8 & 7-in-October now.)

bookthief Mon 09-Jul-07 21:36:36

We live on the 3rd floor of a tenement flat with an 7mo baby and I'm hoping we'll be able to move in the next 6 months. Don't do it if you have any other options, it's hard.

Wasn't so bad when ds was a tiny newborn (though still a pain in the arse) but as he gets bigger it becomes more of a logistical pain in the arse going out and I'll admit, the thought of getting back up the stairs has kept me indoors in the past.

What made my life a lot easier was getting a car which I keep the pram in - in fact more and more stuff is getting kept in the car...

I don't know how you'd manage with two and as they get bigger obviously they get heavier to carry. I'm kept pretty fit.

So no, I wouldn't recommend it.

AlbertaWildRose Mon 09-Jul-07 21:37:14

Expat: We're in Edinburgh too. I'm also an expat, Canadian, and we're heading back in a couple of years, but are not quite ready to leave. At the moment we are in a very lovely main-door flat, with our own garden, but the flat is the size of a postage stamp and we absolutely can't stay. But to find something like this, only bigger, in central Edinburgh is next to impossible.

Bink Mon 09-Jul-07 21:37:32

Hmm I seem to be in a minority.
Well, truly, it's no big deal for us.

Aitch Mon 09-Jul-07 21:38:37

can you build into the garden? that's your best option, tbh.

catnip Mon 09-Jul-07 21:39:51

It is do-able, but agree helps massively if you can keep your buggy downstairs. I think it's fine with one small-ish baby, two would be a nightmare.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:39:58

I'd rather stay in the two small place than live up on the 3rd/4th floor of one of those tenements, because I know exactly what you're talking about.

Not to mention, those stairs are dangerous the way they are laid out in those old tenements.

NO parking, either.

If you're going back in a couple of years I'd honestly look at moving a bit farther out for something ground or first floor.

I'm telling you, this SUCKS where we are now with the two of them.

AlbertaWildRose Mon 09-Jul-07 21:40:10

Aitch: Nope, we're just renting, and we're in a listed area so any kind of extension is absolutely impossible anyway.

expatinscotland Mon 09-Jul-07 21:42:17

I'd consider say, Balerno or Currie where you can rent a larger flat that's not in the nosebleed section.

Fire and getting the girls out okay is a huge concern to me, too, in these old tenements.

berolina Mon 09-Jul-07 21:42:38

We lived on the 2nd floor until ds was nearly 2. It was OK. We used the sling/back carrier a lot, and I had a lightweight stroller that was no problem to carry up the stairs with ds in (he is on the small/light side, though). We used to keep the 'big' pram, when we had one, in the cellar, which was only half a flight down. Now we're on the first floor and I'm expecting no. 2 in Sept. We're one of two families with small children in the building (a lovely old turn-of-the-century one), and it's accepted that we leave our prams/buggies downstairs in the hallway. Most people live in 3- or 4-storey buildings in Germany, so a lot of the time there's no choice. It isn't ideal, but people do manage.

AlbertaWildRose Mon 09-Jul-07 21:42:45

Our too-small place really is too small; it's a one-bed flat, and the bedroom is so small that it is just barely big enough for DS to sleep in, and DH and I sleep in the living room! We've done that for a year and I can't do it any more.

mummytosteven Mon 09-Jul-07 21:42:54

As the others say, don't do it. We have a basement flat and one DS, it's OK, but I think any more flights of steps and things could have got seriously tedious and difficult at the baby stage.

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