Things to Know When Moving Into an Older Wood-Frame Apartment

With summer around the corner, many people are gearing up to move into their new homes. However, a new home doesn’t always mean a two-story house with a yard and picket fence! After all, city living forces us all to adapt to the various kinds of homes like: concrete condos, low-rise apartments, and townhomes. Each type of home has a different challenge when moving. We will be discussing the challenges of moving into an older wood-frame apartment so that you can be more informed!

Understanding the wood-frame apartment rental market

Older wood-frame apartments are extremely popular in cities like Vancouver BC due to their low price point. With a very hot housing market across major Canadian cities, it is becoming more difficult to move into expensive concrete buildings or detached homes. The average rental price for a 2-bedroom concrete condo in Vancouver back in 2019 was a staggering $2900. Compare that with a 50-year old wood-frame rental apartment boasting two bedrooms, and your cost is closer to $1900!

Wood-frame apartment noise levels

Newer condos and high-rises are equipped with a one-to-two inch layer of shock absorbent underlay beneath all flooring. This underlay limits the amount of noise passed through footsteps. Additionally, newer homes are built with thicker window panes, like double-glazed windows which insulate the home and keep noise out. Fifty-year old apartments however, lack all these extra perks and will often result in a lot of undesirable noise pollution. For example, you may experience hearing floors that squeak with every step, loud traffic, and your neighbor’s intrusive TV. It is highly recommended to conduct multiple viewings of your potential new home at different times of day. This will give you a greater chance of experiencing the true noise you can expect to hear if you moved in!


A lot of older wood-frame apartments are notoriously famous for sporting carpeted floors. This can pose a sanitation problem if the carpets are home to mites or other pests. Mites and bedbugs can destroy thousands of dollars worth of furniture such as fabric couches and mattresses. Not all carpeted apartments are infested with pests, but it is definitely something to be cautious about!


A big downside to a lot of older apartments is the absence of an elevator. Moving a two-tonne truck’s worth of furniture up three flights of stairs will either require more movers, or several hours more labour. Additionally, many moving companies may charge a substantial stairs-fee for the added effort. On top of all that, there is a heightened risk of damaging the building’s walls which may cost you your moving deposit.

In short, no home is without its ups and downs! Which is why renters and homeowners alike have to be as diligent as possible when choosing a place to live. A good strategy is to write down a list of pros and cons, and assign each ‘pro’ with an importance-rating. For example, Albert may value a quiet living space more than Ben who is always away on business trips. Albert who values a quieter living space will assign the “Quiet-pro” an importance-rating of 3, while Ben will assign it a 1. Whichever home has the highest rating will be the one you choose. Organizing your values will make selecting a home much easier and justifiable.

We wish you a safe, healthy, and happy move! If you need help moving – Real Pro team is just a call away! 

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Plan for enjoyable moving!