When it comes time to search for an apartment here, it isn’t altogether impossible to find a quiet apartment in noisy Manhattan. The key is knowing what to look for both online and in person.
Avoid “noise-emitting points of interest” in the vicinity, such as fire houses, police stations, schools, bars, and hospitals. Prewar buildings tend to have thicker walls that’ll keep sounds to a minimum. And new developments generally use top of the line noise-canceling materials. Apartments located on side streets are usually your best bet. Rear-facing units will typically have less noise than street-facing ones. The rear and corners of the building are the quietest from an exterior noise perspective.
Corner units are also typically far away from the elevators and garbage chutes. Generally speaking, the higher up you go, the less street noise you’ll be subjected to. You’ll want to stay away from any floors with any amenities, such as gyms or playrooms.
Ask your attorney to check the building’s board minutes for any noise complaints relating to the unit you’re interested in and those surrounding it. Check with your buyer’s agent if the apartment has sound-proof windows.
Finally, walk around the apartment to see if the floors produce any noise. If yours do, chances are that your neighbors’ will, too.