Some is to be expected. Keeping you awake is beyond reasonable.
I know one new Philadelphia condo conversion project here in town where the occupants say you can hear your neighbors’ alarm clock go off and phone ring. I know other buildings that have exposed ceiling timbers, with no insulation, in which you can hear every footstep of your upstairs neighbor. I live in a converted warehouse condominium, and steps were taken to reduce the possibility of hearing my neighbor upstairs. And though I am aware when he is home, I am seldom bothered or annoyed. (Except when Tammy, his high-heel wearing friend comes over and does a clog dance of some kind- directly over my living room. 🙂 )
There certainly has to be some degree of forgiveness when living in close proximity of other folks. Be it noise from above, below, or through an adjoining wall, you may become aware of the fact that you have neighbors. However if the racket from others is driving you crazy in (say) your Rittenhouse Square condo, I would suggest the following:
1) Make sure your common hallways are carpeted. Aside from quieting footsteps, carpeting will prevent the hallways from becoming an echo chamber.
2) Find a condo building in which the developer has “stacked” the bedroom. Having a bedroom above you is generally better than having a living room above you, especially in some of the converted loft/warehouse lofts in Old City.
3) Should your bedroom be adjacent to your neighbors living room (more common in newer construction), have a layer of soundproof sheet-rock added to that wall.
4) Make sure you have a high quality door sweep on the bottom of your front door to keep out hallway noise.
5) Make sure condo rules are enforced. Many condo docs state that 70% of each condo unit must be carpeted. Rarely enforced, but an option.
Concerned about living too close to others? Lets discuss more options!
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106