Would You Choose a Balcony or a Spiral Staircase?

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Q: My husband and I are moving to Knoxville, TN in July and are here for this week only to find a place to live. We're looking at purchasing a unit in the Brownlow Lofts, an almost 100 year old elementary school recently converted into condos. However, we are torn between two units (floorplans below) and I would like the opinions and ideas of Apartment Therapy readers to help us make our decision!

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Both units are smaller than where we currently live, so we will be downsizing either way. Both units also have (for me, at least) a unique selling feature: 213 is one of four units that has a private balcony and 121 is one of two units that has a spiral staircase. There is, however, a large community balcony. Having the extra bedroom and bathroom in 121 would be nice, but at the expense of the living area space. We do need to incorporate some sort of office somewhere in the condo. The pros and cons of each unit seem almost evenly balanced to me; I can't decide.

I would very much appreciate your best suggestions as soon as possible!

Sent by Karen

Editor:Please share your opinions and advice with Karen in the comments below - thanks!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.