If you’ve ever tried to buy an estate you know that it’s not a pleasant activity. You have to camp outside the plot and wait for hours just mindlessly clicking the placard, which is all kinds of boring. It’s also very frustrating when somebody else gets it, especially if you suspect them of using a bot or script to automate the clicking.
If you’re fed up trying to purchase an estate, and you have a comfortable amount of gil, consider buying yourself an apartment. It’s instanced housing, so there’s much more availability, and you don’t have to wait for any timer. You can get it immediately and start scratching that interior decorating itch.
Here’s what you need to know about buying an apartment, what features you get, and the differences between apartments and other player housing.
What Does an Apartment Have?
You get access to a room of your own to decorate. It’s kind of like the inn room except you can customize it, and there’s no glamour dresser (…yet, but fingers crossed this gets added to player housing).
You get a new teleport option under the ‘Others’ tab for your apartment. Teleporting to this will actually take you outside your apartment building, which is probably better. There’s a marketboard and summoning bell right here, as well as a Chocobo stable that you have access to. There’s also a delivery moogle in the lobby.
You can use the stable to give your Chocobo extra experience and to change its colour. Remember that Chocobo stables need to be cleaned with a magicked stable broom, and this is a shared responsibility among everyone who uses the stables.
You can buy flowerpots from the Apartment Merchant in the lobby under ‘Purchase Furnishings (Other)’. Place up to two of these in your apartment and you can grow plants or crops individually. You can also place orchestrions, summoning bells, crystal bells, armoires, and NPCs like menders, materia melders, junkmongers, and more.
You may have 100 indoor furnishings stored, and another 100 indoor furnishings placed. There is no outdoor furnishing space.
How to Buy An Apartment
To purchase an apartment you must have reached level 50 on any job. You must also hold the rank of second lieutenant or higher in your Grand Company. If you specifically want an apartment in Shirogane, you need to have also progressed to a certain point in the MSQ, which is completing the quest ‘Not without Incident‘. It’s fairly early on in Stormblood.
There’s one apartment building in every residential ward. The buildings always have a designated aethernet shard just outside. This will be Lily Hills in The Lavender Beds, The Topmast in Mist, The Sultana’s Breath in The Goblet, and Kobai Goten in Shirogane.
Head to an apartment building in a residential ward and enter the lobby. You’ll see a desk with NPCs behind it. The Apartment Caretaker will allow you to purchase an apartment for 500,000 gil. There needs to be space in the building (there are 90 units), and you’ll purchase the first available unit in the list.
You can only own one apartment at a time. You’ll need to vacate your current apartment in order to purchase another one, regardless of housing district.
Decorating Your Apartment
As mentioned before, you can only use indoor furnishings to decorate your apartment. You can buy a number of furnishings from the Apartment Merchant in the lobby. They’ll also sell you items like NPC permits, a few orchestrion rolls, flowerpots, seeds, and soil. If you’re looking for a wider range of furnishings, you can buy or craft tons of housing items, so the marketboard is often the best place to go.
If you’re looking for resources outside of the game, check ff14housing for a huge compendium of housing items. For inspiration on designs and to see what other people are doing, check something like tumblr or housingsnap to browse pictures and albums of other players’ interior decorating.
To manage your furnishings go to Social > Housing. While here, you can also click on Estate Settings to manage any player housing you have access to, and this is where you would go to vacate your apartment.
Apartments vs Estates
There are a few big differences between apartments and estates. Depending on what your goals are with player housing these might be important to you, or they might be no big deal.
The biggest difference is obviously that you get a single room with an apartment. Compared to an estate this can seem small, since even the smallest estate has two floors and the entire yard outside. If you’re looking for a small sanctuary to call your own, you’ll be fine with an apartment. If you want a big space for you and your friends, you’d probably much prefer the biggest estate you can find.
It’s worth noting that apartments seem to be the same size as FC rooms, and you can own both at the same time. An apartment is 200,000 gil more than FC private chambers, but is not tied to the FC, so you don’t need to worry about what happens if you change FCs, or it disbands. If you’re quite comfortable with your FC though, you’d probably want the cheaper option.
You have fewer furnishings, both placed and in storage. A small estate has 200 spaces each for indoor furnishings, and 20 spaces each for outdoor ones. Large estates go up to 400/40. With an apartment you’ve got 100/0, so you won’t be able to hoard quite as many furnishings, or create a massively packed room.
If you’re looking for extra storage for furnishings on top of your estate, or until you manage to get an estate, apartments can serve as that. If you just want to mess around a little bit with interior decorating, you might be satisfied with just an apartment and not even need an estate.
Apartments are instanced environments, unlike the open neighbourhood where you can walk from plot to plot. This allows wards to feel very neighbourly, but comes at the cost of taxing the servers a little more. It’s why Square Enix can’t just easily add more wards, as they’re constantly loaded instances, unlike the instanced rooms of individuals which are loaded in the event of a player entering them.
There is no timer for inactivity with your apartment. With an estate you will lose it if you don’t enter the house for 45 days. Apartments are never reclaimed for inactivity so you can keep it forever, or until you voluntarily vacate it. This is a real advantage as you don’t have to worry about losing your apartment if you unsub for a few months.
You cannot crossbreed plants and crops since there’s nowhere to put a flowerbed. They’re outdoor furnishings only, so your indoor flowerpot is the only way you can grow plants, one at a time. You’re also limited to just two flowerpots in your room, while a flowerbed has space for eight plants, and you can have 1-3 flowerbeds depending on the size of your estate.
To be honest, gardening is time-consuming and a lot of work, so unless you’re really invested I don’t think this is missing out on much. You can still use the flowerpots to grow flowers to put in vases and decorate your room with or grab a few regular items from seeds. You just won’t be able to set up the intercrossing loops that some people do to get rare items and potentially make more gil.
I think apartments are pretty great, actually. If you want to get started decorating a room of your own but can’t stand the ‘housing game’, this is an easy, quick option. While FC private chambers are cheaper, personally I feel more comfortable having the apartment which is not tied to the FC.
If you’re desperate for a way to train or colour your chocobo, but you don’t have an FC or one with an estate, you don’t have to wait for that either. The apartment stables let you do all of that.
Even if you already have an estate, apartments offer extra storage and a second aesthetic you can create and play around with. Before, I didn’t know just how easy it was to get started with apartments, and I’m definitely going to use this as a second space to tinker with, and I know I’ll always have it even if I take a break and unsub from the game.
What’s your take? Are you satisfied with an apartment, or do you feel like they should be improved in some way? Let me know in the comments.