Is high rise living for you?
What is a high-rise vs. low-rise apartment?High-rises are a common feature in the modern cityscape; however, their exact definition can differ depending on the country or organization you reference. In the US, for example, official guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association classify an apartment building as high rise if it stands at seven stories or more, and any structure over 40 to 50 floors is considered a skyscraper— though many high-rises meet skyscraper standards with 40 stories or more. On the other hand, low-rise condos are typically four stories or lower and can be referred to as garden apartments.
Is living in a high-rise worth it?This can all depend on what your priorities are for your home. Knowing what to expect in a high-rise community can help you understand if this is a worthwhile investment of your time and money. A few advantages to high-rise living are;
- The View Oftentimes, to get a good city or ocean view, you need to be a few stories off the ground. Not to mention that less unobstructed views equal greater natural light in your high-rise apartment.
- Location Many people are attracted to high-rise condos for their locations – often convenient to cities, business districts, and cultural centers. If you work or live in a big city and wish to cut down on your commute, a high-rise property can offer you the benefit of a great location within walking distance of many dining, work, and entertainment offerings.
- Amenities With a more significant number of units and a luxurious approach to residential living, high-rises tend to offer greater amenities such as a front desk/concierge, a gym, pools, and more. This will undoubtedly vary between each property but is a large bonus of high-rise living.
- Elevators One thing you can count on in your high-rise is elevators. It is typical to see in low rises the absence of elevators because of their size; however, high-rises usually boast more than one elevator to cut down on resident wait times and increase effective traffic movement in the building.
- Maintenance Because of their size, high-rise apartments generally have an onsite management office that handles all leasing, maintenance, and other requests. This means repairs can be carried out faster and more efficiently, primarily if the property is run by a professional property management company that can offer knowledgeable, dedicated staff and resources.
- Expensive The cost of living in a high-rise apartment is often greater than that of a more modest building due to the increased cost associated with construction and maintenance. Not only do prices tend to be higher, but so too are monthly service fees which may include provisions for security, cleaning staff, or door attendants.
- Storage When considering high-rises, it's essential to bear in mind the cost of space. Specifically, many establishments base monthly HOA or condo fees on a unit's square footage – so storing extensive collections could be expensive. Fortunately, some buildings offer storage services as well; these may come at an additional fee but can help save you from having to pawn off a few possessions.
- Pets Owning a pet is becoming increasingly common; according to the Humane Society of the United States, over 70 percent of households have at least one pet. When searching for a high-rise home, ensure to factor in whether it allows pets and if they have weight or size restrictions. Certain communities sometimes offer unique amenities like dog walking areas and waste disposal bags on-site.
- Parking If you're considering moving into a high-rise, the number of parking spaces available may be an important factor. In many high-rise buildings, units are assigned one or two parking spaces, but if you have more vehicles, you should find out if additional space is available for purchase or rent.
- Greenspaces For some renters, outdoor access is not only desirable but essential. Unfortunately, high-rise apartments typically lack significant green spaces beyond a balcony or rooftop deck.
- Moving High-rises can pose a unique challenge when needing to move in. Service elevator access is essential, and some buildings may have limited hours of activity that could be inconvenient for your desired timeline.
Contact FirstService Residential, the high-rise management leader, to learn more about high-rise living.