High life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page -

THE fam­ily and I love to go un­der­cover. It is a bit of a week­end sport of ours to pur­sue in-depth re­search on be­half of you, dear reader, by in­spect­ing var­i­ous prop­er­ties as the lov­ing fam­ily unit that we are on most days.

This al­lows my wife, the lit­tle girls, the teen and, on this oc­ca­sion, the teen’s bestie to give me their in­put – they of­ten see as­pects to a prop­erty that I will miss.

To this end, we re­cently in­spected a shiny new dis­play com­plex within a lux­u­ri­ous, very high-spec­i­fi­ca­tion, very high-rise apart­ment build­ing.

Ob­vi­ously, be­cause we were un­der­cover, get­ting ac­cess re­quired a few lit­tle white lies to the lovely sales staff who hap­pily never watch Fox­tel and so there­fore be­lieved we were just just one more set of ran­dom week­end view­ers.

Our cover story in this in­stance was that we were look­ing on be­half of my wife’s par­ents. This is not com­pletely un­true. In fact they would love to live in a high-rise if the unit came with a rear yard, a mod­est shed and room to grow ve­g­ies.

It was lucky we had our story straight as we got a pretty se­vere in­ter­ro­ga­tion be­fore we were al­lowed ac­cess to the units, which I con­fess, were re­ally gor­geous. Now I spent more than eight years in cen­tral Lon­don sell­ing and manag­ing al­most noth­ing but units – many high-rise – so it is a form of hous­ing I know and un­der­stand very well. And as I in­spected, a clever sales tac­tic that most de­vel­op­ers use came back to me, which I thought I would share with you.

Did you know that the higher up you go in a high-rise, the higher the price? This means that lead­ing the high life re­ally can cost you more. But is it worth it?

This par­tic­u­lar unit block was high, se­ri­ously high, and prices var­ied for the same unit type as you went up.

My­self and all fel­low in­spec­tors all agreed we loved the unit on the seventh floor so much more than its coun­ter­part on the 32nd. So for us, the ad­di­tional cost the de­vel­op­ers were ask­ing to be lo­cated higher just wasn’t worth it.

On the 32nd floor, my wife had that edgy feel­ing and said eat­ing out on the bal­cony would not be an op­tion for her. The teens walked out and said it was way too windy and you would be to­tally crazy to want to live up here; as for the lit­tle ones – Daddy got a bit too scared to let them out­side.

The seventh floor how­ever of­fered views – in fact bet­ter views in re­al­ity. Be­cause you could sit on a couch on the lower floor and still see the ocean, while on the higher floors, when you sat down you saw only sky. There was also less of a hur­ri­cane on the lower floor which meant this time my wife loved the bal­cony and was al­ready men­tally set­ting out planters and sun lounges.

The re­al­ity in many high-rise for some – it’s the pent­house af­ter all. Or that funny prop­erty type one floor be­low called the “sub­pent­house”. But some­times you can find thou­sands of dol­lars added to each floor as you go up and so you have to ask your­self whether you are get­ting any real ben­e­fit.

There are many buy­ers who get ner­vous of very high lev­els, so I will never un­der­stand why unit prices should be so stacked if there is no dif­fer­ence with the out­look. In re­al­ity, five years down the track, the unit on floor seven could ac­tu­ally sell for more than floor 32, as buy­ers con­sider the less time in a lift.

So the moral of this story is this: by all means pay more to live in a high-rise if go­ing up gives you more value and a bet­ter qual­ity of liv­ing,

This par­tic­u­lar unit block was high, se­ri­ously high, and prices var­ied... as you went up

units is that at very low lev­els, es­pe­cially in very built-up ur­ban ar­eas, the lower lev­els can be dark and have views of noth­ing or the backs of other build­ings. In these in­stances, pay­ing more to gain height to po­ten­tially se­cure a view does make sense.

The top of any build­ing has ku­dos but only if you can truly war­rant the ex­tra ex­pense.

Oth­er­wise stick to the lower lev­els or ne­go­ti­ate to pay the same as lower lev­els if all that height is re­ally of­fer­ing noth­ing more than a closer prox­im­ity to the birds and a chance to wave at the pi­lots of pass­ing pas­sen­ger jets from your bal­cony.

This ren­o­vated 1950s Queens­lan­der has an open­plan liv­ing area and a large kitchen with a servery to the back deck. This low-set Queens­lan­der is on 1002sq m. It has two bed­rooms, one bath­room, high ceil­ings and is in need of a bit of ren­o­va­tion. Room...

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