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