I get asked all the time about high rises. For a lot of buyers from the north, many have never even been in a high rise condominium building, which is typically a building with 8 floors or more. They make great places to live, but make sure you know what you want, and what your lifestyle calls for, before you make a decision. Here are a few things to consider:
One obvious difference is the view- that’s what it’s all about living in a high rise! The view will make or break it. In Naples, it’s very common to see an increase of anywhere from $10,000 to sometimes even $100,000+ per floor the higher you go. Also, are you looking at water? The gulf or bay? A preserve? A parking lot? Another building? These should make a difference in price. Bottom line, the better the view, the more you are going to pay.
Socially, these buildings can be somewhat isolated at first. It seems weird, being in such close quarters, you would think you’d see people everywhere and be mingling all the time. However, the truth is often times you’ll go from your car to the elevator and then to your unit. Make sure you check into what the building has to offer in regards to social events. Mixers, theme nights and functions may be your best chance for meeting new people in the building. A lot of people absolutely love this aspect of high rises!
Who needs groceries? Just go out to eat, it’s Naples! But seriously, remember when you park your car you are going to have to make trips going up and down the elevator and in and out of your condo. When you come back from your big shopping spree or just a Publix run, this may turn into more work than you thought. Make sure you have a cart or something to help out your arms, they will thank you!
Remember property values. If you are in a high rise, all the units will typically be pretty similar. There may be 4 to 8 different types of floor plans to choose from, but if someone sells the same type of unit for a lower price, it can affect the value of your condo almost instantly. This can work to your advantage too. Values could increase rapidly in a building due to supply and demand and recent comps.
If you are looking to buy in an older building, beware that you may get an assessment in the future for the anticipated sprinkler retrofit law. This law basically states that older buildings will need to have new sprinklers installed to bring them into newer safety codes. This may be a big expense to homeowners in the future. This may also never go into effect- who knows! But still, something to think about. The full report from DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulations) can be found here: //www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/CondominiumSprinklerRetrofitReportOctober2009.pdf
All in all, high rises can be a great investment. They allow for such amazing views that they can easily outweigh any possible negatives that can be associated with them. I’d encourage everyone to, at the very least, visit one and see what the life style is all about. A lot of people fall head over heels for it and I can’t blame them, it’s really a fantastic lifestyle to have. It really can be a maintenance free life – no grass to cut and not much to worry about! Waking up every morning and seeing the Gulf of Mexico is enough to make anyone kiss an architect. As always, happy hunting!