Affording the priceless and the lure of high-rise living

by Steve Van Derodar

Coming home to a high-rise property in the middle of a busy metropolitan area is one definition of high life. To some, arriving in a habitat that offers spectacular views is the culmination to a long day’s work. It is always like coming home and appreciating the views without end. An “Urbanite’s Paradise” and so they say.

In Metro Manila, you will be surprised how condominium units are majestic in character that getting into the high floors of a condo unit means an ultimate treatment to oneself. It is with an expectation that living in a high-rise affords you the best views such as the sunsets and sunrises knocking on your windows or at your own balconies, the top notch amenities and the whole A-rate experience which to many are among the priceless benefits to an acquisition.

In New York City, known as an urban jungle is no surprise to all, living in high-rise condos can be as ordinary as it gets but the real difference is on the overall condo renderings, amenities, serviced lobbies for the luxurious ones and the kind of lifestyle it offers. Manhattan’s vertical developments due to its limited land size dates back in 1884 but significant economic growth after the Civil War and increasingly intensive use of urban land encouraged the development of taller buildings beginning in the 1870s. High rise living has been a way of life to many.

“Yardi Matrix, an apartment market data provider defines high-rises as apartment communities of 10+ stories in height. There is also a maximum height above which a high-rise becomes a skyscraper.”

A high-rise typically refers to a building over a certain height or number of stories. The exact classification varies by country and organization. In the U.S., a high-rise is an apartment building with a height of at least 7 stories, as defined by the National Fire Protection Association. Yardi Matrix, an apartment market data provider defines high-rises as apartment communities of 10+ stories in height. There is also a maximum height above which a high-rise becomes a skyscraper. This is typically any building over 40 to 50 stories. In comparison, also according to Yardi Matrix, low rise buildings are apartment complexes with a height of up to 4 stories, which in some parts of the country are referred to as “garden apartments “. You may have also heard of “mid-rise apartments “, a category that usually applies to apartment buildings of 5 to 10 stories.

I have been fortunate to have been able to see numerous condominium units in a high-rise and have been to some with friends’ properties and those of friends of friends. The wrap around terrace in a penthouse unit near the United Nations above 50th floor in Midtown East was almost a shock to me. It is the skyscraper in every sense of the word: towering, stylish and iconic. Breath-taking views can be an understatement.

“In Manila, having sold some penthouse units and high floor units to some clients is a clear indication of a choice. Some clients are for the high floors as it provides the best views. You can always expect that the higher the floor, the more expensive a unit can get per square meter.”

In Manila, having sold some penthouse units and high floor units to some clients is a clear indication of a choice. Some clients are for the high floors as it provides the best views. You can always expect that the higher the floor, the more expensive a unit can get per square meter. The priceless views are what attract the many investors. There are specific clients to certain units. To share, I had one client whose balcony is the envy of the entire building. It is almost the size of a 3-regular bedroom in a luxury building.
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In a building, the unit that offers many views are priced at a premium and corner unit are designed for bigger units. You can always check on the floor plan, unit lay-out and what views to expect when deciding to purchase one. Expect that high-rise condominiums offer the best views, security, high speed elevators, stellar maintenance, ready utilities, and overall amenities upkeeping.

Personally, I would always recommend a unit above 15 floors. Maybe because I know that when you glance at your windows, you have more appreciation for the views from your perspective. On the other hand, others go for lower floors by preference with respect to being close to the amenities or by unit specifications. High-rise condo living understands the need of clients to be extraordinary, superb and beyond comparison.

In the Philippines. high-rise buildings are known as condominium buildings as they are built through an ownership mix of shareholders. Being a unit owner makes you a shareholder of the condominium corporation.

A client has shared, “Even not for me, as it is just an investment, my high floor 3-bedroom unit is always rented out. I am now looking for my next investment that is still on a high floor. The unit is never unoccupied for more than a month after a lease contract expires.”

“Please remember that the views are always part of the equation in the development. Larger units are situated in the corners meeting the advantages of the views. The amenities meeting the special needs of the residents and the upscale service guaranteed to tenants.”

High-rise developments undergo wind tests and intricate planning and design that can withstand the strongest winds and even earthquakes with shock adjustments especially with the ultra-luxurious buildings. Developers undergo a series of meticulous property development in a state-of-the-art engineering and architecture. Luxury developers know exactly what they need to deliver according to project specifications and value propositions to its target markets.

Please remember that the views are always part of the equation in the development. Larger units are situated in the corners meeting the advantages of the views. The amenities meeting the special needs of the residents and the upscale service guaranteed to tenants. High-rise condos may come with relative price but with priceless sense of belongingness and property’s attachments on distinction, sophistication, and the address.

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(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus to Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit www.philhousehunters.com. Email at derodarsales@gmail.com.)

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