Welcome to San Diego Blog | November 20, 2017
Moving up in the world – (literally!) – is high rise living for you?
So you love city living, but are getting fed up with the traffic, the three-story walk-up, the hassles of picking up your dry cleaning with—or without—a car.
Maybe it’s time to move up in the world – literally. Increasingly, the city’s newer high rises are offering amenity-rich lifestyles that the kings of yesteryear could only have dreamed of.
If you have never investigated high rise living, here are some things that might surprise you:
It’s getting more convenient.
- Many of the newer high rises are located on prized turf, within a short walk of office buildings, restaurants, theaters and other urban amenities.
- Millennial-era buildings have extremely fast elevators, so that commute is a lot faster than it is in buildings a few decades older.
- High-end condo buildings are loaded with amenities—24-hour door service and concierges who take care of that pesky dry cleaning, valet parking, fitness centers and pools that save you a trip to the gym; even restaurants, hotel space and convenience stores. Other features you might find are movie viewing rooms with theater seating, business centers, party and hospitality rooms, pool rooms and dog runs.
New buildings are more environmentally conscious than you might think.
Nature lovers may be less inspired by vertical living than they are by their Wisconsin cabin, but in fact, high rises do several good things for the environment.
- They are anti-urban sprawl, the opposite of ½-acre suburban lots that require huge amounts of infrastructure and energy to maintain. Bedroom communities require people to drive cars between destinations, adding to air pollution, and need lots more streets, street lights, water mains, and so forth, in order to sustain them. In short, the more land per person, the more it costs to pay for services.
- Because of the small footprint relative to the number of residents, high rises allow for more open space and greenery below. However, if you hanker for greenery in the sky, newer buildings offer residents-only green spaces such as sundecks and patios.
- In general, a higher population density makes it easier to offer public transportation options. Buses and L stops don’t work in spread-out suburbia—they need lots of people per square mile to sustain them.
- Many newer buildings are either LEED-certified or LEED eligible, meaning they have met stringent standards for energy efficiency. While any building can claim to be green, LEED is a nationwide program with several levels of efficiency. Some of the most high-profile “green” buildings are currently rentals, but their amenities whisper “condo ready.”
Buildings have personalities and communities.
- Buildings have websites, associations, clubs and events, Harvey said. “People are surprised at how community-driven it is. These buildings are very social. They have gatherings once a month in the hospitality room, various clubs like book clubs, and swim clubs. It’s a vertical neighborhood.”
- However, be aware that living in a community means it has rules that you must abide by.
- Every building has its own personality, which is worth your time to check. That can be difficult, but you can search online, look at the association website, and try to find chatty residents.
If sky-high living appeals to you, be prepared to investigate
- Fees and assessments,
- the overall health of the association and its reserve fund,
- the percentage of owner-occupied properties,
- plans for adjacent properties that might affect your view,
- and property value history, even if it’s a short history.
You’ll save time and headaches by using a real estate agent who knows the buildings inside and out.