Do I Want a High-Rise or Low-Rise Condominium?
What is a high-rise condominium?
According to the Department of Energy (10 CFR 434.201), the term “high-rise” means any building over three stories in height. However, in general, most people consider a high-rise to refer to a building that has seven or more stories.
Pros of a High-Rise Condo
High-rises usually offer luxury amenities to its residents. For example, some condominiums may have a swimming pool, 24-hour valet, a dry-cleaning service, or even wine cellars. Unfortunately, with more luxury amenities and services, come higher homeowners association (HOA) or condominium association (CA) dues.
Most high-rises will have a professional 24-hour doorman or security guard, which means better security and a way to receive deliveries and packages.
Strategically built high-rise condos come with a beautiful view. Of course, the higher you are in the building, the more you can see.
High-rise condominiums are more likely to come with assigned parking in a standard garage. Unfortunately, this may not include parking for your guests.
Cons of a High-Rise Condo
Higher Monthly Fees
Because high-rise buildings typically offer more amenities, the HOA or CA dues are likely more substantial than a low-rise building.
More Storage, Higher Fee
Your monthly fees are usually based on the square footage of your condo. Space is premium in a high-rise building. As a result, the more storage you need, the higher your monthly HOA or CA fee.
More Community Rules
High-rise buildings naturally have more tenants, which may result in a set of rules to govern the community. One common rule is regarding noise level. For example, most high-rise condos have a “quiet period”. Residents must keep the noise to a minimum during specific hours.
Higher Safety Risk
High-rise condos have a higher safety risk in the event of a fire or an earthquake.
What is a low-rise condominium?
Some may consider a low-rise condominium as a building that is anything less than a high-rise condominium. Others may include a mid-rise category as well.
According to the Department of Energy (10 CFR 433.2), the term “low-rise” means any building three stories or less in height
Pros of a Low-Rise Condo
Lower Monthly Fees
With fewer amenities, come lower maintenance fees. A low-rise condo usually has lower monthly HOA or CA dues.
Low-rise condominiums are designed to contain fewer units per floor. With fewer neighbors, a low-rise condominium has a more intimate atmosphere and tight-knit community.
Lower Safety Risk
Low-rise condos have a lower safety risk in the event of a fire or an earthquake because exiting the building requires less time than your high-risk counterparts.
Cons of a Low-Rise Condo
With lower HOA or CA dues, your building is simpler and more focused on your individual unit. Low-rise condos usually do not have clubhouses, tennis courts, or fitness centers on the grounds.
No Parking Garage
Most low-rise buildings do not have a parking garage. However, some complexes may have a parking lot.
Do I want a high-rise or low-rise condominium? Weight the pros and cons and decide what is best for you and your situation.