Penthouses take the luxury lifestyle to new heights; they boast the best views in the city, offer unparalleled exclusivity, and often include outdoor spaces not typically found in other units throughout the same building. These perks, however, come at a cost. For those considering renting or purchasing a penthouse, the following information will help to inform your discussions with your real estate agent.
What is a penthouse?
At its core, a penthouse is a luxury apartment/condominium. Located on the top floor of an apartment building, condominium complex, hotel, or tower, its luxury features differentiate it from the building’s lower-level units. The living space of a penthouse is usually set back from the building’s outer edge and the remaining square footage of the roof deck is typically used as a yard, hot tub, pool, outdoor kitchen, etc.
- The View: Even in a densely populated metropolitan area, living in a penthouse is your best chance at an unobstructed view of the city. Perched above the vast majority of other apartment and condominium buildings, a penthouse provides a bird’s eye view of your surroundings without being blocked by neighboring units.
- Indoor and Outdoor Space: A penthouse is more than a luxury apartment; it’s your own private outdoor terrace. With access to the outdoors, you have more room for your favorite at-home activities, plus an array of entertaining opportunities. Penthouses are typically designed with open-concept floorplans which emphasize their extra square footage. For those looking to increase their living space while remaining in the city, a penthouse may be the perfect solution.
- Privacy: Because penthouses only have neighbors below them, a penthouse floor sees fewer visitors than the lower floors in a building. Some penthouse floors have a separate, private entrance for added security.
- High Price: Gaining access to this exclusive lifestyle is expensive. The high price tags reflect its unique characteristics: being far away from street noise, having more square footage and outdoor space, added privacy, etc. In some places, the costs to purchase or rent a penthouse can outpace the average monthly mortgage payment for a single-family home in the area, especially if you have Homeowners Association (HOA) fees tacked on.
- Home Maintenance: Having more indoor and outdoor space means there’s more to maintain. Owning or renting one of these units comes with a longer to-do list than a smaller apartment or condominium. You’ll either have to carve out additional time for upkeep or consider hiring a professional to clean your home regularly.
Work closely with your real estate agent to determine whether renting or purchasing a penthouse is right for you. Learn more about other housing types and the differences between them here:
House vs. Townhouse vs. Condo
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