High rise living comes with sky high price tags

Friday, August 15, 2014
High rise living comes with sky high price tags
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High rise living comes with sky high prices, as seen by these two penthouse units currently on the market

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Go anywhere in Houston and it's tough to miss the giant construction cranes peppering the skyline. While many of the skyscrapers are targeted for professional use, many are for the growing city living trend.

In June alone, the Houston Association of Realtors sold almost 100 high rise apartments. Sky high living is a booming business, but it comes at a sky high price.

John Daugherty realtor Molly Kaplan has listed the most expensive high rise currently on the market. At the Four Seasons downtown, the nearly 5,000 square foot penthouse has a view for miles.

"This was four apartments that they put together to make the penthouse," Kaplan said.

With a typical 20 percent down, a mortgage payment would equate to more than $15,000 each month. But there are additional expenses to live this life of luxury.

"You pay a maintenance fee of a little over $4,000 a month, and that includes valet, doorman, and all the services in the building," Kaplan said.

Five minutes away at The Royalton, another penthouse is on the market for $2.7 million. The unit is similar in size to the one at the Four Seasons and has an unobstructed downtown skyline view. It also comes with a $2,000 monthly maintenance fee.

"That includes your limo service that runs from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.We have a pool heated in the winter. We also have a gym that's over 3,000 square foot, a ball room, game room, and valet," said Cotton Properties realtor Michael Callihan. "You'll live like royalty."

An additional amenity is extra space for your overnight visitors without having them in your own home.

"We also have guest suites. They're $75 a night. They're not in your home but they are. They're downstairs," Callihan said.

Both realtors of these luxury penthouses live in their own high rise units.

"I moved into a high rise about 22 years ago," Kaplan said.

Their favorite features? The security and minimal maintenance.

"It's lock and leave. I live in the property, and I can leave and not worry about anything. If you live in River Oaks, you have to have a yard guy, a pool guy, security guy, and those costs add up," Callihan said.

Callihan says to buy a smaller unit in The Royalton, look for prices to start around $250,000. But he warns that with more people moving to Houston, high rise prices will continue to soar.

"I'd say over the past year, it's gone up between $50-$100 per square foot," Callihan said.

If you aren't sure if high rise living is for you, there are several buildings that offer rental units.

"A lot of high rises are being built for rent right now because it's much easier to get financing," Callihan said.

Expect monthly rent to range from $2,000 to $8,000. The higher price tag typically puts a renter on a higher floor.

For the complete listings:

Four Seasons

The Royalton