If you’ve grown tired of mowing your front lawn and maintaining your empty nest, it is time to transition from a single-family to a high rise lifestyle. Embracing this new stage is both exciting and daunting, and there are many benefits and drawbacks. To help you ease into the high rise lifestyle, here are some things you need to remember.
High rise living, with all its amazing amenities and great views, come with a price. On top of your monthly mortgage, you also have to pay a monthly condo fee, also commonly referred to as the HOA fee.
The condo fee is used to pay for maintenance of the common properties. All homeowners in the high rise are equally responsible for maintaining the common areas like pools, elevators, fitness centers, garages, landscaping, insurance, and more.
It is much like living in a single-family home inside a subdivision with HOA.
Occasionally, you may also need to pay a reserves fee. The reserves fee is used to supplement the condo fund when it is depleted or when there are major maintenance issues to be maintained.
Some people don’t understand why a condo fee is needed. If you live in a high rise and you want to ensure the best comforts, conveniences, and security for you and your loved ones, all of these will require extra amenities and workforce. You need to pay your condo fee so that the staff who are always helping you will also be paid.
Know the Rules
Living in a high rise means following certain rules and regulations.
Some high rises do not allow animals while some do but limit the number of pets you have.
Most high rises have rules about decor, on asking permissions if you want to replace the tiles in your bathroom, on changing your front door paint, etc.
High rises have rules about smoking in the common areas. Others even go further by restricting smoking in individual units.
There are rules on parking, concierge services, usage of different amenities, and more.
There are so many rules which make it intimidating to first-time high rise owners. It’s important that you talk to your real estate agent, ask about the rules, and read the HOA guidelines you’ll be given.
Your high rise will be significantly smaller than a single-family home. This means you don’t get much space for all the things you may have collected over the years. It won’t even fit all your furniture.
Moving to a smaller space which doesn’t have enough space which can be a challenge, so you have to declutter— a lot.
You’d have to let go of things you haven’t been used for years (or more than six months). You’d have to give away things that are not so important anymore, like those boxes of toys.
Throw away anything that’s broken or not working, like those lamps you’ve been keeping in the garage, thinking you’ll repair them when you have time.
Disposing personal items can be a challenge because it can mean relinquishing memories. If you have a lot of items you can’t let go, get a storage unit. That way, you still get to keep most of your things and keep your high rise bright and airy.
There’s one good thing that comes with a smaller living space.
This is what exactly you’re hoping for, right? When you’ve become an empty nester, the effort that goes into maintaining a large home can be exhausting especially when you’re not so young and robust anymore.
High rise living gives you just enough space to clean and maintain, which doesn’t take much time now that it is smaller.
No more mowing, no more home repairs, no more window replacements. When you have issues in your home and it’s something you can’t easily fix, you can call the building management or concierge for assistance.
You can enjoy walking on park-like grounds of beautifully-trimmed grounds, shrubs, and trees. The pool is always clean, and yes, you don’t need to clean it.
There are times when you just want to relax by the poolside and be alone, or sit by a bench under the tree and relax and think. That can be a challenge when you live in a multi-residential community like a high rise.
There will always be people sharing a space with you. Occasionally, you may get the whole place to yourself, but that would be rare.
Moving to a high rise means living with a lot of neighbors — next-wall neighbors.
Whereas neighbors in single-family home communities are placed several feet from each other, high rise living means sharing a wall with your neighbor just next door.
It’s not just on one side either. You get a neighbor to your left, one to your right, one below your floor, and one above your floor.
This can be disconcerting especially for first-time high rise owners. It also means three things.
- Having more friends.
When you live on the same floor with four to seven other homeowners, you’ll get to meet them at some point. Knowing that they live on the same floor makes it easier to make new friends.
- Hearing more noise.
Get ready. High rise living is noisier than living in a single-family home.
If noise is a deal-breaker for you, look for an end-unit. That way, you only get to share one side of the home, and the other side is free.
When your neighbor gets noisy, you can easily move to the living space that’s close to the free wall.
- Encountering more tattletales.
This problem is annoying, but there’s always a tattletale in each neighborhood so you might accept that you’ll encounter one or more.
Living in a high rise is not always “less”. There are also several “more’s”, like more convenience when it comes to access to shops, restaurants, bars, theaters, and many other urban amenities.
Most high rises are constructed near public amenities which ensures you have 24-hour easy access to whatever you need. If you’ve been working late at night and have a sudden urge for a taco, there would surely be a nearby restaurant that will serve your favorite taco.
If you feel like exercising, you don’t need to drive to go anywhere. You simply hop onto the elevator, press the floor number of your high rise gym location, and you’ll be there in seconds.
The same process goes for any activity you want to enjoy, be it swimming, basketball, tennis, etc.
You can even have your business meetings in person without having to drive. Simply invite your colleagues to your high rise and use the business center.
You won’t find a living space that is safer than a high rise. Most high rises offer 24-hour security so you can expect proper inspection of guests anytime.
This is wonderful because it means you won’t deal with unwanted guests. You know who’ll be visiting you in your unit, and just in case someone missed you, you know exactly who came because either their names were taken or their faces were captured on video.
Transitioning from a single-family home to a high rise can be smooth and easy if you’ve set the right expectations. Life can be so much easier when you know what to expect and you’re prepared for it.