Penthouses are one of the jewels of the real estate market. Considered a luxury within the reach of few pockets, that their prices are between 20 and 40% higher than those of houses of identical surface and characteristics, even being in the same building, does not reduce their demand, but, on the contrary, it grows continuously Sky Marketing. But what are the reasons?
The charm of living in the heights
The penthouses are generally located in the most central neighborhoods of the cities and in privileged areas of the periphery. In many cases these are old houses for the service, the doorman or storage rooms of the communities of owners. For this reason, only 3% of the penthouses for sale in our country are new or brand new, since they are generally renovated homes.
Exclusivity is another aspect associated with penthouses. However, more bohemian or luxurious, living in an attic is not only a matter of image. Many people look for this type of housing to have more privacy (being on the top floor the number of neighbors is reduced), to avoid noise from outside or to enjoy their terraces and views.
Even so, and since everything that glitters are not always gold, renting or buying a penthouse can also have some drawbacks in addition to its high price. For many people, living in an attic implies more maintenance costs and a greater investment in air conditioning.
Next, we will explain what are the main advantages and disadvantages of living in an attic.
What are the advantages of buying an attic?
A safe investment
For starters, penthouses are a reliable and safe real estate investment. These are homes with a high demand that you can rent or sell your house without problems, and whose revaluation in the market is continuous. If your intention is to buy a home to invest, an attic is a safe option.
More natural light
One of the most outstanding advantages of living in an attic is its luminosity. Being located on the highest part of the buildings, the penthouses can enjoy more natural light, a “precious commodity” for both future buyers and tenants. In winter this can translate, in temperate climates, into savings in heating and electricity.
Living at a certain height has a visual advantage. And is that living on the top floor of a building can allow you to enjoy a skyline of your city without obstacles, a privileged landscape and very different from what we would have in a “conventional” home.
Having one or more terraces is one of the most common characteristics of penthouses and one of the issues that most increase their value in the market. These outdoor spaces, especially in city centers, are authentic oases to set up a garden, a chill out space, a reading area or a gazebo.
In some cases, and if the characteristics of the terrace allow it, it is even possible to build a swimming pool as long as safety and waterproofing are guaranteed.
Independent and quiet homes
The fact of not having neighbors on the upper floor and, in many cases, not even on the same landing, implies a greater sense of privacy and independence. For this reason, when evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of living in an attic and its extra cost, you should also take into account the benefits of being in a quieter space, free from noise and from curious stares.
Disadvantages of living in an attic
Smaller and more expensive apartments
Penthouses are more expensive because they are a type of housing in high demand and with little supply. In fact, only 7.8% of the supply of flats in Spain are penthouses. Precisely for this reason, when analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of living in an attic it is important to know that we will pay the square meter price at a higher price and that we will have less space than the rest of our neighbors. In addition, sometimes a part of the house is wasted due to slopes of the roof, so we will have to give up square meters of interior. To get an idea, the difference in price between homes on the top floors and intermediate floors in cities such as Seville is 56.2%, while in Valencia or Granada it is 53.4% and 48.2% respectively. .
Own terrace vs. community terrace
Those who dream of living in an attic take it for granted that they will enjoy their own terrace and that they will be able to use it as they see fit. But it’s not always like this. Many times, the terraces of the blocks of flats are considered communal areas, so you will not be able to carry out works or reforms, or enjoy them at your free disposal. And in the event that the terrace is owned by the attic, it will involve responsibilities such as leaks to the floors below. In addition, both in the first and in the second case, the Law will oblige you to facilitate access to professionals who have to see or work in common areas to repair antennas, read meters, make fiber optic or air conditioning installations, etc.
More investment in air conditioning
One of the main disadvantages of living in an attic is the energy expenditure in air conditioning. Remember that in the attics we do not have neighbors above us and we do not have any barrier that cuts off the hot or cold wind, so we will be more exposed to inclement weather. In winter, the heat loss will be greater. And in summer, when receiving light continuously, it will be more concentrated and the cost of air conditioning can skyrocket.
Risk of leaks and humidity
If you live in an attic, your home will be the first to notice the effects of the rain, since you will be the only one of your neighbors with the entire roof uncovered. So if the asphalt fabric degrades or breaks, you will suffer from leaks and moisture before anyone else. In these cases, you have a greater chance of causing breakdowns in the neighbors below, so before buying an attic it is advisable to study the hiring of a more complete or specific insurance for this type of housing.
Buying a home is always a «risk sport» . Before carrying out this operation, it is important to assess many aspects, and not only the advantages and disadvantages of living in an attic on a practical level. You must take into account the insulation of the house and the building, if there have been recent renovations on the roof or on the terrace and, of course, the dimensions, type and age of the elevator. Another of the “weaknesses” of the attics is insecurity, especially in urban buildings that are close to each other. In this case, it will be necessary to increase security with alarms and bars on windows and doors to minimize possible risks.
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