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The Highs and Lows of High-rise Living

People are torn when it comes to high-rise units. Some say they are luxurious and classy, while others think they’re cramped and expensive. While developers might have a hand in the quality of their high-rise, there are good and bad factors that come with living in one.

The Good

1. Excellent Views

Most high-rise buildings will provide a magnificent view of the street, the surroundings, and the skyline. Aside from an occasional window cleaner, nothing will be blocking your view. A high-rise unit will give you ample natural light, which raises your serotonin levels and keeps you happy. If you’re an early riser, you might even catch the sun rising on the horizon, or you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the night sky.

2. Peace

Elevation keeps you away from the hustle and bustle of the streets — no engine sounds, no car noises, no blaring music or talking people. You don’t have to be friendly with the neighbors or even get to know them at all. People in high-rise units tend to keep to themselves. If you’re a creative person who needs peace to write, paint, and design, peace and solitude can be invaluable.

3. Privacy

Depending on the manager and security, your high-rise unit can give you a fraction of absolute security. Stalkers, press, and unwanted visitors won’t be able to wait outside your door like they could if you were living in a regular house. You could deny sudden visitors to the lobby by not acknowledging them or merely pretending not to be home.

The Bad

high-rise living

1. Safety Risks

While high-rise fires are relatively rare in Australia, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) still warns about the danger of living in high-rise units. However, the risks aren’t as bad as before. Nationwide standards in safety, as well as modern staircase design and construction, have made it easier to detect fires and exit potentially dangerous situations. Just make sure to memorize the possible escape routes in case of an emergency.

2. Isolation

While privacy can be a good thing, too much of it leads to isolation. High-rise units are cut-off from almost everybody, and regular social interactions become more difficult. Kids experience isolation the most, and their lack of social interactions can even hamper their learning and development. Chance encounters with friends and acquaintances occur at the street level, and apartment living can minimize those chances. Social interactions are important. Take the time to leave your unit once in a while to connect with friends and family.

3. Cost

The cost of building a high-rise can be staggering. That cost is passed down to buyers or renters of high-rise units, making apartment units quite expensive. Monthly building maintenance and security dues can also add 15-25 percent to your monthly payments or rent. High-rises tend to inflate the property value of its surroundings, making everything around you (shops, restaurants) a little more expensive.

Half a million Australians live in apartments, and that number is growing every day. High-rise buildings are here to stay. It’s up to you if you want to stay in one.

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