A condo building can be a “garden” style (under 4 floors), “mid-rise” (5-8 floors), or a “high-rise” (9+ floors). So in these mid-to-high rise condo buildings, does having a unit on a higher floor play a part on your price tag? Sure does.
Let’s start with a mini-lesson in condo construction. Generally, builders create tier plans, where the same unit is built on floor 2-8 (for example) or any unit ending in “08” (for example) has the same exact floorplan. Sometimes they change finishes: different color cabinets, wood or carpet, etc., but the general layout and square footage is identical whether you’re on the 4th floor or 15th. So you’d think, all else being equal, they should cost the same,right?
Take a look at the sales from 2009 in 3 specific high rise buildings (all sales are NET prices). I tried to find some South Arlington/Blue Line buildings, but none had multiple sales of the same unit the way these did:
The Continental (851 N. Glebe – Ballston)
Unit 414: $320,775
Unit 1214: $335,000
Unit 1314: $346,400
Unit 1514: $349,950
Unit 2014: $350,000
The Phoenix (1020 N. Highland – Clarendon)
Unit 220: $265,000
Unit 620: $281,000
The Odyssey (2001 N. 15th St – Courthouse)
Unit 111: $560,000
Unit 311: $581,000
Unit 614: $335,000
Unit 714: $348,000
There’s clearly a correlation between sales price and floor level – the higher the floor, the bigger the price tag. It’s hard to give the difference a specific amount (for example, I wouldn’t say you can automatically assume a $10k-$15k increase.) Obviously there’s a greater difference from a 2nd floor unit to a 17th floor, and a smaller change between the 5th to 6th floor. These are the small nuances we’re here to help with. Just remember, you get what you pay for. If you want to be on a lower floor so you can walk the stairs and avoid the elevator, you’ll be happier with a smaller price and lower unit. If you’re more interested in higher views, you’ll pay a premium for that. You just have to decide what’s more important to you!
The difference in value in North Arlington, Orange line condos is different from South Arlington condos, and condos along the Blue Line, and are certainly different from those in neighboring Alexandria and Fairfax County.