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Ground vs Top floor Condo units

In differentiating between identical ground (first) floor and top (second) floor condo units, how much of a reduction in value should I expect to see in the ground units?
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April 14 2009 - US
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Answers (1)

When there is a condominium project that is new construction you will usually see a premium paid for the upper floors with the top floor being the most expensive.  From a privacy standpoint, and possibly view, the top floor is the best as you have no one living above you.  Sometimes, the upper floors have vaulted ceilings that add character and volume.  The trade offs are, you may have to climb a bunch of stairs or take the elevator and, compared to the first floor, you do not have direct access from the unit to the outdoors.

However, if the condominiums are existing, the premiums are usually diluted. In a free market and without the builder dictating prices and extras, you may find a buyer willing to pay more for the first floor because they do not want to climb stairs or want that easy access off the deck, etc.  So, I tell people in a multi-floor unit that there is no difference in value to first floor vs third floor.  We look at condition more than location in the building when suggesting a listing price.  In our area most buildings are 2 to 3 stories.  We have a cheaper property with a lot of noise transmission so the top floor is a safer bet.  Likewise, the end unit is brighter than a middle unit.  In another community there is no noise problems so we feel all the units are of equal value.

Hope this helps.

Tom
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