When you think penthouse, many of us picture the high-in-the-sky, ultra-luxury condos that come with a several-million dollar price tag. And yes, penthouses like those are certainly highly coveted in the Chicago real estate market. But a penthouse unit is simply a top-floor property, and Chicago penthouses are available in a range of budgets and sizes, including three-flats, six-flats or eight-flats.
Living in a penthouse is one of the best ways to merge city living with the quiet and privacy of your own single-family home, helping to decrease noise and increase space, among other factors. A few reasons why penthouses are (quite literally) at the top of the list:
Resale value: In today’s market, it’s very important for buyers to consider the resale value of a home, and penthouses often have the best resale value in the building. Having worked with many new construction buildings, I’ve found that the penthouse units are always the first to sell, and typically go for at least $10,000 to $15,000 more than the exact same unit that was built below it. Features like cathedral ceilings and private outdoor space can also increase the resale value.
Ceiling height: The ceilings in a Chicago penthouse are usually higher than the 9-foot ceilings found in other units in the building. These taller units allow for more volume, making a penthouse feel much more spacious than a similar unit with comparable square footage. Some penthouses allow for cathedral ceilings, which makes for a much more dramatic presentation (and, as I mentioned before, a boost to resale value). Many of the newer high-rise buildings have ceiling heights up to 11 or 12 feet high–it’s even higher in penthouses in buildings like Trump Tower. If you have an art collection, high ceilings make a penthouse unit a perfect place to display it properly.
Light: A unit perched at the very top of the building gets much better natural light than the units below it. This is another big factor in resale value and plays a key role in how quickly a unit sells.
Outdoor space: Especially in high-rise units, penthouses typically have wonderful private outdoor space. Top-floor condos may include private rooftop access, a private rooftop deck, or the rights to build your own.
Penthouses in high-rise condos tend to take the top floor up a notch. These are often very dramatic units, with floor-to-ceiling windows, exquisite finishes and the most stunning city and lake views found in Chicago. High-rise penthouses usually have at least 3,000 square feet of living space, and can take up half of a floor or even the entire floor, depending on the building.
Various Types of Chicago Penthouses
Because many of my clients have asked about penthouses and if they can afford one, I’ve put together some comprehensive information about the different types, with prices ranging from $400,000 to $5 million or more. Click here to view them all and check out the different types of condos available on the market now, which includes:
Three or four flats: Typically 1,300 to 1,600 square feet on a 25 x 125 ft lot.
Wide-lot three or four flats: Typically 1,600 square feet on a 37.5 ft-wide lot.
Chicago penthouses in a six to eight flat: Usually 1,600 to 1,800 square feet on an extra-wide lot of 50 ft x 125 ft.
Duplex penthouses: Usually 1,600 to 1,800 square feet on an extra-wide lot of 50 ft x 125 ft.
Small building penthouses: Size and price varies, depending on the type of building.