Penthouses are the pinnacle of condo living. Living in a penthouse means waking up to sweeping views and expansive living spaces that feel like a home in the sky. Add on luxury amenities and, well, now you’re getting the picture. While it might sound cliche and too good to be true, this is the reality of owning a penthouse. But what really is penthouse apartment or condo? And are they worth it? Read on for answers to all of these Miami Penthouses questions about penthouses.
So what IS a Penthouse?
Penthouses are, historically, a separate build on the very top of an apartment block or hotel, fitted with the best interiors, and both indoor and outdoor space. The term came about in the 1920s when developers started transforming previously undesirable and often dirty “attic” space into incredible and spacious properties on the top of their developments. Distinguished by their opulence, as well as their world-class views, they were immediately popular and became synonymous with status and wealth (read more about the history of penthouses here from Faena).
So, penthouses are most synonymous with the top floors of a building, and often have their own private elevators. Another characteristic of penthouses is that they tend to have a much larger amount of space compared to other units and usually have the best view. You know the phrase, “hey, you want to come up and see my penthouse?”
Is a Penthouse always on the Top Floor?
So penthouses are always on the top floor, right?… Usually. Penthouses are almost always on the top floors of a building. Developers have often used the term generously, marketing any unit on the top few floors as a penthouse, in part because the term has a certain ‘wow factor’ to it, for buyers, sellers and residents. Which means that penthouse apartments also carry the same value for renters.
But, in essence, a penthouse can be an apartment on any of the top floors in any kind of building, so long as its features are substantially different and more exclusive than the other units in the condo building. Put simply, penthouses are the trophy property in any development and should be identified accordingly.
There are even some amazing penthouses in low-rise and mid-rise condo buildings, making these ideal for those who may be afraid of heights or have pets. Some buildings may also create penthouse units with two floors, creating almost townhouse penthouses. Many of these also come with huge balconies or rooftop terraces, their own lap pools, outdoor showers and summer kitchens. These are some of the luxuries that make penthouses so desirable and livable.