First time buying high rise? Low floor is fine.

I must admit,  I am biased. I have enjoyed too many low floor units that I am biased against high floors. Okay, I have to admit this as well. The views from high floors are usually better than low floors. If the high floor and the low floor units have almost the same price, I would take the higher floor unit actually. For some condos, only the higher floors may have sea views or even sometimes unobstructed views. The low floors? Well, we get to see the car park building or perhaps obstructed by another development right in front of ours, somehow.My first time was 14 years ago. It was also a high-rise (apartment) on level 5. It’s one level above the swimming pool and I had pool view! In fact, if I really wanted, I could climb down my balcony to go to the swimming pool. Just kidding… it’s at least 10 feet.
Anyway, coming back to first-time home buyers who are looking at buying a high-rise unit. I bought my first high-rise unit because the other one which was on a higher floor came with a RM45,000 premium because it has a better view as well as being ‘more’ renovated. Well, mine came with minor renovation and I spent RM25,000 on renovating the whole apartment. Total gross savings? RM20,000 which I used to buy my electrical goods as well as furnishings. In the end, I had an extra RM5,000 which I kept for my next purchase which was an upgrade 2 years later, a condo! So, the first reason is that low floors tend to save us money. Nothing about the view, nothing about the potential capital appreciation being higher or even that high floors tend to be windier and thus more comfortable. I am just talking about the savings from the price difference.
Let’s now talk about the view. Sorry yeah, no developer would guarantee us that the view we paid for will be the same view forever. Secondly, to most of us who are staying in high-rise currently, do we really go to the balcony and admire the view everyday? Holding a glass of champagne and thinking ‘wow this view is worth millions.’ Sorry yeah, there was a time when I stayed on the 10th floor of a condo in Tanjung Bungah for 2 years and during those 2 years, I was at the balcony only when I needed to hang my clothes out to dry plus when I needed to collect them. Assuming the premium was only RM2,000 per floor, that would have been RM20,000 extra compared to if I bought the ground floor. Note: If you really enjoy views from your balcony, please stop reading and start buying higher floors. Do not buy low floors and then regret when there’s not much views.
Hey, lower floors also meant ‘faster’ lifts. For those of us who have been staying in higher floors in hotels, we should have noticed that we needed to wait longer for lifts to come and for the lifts to go down. (Try the Genting’s One World to understand more…..)  So, with lower floors, we can save quite a lot of time every year. Plus, should emergency happens, the chances of us running down 5 floors would be far better than someone on the 40th.. Granted, most of the time, emergency does not happen often. Note: For those who love to walk the stairs to keep fit or to climb Mount Kinabalu like me (25th June 2017), higher floors allow you to walk to your floor and get the exercise you really need. For me, I use the gym to train instead.
Let’s come to a more serious matter since the above two are not about money. The third reason is capital appreciation. Higher floors tend to be more valuable and I agree. However, assuming we bought the lower floor unit at RM350,000 and the higher floor was RM400,000. When the price increased after 5 years and the high floor unit became RM700,000 do we really believe the low floor is still RM350,000? Or perhaps RM600,000? 🙂   Honestly, if we are buying a secondary unit today and the price difference is RM100,000 would we buy the higher floor or the lower floor. The answer is up to individual of course. If you ask me, of course I will save that RM100,000 for the next property!

view from balcony of my condo (Level 2)

If the price difference is not huge, by all means take the higher floor instead. The view is really better actually. Some say that mosquitoes could only fly up to Level 8. I have no idea but I do know that mosquitoes  do follow humans into lifts… However, for all the first-time home buyers who really want to save more money for a bigger fridge, a bigger LED TV or a bigger capacity washing machine, the savings of a few thousand ringgit can really help you get all those bigger items. Yes, I do own a condo unit on the 20th floor. However, the 40th floor is really more expensive! Happy getting your dream unit and enjoying the stay.
written on 23 June 2017
Next suggested article: Waiting for lowest price before buying the perfect property


  1. Have never thought much about this topic, but after reading your thoughts on this, I think I quite agree with you. 🙂 Low floor is also much better if there are elderly parents, and the view from the top floor might not be the same in a few years as more and more high-rise buildings crop up. Definitely better to use the savings to decorate inside and make it comfy. 😀

    1. Haha. Cool.

  2. Higher floors do make u want to occassionally slow down / stop whatever u are doing to take in the views. I dunno about others but i like to do this occasionally. And my personal experience of selling my higher floor unit was faster turn around with more viewings and offers. But buying to invest wise lower floors is fine as yields are better. I have both low & high floor units in general i agree if price premiums are alot & it is an investment unit, getting the lower floor unit is fine.

    1. I love the view from high floors! Yes, occasionally I would admire the view just like when I am staying on high floors in hotels, I love that I could see so far away. Cheers!

  3. Maxx Tan avatar
    Maxx Tan

    Agreed with your point Charles. I was considering about this question before and now after reading this I am more confident to go for mid or lower floor. Great explanation on the appreciation as well.

    1. Every floor would have its buyers. My agent friends would still tell me that higher floors can sell more easily. I agree as long as the price they want to sell is quite near to the lower floors. Else, both would still be targeting a different groups of buyers.

  4. Maxx Tan avatar
    Maxx Tan

    By the way what is your condo name. Perhaps the opposite one. Very nice view.

    1. This is IJM’s Sri Utama. Sandakan.

  5. Chiew Ping avatar
    Chiew Ping

    The view from your condo is not bad what

    1. Thanks. I love this condo too. Will enjoy a swim when I am back to Sandakan.

  6. Is ur pool view unit noise bearable?
    Coz the project i plan to buy has a unit just 2 floor above facing pool…

    1. avatar

      Hi Khoo, the noise of happy people, I am fine. The pool is closed by 9pm anyway. I have bought a few units on the same floor as pool or just one floor above pool. Current home I stay is also same floor as pool though the pool is not that near, maybe 40m away. Cheers.

  7. Hi, thanks for your article and insight. Really useful. Anyway, i am buying my first property, a high rise at old klang road. There are two views available, one is facing old klang road which is i think quite close, another one is facing a landed housing area which is 20k more expensive. Both will be unobstructed as there is no more available piece of land nearby. Do you think taking the higher floor facing the main road will reduce the noise from the road? Or lower floor facing the landed housing area is better and it is worth it to spend that extra 20k?

    1. avatar

      Thanks for reading. If I am deciding then I will get the cheaper unit and I use the extra money to buy a nicer sofa, a nicer fridge, a nicer washing machine, nicer dining table and more. That’s just what I will do yeah. For you, please decide based on what you prefer.

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