We sat down with Theresa Hughes-Hill and Edith Personette of Personette and Associates recently to get their input on the high-rise market in Houston versus that of other cities, as well as high-rise living in general. They gave us some insight into the high-rise market in Houston. While all higher-end markets are slow right now, buying or leasing a high rise in our city is at least half the price of other cities like New York and San Francisco. When you think of the perks of high-rise living, that is a very hard fact to ignore.

For one, it is an absolutely hassle-free lifestyle. Every building differs a little depending on available services and the package you ultimately pick, but even the most modest set-up makes life much more carefree. Think of getting up for work in the morning, making coffee in your state-of-the-art kitchen, drinking it while enjoying an incredible view of the city, then getting dressed, going downstairs to have your car brought to you by a valet. Not only that, but you could relax after work by taking a dip in a huge, beautiful pool whose maintenance will never concern you. Then you're off back to your condo to find your fresh laundry and dry cleaning waiting for you. While it reads like a dream, high-rise living in Houston can actually be affordable. Many prospective buyers balk at the maintenance fees, but as Theresa and Edith explained, they usually equal out when compared with what one would spend trying to maintain a large house and pool. Not only do they equal out, but you never have to worry about setting up services or remembering to pay the pool cleaner or gardener or keep track of a number of things that many people take for granted as a serious drain on not only money, but time.

As far as new properties around town go, the market truly varies. The Mosaic is getting good traffic, as the prices are very attractive. The 2nd building at the Montebello has already sold out and almost doubled in value. Highland Towers are quite expensive, but their affluent buyers don't seem to mind. They have already had a $2 million dollar sale, and their model opens in September. 2727 Kirby is more of a mystery. They do not list any sales, though residences are already occupying 10 to 12 units (out of 80). The brand new Montage is a breath of fresh air. It has affordable pricing for lease, a beautiful building and breathtaking views. Affordability is an issue with most buyers but financing, though hard to come by in the wake of the recession, is possible, particularly though IBC and Whitney Bank.

Spotlight on a few premium properties:

  • West Ave

  • The Gables West Ave, River Oak's newest development, is currently leasing. Features include a convenient central location, great views of Downtown and River Oaks, retail shops, restaurants and entertainment centers within walking distance and a 7th floor infinity edge swimming pool.

  • Belle Meade

  • Located on the edge of River Oaks in the Upper Kirby District, Belle Meade is touting itself as "Houston's only modern-day boutique apartment building," as they are limited to just 6 floors encompassing 119 residences. Amenities include spacious interiors, hardwood floors, great location, and high ceilings. Available floor plans range from 1006 - 1854.

  • One Park Place

  • Built to compete with the likes of New York City, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, One Park Place offers 356 luxury units on 37 floors. Other perks include a two-tiered swimming pool with waterfall, lounging terrace overlooking Discovery Green, walking track, dining and conference area, media room, valet and concierge services-all in a hip downtown location.