Mountaintops have an allure as a destination, as the physical representation of a mission accomplished, of success achieved following hard work. “If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plain,” says one of numerous Chinese proverbs dealing with mountaintops. All this glamour is deserved. It’s tough enough getting to the top of a mountain, never mind making that place your own. Once there, there’s nothing like a commanding view from a house above the treetops, or from an apartment dozens of stories above street level, to make a homeowner feel like the Master of the Universe.
While, for the most part, no one has yet figured out a way to put a price on the great outdoors, sellers do place a significantly higher price on a house that’s situated high up for spectacular views of mountains, fields, or scenic bodies of water. In cities, those penthouse apartments offering a twinkling panorama of the urban grid command a pretty penny as well. The following properties start out at nearly $3 million, and from there, the prices soar on up to nearly $50 million for one single-family house in Malibu. Very often, a buyer needs to be on top of the heap, financially speaking, to live at the top of the hill or apartment building. Those lucky buyers are likely to soon find themselves amassing friends in high places.
The following selections of luxurious homes from Realtor.com are located around the United States, from cities like Miami and Malibu and from the mountains of Colorado to the mountains of North Carolina. There’s even one villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on the French Riviera, taken from the newly launched international branch of Realtor.com. These lofty living spaces include views both natural and urban that can be calming, inspiring, or stimulating, depending on the locale and the owner’s desire. Each home comes with its own built-in ways to enjoy the lofty vistas, such as window seats, decks and terraces, and soaking tubs located next to windows. Click on to see 10 houses on top of the world.
By Colleen KanePosted 11 November 2011
Price: $4.95 million
Square Footage: 16,000
This minimalist modern mansion sprung from the design table of Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, part of the THINK team who competed to design New York City’s new World Trade Center. It has 50-mile views, with the highest views reserved for its owners: The master bedroom is located in a tower. This estate has been on and off the market several times since 2008, with a starting price of $10 million, but when the most recent listing was removed in September, the cost had been slashed to $4.95 million. It’s unknown if the property sold.
Price: $7.9 million
Square Footage: 8,876
This full-floor penthouse condominium offers 360-degree views of Chicago, including a terrace to appreciate all the surrounding examples of high-rise architecture. For those who want the fastest possible undisturbed delivery to those views, an express elevator delivers penthouse residents directly to their private lobby. The residence also features a media room, spacious his-’n-hers marble master baths, and an enormous walk-in closet.
Price: $49 million
Square Footage: 9,000
Rocky Oaks Estate is situated on 37 acres in Malibu, Calif., with 360-degree ocean, city, and Rocky Oaks Park views, numerous balconies, and an observation deck with glass walls. The Egyptian limestone deck is 5,000 square feet and includes an infinity pool, spa, and loggia. Built in 2010, the Tuscan-style estate comes with a vineyard, an orchard of fruit and nut trees, five fireplaces, heated floors, and a helipad.
Price: $4.15 million
Square Footage: 5,564
This mountaintop home called The Escape is situated on over 9 wooded acres in Linville, N.C., with views of Grandfather and Grandmother Mountains. Built in 2010, The Escape has a private gate, cottages, and a helipad. To further maximize enjoyment of those mountain views, the home includes a window-side soaking tub, a built-in window seating/storage unit, and an expansive covered porch with fireplace.
Price: approx. $11.47 million
Square Footage: 3767
This villa on the French Riviera offers sweeping sea views, including Cap Ferrat, Villefranche Bay, and Cape of Nice. As if that weren’t enough, the home has an infinity pool and a bar overlooking the pool and terrace, three of the bedrooms have terraces, and a separate guest suite.
Price: $4.9 million
Square Footage: 6,199
This lodge is set above a panorama of Colorado’s natural beauty, on a 35-acre parcel in the Gunnison National Forest in Crested Butte, surrounded by numerous mountain ranges including Elk, Ruby, and Sawatch. Built in 1999, the residence’s design incorporates lots of stone and exposed beams, with high ceilings, a wine cellar, and a game room.
Price: $19 million
Square Footage: 15,263
The multilevel penthouse condo at ICON South Beach offers spectacular bay views, especially from the corner great room with two-stories walls of windows. Other distinctive features of the Philippe Starck-designed space include a stylized marble and steel spiral staircase crowned by a skylight, Starck-designed fixtures, a stainless-steel chef’s kitchen with Miele appliances and Sub-Zero refrigerator-freezer, ambient lighting, and flatscreen TVs incorporated throughout the apartment.
Price: $2.999 million
Square Footage: 6,969
They don’t call it Big Sky Country for nothing. The Mountain House in Bozeman overlooks the Gallatin Valley, and is located between the Bridger Mountain and Gallatin ranges, with plenty more forest, trails, and wilderness lands nearby. This semi-rustic, Italian-Nepalese inspired home is LEED Certified as a “green” building, and uses reclaimed timbers, reclaimed plank Georgian Pine flooring, and comes with geothermal heat and solar power.
Price: $15 million
Square Footage: 8,706
This estate in Mountain Village, Colo., is situated on 1.79 acres high up in the San Juan Mountains. The Uncompahgre National Forest surrounds the house for miles around, yet it’s close to Telluride and the regional airport. A tall wall of windows in the living room and a window-side soaking tub make two great spots to enjoy the natural beauty from the warmth of the indoors. This 2001 building features two fireplaces, a guest house/workshop, and a detached garage.
Price: $4.399 million
Square Footage: 2,778
This partly glass-walled SkyHouse apartment offers city, sound, and mountain views from all angles, whether it’s outside from the terrace hot tub or inside from bed, sofa, or the soaking tub. The Downtown Seattle condo also offers on-site parking, hardwood floors, and walk-in closets.