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Houses on High

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