For some potential buyers, Boston condos are extremely appealing because they often offer a variety of amenities and tend to require less upkeep than single-family homes. However, there are still a few details you should consider about each condo you look at before deciding if it’s right for you. When searching for Beacon Hill condos or a downtown Boston high rise, keep these 4 factors in mind to determine if the unit is up to your standards.

1. Floors

Generally, high-risers meet a higher design standard than low-rise or mid-rise buildings. Here’s a floor breakdown:

  • Low-rise = 1 to 6 stories
  • Mid-rise = 7 to 12 stories
  • High-rise = 13 stories and above

To ensure a unit is on the floor you desire, review the building plan. Sometimes people are shocked to find out their unit is actually two levels lower than expected. This can occur if the first two floors are below street grade.

2. Floor Plan

This blueprint shows the features of surrounding condos and the specific location of the one you’re considering. To get a sense of passing traffic on a given floor, assess its number of units. Also, determine the unit’s location relative to the elevator and garbage chute.

3. Square Footage

It’s important to understand how a Boston condo unit is measured. Some developers measure from exterior walls, adding unusable space to the total amount. Others include outdoor space, such as a balcony, hallway, or storage area. Such calculations can add 10 to 40 percent additional footage, giving you the erroneous impression of a larger unit.

4. Operation

Test the plumbing by opening all faucets, make sure the water pressure and drainage are adequate, and check the air conditioning system to make sure it functions optimally. Spots on walls and ceilings indicate leakage. Ensure all doors and cabinets open and close properly. Being thorough spares future surprises..

If you’d like to see the latest listing of Beacon Hill condos for sale or a Boston high rise condo, get in touch with us today. We can help you find your downtown dream home. Call 617-720-5454 to schedule an appointment.

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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