Comfort takes on many forms. Whether it’s our tangible surroundings or our discernible peace of mind, comfort is key when we’re choosing a community. A good home is easy to find, but a great lifestyle is in the details.  There’s a lot more to consider than just cost before we settle on—and then into—our comfortable home sweet home.

One of the perks of living in a community is access to amenities. In order to remain competitive, community associations often need to up their game with attractive amenities that are a sure bet. Here’s a look at some of the hottest, check me out trends for 2017.

Let’s take it from the top…

James Taylor’s famous tune tells us, “Up on the roof, everything is alright.”  And it’s true. If you’ve ever attended a rooftop party then you get it. Lately, many high-rises have taken vertical living to new heights with their breathtaking rooftop lounges, complete with landscaped terraces, grilling stations, and fire pits. Entertaining on the roof is a really cool concept, and above all, it’s a great escape from the noisy world below.

These days, playrooms for older kids are as innovative as the electronics inside them. No longer the baby rooms of the past—littered with sticky storybooks and bits of broken crayons—these designated teen retreats are loaded with the latest online gaming sites on iPads and computers. When a teenager is bored, no one wins.  So adding a cool space to keep them busy is priceless.

For dog lovers everywhere, a pet spa is a welcome addition to their beloved marked territories. This is more than doggie daycare. These specialized pet spas offer helpful services like dog walking, puppy playtime, doggie diet programs, and a full range of grooming options to keep our pampered pooches feeling healthy and sitting pretty. Even a designated doggy park is ideal for taking the dogs out late at night.

The latest and greatest health clubs are definitely a step up—okay, a lot of steps up—from the smelly, basement-like gyms of our past. Today, going to the gym has taken on a much fresher image. Now, you can hit the weights, play team volleyball, work with a trainer, shoot some hoops, bowl with friends, dance with an instructor, golf with a simulator, take a spin class, or yoga, or Pilates, or Zumba, or—are you exhausted yet?  You get the point.

Lately, let’s meet in the lobby has taken on a whole new meaning. Lobbies have become more than just a place to make an entrance. Additional amenities like coffee bars, tearooms, and reading lounges have transformed these typically boring spaces into popular meeting places. Who knew the once lackluster lobby could become a popular hangout?

Some weeks, one day just blends into the next without much distinction. And before you know it, a whole miserable month has gone by without a single exciting blip on your daily routine radar. Life gets in the way like that. So living in a community that proactively plans your social calendar for you is a lifesaver—literally. With monthly events like seasonal parties, wine tastings, and guest speakers, there’s no reason to ever be bored again—unless you choose to be.

Above all of the above, residents value exceptional service.  Without an incredible staff to keep everything running smoothly, none of the aforementioned amenities are nearly as cool as they could be. And should be. Communities that focus on top-notch hospitality from their invaluable faculty family develop strong, loyal relationships with their residents.

One of the best parts of high-rise living is walking outside your front door to a city full of restaurants, shops and entertainment. Some high-rise buildings are even taking this level of convenience one step further by converting unused space into retail stores. What could be better than grabbing coffee or your dry cleaning right downstairs from the first floor of your building?

Today, pools and fitness centers are standard in almost every building, but new buildings are making them larger, and more high-tech. Simple upgrades that can enhance the living space might include adding a juice bar to the pool deck, providing towels and water in the fitness center and more. Even a new paint job can make a room look that much better.

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