Condo This! Going Beyond Traditional Homes

When most people think of a buying and owning a co-op or condo apartment, they're picturing a unit in a mid- or high-rise building, or possibly a townhome in a suburban development. While that's certainly the most typical format for apartment ownership, it's hardly the only one. As the economy has shifted and globalization has enabled more and more people to communicate and work from nearly anywhere in the world, new models of ownership have emerged and evolved that just a decade or so ago would have been impossible—or at least very impractical.

Consider the Caltons, for example. For seven years, Mira Calton and her husband, Dr. Jayson Calton owned one of the 165 privately-owned residences on The World, a 644-foot yacht that continuously circumnavigates the globe. Owning a unit on the yacht is similar to owning a co-op—Calton and others purchased shares in a private corporation, which entitled them to reside in one of the units aboard The World. The only difference was, their 'building' was a beautifully-appointed floating community.

“The amount you pay depends on the square footage of your unit,” says Mira, a nutritionist. The World offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, where pricing starts in the mid-six-figures and goes to several million dollars. Owners pay for the unit as well as a monthly fee for upkeep and amenities. “It’s amazing,” says Mira. “Where can you live where someone asks to bring the grand piano by the pool and do a private show and brings champagne? But you’d better like your spouse, because you’re spending full-time with them!”

“It’s the only place in the world where you wake up and your backyard is someplace different – Shanghai, China, Papua, New Guinea, or someplace else,” adds Jayson, a nutritional doctor. “It never gets boring.”

The Caltons lived the life that many only dream of. While dating, they both retired early at 33, eager to travel around the world. “We were married on the ship and used our times in the 135 countries to see how food plays a role in your health,” says Mira.

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