High Life, High Fees - The do's and dont's of buying a stunning hotel residence.

At a certain point, the monotony of overseeing everything from gutter maintenance to staff, in several homes, becomes a bore and a burden, not a joy, particularly as you age. So it's easy to see the attraction of turnkey villas and apartments that are sold by white-glove hotel operators. Luxury hotel residences, as they're called, claim all the comforts of owning a home or condo while offering quality hotel services ranging from flower arrangements to manicures.

But are hotel residences worth the price? That's what we wanted to know. So we contacted luxury hotel residences across the country, from Boston to Austin, Texas, and laid out the range of services and prices on offer in the table below. We also studied a slew of lawsuits that the purchasers of residences have filed against hotel operators, to better understand where things can go wrong. Our conclusion: Hotel residences make life easier, but it pays to understand what is not included in the basic annual service charges, which can range from $8 to $55 per square foot, and to carefully read the contract's fine print.

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