If you’ve worked hard for years in an effort to accrue a certain income level, at some point, you’re likely to want to invest your hard-earned money into a home that you and your family can truly enjoy. Whether it’s a modern high-rise condo or a sprawling golf course estate, there are a few items that should be considered before purchasing a luxury home.
UNDERSTAND THE SEARCH PROCESS: While most buyers have the option of perusing home listings on large real estate search engines, the house hunting process can be somewhat different if you’re looking to buy within the luxury market. Often times, in an effort to protect the seller’s privacy, many high-end homes go unlisted and tend to be found through the Realtor’s personal connections instead of the MLS.
DON’T PLACE TOO MUCH WEIGHT ON PHOTOS: Surprisingly, large homes don’t always show well in photos, especially since many of the details which make them truly amazing are better seen in person. If you’re concerned about what is around the property, perform a search on Google Earth to get a better idea of what the area looks like, but when it comes to viewing the home itself, make a point to go beyond the pictures.
WORK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT: While this is important in any real estate transaction, it’s even more important when you’re considering a luxury home. Plain and simple, working with a knowledgeable Realtor is critical since most high-end properties offer viewings by appointment only. By selecting a buyer’s agent who not only knows the area but has an abundance of connections, you’re more likely to have success.
DOCUMENTATION IS VITAL: Even though the housing market has begun to turn around, there is still a great deal of scrutiny in the luxury market, which means financial documentation is imperative. Generally speaking, most people who are able to afford high-end properties are working with accountants and money managers who have diligently sheltered their money; however, while this may be important wealth protection, it makes things difficult when banks are pushing for income verification.
HIRE SMART ADVISORS: Since you’re the one purchasing the home, you want to be the one making the ultimate decisions; however, it’s important to have reliable advisors to help you along the way. If you’re working with both a financial planner and a Realtor, you’ll want to make sure they’re on the same page. Good advisors will not make your decisions for you, but they will keep you from making rash decisions that may hurt you in the long run.
In regards to hiring the proper Realtor, don’t make the mistake of assuming that all agents are the same. Just like any other industry, real estate professionals tend to have varying specialties, so when it comes to working with someone, it’s a good idea to consider Realtors who are Certified Home Luxury Marketing Specialists (CHLMS). This designation, which is given by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (www.luxuryhomemarketing.com), helps buyers feel confident that they’ve selected an agent who has documented performance in the top 10% of their market and has also successfully demonstrated their expertise in the luxury home field.
In the end, making a purchase within the luxury home market is obviously not something you just want to jump into without a lot of planning and preparation. Purchasing a home is a massive investment for anyone; however, there’s something to be said for spending the amount of money that most high-end homes require. Don’t get caught up in the excitement—think smart, hire smart, and make sure you’ve dotted your “I’s” and crossed all of your “t’s.”
If you’d like to speak with a Certified Home Luxury Marketing Specialist, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
Marie Dinsmore| The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789