While the media devotes a lot of space and time to highlighting the negative aspects of today’s real estate market, there are actually many unique opportunities that exist for savvy buyers. For example, this may be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to purchase a luxury property that was formerly out of reach due to the escalated prices of the real estate boom. In today’s market, however, such homes might suddenly be within your price range.
Be advised that buying a high-end property requires a different approach, though. As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I am well versed on the important nuances of luxury home buying. Here are five important tactics to keep in mind when navigating the luxury market:
- Typical search avenues don’t always work. Many high-end properties can’t be found through the usual routes — i.e., national listing portal sites or homes-for-sale publications. Luxury properties often won’t have a yard sign either. Make sure you’re working with a real estate professional who is well-networked with other real estate professionals because many of the best luxury listings are found by word-of-mouth.
- Carefully assess the neighborhood. Many of today’s high-end properties are the result of over-zealous building in the boom years. We’ve all seen them — those “McMansions” that tower over the other homes on the street. Make sure the property you are considering is in sync with other home values in the neighborhood and can maintain its resale value.
- Check with zoning. When buying a luxury property, your surroundings are usually as important as the home itself. Make sure you’re not in danger of another property or commercial building being built too close to yours.
- Visit more homes in person. While it’s usually easy to filter out homes you’re not interested in online, when it comes to most luxury properties, photos don’t always provide an accurate rendering of the homes. The sheer size and level of detail often involved in such homes can be hard to capture in photos, so make sure to see them live before ruling them out.
- Assess your finances properly. Enlist the professional help of your real estate agent as well as your accountant and/or financial advisor before committing to a luxury home purchase. You will need foolproof documentation of your financial capabilities to secure a mortgage for a high-end property in today’s environment. Also take into consideration the costs involved in owning such a home, from landscaping to heating and cooling. Make sure you have a clear picture of the ongoing financial commitment before jumping in.