Whether you are looking for a New York penthouse, a beachside oasis or a custom luxury home in Houston, finding your dream home is possible with the right tools. Home market pros recommend the following tips when house hunting for luxury homes.
Understand the Unique Search Process
Luxury home owners often desire to protect their privacy, so they may not list on the MLS. To find these properties for sale, home buyers may need to use personal connections. Develop relationships with realtors who work in the luxury market. When a home becomes available, make sure you’re on his list of people to notify. If you are looking for an out of town property, find a local buyer agent who has relationships with homeowners and can schedule showings.
Use Google Earth
Photos of the front elevation of the house often don’t show the surrounding amenities. Do a search on Google Earth for the property to view the nearby area. Find features of the property, such as pools or tennis courts, and view other properties in the vicinity.
Apply for a mortgage from a lending institution with whom you have worked in the past. They are familiar with your finances, making them more likely to prequalify you for a mortgage. Prequalification, as opposed to having a pre-approval letter, gives you more credibility as a serious buyer.
Provide meticulous financial documentation to lenders. Work with your manager or accountant to provide accurate documentation of all of your income.
Listen to Advice
Seek advice from trusted financial planners and local realtors about whether a property is a good investment. They may have better insight into the long-term value of a property or location and can give you objective advice. Do not purchase a property if your trusted advisors do not agree with your decision.
Title insurance indemnifies you against another party who has any kind of a claim on your property. You will not be held liable for outstanding liens on your property, and no one else can claim ownership of the house.
Plan for the Future
Learn about plans for future construction around you. Find out if taller buildings or new developments will mar a beautiful view or disturb privacy.
Also, when building a new home, nail down the timeline for construction. Knowing the construction schedule ahead of time can help you cope with any delays.
Cooperatives and Condominiums
If a luxury apartment appeals to you, learn the difference between a co-op and a condominium. Seek advice from an attorney about the financial viability of a purchase.
A co-op purchase is not a real estate transaction. Rather, it is a securities transaction in which you are buying shares in the corporation that owns the building. As a shareholder, you have the right to lease an apartment from the corporation, but you do not own property.
A condominium purchase is a real estate transaction. In this case, you are buying real property that comes with a deed.
Negotiate a Fair Deal
There’s always room to negotiate. The seller may jack the price up because of prior renovations and remodeling. However, as nice as these may be, they may not have added actual value to the house. Have a realtor research comparable properties that have recently sold, and work with her to write a fair offer for the real value of the property.
Finding the home of your dreams can be tricky, but it is possible. Develop relationships with realtors and financial advisors you trust. Do your homework about the property and the location to make a wise investment. Protect yourself from risk and negotiate a fair price.