Looking for a new luxury home for your family? It's an exciting adventure, but it can involve some challenges that more modest real estate buyers don't run into. For this reason, it's good to know a few things before getting serious about your home search. Here are 4 of the most important tips for the luxury home buyer in any market.
Don't Rely on the Internet. Most home buyers use different sites on the web to do a lot of preliminary research before and during their home search. But luxury homes may not be as easily found on internet MLS (multiple listings services) sites. This might be because owners don't want to put information and pictures of their homes on public display, or they may be selling privately.
Finance Early. Financing a luxury home may also be a longer process than a regular sized mortgage and qualification, so be sure to start the process early. It's not uncommon for jumbo mortgage financing to take a month or two to complete -- even if your finances are in order (which they may not yet be if you have unusual income or expense sources). Because luxury homeowners often want to only show homes to serious buyers, you may need to have financing in place before your search even begins in earnest.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent.The luxury home market can be different than other markets, so be sure your agent has experience and contacts in this area. Because of the limited market and lack of public listings, you may need to rely on an agent's inside information about available homes and his or her knowledge of how to value homes without a large pool of comparable properties.
Do the Due Diligence. Don't assume that a home and property have been taken care of properly just because they appear high-end or because the price is high. Luxury homes tend to have more moving parts to care for than smaller homes, so you need to know the current condition of everything. This can include expensive features such as a pool or spa, fountains, security systems, outdoor kitchens, exterior lighting, landscaping and automatic gates or awnings -- some of which may require specialized inspection services.
By knowing how the luxury home buying process can be a unique challenge, you can help ensure that you find the best dream home for you and your family.