Tips for Buying a Luxury Home
Do your research
Begin by checking out the market online to get an idea of what you do and do not want. Online research is a great starting point. However, keep in mind that many luxury homes aren’t marketed online to protect the seller’s privacy. Often, beautiful luxury homes are found through an agent’s personal connections and network.
Don’t depend on photos only
Many large homes aren’t photogenic. Conversely, some are very photogenic. See the home in person to really understand the property. Don’t just dismiss properties based on their front elevation photos. On a personal visit, you may discover features that you will fall in love with that may not be prominently displayed in photos.
Google maps and Google earth are great tools to see the neighborhood before your actual visit. You will get an expansive aerial view and a good sense of the location. What are the amenities surrounding the home? Where is the nearest school, retail area, grocery store and gas station, etc.?
Get a qualified broker
Find a broker who is experienced in luxury real estate in your desired neighborhood. It’s critical to have a good agent who is familiar with the area you want to buy in. A seasoned agent will help you find the best homes based on your preferences. He or she can also show you the best values in neighborhoods. When it comes to high-end properties, access and showing appointments don’t come as easily. A competent agent who knows luxury real estate can quickly navigate the process, saving you time.
Have a team of reliable advisors
If you plan to buy a luxury condo, get advice from an attorney in addition to the guidance provided by real estate agents. An attorney can provide legal guidance on condo real estate regulations.
Don’t forget to consult with your financial planner on your plans. Together, between a reliable attorney, a good financial planner and a real estate agent you trust, you will have all the resources to make the best decision for you and your family.
Get a pre-approval from your lender
A letter from the bank will not ensure you’ll be approved for a mortgage, but it puts the seller’s mind at ease if he’s planning to go under contract with you. Also, know the difference between the pre-approval letter and the prequalification letter. Please feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to offer you some advice.
Prepare financial statements
The bank, agent or the seller may ask appropriate questions about your source(s) of income and any assets that will help you qualify for a luxury home purchase. Some sellers and lenders require a proof of financial income and proof of down payment cash.
Mortgage vs. cash
Now is a good time to take out a mortgage- interest rates are still low. Although you may be able, paying all cash may not be the most efficient way of using your assets. Consult with your financial adviser before you make your move.
A good agent can give you the details on the market such as comparable properties that have recently sold or have been just listed. The prices should help you decide on what to offer. Heed your agent’s advice and decide on an offer that will get a conversation started. In the high-end real estate market, this process isn’t as straightforward but an experienced broker will go a long way in helping you land your dream luxury home.
John Collinge is an Anchorage Realtor