Buying a luxury home: Do’s, don’ts and tips from the pros
You’re ready to step it up and step out—you’re purchasing a luxury home. Whether you’re seeking a change in scenery, a more elegant atmosphere or to reside in a destination neighborhood, buying a luxury home should be a memorable and exciting experience. But there are a lot of do’s and don’ts to consider if this is your first time going ‘luxe, so read on to learn how to upgrade your abode like a pro.
Looks can be deceiving
While perusing photos online can be a good diagnostic tool for apartment- or house-hunters, photos can be less effective when it comes to truly assessing a luxury home. “Make sure you don’t dismiss properties based on their front elevation photos,’ says Ronald Phipps of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “Many large homes aren’t photogenic that way and you have to see them in person to appreciate,” says Phipps, who tells clients to also complete a search of the property and vicinity on Google Earth in order to get a sense of what’s around the home.
With the pandemic altering the nature of in-person showings and driving more homebuying online, it might not always be possible to view a home in person. But the point is also to not disqualify homes early in your search just because they might not appear to be exactly what you’re looking for in online photos.
Local insights can be key
The market for luxury homes often is oriented to protect a seller’s privacy. Additionally, many luxury home sellers might want to limit the number of times they have to show their home or reduce time on the market. This leads many luxury homes to go unlisted, which makes it essential to work with a local real estate agent who knows the market you’re looking to buy in.
Going unlisted means the owners of these high-end properties are more likely to opt for scheduled showings as opposed to open houses. A well-connected agent can help you gain access to such coveted appointments, as well as also provide insights into what the neighborhood is really like.
Keep a record of absolutely everything
It’s always a good habit to keep clear and detailed records of your finances, but doing so is especially important when purchasing a luxury home. Because of the larger sale prices of the homes (and of the corresponding financing involved) there tends to be more scrutiny of transactions in high-end housing markets. That’s nothing to be afraid of—just make sure to provide loan officers with as much documentation as possible so they can properly capture income and where funds for the purchase are coming from.
And thanks to technology, the majority of that document-sharing can be done online in a matter of minutes, as opposed to hours (and hours, and hours) of faxing.
Make sure to protect yourself
Again, given the larger scale of the prices involved it can be a good idea to protect yourself before completing a luxury home purchase. “You need to get title insurance so you’ll be insured against any problems that were forgotten about,” says Moe Veissi, of Veissi & Associates in Miami, FL. Said another way, luxury homes can have luxury (i.e. expensive) problems, so it’s a good idea to look at the exceptions page of the title insurance process before closing time.”
Work with a lender who knows jumbo financing
If you’re looking to go luxe with your next home, financing through a jumbo loan is one of your best bets—and offers a number of benefits to luxury homebuyers. But the details of jumbo financing can be complex, and so it pays to work with a lender who has years of experience and specialization in all things jumbo.
The experienced loan officers at Proper Rate can work with you on one to answer your questions and help make your luxury home you’ve been working towards a reality.