A beautiful luxury home is often seen as the epitome of success. It’s the reward for dedication and hard work. The ultimate dream!
Once you have finally found THE house—big, beautiful with all the bells and whistles—you might think that this is your happily ever after.
But before you sign on the dotted line, take off those rose-coloured glasses and consider all potential costs and issues.
According to a recent survey by ME Bank in Australia, 58% of home buyers spent less than 60 minutes checking out the house they actually bought – and more than a quarter of them had issues with the property after purchase!
So, what should you be thinking about when buying a luxury home?
Even if you’re an experienced home buyer, buying a luxury property comes with extra amenities that require careful consideration. Features often included in a prestige property are:
- pools and spas
- fountains and lawn irrigation
- heated floors
- luxurious wallpaper and window treatments
- security systems / monitoring
- ducted air conditioning
- smart home integration
- home cinema
- wine cellar
- tennis court
This is all sounding fantastic, right? But buying luxury is expensive, and it’s not just the upfront cost. That large amount of cash that you happily hand over may be only the beginning …
Position, position, position!
Position is often key to defining a luxury home, but this is something that requires careful investigation.
If your new home comes with an amazing view, then it is important to establish that your outlook is future proofed. Make sure your due diligence includes checking with the local authority about development zoning in your area, and any future construction that may impede on that view.
Luxury homes often go hand in hand with waterfront living. However, this can also mean that the house is at the mercy of the elements. All that salt air can cause damage to the structure and paint, and an abundance of water may affect the foundations, or cause mold issues.
Waterfront living will also mean considering what steps have been taken to prevent the land from erosion or even subsiding into the water – such as retaining walls. As the property owner you will be liable for the ongoing maintenance.
Also, in all situations you should check your insurance. What will your insurer cover and what will the premiums be? Certain types of flooding may not be covered at all.
When you inspect an ordinary home, we generally know what to look for. Is the roof in good condition? Does it seem structurally sound?
With the extra features in a luxury home, the best way to guarantee peace of mind is to get the property inspected by qualified professionals with specialist knowledge. Ideally, arrange for:
- A building and pest inspection to identify any defects or hazards, as well as any existing pests and damage.
- An electrical inspection to check that all the wiring for those high-tech features is compliant and safe.
- A plumbing inspection will also prevent any nasty surprises.
Proper inspections ensure you gain the upper hand when negotiating the ultimate price for the property and don’t end up paying out cash for issues you inherited from someone else.
Ongoing costs and maintenance
The cost of your luxury property doesn’t just end when you hand over the final balance. Don’t forget the ongoing costs of water, electricity, security system monitoring, and maintenance.
All those fabulous amenities won’t remain fabulous if you don’t keep them maintained and in good condition. They will end up costing more to replace in the long run – we’re looking at you, retaining wall!
So, when buying a luxury property, don’t rush into it. It’s important to make sure the emotions don’t take over. Instead, do your research and your sums, as it will save you money, inconvenience and heartache in the future.
Happy house hunting!