Build quality is the first factor to look at. All materials should be above the standard. From the construction to the wood flooring and marble countertops. Almost everything is custom with detail and care put into each element. One-of-a-kind hard-to-find features make a home feel luxurious and certainly a cut above the rest. Many buyers are now seeking out homes built from sustainable materials and boasting eco-friendly features.
The second factor is location. It could be acres of land isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life but full of stunning views. Or in the heart of a city that is always on the pulse with a sweeping scene of the lights and glamour only stacks of buildings can create. No matter the surrounding population you can be sure a luxury home will have a high degree of privacy. And many times equipped with security necessary to keep that treasured privacy from being disrupted.
A third is the prestige of the build. A home designed by an esteemed architect has much of the same appeal as buying a painting from a renowned painter. Alternatively, a home with an interesting backstory and/or history adds intrigue and exclusivity. They often boast state of the art features and are completely bespoke to the owner and landscape. A current trend is understated builds that feel seamless and non-disruptive to their surroundings.
Amenities not otherwise found in standard homes set a luxury home apart from the herd. Think theater rooms, fitness centers, an indoor pool, or wine cellar. And in many cases all of the above. Large balconies provide the homeowner to take in the impressive views of their chosen surroundings. While meditation gardens and outdoor showers transport to another world. Bringing outside luxuries onto the premises makes these homes an insulated oasis from the outside world, for their owners to kick back and relax.
Quality and individuality coupled with privacy make a home highly coveted. The resources that go into crafting the experiences these builds provide make for a luxury home. Many think it’s simply the price tag. However, this is simply a representation of how much time and thought was put into the creative process of building a truly luxurious home. When house hunting keep these factors in mind as they absolutely determine the value and cost of each of the homes that find their way onto your wishlist.
There are countless reasons a homeowner might want to sell their home and buy another. Some want to move for a change of scenery or to relocate for work. Others are parents with a recently empty nest who want to downsize to something more affordable that meets their needs.
The good news for second time homebuyers is that you already have an idea of what to expect when buying a home. The research, paperwork, disappointments, and delays that come with buying a home can all be prepared for. However, if you have the burden of selling your old home, finding a temporary place to live, and then moving into a new one, your responsibilities can be doubled or tripled.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to prepare for selling your old home and moving into the new one. We’ll cover some common mistakes and offer some advice to keep you sane throughout this daunting (but exciting!) process.
Buying or selling first
For most homeowners, selling first makes the most sense financially. Holding onto a second house often means having to make two mortgage payments at once. Similarly, selling first will give you a much clearer idea of your budget for your new home.
Depending on market conditions, your home may or may not sell for as much as you were hoping. It’s important to keep this in mind before signing onto a new mortgage.
Once you sell your home, you’ll have to work out living and storage arrangements until you are ready to move into your new home. It may seem easy at first--just rent for a couple months until your move-in date, right? It isn’t always that simple, however, as deals can sometimes fall through and you can find yourself with a move-out date from your own home without having finalized a deal on your new home. Because of this, many homeowners elect to may their current mortgage for an extra month or two until they can move in to their new home.
Research your options for short-term living and storage in your area. See if you can work with moving companies who will give you a discount for helping you move twice; once to the storage facility and again to your new home.
One way around this is to time your move out and move-in dates so that you don’t have to worry about storage. Some homebuyers will even move into the new home before officially closing on the home (i.e., take possession before closing). While this may be convenient, it can also be dangerous for the buyer and the seller.
Keeping track of all this information can be difficult, so don’t be afraid to keep a daily list or planner of the things you need to take care of, and never be afraid to reach out to your real estate agent who will often be able to advise you on the best way to make your move as smooth a process as possible.
- Finances. We hate to put it first, but the reality is your finances are one of the main things that determines your preparedness for becoming a homeowner. Unlike renting, there's a lot more that goes into the home financing process than just your income. Banks will want to see your credit score to ensure you have a history of paying your bills on time. They'll also use your credit information to see how much debt you have and if you'll be able to take on homeowner's expenses on top of that. Another financial impact for buying a house is to determine if you can afford a downpayment. It's one thing to see that you can cover your bills with your income, but unless you have enough money saved for the downpayment (and any emergency expenses that may come up) you should wait a while and save before hopping into the market.
- What are your longterm plans? Many people are excited at the thought of home ownership to the extent that they forget their life circumstances. If you have a job that might cause you to relocate in the next 5-7 years you might want to consider renting rather than buying. Depending on factors like the price of the home, cost of living in your area, and how long you plan on living in your new home, it may be cheaper to buy or rent in the long run. There are calculators available online that will tell you which option is probably more cost-effective for you. As a general rule, however, if you plan on living in a new home for under 5-7 years, it might be cheaper to rent.
- Do you have the time and patience to be a homeowner? Owning a home means you can't call on the landlord to fix your leaks anymore. Similarly, you probably won't be able to depend on someone else to shovel snow or mow the lawn for you. It takes work to be a homeowner, and if your job has you away from home for long periods of time or working very long hours, renting might not be appropriate at this time.
- Plan for new expenses. If you can comfortably pay rent and you find out your home loan payments will be comparable, you should know that there will likely be new expenses to consider as well. Home insurance, property taxes, and expenses for things like sewer, plumbing and electrical repairs all should be taken into consideration. Additionally, you will likely have new utility bills, including electricity, water, oil, cable, and others depending on the home.
Life in the cityIf you grew up in a small town, odds are you always dreamed of someday living in the city. The busy streets, the tall buildings, and public transportation that you can take anywhere all make city life feel like one giant amusement park if you grew up in the country. However, there's a lot more to city life than just the bustling atmosphere.
- Amenities. One of the main benefits of living in the city is easy access to most of the necessities of life. Depending on your location in the city you might be surrounded by hospitals, schools and grocery stores.
- Entertainment. You'll never run out of things to do or new places to explore living in a big city.
- Community and culture. In most large cities you'll find great diversity of cultures and values. If you're looking for a place you can identify with, odds are you'll find a community you can fit into within the city.
- Cost of living. This varies between cities and states, but generally the cost of living goes up in the big cities with higher rent prices, more expensive groceries and dining options.
- Traffic. You have to love being around other people if you live in a big city. Whether you're on the train or at the crosswalk, you'll always be within arms length of a group of strangers.
- Privacy and sovereignty. If you like your alone time and the freedom to do what you want with the space you have, country life might be for you.
- Peace and quiet. If you hate traffic jams and don't mind driving long distances to reach amenities, small town living could be a good fit.
- Nature and space. Out in the country there's plenty of room to roam and to experience the local flora and fauna.