Top 5 in Real Estate Network® Members are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date, helpful real estate information. This monthly newsletter, "Real Estate Matters," offers articles on a range of topics that will inform you in your real estate pursuits.

From Our Top 5 Team: Top 5 Tips for Buying a Luxury Home

Despite the doom and gloom the media portrays regarding today’s real estate market, several unique opportunities exist for home buyers, in particular, luxury home buyers.
While home prices across the country have dropped or stabilized to varying degrees, according to our colleagues in the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, luxury home prices have been slashed, in many cases, as the market for such high-end properties has dwindled in challenging economic times. This presents a great opportunity, for those who have the financial resources, to purchase a luxury home that might have been completely out of their range six years ago.
Purchasing a luxury property, however, is unlike a standard home purchase. We advise all our luxury-home clients to consider the following before embarking on their search:

1. Weigh the finances carefully.
Even if you’re ready to pay cash for your luxury home, you still want to ensure you’re getting the best possible value and potential return on investment from your home purchase. Make sure you truly have the financial wherewithal to remain in the home as long as you’d like. Consider the stability and growth potential of your future income before moving forward.

2. Have your documentation in order.
Many luxury home buyers derive their net worth from a variety of sources and investments. Given the high-end purchase price of a luxury home, along with today’s unstable economic climate, prequalification is often necessary when it comes to luxury purchases.

3. Investigate alternative search methods.
The best luxury property deals might not be found through traditional real estate search engines but rather through word of mouth. Make sure you’re working with a professional real estate agent or team who is well connected and networked in the communities your are considering

4. Seeing is believing.
Expansive square footage, sprawling property, and a bevy of incredible views often make luxury homes difficult to completely capture in photos, videos or virtual tours. A visit in person is an absolute must to make sure you’re not missing any potential details and, conversely, to make sure the property lives up to its image.

5. Consider the future.
Your luxury home investment needs to be carefully considered for the future, in particular your expectations in terms of your return on investment. Most luxury home buyers are buying a lifestyle and don’t intend on flipping their home anytime soon. Given the volatility that still exists in today’s market, make sure you’re not headed into your luxury purchase with unrealistic thoughts of financial gain but rather to enjoy a spectacular home for many years to come.

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