Location, location, location. It’s still probably the single most important factor when considering an investment property. But when looking to purchase a luxury property, there are several other variables that buyers should also look for. Take for example, this list of the 10 attributes that luxury real estate buyers should obsess over, from Forbes contributor and Miami native, Vanessa Grout.
- Unobstructed views and light. Not only does natural light improve your mood, it also improves your resale value. The openness in an apartment can be as, if not more, important as outdoor space, especially in densely populated areas, where outdoor living is nearly impossible. If the potential property you’re considering comes with a view of a park, river, bridge, skyline, or ocean, be sure to understand local zoning and learn if this view is protected.
- Ceiling height. Most luxury properties have ceilings that are higher than the standard 8.5-feet. In fact, when if comes to ceilings, the higher the better. Instead of considering only square footage, looking at cubic footage is worth your while.
- Architectural uniqueness. Owning a property that was created by a well-known architect is almost always a safe bet. Buying into a building or home that is perceived in high regard today, doesn’t mean the same will hold true in a few decades. Do your research, and invest in someone who has a good track record. At the very least, look for good “bones,” or a solid foundation, unusual details, high-grade materials and an artistic component.
- Practical layout. If you’re looking to purchase a luxury home, chances are you have some friends and might like entertaining them. Buying a space that has clear separation between social and private areas of your home is wise. If you’re investing in a building, avoid long hallways, stairwells, awkward columns, and wasted space.
- Windows. Most condo or co-op boards will not allow you to install your own windows, so check out the quality before signing on the dotted line. Because they are the primary source of heat and cooling loss, they should be double-paned and heavily insulated.
- Storage. Customizing closets is big business, and creating the storage space that suits your needs is definitely doable. But pulling space out of thin air isn’t. Consider your needs and potential storage space when touring a potential home.
- The gym. This amenity can be extremely important for some, especially in cities that experience harsh winters. Even if a fitness center is decked out with all of the latest gadgetry, is it proportionally balanced between the amount of equipment and the size of the building?
- In-unit laundry. While a washer and dryer do take up space and aren’t the most attractive feature of your home, the convenience of avoiding the basement, communal services is well worth it. In-unit laundry is the standard in luxury apartments.
- Move-in ready. It used to be that luxury properties were sold with unfinished kitchens, finishes and fixtures, giving buyers the ability to personalize their space. But nowadays, developers are hiring big-name interior designers to fashion apartments. And they do so at a fraction of the cost you would pay for a per-unit project. This new trend proves to be both cost-effective and aesthetically appealing to most buyers.
- Reputation. When a building or developer has a good reputation, properties tend to hold their value. Finding out opinions towards a building shouldn’t be difficult, considering how many people take to the internet. Other things to consider include the range of values in the building and why some are priced higher than others. Also, find out the resident composition. Buildings with more renters and transients are sometimes not as desirable considering the lack of consideration for all owners.
When in the market for a luxury property, location is most likely your first priority. But after you’ve settled on the city you’d like to invest in, keep this list in mind before signing on the dotted line.