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A Glance at Luxury Homebuying

Photo: Southview Design
Photo: Southview Design

Whether you’re shopping for a downtown penthouse, a home with a waterfront view, or one situated off a golf course’s eighteenth hole, this guide can help you research and plan to better ensure you navigate the process of purchasing high-end real estate with ease.

Establish financing options

While the specific cost of luxury homes can vary based on location, they generally start at a price point of one million dollars. Begin by assessing your financial position. This includes establishing the amount you can put down, how much you can reasonably afford to pay for your monthly mortgage, and what your cash reserves will be after you’ve taken ownership.

There are various ways to secure financing, such as a jumbo mortgage—any loan amount over the conforming loan limits—specifically catering to luxury properties. Though many lenders will allow 10 percent as a down payment on a jumbo loan, some may require as much as 20 percent. Your creditworthiness also plays a key role in how much you can borrow and your interest rate; most lenders require a minimum credit score of 700. As another option, you could also leverage other collateral to obtain financing. However, as exciting as the idea of purchasing a luxury home may be, beware of overextending. Consider speaking to a financial advisor, who can help you determine if this is a financially viable decision.

Photo: Mim Design
Photo: Mim Design

Characteristics of a luxury home

More than just a house, luxury homes embody comfort, sophistication, and exclusivity, elevating and enhancing the quality of life through its modern amenities. Though each one has unique features, here are some more common ones you will likely see during your search process.

Lavish amenities
Grand entrance foyers, high ceilings, and large windows are characteristic elements of luxury homes. You may also encounter expansive gourmet kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, home gyms, and movie theaters. Many also boast extravagant outdoor spaces, such as basketball and tennis courts, elaborate swimming pools, and cabanas. Another popular inclusion is a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen that blends indoor and outdoor living spaces to facilitate seamless entertaining.

Premium materials and finishes
Expect high-quality construction in these homes, such as custom hardwood floors, top-tier countertop materials, imported tiles, and premium fixtures. Moreover, superior craftsmanship is evident throughout, from intricate crown molding to custom cabinetry in beautiful finishes.

Smart-home technology
These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a luxury home that doesn’t have full integration of smart-home technology, built-in audiovisual systems, automated lighting and temperature, and top-of-the-line security systems.

Photo: Urbanology
Photo: Urbanology

Research neighborhoods and communities

Once you know how much you can spend, you can narrow your search based on your financial and location criteria. You could even attend open houses to gain a deeper understanding of the local luxury market. Take into consideration factors such as the style of the homes, their proximity to key locations, and their values. Given the unique nature of luxury real estate, working with an agent who specializes in high-end properties can help you identify suitable listings. Establish clear priorities for your desired features in a luxury home, whether it’s the architectural style, built-in amenities, or specific design elements.

Luxury properties may not be as readily available as your more mainstream options, so be patient and vigilant during your search process. Before long, you’ll find the perfect one that makes your dream home a reality.

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Kimmer Plunk

Based in Memphis and serving clients in West Tennessee and Northwest Mississippi. Serving others is a reward of its own and part of what makes me happy, and I've been doing that for 30 years through various activities including Girl Scouts, PTO, various board positions, unhoused ministry, and professional, award-winning teaching. I treat others the way that I want to be treated including being readily available, listening to your desires, answering your questions thoroughly, and walking you through the home purchase process. My ultimate goal is to see that you find the home of your dreams and experience the least amount of stress during the process.

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