Buying a luxury home is a desire for most people — from grand villas in the country, to penthouses with beautiful views of the city. When you add smart home technology to the mix, the options are limitless for buyers seeking grandeur.
Demand for luxury real estate is growing in emerging markets across Africa and Asia. In countries such as Nigeria, high net worth individuals see purchasing luxury houses as good investments. In addition, modern families wish to live in secure, upscale, amenity-rich neighborhoods.
Whether it is the location, the price, or the amenities on offer — every luxury property has characteristics that make it appealing to a buyer.
When acquiring luxury real estate there are certain things buyers should consider — compared with buying property in general. Taking these factors into account will ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
In this mini guide, we will highlight some of the best luxury home buying tips out there.
What is a luxury home?
Luxury homes come in various forms and sizes — penthouse apartments, duplexes, mansions etc. They are usually located close to other luxurious properties, or prestigious neighborhoods. Accordingly, house prices in these areas tend to be on the high side — for Nigeria, think Banana Island in Lagos and Maitama in Abuja.
Expensive and luxury do not always go hand in hand. In real estate there a number of other factors that make up a property’s market value, chiefly its location. For instance, houses located inside cities tend to be more costly than those sitting in rural areas.
However, a properties location says nothing about what’s actually inside the house or its appearance. What’s inside a house and how it looks, are factors that are just as important as location — when deciding if a property is luxurious or not.
A luxury house is one that provides its owner with prestige, comfort, security and privacy. It should also allow you to explore your passions and practice any hobbies you may have. Amenities that enable such, are what a buyer should be focused on when looking for a luxury house.
Luxury home feature list
What one person may describe as luxury, is not necessarily what another person would describe as so. It all depends on your tastes. Having said this, there are features and amenities that luxury homes usually have in common:
- Prime location
- Exquisite architecture
- High-quality interior finishing
- Smart home technology
- Outdoor living space: outside kitchen, outdoor living room, custom pool, spa etc.
- Lavish home office
- Stylish kitchen
- Designer dressing room
- Spa bathrooms
- Home gym
- Entertainment rooms: games room, cinema, bars etc.
Luxury house buying tips
Now that we have defined what luxury homes are and some of the features they have, we shall give you some tips for buying luxury homes in Nigeria (or anywhere else for that matter).
Work with a reputable real estate agent
Finding a luxury home is not as easy as it sounds. Given the fact that luxury properties are meant to be “exclusive” — they are not always listed for sale on property portals, due to privacy concerns. The upscale market works more on the basis of “word of mouth”.
An estate agent experienced with the high-end market, is invaluable for a number of reasons. They:
- Know the areas you are interested in
- Have access to off market properties (that are not openly advertised)
- Have a network of contacts — who may have properties more suited to your requirements
- Can provide an accurate property valuation — giving you the best deals
- Can help guide you through the whole buying process — identifying any potential pitfalls along the way
- Will keep your dealings private and confidential
Have a luxury home checklist
As mentioned earlier, there are various luxurious amenities or features on offer. Some would be more important to you and your family than others. So you will need to make a list of all the ‘must have features’ you are looking for — this will help keep you search focused. This will also aid the agent you are working with — quickly find something suitable for you.
See past the digital photos & videos
Buyers should look past the digital photographs, videos and brochures of a home. Modern photo editing software can make homes look better than they actually are in real life. The reverse is also true, where homes may actually look more attractive than they do on the internet.
Going out and visiting a property in person is the best solution. It will help you get a feel for what it would be like to live there, and thus help you to answer the question of whether or not the house is for you. Even if this mean flying in from across the world, being such a big investment, seeing first hand is essential.
Due diligence — have the luxury house inspected
As they say, the devil is in the details. It’s not just how a house appears on the surface that you need to worry about — the house also needs to be built on a good foundation.
Mold, pests, poor electrical wiring, leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, structural damage etc. are all issues you must look into. Hiring a professional home inspector is wise. A home inspector will provide you with a comprehensive report of the main structural and mechanical systems of a house.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially given the somewhat huge amounts of money involved in acquiring luxury real estate.
Make sure your finances are in order
Buying a luxury house is a considerable investment. Therefore you should make sure your budget matches the cost of the features you’re looking for i.e. are you qualified to buy? There’s no point having an endless list of features on your checklist, when it will cost more than you are willing to spend.
Furthermore, buying a luxury home is often an all cash affair; though you may find mortgage banks willing to offer you a loan (your realtor can have connections to mortgage lenders). Additionally, due to property taxes, you will need to examine the tax laws for the country you are buying in.
Essentially, you need to research all the financing options available to you, as well as the potential costs you may face. Having this information will enable you to make an informed choice. Thus working with a good team of estate agents, lawyers, financial advisors and accountants is recommended.
Location has an impact on various issues and is something that must be considered carefully. You will need to sit down with your realtor and map out what neighborhoods you would love to live in. Not every neighborhood will be able to accommodate all your wishes.
Key things you should discuss include:
- The local trends in the area
- Future plans for that neighborhood (that may make the location more or less desirable)
- The types of goods and services you require
This will allow you to pinpoint specific neighborhoods that tick most of your boxes, making your home search much easier than it would otherwise be.
Buying a home is among the biggest financial decisions people make in life. Buying a luxury home is even more significant — given the larger sums involved in any potential transactions.
Hence, it is paramount that you exercise patience. You need to consider things carefully before making any decisions. If you feel a deal is not right or are not really sure on a property — it is better to walk away, than regret the choice made in the future. Houses are always being bought and sold — so the perfect property will arrive sooner rather than later.
Can you sell this luxury house (easily) in the future?
People’s circumstances are always changing, consequently you may find yourself in a situation where you must sell your home in the future.
A home with strong resale value, is certainly more valuable than one which lacks this asset. A homes condition and its location are among the two biggest factors that determine its value. Therefore buying a home in a great location, with strong demand, will ensure you are able to quickly sell it for a good price.
With this luxury home buying guide — we have provided you with important tips and things to consider, when seeking to buy a luxury home in Nigeria. Knowing what you want, working with a realtor and having an appropriate budget in place — are all important issues to think about.
Ever thought about buying luxury homes in Nigeria — particularly in Abuja? Villa Afrika can help with your search and guide you through the buying process. Let’s have a conversation today: +234 708 500 8039.
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