Michelle Anne Murphy's Blog
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.
1. Thinking you don't need helpNone of us want to burden our friends or our wallets for moving. But unless all of your belongings fit in a suitcase and you're moving to a furnished apartment you're going to need some help. Whether it's friends, family, or professional movers, make sure you have enough people to help you with the moving process. Don't worry, you can repay them with free food or a good tip accordingly.
2. Assuming your help is reliableIf you're counting on friends and family to help you move, check in with them a few days in advance to make sure they're still available. Give them details for the exact time and place they're needed. As a courtesy, order everyone pizza at the new house in exchange for their help. If you're hiring a mover, do some research before you commit to one. Read customer reviews and testimonials, make sure they have all required licensing, and so on. Call to confirm on the day before the move to make sure no mix-ups have been made.
3. Not taking traffic into accountIf you and your movers are on a deadline, take traffic into account for your move. Do a test run along the moving route during the hours you'll be traveling to find out how long it will take. This will also help you plan out stops for gas if needed. Another good practice is to print out directions to the new home and give them to everyone who will be driving. This way you and your moving van know exactly which route to take.
4. Forgetting overnight necessitiesNecessities like a tooth brush, deodorant, soap, and cell phone charger should be packed in a separate bag that stays with you. This way it won't get lost among your boxes and regardless of where you're sleeping that night you'll know where to find the important items you need.
5. Not planning for their petMoving your belongings is easy, but moving your pet will require extra planning. You'll have to ready your crate, pet food, toys, litter box or dog bags, and anything else your pet needs. You'll also need to look out for your pet during the move since doors will be opening and closing and they'll be in a new (potentially frightening) environment. If you can, have someone pet sit for you on moving day. If that isn't possible, keep the pet in an empty room with everything they need until you've settled in, checking up on them periodically.
- 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.