Buying a luxury home? Check these top 5 must haves.

Looking for luxury property is a challenge in different ways than regular house hunting. If you’re investing in a luxury home, you want to make a purchase that feels like it’s worth the money. You want a certain atmosphere, and probably some amenities that aren’t strictly necessary but do make your life easier and/or more comfortable.

While there is no shortage of creativity when it comes to out-of-this world additions to homes, some investments pay off more than others. Here are five elements you should look for when searching for the perfect high-end property, whether it’s your new home, a vacation spot, or a financial investment.

Water Feature
It doesn’t matter if it’s a pool, a pond, a waterfall, or a fountain; water features bring elegance to a property. Both indoor and outdoor features have potential to be stunning. They make great conversation starters and backdrops for parties. They also add a “natural” element to the space, which can go a long way to making your home feel peaceful, comfortable, and serene.

The cost of water features can vary greatly depending on what you want. For example, two pools can be the same size, but one could cost $35,000, while the other costs $200,000. The difference, of course, comes in the details. Structural quality, building materials, accessories, and special features all play a part in the cost. This article offers a comprehensive look at your options for pool upgrades and an idea about cost considerations. And of course, always take maintenance costs into account.

Environmental Consciousness
Speaking of nature, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider the environmental impact of your home. In terms of resale value, more people are passing on houses that are made of unsustainable materials. So when you’re making additions to your home, pay attention to what supplies are used, and be sure your home doesn’t attribute to the loss of endangered resources.

When deciding on a purchase, also consider energy efficiency. Properly sealed windows and doorways not only improve natural temperature control in the home, but also attribute to the comfort of you and your guests. When you think “energy efficient” you usually end up making choices that benefit you in other ways too- such as increasing comfort, reducing heating and cooling costs, and maintaining the marketability of your home.

Energy audits can cost $300, though free options are available. It is often worth it to pay someone for a quality, extensive audit. Small changes like programmable thermostats are negligible expenses, sometimes less than $30. Replacing doors and windows depends on the materials you use. Natural materials are more expensive, but also give your property more authenticity.

Functional Kitchen Space
Vienna_12 001
Food is an integral part of our social lives. People bond over both making and eating food, so the places where food is stored, created, and consumed are vital parts of your home. Things to look for are:

    Spacious kitchen with plenty of work space
    Serving areas throughout the house (nook and alcoves are great for this)
    Beverage bar separated from food prep area
    Large open dining area
    Outdoor Kitchen
    Outdoor Dining

As Bob Benedict points out, finding a standard formula for the cost of a luxury kitchen is impossible. But you can estimate by deciding what needs to be done if you’re remodeling. Factors that drive up a cost (and future sale value) are stone countertops, tile or stone backsplashes, large custom islands, and upgraded lighting.

Outdoor Living Options
The property surrounding your home is just as important as your home itself. Use the outdoors to your advantage by choosing beautiful walking grounds, gardens, and activities such as tennis courts and swimming pools. Gazebos, patios, benches, and other outdoor seating throughout the grounds are also useful. They key is that the outdoor elements of your property are as comfortable as the indoors.

Even if you’re looking at real estate in the city, the outdoors are important. Consider the view around your property. If there is currently a beautiful view, look into whether that property is protected and likely to stay unchanged before letting that affect your decision to purchase.

Distinctive Architecture
Of course, all the extra amenities and features are fruitless if you don’t have a beautiful and sturdy foundation. Luxury homes should be unique, stand out from every other home. Don’t purchase a home from a catalogue. If you can’t find a unique feature that you love (moldings, layout, etc), then keep searching.

Think in terms of cubic footage rather than square footage. High ceilings that are interesting to look at are the best option. This gives you plenty of space for design, and increases the adaptability of every room. The higher the ceiling the better, up to fourteen feet. After that, there is diminishing return on the value of the space.

These are just a few of the things to consider when looking for a luxury home. If you like a home that doesn’t have one of these features, think of the cost of adding it. Will the investment be worth it? In some cases, the answer might be yes. Are there any other items on your luxury homes bucket list?

This post was written by our guest author – Toby Lancaster.

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