Ten Tips for Buying Luxury Homes
Buying a new home can be exhilarating and stressf ul at the same time. This is true in any price range.
In the luxury market there are some unique challenges. We recommend luxury home buyers keep the
f ollowing tips in mind as they’re f inding their new dream home.
Start by finding a qualified Realtor. You’ll want someone who not only knows the area but knows
the communities and homes in your price range. They should be able to tell you about each of the
most exclusive communities in the area.
Looking f or a contemporary style home in one of Las Vegas’ guard-gated, golf course communities?
An experienced agent would know the Ridges of Summerlin homes are contemporary. They’d also
suggest MacDonald Highlands in Henderson. Typical homes in Anthem Country Club are traditional.
The Las Vegas Luxury Home Pro would know there are a couple of contemporary exceptions that are
An experienced luxury agent will be able to discuss how much inventory is available in your price
range. They’ll know how long homes in this price bracket are staying on the market. They’ll know
which of the luxury communities have Country Club f acilities, tennis courts, etc. This inf ormation will
save you time in f inding the right home. When it’s time to negotiate it will save you money.
Can your agent show you “pocket listings”? It isn’t unusual f or high net worth individuals to insist
their home be marketed quietly. They will restrict showings to a limited number of pre-screened,
qualif ied buyers. They do not allow the listing of f ice to put their homes in the MLS. They don’t allow
virtual tours or YouTube videos. Experienced luxury home Realtors are in contact with other luxury
agents. They will be able to show you any pocket listings that suit your needs.
Do your homework – Check out luxury homes f or sale online to get an idea about the price range
f or the type of home you want. Find a local Realtor who has a website specializing in “luxury homes
f or sale”. While many websites will let you search listings, they may share your inf o with agents who
are not luxury experts.
Today’s successf ul agents have their own websites. This allows their clients to search homes
without sharing contact inf o on third party sites. It is not unusual f or these third party sites to sell
the “lead” to an agent who may not be f amiliar with the luxury market.
Using a local luxury home pro’s website will give you a quick look at what homes are available. In Las
Vegas and Henderson, you can search all luxury homes in the MLS on our The Las Vegas Luxury
Home Pro website. The luxury agent’s website will have links to their blog, social media pages and
YouTube Channel. Those pages can be great resources to help you explore the dif f erent
Ask your trusted advisors – When buying a luxury home, there may be tax consequences. You
should discuss your plans with both your tax accountant and your estate planner. They’ll be able to
determine how you should take Title to the home to best protect your interests. You can f ind an
assortment of tax deduction inf o f or high net worth homeowners on the internet. We f ound this
post f rom Jupiter’s Waterf ront-Properties.com blog inf ormative.
Should you pay cash or secure a mortgage? Cash is still King when buying a luxury home. In Las
Vegas, we sold 259 single f amily homes through the MLS f or $1 Million plus over the past year. Out
of those homes, 129 were cash deals and 115 used a conventional mortgage. Today’s low interest
rates make it f avorable to use a mortgage and conserve cash f or other investments.
Stricter lending rules make the mortgage process challenging f or the self employed. Some lenders
are now of f ering Stated Income loans again. For more inf o read “Could a Jumbo Mortgage Be a Wise
Move f or High Net Worth Individuals?” We agree with Western Mass Realtor Bill Gassett,
Today’s low interest rates make it advisable for a high net worth buyer to secure as large
a mortgage as they can afford.
Financials Required. Financial inf o is now requested bef ore buyers can see luxury homes. Most
of us don’t like providing f inancials to strangers. At the same time, most of us would not want our
home shown to buyers without the means to buy it. For many high net worth individuals, a google
search of your name will assure the seller’s agent that you are in a position to buy.
If your success can’t be verif ied on google, have your banker or portf olio manager provide a letter of
ref erence. The letter should verif y that you have “suf f icient f unds to purchase a home of X value”.
The letter should be on of f icial stationary of your f inancial institution. It should have the name of
the person writing it, their title and contact inf o.
Sellers may ask f or an actual bank statement. If you are making an of f er they will need to conf irm
that you have f unds f or the down payment. If you’re paying cash, they’ll want to verif y you have
f unds f or the f ull amount. The statement should be current. It must contain the name, phone
number and address of the f inancial institution. Your address and the account number should be
Protect your privacy. When hiring an agent, make sure you have someone who can maintain the
highest level of conf identiality. A successf ul agent will not go out talking to the press about your
activity without having your written permission.
Even if your agent doesn’t speak to the press about the f act that you’re looking to buy a new home,
others may. If the gardener happens to be working as a celebrity walks through the f ront door, the
word may get out. An experienced agent will co-ordinate viewings to minimize risks of exposing your
How should you take Title? The way you take Title may have consequences f or taxes and your
estate. Your tax accountant and estate planner should be consulted about how you should take Title.
Property tax records are public knowledge. Taking Title in a trust may of f er protection f or your
privacy as well as taxes.
Consider resale value – You may want to live in a replica of the white house with bright red carpet
throughout. Not everyone will share your dream. Don’t underestimate how much dif f iculty you may
have selling a home that is over the top. If you buy a home that will appeal to a limited number of
buyers, make sure you get a good price now to account f or resale challenges later.
You should also be cautious about buying the biggest most elaborate home in the neighborhood.
For f uture resale value, it’s best to remember the old saying,
It’s best to be the smaller, less expensive house on the block that’s surrounded by bigger,
more expensive homes.
Don’t neglect the Home Inspection. Luxury homes have an assortment of electronic systems
that your average inspector may not be f amiliar with. Make sure your inspector knows about the
Crestron, Lutron and other smart home technology your home of f ers. Have your inspector verif y
that everything is in good working condition and up to current codes.
Ten Tips for Buying Luxury Homes
Surrounding yourself with experienced prof essionals will protect your interests each step of the way.
They will give you the inf ormation you need to make an inf ormed decision. They’ll verif y that you’re
paying a reasonable price f or your home. They’ll make sure your home is inspected and you receive
Prof essionals who are luxury home experts will make it easy f or you to relax and f ind the home of
Debbie Drummond is a top-producing Realtor in Las Vegas. Planning to buy or sell your Las Vegas
home? Call (702)354-6900 or email Debbie@LVHomePro.com