Buying Luxury Real Estate: Part 1
The numbers don’t lie – luxury real estate in Breckenridge is becoming increasingly popular, and is currently one of the biggest mountain housing markets in the country. Summit County’s beautiful, sunny summers, epic winters and endless list of things to do at any time of the year are drawing in more residents from greater Colorado and beyond. You can’t go wrong making the move to this magnificent high country county, but if you’re thinking of doing so, there are some important things to keep in mind.
We’ve come up with a list of tips and insights for buying a luxury home in Breckenridge, on the beach, by the lake, or anywhere for that matter. Let this universal guide for big homebuyers everywhere aid your search process, and stay tuned for part 2 next week!
1. High Ceilings at High Altitudes
One of the best things about luxury real estate are high ceilings, but remember that this is factored into the overall cubic footage of your home. Properties listed with a large amount of cubic footage may be deceiving, as extremely high ceilings can detract from the amount of this space that you can actually utilize. This generally isn’t a problem, since the majority of properties listed include measurements in square footage, but asking for both is a good idea so you know what ceiling height you’re working with.
High ceilings up to 14 feet really add to the “luxury” feel of a mountain luxury home. A living room with high ceilings that open up to a second floor landing can give a home an open feel, creating an ideal atmostphere for entertaining guests.
2. Don't Forget the Windows
Something as seemingly simple as windows doesn’t seem tricky, but it can be. Even if you don’t care much for views and lots of light, opt for a home with an abundance of well-placed windows and hang dark curtains if you have to; it will benefit your resale value and ROI long-term. A property interior that utilizes natural light and lets the outdoors in (this applies to a home anywhere, but especially a place like Breckenridge) improves mood and makes your home more appealing.
It’s important to remember, however, that windows also serve an important function. In addition to lighting up your home, they should also contribute to keeping it warm. Energy efficient windows should add to the insulation of your house and cut down heating costs in the winter. This is extremely important not only for your long-term costs while living in the property, but also for maintaining a good resale value.
3. Think in the Color Green
Energy efficient windows are just the beginning. Fortunately, more and more luxury home designers are implementing environmentally friendly and energy saving features into the home's amenities, so “going green” can be surprisingly easy with a luxury property. However, it’s still important to consider this factor when viewing houses. This includes everything from the foundation of the house, to the myriad of appliances throughout and even the surrounding landscape. Look for the term “net-zero,” which describes homes that produce as much energy as they put out. Even if this is something you haven’t paid close attention to in the past, it greatly reduces long-term maintenance and utility costs, as well as increases resale value.
4. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect!
The only way to determine how truly efficient a home is, is to run a series of inspections. Check areas like the basement and attic for signs of moisture or water problems that you could end up shouldering the burden for. Examine the plumbing in every applicable room of the house; look for water pressure, leaks, drainage and any mildew problems. Ensure that electrical wiring is not only in good condition, but comes paired with enough outlets for your convenience. HVAC systems are also an essential. You should make sure they are appropriately sized for the home, up to date and cost/energy efficient. And of course, the overall construction of a property can make or break your decision to buy. Ensure the property doesn’t pose any long-term threats to maintenance costs or impact resale values.
These are just some of the basics when it comes to inspecting a potential home, and you should consult with your real estate agent or broker for best possible way to go about this process.
5. Envision Your Life in the Home
Buying a new home is a long-term commitment. When you’re touring new properties and running inspections, don’t just look for the basics. It’s important to envision yourself and your family in each room of the house, and whether or not it’s the right environment for you. Everyone is different in terms of what best suits their lifestyle, and it’s essential to factor this into each property you tour before signing any papers. This also applies to the location of the home. A good agent knows that real estate is about much more than a single property. After all, you won’t spend 100% of your time in your living room. Tour the area, the town and all that is has to offer. Do you prefer peace and quiet, or being right in the center of things? Determine your lifestyle values and preferences before you settle.