Donna Fessler's Blog
When looking for a luxury home, you can look for the most expensive neighborhood in the United States, or you can choose a luxury neighborhood in the part of the country you want to live in. Before you move to a different state, be sure you'll like the part of the country you choose.
Luxury Home Price Variances
Depending on where you choose to live, the cost of luxury varies — and it varies widely. You’ll find luxurious neighborhoods in Rapid City, South Dakota for a median price of $242,200. The most expensive luxury neighborhood is in zip code 94027 — Atherton, California. This luxury neighborhood has a median home price of $7,313,400.
Other luxury neighborhoods include:
96821 — Honolulu, Hawaii, with a median price of $1,370,900;
85253 — Paradise Valley, Arizona, with a median price of $1,588,200;
60610 — Chicago, Illinois, with a median price of $1,885,900;
06830 — Greenwich, Connecticut, with a median price of $2,056,900;
33921 — Palm Beach, Florida, with a median price of $4,394,000; and
81611 — Aspen, Colorado, with a median price of $4,869,200.
You can live in a luxury neighborhood for less money if you choose a state with a lower luxury median price. You’ll find that the cost of living is also less in those states. However, make sure the area you choose has the amenities you want. If you are expecting to have theme parks, upscale shopping and other amenities, you might want to choose a larger city, even though the median luxury price is much higher.
What to Look For in a Luxury Home
In some cases, luxury costs under $300,000 – and in other cases, it’s not luxury until you hit several million dollars. Regardless of the median luxury home price, always check what prices homes sold for in the neighborhood and the quality of the materials used to build the home. Other items to check include:
Are the appliances upgraded?
Did the builder use high-quality fixtures, including faucets and toilets?
Are the cabinets real wood?
Is the flooring top quality tile, wood or some other covering?
Is the carpet high-quality or “builder’s quality?”
What kind of windows are in the house? Are they at least double-pane windows?
Is the trim in the house made of real wood, stone or some other quality material?
Is the yard well-maintained?
Does the house have large bedrooms and closets?
Does the house have extras, such as a pantry, bonus rooms or a pool?
When you check for comparables, don’t forget to allow for those extras. The home you are looking at might not have the same amenities as another home in the neighborhood that is going for the same price. This leaves things open for negotiations if not having something, such as a pool, is not a deal-breaker.