What does luxury mean when it comes to a home? For most people, luxury simply means the best of everything: a home that’s located in a prime spot, with plenty of square feet, extravagant amenities, and constructed by expert craftsmen using high-end materials. Of course, a home of this caliber is going to be a substantial investment, and it’s essential to do your research as you plan for your dream home. Here are some things to keep in mind when researching luxury custom homes:

1. Location

Spending millions of dollars to build a home in an undesirable location seems like a bit of a waste. Consider whether you want to be in the middle of a city or in a scenic location like a beachfront or mountainside. Luxury homes can be found towering in the Manhattan skyline or nestled in a vast woodland estate—what kinds of views and attractions you want to surround yourself with are up to you.

If you decide to build your home in an existing neighborhood, it’s a good idea to get a feel for who your neighbors will be and whether you will get along. Take some time to walk around the neighborhood and chat with people who live there.

You should also check to see whether the property is located in a floodplain or hurricane path. It would be a shame to invest in a luxurious beachside home, only to watch it get destroyed by hurricanes or rising seas.

A home’s location is also a major factor when it comes to resale value, so it’s important to consider whether an area is desirable if you plan on selling the home in the future.

2. Resale value

Speaking of resale value, it’s wise to estimate and keep track of costs as you build your luxury home. Take a look at the values of nearby properties and try not to overshoot the median home value by too much. If you build an extremely expensive home in an area with relatively modest home values, you will likely have a hard time selling the home down the line.

3. Functionality

Most people don’t want to live in museums where everything is just for show. Consider your hobbies and interests, and work with your architect and builders to create fully functional spaces. Do you work out every day? Consider including a home gym with all of the best equipment. Are you a huge movie buff? Consider including a fully functional movie theater with comfortable seating. Do you have children or plan to in the future? Consider building an immersive playroom made with durable materials so you don’t have to worry about the kids wrecking the place.

And don’t forget about green features, like solar panels and water harvesting systems, that can make the home more efficient and attractive to future buyers.

4. Quality Materials and Craftsmanship

Quality materials and skilled craftsmanship are major elements of luxury. Think Italian marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, and rare or antique materials like English limestone. You’ll want to work with skilled architects and builders to ensure your home is properly constructed and aligns well with your vision. Meet with multiple architects and builders, and ask to see their previous designs and builds.

Also, be sure to ask plenty of questions and only select your builder once you’re satisfied with their answers. If you know anyone who has built a luxury custom home of their own, ask for their recommendations first and then search the web for online reviews.

5. Security

A luxury home is a potential target for theft, so be sure to invest in a good security system. Smart technology can not only increase security, but also improve the functionality of the home. Current technology can allow you to remotely adjust the temperature of your home, lock and unlock doors, check who is on your doorstep, alert you to any unauthorized entries, and more.

6. Details that Incorporate Your Taste

Be sure to choose an architect and builder who will enable you to take advantage of the customization process and incorporate as many details as possible to make the home uniquely yours. Depending on your interests, you may want things like a movie theater, heated floors, infinity pool, walk-in closet, outdoor kitchen and bar, or dedicated game room. Consider small details, like textures and patterns you love. If you have any treasured family heirlooms or prized art pieces, you might consider designing an entire room around them.

Financing Your Luxury Custom Home

Even a modest custom luxury home is likely to cost upwards of a million dollars, and financing that kind of purchase could involve large sums of cash and a jumbo mortgage loan. If you’re considering investing in a luxury home, chat with a loan officer to navigate your options.

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