Expectations for High End Real Estate

The following is a sample article written by ContentWriters for a client in the real estate industry. 

While $4.2 million may seem like a high price, in the land of luxury as it relates to New York real estate, this number falls well below the average sales price of $5.4 million. If you are a high-end property buyer, there are certain aspects of real estate you should focus on to get the best deal.

Unobstructed Views and Lighting

An apartment interior that is open to the outdoors and lets in lots of natural light improves your mood—and resale value. That openness is usually more important than outdoor space. Do you look at a park, a river, a bridge or a skyline? Are these views protected? Understanding the surrounding air rights and zoning allowances of neighboring buildings will give you a pretty good handle on your risks.

Ceiling Height

The higher the better, up to about 14 feet (after that you’ll be getting diminishing marginal returns). Instead of looking at square footage, consider cubic footage. There’s almost no such thing as a luxury apartment with 8.5-foot ceilings. (An exception: An apartment with especially good unobstructed views and light that offsets the penalty from lower ceilings).

Mezzanine Debt

Mezzanine debt is a very high-risk, high-reward investment. A typical rate can reach 20% annually. A mezzanine investment is offered when typical debt isn't sufficient for an investment. At this point, the lender will seek out a smaller mezzanine loan that's paid back at a much higher rate. You're more of an equity holder than an investor, and you may also enjoy options like a small piece of ownership or the option to purchase equity at a future date.

Architectural Exceptionality

While many think that diamonds are forever, that may be further from the truth. In comparison, good architecture retains value. Do some research on the who’s who of architects and go for one with a good track record and beautiful, yet practical design. While it’s obvious how the building is perceived today, consider how it will be looked upon in a few decades. If you’re not a good visionary, you should at least look for a solid foundation, unusual details, high-grade materials and an artistic component.

Practical Layout

Give yourself some room to live. If you own a luxurious apartment, you probably have a lot of friends. So maintaining clear separation between your social and private areas can be most rewarding. After all, you don’t want guests traipsing through your bedroom to use the bath. Eat-in kitchens are nice. Avoid apartments with long hallways, stairwells, awkward columns and other unfortunate space wasters.

Windows

They’re a primary source of heat and cooling loss. They should be double-paned and heavily insulated to protect against weather and noise. And unless your building is responsible for replacement, your condo or co-op board will probably not allow you to install your own.

Fitness Area

A fitness area is one amenity that really does count, especially in winter cities. Yet proportionality is essential due to common area fees and tastefulness, so consider the size of the gym in relation to the size of the building. If you’re still not convinced you need this feature, just remember: It’s always bikini weather somewhere.

Laundry Unit

We couldn’t leave this one out. Yes, the laundry machine in the basement—and there must be one in the basement—works better and won’t take up your square footage. But in-unit laundry has become de rigueur for any luxury apartment. Still consider the laundry a space waster? Convert yours to more closet space.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, high-end renovations done well will take time, and time equals effort and money. Some buyers really should avoid time-consuming, aggravating fixer-uppers. Moreover, developers nowadays hire big-name interior designers to fashion the apartments in their buildings—at a fraction of the per-unit cost you would pay for the same designer. In these circumstances, the premium paid for a move-in ready home is worthwhile. If you’re out shopping for a high-end apartment home in a big city, keep these things in mind. If you’re purchasing a property in the hopes that it will have lasting value, you shouldn’t compromise much on any of these things. Focus on them first.

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