Sue Graves' Blog
Build quality is the first factor to look at. All materials should be above the standard. From the construction to the wood flooring and marble countertops. Almost everything is custom with detail and care put into each element. One-of-a-kind hard-to-find features make a home feel luxurious and certainly a cut above the rest. Many buyers are now seeking out homes built from sustainable materials and boasting eco-friendly features.
The second factor is location. It could be acres of land isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life but full of stunning views. Or in the heart of a city that is always on the pulse with a sweeping scene of the lights and glamour only stacks of buildings can create. No matter the surrounding population you can be sure a luxury home will have a high degree of privacy. And many times equipped with security necessary to keep that treasured privacy from being disrupted.
A third is the prestige of the build. A home designed by an esteemed architect has much of the same appeal as buying a painting from a renowned painter. Alternatively, a home with an interesting backstory and/or history adds intrigue and exclusivity. They often boast state of the art features and are completely bespoke to the owner and landscape. A current trend is understated builds that feel seamless and non-disruptive to their surroundings.
Amenities not otherwise found in standard homes set a luxury home apart from the herd. Think theater rooms, fitness centers, an indoor pool, or wine cellar. And in many cases all of the above. Large balconies provide the homeowner to take in the impressive views of their chosen surroundings. While meditation gardens and outdoor showers transport to another world. Bringing outside luxuries onto the premises makes these homes an insulated oasis from the outside world, for their owners to kick back and relax.
Quality and individuality coupled with privacy make a home highly coveted. The resources that go into crafting the experiences these builds provide make for a luxury home. Many think it’s simply the price tag. However, this is simply a representation of how much time and thought was put into the creative process of building a truly luxurious home. When house hunting keep these factors in mind as they absolutely determine the value and cost of each of the homes that find their way onto your wishlist.
Life in the cityIf you grew up in a small town, odds are you always dreamed of someday living in the city. The busy streets, the tall buildings, and public transportation that you can take anywhere all make city life feel like one giant amusement park if you grew up in the country. However, there's a lot more to city life than just the bustling atmosphere.
- Amenities. One of the main benefits of living in the city is easy access to most of the necessities of life. Depending on your location in the city you might be surrounded by hospitals, schools and grocery stores.
- Entertainment. You'll never run out of things to do or new places to explore living in a big city.
- Community and culture. In most large cities you'll find great diversity of cultures and values. If you're looking for a place you can identify with, odds are you'll find a community you can fit into within the city.
- Cost of living. This varies between cities and states, but generally the cost of living goes up in the big cities with higher rent prices, more expensive groceries and dining options.
- Traffic. You have to love being around other people if you live in a big city. Whether you're on the train or at the crosswalk, you'll always be within arms length of a group of strangers.
- Privacy and sovereignty. If you like your alone time and the freedom to do what you want with the space you have, country life might be for you.
- Peace and quiet. If you hate traffic jams and don't mind driving long distances to reach amenities, small town living could be a good fit.
- Nature and space. Out in the country there's plenty of room to roam and to experience the local flora and fauna.
Suburban lifeLife in the suburbs is meant to have the best features of the city and the country. Hopefully your town has a couple grocery stores and easy access to the highway to reach the nearest city. It will also have access to recreation parks. One downfall of suburban life is that you need to make the extra effort if you want to build the sense of community provided in the city or the connection to nature that comes with living out in the country. However, if you are the type to actively seek these out, suburban life could be the happy medium your life needs.
Deciding what books you needEven though we live in the era of smartphones and ebook readers, there is still value in owning a physical copy of a book. There's the joy of holding it in your hand, admiring the cover art, flipping the pages, and--of course--that new book smell. However, you might not need to own a physical copy of every book you've read. With interlibrary loans, ebooks, and the Kindle app there's really no need for a huge collection of books. Weed out your collection and keep the ones that are most valuable to you. It will be hard to part with them, but if you donate to your local library or a charity you can feel good about your decision. You'll soon realize it's great to have the extra space.
Creative book storageIf you want to a fun, minimal bookshelf but aren't into the idea of having old milk crates stacked up against your wall, fear not--there are innumerable other options.
StaircasesThere have been countless fun and minimal staircase bookshelves created over the years. Sometimes people build on to the side of their staircase, other times they utilize negative space underneath to build a bookshelf that fits opposite each step of the staircase. If it's children's books you need to store in your kids' rooms, consider building a staircase bookshelf that leads up to the second bunk of a bunkbed. It will safe space and provide a safe way for your child to reach the top bunk.
Invisible bookshelvesIf the idea of having another piece of furniture in your living room just to put a few books on drives you crazy, consider using an invisible bookshelf. These wall-mounted systems are totally invisible behind your books and give the illusion that the books are just floating up against the wall, creating a minimalist's dream bookshelf. If you're more into cozy than minimal, try stacking the books from biggest to smallest on top of one another on a corner table. It's also a good way to hide wires that come from an outlet on the wall.
Built-in bookshelfSome older homes were built in a time where reading was a highly respected (and admittedly, one of the only) indoor pastimes. Many of these homes have walls with built in bookshelves. They add a stately look to a room and can serve as storage for items besides books too. It's possible to make your own if you're savvy when it comes to building. However you can also purchase bookshelves that give the illusion of being built into the wall.
There are countless reasons a homeowner might want to sell their home and buy another. Some want to move for a change of scenery or to relocate for work. Others are parents with a recently empty nest who want to downsize to something more affordable that meets their needs.
The good news for second time homebuyers is that you already have an idea of what to expect when buying a home. The research, paperwork, disappointments, and delays that come with buying a home can all be prepared for. However, if you have the burden of selling your old home, finding a temporary place to live, and then moving into a new one, your responsibilities can be doubled or tripled.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to prepare for selling your old home and moving into the new one. We’ll cover some common mistakes and offer some advice to keep you sane throughout this daunting (but exciting!) process.
Buying or selling first
For most homeowners, selling first makes the most sense financially. Holding onto a second house often means having to make two mortgage payments at once. Similarly, selling first will give you a much clearer idea of your budget for your new home.
Depending on market conditions, your home may or may not sell for as much as you were hoping. It’s important to keep this in mind before signing onto a new mortgage.
Once you sell your home, you’ll have to work out living and storage arrangements until you are ready to move into your new home. It may seem easy at first--just rent for a couple months until your move-in date, right? It isn’t always that simple, however, as deals can sometimes fall through and you can find yourself with a move-out date from your own home without having finalized a deal on your new home. Because of this, many homeowners elect to may their current mortgage for an extra month or two until they can move in to their new home.
Research your options for short-term living and storage in your area. See if you can work with moving companies who will give you a discount for helping you move twice; once to the storage facility and again to your new home.
One way around this is to time your move out and move-in dates so that you don’t have to worry about storage. Some homebuyers will even move into the new home before officially closing on the home (i.e., take possession before closing). While this may be convenient, it can also be dangerous for the buyer and the seller.
Keeping track of all this information can be difficult, so don’t be afraid to keep a daily list or planner of the things you need to take care of, and never be afraid to reach out to your real estate agent who will often be able to advise you on the best way to make your move as smooth a process as possible.