You have probably already started your home search online and noticed that most of the photos look great.
But after seeing about 50 luxury homes in Vienna, McLean, Oakton and Great Falls over the past two months, I have noticed that not all luxury homes are created equal. In fact you would notice how much styles have changed after seeing only a few homes.
Vienna’s quality of life drives demand
- Infill Homes – Vienna’s ideal location has impacted land values, and most of the 1950’s ramblers now sit on lots worth more than the older homes. As a result, builders and investors are out buying those “obsolete” houses, tearing them down and building very attractive new homes, currently focused on craftsman inspired homes. Be prepared to see “the perfect house” next door to a future tear-down.
- Budget to Renovate – Even luxury homes built five years ago are now looking a little dated. One client immediately put hardwood floors upstairs to replace the wall-to-wall carpet. Kitchens, decks, patios, or sometimes finishing the basement. Yes, I was in a wonderful home in Oakton the other weekend but the owners had never finished the basement… “next,” said my client. Be prepared do more than hire a good painter.
- Take time to look, then act quickly – There is a large available inventory of luxury homes in Vienna, McLean and Oakton (there were over 325 homes over $900k available on 7/12/11). You will need to drill down the criteria important to your needs, and have a strategy to act when you have ID’d the right place. (They aren’t all in top condition)
- Financing is available – Yes, there are lenders who provide financing to $1.5 million at amazing rates. So don’t let the upcoming reduction in the maximum “conforming loan amount” get you panicked. Yes, I’m referring to banks… not some guy I know who knows “people”.
- Buy within your limits – Nothing is more disappointing than going into a home to see that the owners never really “finished” the interior. Although I know you don’t plan to move anytime soon, making interior decorating decisions like custom painting, window treatments such as plantation shutters, adding an exercise room, home theater, or even ceiling fans will greatly increase the comfort of your home when you are there, and then return the investments when you get that dream job in Palo Alto. There is a distinct difference in luxury homes when the finishing touches have been added.
You can always see all the homes available using my Vienna Real Estate Guide.