Dawn Carritt : Due dilligence for purchasing a luxury property

Some critical advice for purchasing your luxury property; firstly check the location to make sure you know what could happen around the property you are proposing to buy whether it be in a city of in the countryside.  Whether the view from the property could be blighted by future development or in town by plans for neighbouring buildings to come down for new developments and the potential for living adjacent to a building site for several years.  Secondly the future management and maintenance of the property.  If it is a new build make sure you get all the manufacturers guarantees and assess how satisfactory their maintenance and servicing arrangements are.  Modern technology is fantastic but be certain that should it fail will trained technicians are on hand and parts/supplies readily available. Whether it is an old or new building try and get a complete dossier on all the various trades and contractors so that any problems can be fixed easily – this is just as important for an historic building as a high-tech penthouse.

If the luxury property is a flat or penthouse check the lease, be sure you are aware of the implications of any ground rent (something that has come to the fore recently) and also what the arrangements are for managing the building.  The chances are this may not be the owners only property and therefore having good concierge and management to take care of any issues is generally important.

If your luxury property involves state of the art technology keep in mind that the market is moving very quickly and what is cutting edge today can be out of date within six months to a year.  Check a smart “whatever” can be updated quickly and easily and that the contractors are in the market for the long term and have a good track record.  Much of what a buyer is investing in, apart from the site and actual structure, are the finishes and convenience of automation.  Look for quality and no shortcuts.

Finally whether the building is period or modern pick a structural survey who has experience of the type of building you are purchasing, someone who will understand the ways or old buildings or have the fine eye to detail even after the developer has done their own snagging on a brand new property.

Dawn Carritt, Director, Jackson-Stops & Staff

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