When you have finished purchasing your own personal luxury home in the most expensive part of the city, bought the latest high-end car, and pondered where to park your super-yachts, the next in line would be a luxury second home in another part of the world. When the top-end is thinking where to put their money next, nothing spells success as well as owning an uber-luxe overseas property.
Buying a luxury home does not equal just that – buying a commodity. There is unabashed snob value in the ownership of a second home. There is a heritage value that comes with English castles and a level of sophistication that’s part of the package of French chateaux. The more remote your get-away the bigger the feather in your cap. In addition, provenance counts. Prior celebrity ownership, special architectural flourishes, anecdotal tales, all add bonus value.
Notorious for what’s de rigueur and what’s not, the second home destination that is too readily accessible has started to lose its appeal. Budget flights, crowded beaches, traffic jams and packed restaurants lower the value. The discerning high-rollers are now demanding luxury homes in remote and close-to-inaccessible locations.
Unlike before, the destinations are no longer marketed as ‘fast-to-reach’ and ‘easy access from airports,’ the decadence of challenging journeys to the virgin corners of the planet draw greater appeal. Islands with narrower than normal land-strips, rainforest getaways with unusual helicopter access or the arrival experience of landing on your lake-locked island in a mini-aircraft is what’s adding aspirational value. The thrill of being able to own and access some of the remotest areas, unreachable to most humanity is not just a property trend, it’s a lifestyle and tourism trend. And making this an ultra luxurious experience at the end of it all is the icing on the cake.
With technology, travel and communication abilities, the modern-day Robinson Crusoes and Treasure Islanders have found ways to experience the romance of the original castaways albeit packaged with 21st century trimmings.
Property ownership has gone global. With the massive changes in travel, politics, communication, accessibility and latest incomes today, high net-worth individuals are looking beyond their country’s frontiers to buy their second homes, and often even their third.
Luxury homes can start at anywhere from €1-2 million but would generally average at about €5-6 million. Also, there are higher end properties such as €30 million mansions in Europe.
It’s about a lifestyle that is being sought. It is an emotional decision and involves more than just the exchange of some documents and money. This is why such properties are never advertised. Publicity is done via word-of-mouth or by select consultants. The subtle approach works for both – the buyer and the seller. The developer or the seller discourages window shoppers to target only the serious buyers who on their end enjoy a level of exclusivity and privacy.
Buying Variety and Options
There are different buying options available depending on personal style. New property, known as ‘new-build’ comes with modern facilities such as high-tech bathrooms, customised kitchens, etc. They are ready and available to move into at the first available opportunity once the necessary formalities are clear.
Older properties such as ancient mansions and chateaux such as those in the interiors of France are preferred by the heritage enthusiasts as they bring along certain amount of history and character. These are often larger in size and more sprawling in nature due to their ancient constructions done during times when land was available in abundance. These may also include interiors and exteriors built as per tastes of its original owners, adding to the charm. The downside of such properties is often the renovation and maintenance costs and time required to keep it in liveable condition.
Even though apartments and small houses are popular especially for city dwellers, villas, with their comparatively lower maintenance and running costs, are also much sought after due to their better value and larger spaces, which generally include outdoor amenities like gardens and farms. The privacy and seclusion offered are added benefits as compared to apartments.
Potential home buyers who are not ready to make a permanent commitment, often rent.
Sometimes it’s the most practical option too and popularly practiced. Whether it’s the sprawling villas of the French Riviera; vineyard accompanying mansions in Spain or Italy; or islands in the Carribean, all can be rented.