Behind the gilded gates that protect a celebrity home, you’ll likely to find some seriously A-list amenities, like resort-style pools, million-dollar movie theaters, and parking for 20 cars. What might surprise you is that despite 20,000 square feet, there’s a lot any home buyer or seller can learn from the real estate habits of the rich and famous.
#1. Location Is Everything
‘Location, location, location’ is a catchphrase for a reason – it’s so true! On the West Coast, celebrities all cluster in places like Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and the Hollywood Hills because it’s the primo location in the LA area. Not only are the homes ultra-luxurious and does the market has healthy resale value, but the area is also close to the studios where they work daily. Long commutes are a real drag, even if you have a driver. In those spots, celebs have the convenient location, as well as enough space to give them the privacy they so desperately need when living in the limelight 24/7.
#2. Sometimes You Can Do TOO Much
It’s a common real estate adage not to “over-improve for the neighborhood.” You may never recoup your investment if your house is significantly nicer than your neighbors. A lot of celebrities learn this the hard way when they trick out their pads for their own high-priced tastes. A movie theater that costs more than a million bucks may wow a movie-industry entourage, but future buyers may not see – or pay for – the value of that custom room. Understand that upgrades can be done for lifestyle benefits, but if they’re way fancier than the rest of the neighborhood, it may not bring monetary gains, come sale time.
#3. Trust Your Home To The Experts
If you do make upgrades, trust your home to the experts. If you think it’s costly to hire an expert contractor, cabinet maker, or landscaper, just wait till you have to correct the work of a low-cost amateur – or your own DIY snafus. Tradesmen and women who have been working on projects like yours for years are worth the spend. They’re skill and experience and guarantee the quality of their work. Don’t know where to start? There are really great resources out there, including HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List.
#4. Buy With The Future In Mind
If an A-lister is expecting a new baby, you can bet you’ll see a moving van in front of their mansion. You’ll often read about a very pregnant celebrity moving out of a long-time bachelor or bachelorette pad into something much more family friendly before the stork arrives. Moves can be costly and time-consuming, so you can learn from celebrities by NOT doing what they do. Don’t buy for your life now, buy for your life five years from now. If kiddos are in the cards, buy the family house you can afford now that would fit a growing family in five years. Or, buy a condo in the city if you know your life with be centered around urban living for the foreseeable future. Plan ahead to enhance your lifestyle for years to come.
#5. When In Doubt, Rent
Many celebrities know what the average American should about the rent vs buy debate. If you’re not going to be able to stay in the same place for 5-7 years, rent, don’t buy. Celebrities have high-paid experts to guide them in these types of decisions, but it’s likely they’re getting the same advice that applies to anyone: If your job is unstable, you’re just reeling from a recent divorce, or your job may take you elsewhere in the near future, consider renting until life stabilizes and you can firmly plant roots.
Author Bio: Agent Ace is a free service empowering homebuyers and sellers with the tools to identify real estate agents in their area with the most expertise.