Million Dollar Bargains

There is an age-old secret principle for buying property – don’t buy the most expensive home in the neighborhood.  It is a traditional strategy that underlies successful real estate investment, based on the principles of home price appreciation, and it holds true even in the most upscale neighborhoods.

             In a well-established area where homes and estates have been custom built with care and maintained with meticulous attention, properties will tend to sustain their value.  However, if most homes are worth one to five million dollars and you buy one priced at ten million, your ability to sell it for top dollar may be impinged upon by the lesser value of neighboring homes.  Should the market soften or decline, you could lose money if you own the home with the biggest price tag.   

            A home at the lower end of the price spectrum may end up being a million-dollar bargain.  You can remodel or upgrade the property over time, increasing the value of your investment with custom amenities that enhance your lifestyle.  When it is time to sell, buyers will be attracted to a competitively priced home in a great neighborhood.

Support for upscale home buying

Median-priced homes in many desirable metropolitan markets are approaching the half-million-dollar mark, so even people with six-figure salaries are feeling challenged when buying a home.  While these buyers may have access to a comfortable amount of cash for a down payment, it may not be enough to purchase the high-end home or upscale urban apartment they really want.

              A recent article published by MSN Money reports that new programs are providing assistance for borrowers whose yearly income places them in the top 10 percent of American wage earners.  For example, there is the Phoenix Realty Group in Los Angeles and San Diego, who are investing $190 million to build housing for families who earn up to 200% of the median income.  There is the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), which started as a nonprofit housing advocacy corporation and now operates a $10 billion mortgage lending program.  NACA offers homebuyers no-money-down loans with interest rates a point or more below prime.  Borrowers pay no closing costs, points or private mortgage insurance, and there are no income restrictions to qualify for the program. 

            Ask your mortgage broker about programs available in your area.

Features of the healthiest homes

Today’s homeowners are becoming increasingly concerned with the environmental fitness of their homes.  Knowing what features contribute to the creation and maintenance of a healthy house will help you improve your home’s value over time by upgrading its ecological rating.


If you are building a new home or remodeling your current residence, use nontoxic materials whenever possible.  Homes built before 1970s may contain lead-based paint and asbestos insulation, serious health hazards that must be removed and replaced by professionals.  Choose carpet, backing and adhesive that do not contain chemicals.  An abundance of dual-paned, low-E windows will refresh the interior with natural air circulation and reduce mold by providing plenty of natural light.


th sidence, use nontoxic materials whenever possible.  Check for lead-bThe healthiest homes include heating systems that do not circulate dust and other particulates – a side effect of forced-air heat.  New homes with radiant-heat concrete floors, wall-mounted radiators and/or a sealed combustion fireplace are in high demand with health-conscious homebuyers.  If your home already contains a forced-air heating system, change the HEPA filter four to six times a year, and have the ducts professionally cleaned every two years.

              Healthy homes are more attractive to buyers.