Ari Koufos
REALTY EXECUTIVES | 617-799-8948 | ari@arikoufos.com


Posted by Ari Koufos on 9/22/2020

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

When looking for a luxury home, you can look for the most expensive neighborhood in the United States, or you can choose a luxury neighborhood in the part of the country you want to live in. Before you move to a different state, be sure you'll like the part of the country you choose.

Luxury Home Price Variances

Depending on where you choose to live, the cost of luxury varies — and it varies widely. You’ll find luxurious neighborhoods in Rapid City, South Dakota for a median price of $242,200. The most expensive luxury neighborhood is in zip code 94027 — Atherton, California. This luxury neighborhood has a median home price of $7,313,400.

Other luxury neighborhoods include:

  • 96821 — Honolulu, Hawaii, with a median price of $1,370,900;

  • 85253 — Paradise Valley, Arizona, with a median price of $1,588,200;

  • 60610 — Chicago, Illinois, with a median price of $1,885,900;

  • 06830 — Greenwich, Connecticut, with a median price of $2,056,900;

  • 33921 — Palm Beach, Florida, with a median price of $4,394,000; and

  • 81611 — Aspen, Colorado, with a median price of $4,869,200.

  • You can live in a luxury neighborhood for less money if you choose a state with a lower luxury median price. You’ll find that the cost of living is also less in those states. However, make sure the area you choose has the amenities you want. If you are expecting to have theme parks, upscale shopping and other amenities, you might want to choose a larger city, even though the median luxury price is much higher.

    What to Look For in a Luxury Home

    In some cases, luxury costs under $300,000 – and in other cases, it’s not luxury until you hit several million dollars. Regardless of the median luxury home price, always check what prices homes sold for in the neighborhood and the quality of the materials used to build the home. Other items to check include:

  • Are the appliances upgraded?

  • Did the builder use high-quality fixtures, including faucets and toilets?

  • Are the cabinets real wood?

  • Is the flooring top quality tile, wood or some other covering?

  • Is the carpet high-quality or “builder’s quality?”

  • What kind of windows are in the house? Are they at least double-pane windows?

  • Is the trim in the house made of real wood, stone or some other quality material?

  • Is the yard well-maintained?

  • Does the house have large bedrooms and closets?

  • Does the house have extras, such as a pantry, bonus rooms or a pool?

  • When you check for comparables, don’t forget to allow for those extras. The home you are looking at might not have the same amenities as another home in the neighborhood that is going for the same price. This leaves things open for negotiations if not having something, such as a pool, is not a deal-breaker.




    Tags: neighborhood   luxury   Buyers  
    Categories: Properties  


    Posted by Ari Koufos on 7/4/2017

    It’s easy to fall in love with a house if it has all the features you’re looking for. However, it’s important not to ignore the qualities of the neighborhood the house is in as well.

    The state of the surrounding neighborhood is important for many homeowners. You’ll use the local amenities, walk on the sidewalks, drive on the roads, and eventually even set the price of your home based partially on the price of those surrounding it.

    In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the reasons you should pay attention to the neighborhood when shopping for homes, and what qualities to look for to find a place that has both high quality of life and resale value.  

    Neighborhood Inspection 101

    There are a number of things you’ll want to learn about a neighborhood before you move in. Some of them you can observe with your own eye, some you can find online via public records, and others will require talking to the locals to see what their experience has been.

    Things to observe

    When you go to visit a home, set aside some time beforehand to drive around the neighborhood. Check out the roads, sidewalks, and the general state of the neighborhood. Boarded up houses and closed businesses aren’t always a sign of doom and gloom, but it can give you insight into the pricing of some homes and give you some negotiating power.

    If you love the house and feel okay about the neighborhood swing by during rush hour, if possible. This will give you a sense of traffic and how long it will take you to get to work from your new home.

    If you’re moving into a city, it’s also a good idea to check out the after-hours scene. If a peaceful evening at home is what you seek, it will be a good idea to know ahead of time if your street comes alive at night.

    Things to research

    It’s a good idea to get a feel for the local culture before buying a home to see if it fits with your lifestyle. Are businesses closed on Sundays? Are there community events and clubs that you ur your family would be interested in? You can find most information online through Facebook groups, library websites, and local newspapers.

    If you’re concerned with crime, you can find local data online. Similarly, records are available for local schools, such as where the town’s test scores land compared to state and national averages.

    Talk to the neighbors

    The most practical way to learn about a neighborhood is to ask the people who live there. They’ll be able to tell you how it has changed over the years, which will give you a sense of where the neighborhood is headed. They can tell you whether it’s a neighborhood filled with young families or aging retirees, and will likely be able to let you know if there are any problems in the neighborhood.

    Aside from the local culture, you should ask your potential new neighbors about the infrastructure. Do they have frequent power issues? Is there often noisy construction, or have there been potholes that haven’t been filled for years? You can learn a lot from the people who have lived in a neighborhood for multiple years.





    Posted by Ari Koufos on 2/28/2017

    A rising trend in urban and suburban neighborhoods is the concept of a community garden. What began as a way for people living in cities to grow some of their own vegetables has turned into a community-building sensation across the country.

    Why start a community garden?

    The benefits for having a community garden in your neighborhood are endless. First, it allows people to grow their own food--a rewarding process in itself. You'll learn about sewing seeds, caring for plants, and harvesting the vegetables. When it's all said and done, you'll save money as well, since it's much cheaper to grow your vegetables than to buy them from the grocery store. Gardens are also a great way to build a sense of community in your neighborhood. You'll meet new people, make new friends, and have something to be proud of together. Plus, talking about what you're planting is a great ice-breaker when it comes to meeting the neighbors for the first time. Aside from helping you and your neighbors, community gardens are also a modest way to help the environment. A garden means more food for bees, a refuge for local critters, and more plants producing oxygen. Plus, when you get your vegetables right from your garden you cut back on all of the resources used to wrap, pack, and ship vegetables across the country to grocery stores, reducing your carbon footprint in a small way. Excited yet? I hope so! Now that you know why to start a community garden you need to know how.

    Steps to making a community garden

    1. Get the neighborhood together Invite your neighbors to a local cafe or library to talk about starting a garden. To build interest and awareness, start a Facebook group and post a few flyers in your neighborhood.
    2. Figure out the funding and logistics  At this meeting, start talking about how the garden is going to be funded. Seeds, tools, fertilizer, and other expenses don't have to put a damper on your fun if you're prepared. The three main sources of funding for a community garden are finding sponsors, running neighborhood fundraisers, or having a membership fee for plots in the garden.
    3. Find a spot for your garden The best places to turn into gardens are plots of land that currently bring down the aesthetic of the neighborhood. Find an area that could be cleaned up and approach the owner of the land with the idea. You can offer them free membership or whatever other resources are available in exchange for being able to use the land.
    4. Throw a cleaning and a kick-off party To build the garden, invite everyone from the neighborhood over to the plot of land for pizza. Then once they're there stick a shovel in their hand (okay, maybe let them eat a slice or two first). Once the garden is ready to be planted, you can host another "kick-off party" so everyone can celebrate their hard work.
    5. Rules are made to be spoken  Community gardens are a ton of fun. But to keep them that way you're going to need to decide on some ground rules for things like open hours, membership acceptance, tool usage, leadership, and so on. Post the rules on the Facebook, website, and at the garden itself so everyone can see them.
    6. Keep the momentum If you want your garden to last you'll need to do some work to keep everyone excited. Make a Facebook group, a website or whatever else you think will help people stay connected. Ideally, you want your messages to include everyone involved in the garden so that everyone feels involved.