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It can be easy to forget that anyone can call their home a “luxury property.” In Canada, it’s increasingly common for new builds to be marketed this way, whether or not they really meet those qualifications. If you’re in the market for a luxury home in Canada, make sure you don’t get duped. Here are a few ways to tell if the “luxury” property you’re looking at is a fake.

Barebones Electrical Work
Builders who aren’t thinking about details will often wire homes for just the basics, electrical wise. A few outlets and maybe wiring for a single ceiling fixture might be all that’s included. If you want to support more outlets or elaborate fixtures, you might be on the hook for having them installed yourself, which could cost up to several hundred dollars in Canada. This isn’t usually the case in a luxury home, so make sure you confirm the wiring situation with an electrician or home inspector.

Knockoff Name Brands
Many homes and condos will be advertised as having luxury brand appliances or kitchens. And while the idea of a Scavolini kitchen is enough to catch the eye of many a luxury buyer, many high-end name brands also have a line of second-tier products. This works much the same as some fashion houses, who also have discount brands sold under their name. This is a common practice of builders who are trying to market their properties as luxury properties and jack up the price when it’s not warranted.

Faux or Low-Quality Finishes
A big part of what makes a luxury home is the quality of the materials. Marble, real hardwood, crystal and gold are all features common in luxury homes, as coveted for their quality as they are for their aesthetics. Be wary of homes, especially new ones, that have flashy construction but don’t use quality materials or finishes. Ask your agent or home inspector if you have doubts.

Ultimately, there are many ways for a builder to market a luxury property that really wouldn’t be considered one under normal circumstances. If you’re not familiar with the builder or the market, this might not be obvious, especially if you’re buying from floorplans. A quality real estate agent and home inspector can help you see the difference.

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