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There’s a lot of debate about what really constitutes a luxury home, and in some ways, it’s not surprising. There’s nothing to stop anyone from marketing their home as a “luxury property” and, in fact, some homes are designed to carefully mimic upscale finishes and features. So how can you tell these homes from the real thing? For starters, don’t let any of these faux upgrades fool you:

Cheap Cabinets With Expensive Hardware
One of the quickest tricks for transforming an outdated or cheap set of kitchen cabinets is to dress them up with some expensive handles or drawer pulls. Many people are fooled by this touch and look right past cupboards that are cheaply installed or made of a less durable material like particleboard.

Laminate Flooring
Laminate and engineered hardwood can look pretty convincing, which is why many luxury buyers can’t even tell the difference. But imitation hardwood isn’t nearly as rich in lustre, long-wearing or durable as genuine hardwood. It often doesn’t have the same character as natural wood grain does either.

Cheap Tiling
Be on the lookout for subway tiling or other trendy patterns that look stylish at first glance. Some builders are experts at laying tile in a way that appears high-end in order to camouflage a cheap material that won’t hold up.

Sneaky Language
Terms like “European-inspired” are commonly used to describe kitchen appliances in lower-end buildings in an attempt to make them sound like luxury brands. Bathrooms are sometimes described as “spa-inspired,” whether the quality of the design and materials is high-end or not. Pay attention to the materials and craftsmanship themselves, not just flashy language.

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