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A pristine and elegant aesthetic and professional MLS photos—it might look like you’ve found your dream luxury property. But it takes more than pretty photos to know it’s the right fit for you. While high-end properties can be anything from an urban condo to a private forested mansion, they all have similar characteristics that help buyers establish what is truly worth top dollar. Here’s how to know if it fits your lifestyle.

The location is desirable. No matter the quality of the home, there are certain neighbourhoods that just exude wealth and sophistication. Vancouver’s West Point Grey, Toronto’s Forest Hill, and Montreal’s Summit Park—all of these affluent neighbourhoods have one thing in common: they’re highly desirable. The location often indicates the quality of life you can expect to find in coveted neighbourhoods. Look for well-manicured lawns, waterfront views and quiet leafy streets.

It has historical value. A home with a story attached to it is often much more valuable. A very old home worth several million may have real historical significance. Look up the home and learn more about it. If you snag a property previously owned by a celebrity, a royal or even an infamous public figure, you’ll not only have a piece of history, but bragging rights.

The property is private and enclosed. One of the advantages of investing in a luxury property is knowing you and your family will be protected and hidden from prying eyes. A property set back very far from the road, located in a gated community, or featuring a sightline barrier is much more likely to serve you well than a similarly exclusive property in full view of your neighbours.

The home is built to last. High-end properties are not only aesthetically pleasing, but capable of withstanding the Canadian elements. Building materials are indicative of the quality of the home, as are special design features. If there are valuable key features only in one single room of the home, this is a red flag suggesting it’s less expensive than the price tag would indicate. On the other hand, if every floor is marble and Venetian glass is used in every fixture, you can be certain you’ve probably found a solid home worthy of your investment.

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