When I sell luxury real estate, rarely do I sell a house.
Sounds weird, doesn’t it?
If you’re reading this article and thinking about buying a luxury home. First off, I’m here to help. But, second, you are in the highest tier of real estate purchasing power that a citizen of the United States can have.
If you can literally buy any property you want (for the most part). Then the actual house matters less than the location. Your house will be beautiful and stunning regardless. It’s the lifestyle that comes with the home that matters.
In this article, I’m going to go over some of the top metropolitan luxury markets in the United States. These cities will feature luxurious city lifestyles that are perfect for anyone who wants an electric city life.
The destinations are ranked in no particular order.
New York City
Median Sale Price (Oct 2019): $1,450,000
What’s a list of cities without the Big Apple?
New York, New York is a King of luxury real estate. Prices are expensive, but lifestyles are glamorous. With a Starbucks and 24-hour pizza parlor within walking distance at all times, or a concert every night at one of the most famous stadiums in the world, Madison Square Garden, there are not too many things you could say to discount New York.
It’s consistently ranked as one of the greatest, if not, the greatest city in the world.
However, it does have its downfalls.
One of the biggest issues New York has is its tax policy, which has driven many long-time locals out.
New York’s income tax is set between 4%-8.82%, one of the highest in the nation. Property tax is quite low at 0.9%. But due to sky-high real estate values, most New Yorkers will pay an average of $8,237 annually in property tax.
Tack on mortgage payments and your annual cost of housing is hefty. You can calculate what your NYC property taxes would look like with SmartAsset’s awesome tool.
Los Angeles, California
Median Sale Price (Oct 2019): $3,260,000
The city of lights, cameras, and action. It’s a place where you’re more likely to see a celebrity than anywhere else in the world.
For the wealthy, this is luxury galore. Designer stores, high-class restaurants, and exclusive parties electrify the cityscape. The weather is what many would call “perfect” and there’s an environment for everyone.
Beaches line the pristine deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and towering mountains line the backdrop of the dazzling LA skyline.
It’s truly one of the greatest luxury markets in the world.
Once again though, a common issue among these markets are the tax rates. California hosts the highest income tax rate in the United States, capping at 13%. Property taxes sit at 0.775% which is favorable, but the bill still won’t be pretty, considering median sale prices above $3 million.
Calculate your LA property taxes here.
Median Sale Price (Oct 2019): $1,007,500
The Windy City is home to amazing culture, architecture, art, shopping, and deep-dish pizza. It’s also ranked as one of the best cities in America for young professionals.
With roughly a third of the city’s housing located on Lake Michigan, this is an excellent city to move to if you’re looking for luxurious lakefront property in a major metro. Some areas like South Shore can grant you amazing views of the Chicago skyline as well.
If you can handle the brutally cold winters that sweep the city, Chicago is a fantastic metro for those looking for a thriving city life.
Median sales in the luxury markets of Chicago come in just slightly above $1 million. The State of Illinois institutes a flat income tax rate of 4.95%, which is great for individuals in the luxury market, but on the flip side, their property tax rates are among the highest in the nation, at roughly 2.11% average in Cook County (Chicago).
To calculate Chicago Property Taxes, click here.
Median Sale Price (Oct 2019): $1,000,000
Not many cities can top Miami’s nightlife scene. With hundreds of exclusive clubs and celebrities throughout, Miami defines glamour.
The city is alive in the daytime as well, with a large international business presence and strong Latin communities, Miami is a perfect blend of culture and economics.
Entertainment doesn’t stop at private clubs and lounges either. The city is home to five professional sports teams, with rich histories that carry a lot of wins.
On the tax side. Unlike other luxury markets, Miami is taxpayer-friendly.
The State of Florida levies no state income tax, one of the most attractive factors about Florida besides sunny weather and beaches. Property tax isn’t so bad either. Miami-Dade County levies a 1.039% rate.
If there’s any financial reason to move to Miami’s luxurious lifestyle, it’s tax savings.
Calculate your Miami property tax bill here.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Median Sale Price (Oct 2019): $685,000
Now that we’re in my territory, I have a lot to say about Raleigh.
For one, Raleigh is beautiful. It’s a large enough city that you feel like you have a lot to look at and do, but also small enough to not feel so overwhelmed.
It’s rich with culture, food, and art. But perhaps the biggest plus about Raleigh and its surrounding areas is the simple fact that it’s home to three collegiate technology giants (Duke, UNC, and NC State). It’s a haven for future growth.
Buying a luxury home in Raleigh is about investing. If you buy in Raleigh right now, in ten years, there’s good odds that your equity will be significantly higher than now.
You’d also be paying low property tax rates of just 0.88%.
As a rising city with a huge influx of young professionals and top of the line education. Raleigh is the perfect place to invest in luxury real estate.
Calculate your Raleigh property tax bill here.
There’s a Lot More
It’s difficult to compile an in-depth list for every city that has strong luxury markets, especially for those wanting a city lifestyle. There’s simply too many.
Honorable mentions would be Houston, TX; Charleston, SC; Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA; and Charlotte, NC.
In fact, almost every city in the United States features some sort of luxury real estate market. My home city of Asheville, NC has a good luxury market and our population sits at a meager 100,000.
If you’d like information on a particular market, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be sure to get back to you quickly.