Empowering the Freelance Economy

Are you tapping into the home improvements and services market for the super-rich?

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Learn more about the £28m home improvements of the super-rich homebuyer and if you could tap into this marketplace as a self-employed consultant or contractor based on your skills.

High expectations

“You might imagine that when purchasing a multi-million-pound property it would be ready to move straight in, however many high-end homeowners will often undergo a full refurbishment that can run into the millions of pounds, says Hugh Wade-Jones, Managing Director of Enness Global Mortgages.

From the more basic furnishings to the more extensive jobs, such as a new wine cellar, car lift or helipad, these additions and improvements have to match the quality of the property itself and so no expense is spared.

The MD of the high-net-worth mortgage broker has highlighted just a handful of products and improvements that can see costs run to as nearly £30m, but “this really is the tip of the iceberg,” he says “with many high-end homeowners spending far more than this.”

The Financial Times has described Hugh Wade-Jones as the ‘go-to mortgage broker for the super-rich’.

Property is in Wade-Jones’s blood. He grew up in a family of property investors and rapidly rose to be a Director of London’s largest mortgage brokerages before founding Enness in August 2007 with Islay Robinson.

According to Wade-Jones it is simply not enough to buy a house at the top end of the property market and today’s super-rich homebuyers are spending millions improving their property once their sale has completed.

Enness found that even the costs of just 14 common property additions or improvements can total as much as £27.6m.

Enness Global has revealed the eye-watering cost of just some of the property requirements, home improvements and additional extras currently in-vogue with home buyers at the top end of the ladder.

The opportunities

The Butler: £52,000

A butler may sound like an archaic property addition, but they remain one of the most common property features of the super-rich. Today, the role has evolved to cover everything from day to day organisation, arranging dinner parties, organising the maintenance of cars, yachts, helicopters or private jets, even taking the kids to school. Salaries are dependent on experience but can start at £1,000 a week (£52,000 a year), with room & board are also provided by the family.

The Spiral Wine Cellar Installation: £70,000 ^

It’s no longer adequate to have a regular cellar for your extensive wine collection, and the spiral wine cellar is the new must-have of the super-rich. While they look extremely impressive, they start at around £24,000 to install and can climb upwards of £70-£100,000 depending on requirements.

Car Elevator: £50,000 ^

Underground parking is a secure way to house your supercar collection, but a regular entrance wouldn’t do them justice. Today’s super-rich home buyers are opting for a car elevator which can range from a hidden to a visible entrance, can be made of glass, or even hidden under the pool for a real wow factor. A car elevator of your own can start at £35,000, but this cost can climb dramatically depending on requirements and can easily cost £50,000 or more.  

Helipad: £30,000 ^

Cars aren’t the only method of transportation that need a place in the high-end home. Installing a helipad will set you back as much as £30,000.

Panic Room: £500,000 ^

The cost of a panic room again varies dramatically depending on size and requirements, as well as whether you need bullet-proof windows or other additional features such as pressure filtration systems, automation or a luxury interior. Expect to pay at least £27,000 for the most basic peace of mind but for total security, you’re looking at at least half a million or more.

Luxury bathtub: £100,000 ^

The bathtub is making a comeback amongst the top-end home buyer, and many are opting for unique materials believed to have additional ‘health benefits’. Opting for a gemstone bath, for example, could see you paying £100,000 or more! A more conservative choice of Rose Quartz or Amethyst would set you back a much more palatable £25,000.  

24-carat gold taps: £15,000

Of course, you couldn’t have regular taps on such a luxurious bath and the go-to at the top-end today is 24-carat gold. At £500 to £1,000 apiece, the average high-end homeowner is looking at a cost of £15,000 on taps alone.  

LuxTouch Tiles: £1,5m (£760,000 per square metre)

For those with a never-ending budget hand-crafted floor, wall, and ceiling tiles using rare and precious materials are the latest property fashion trend for the super-rich. Made using rare materials such as diamonds, mother of pearl, abalone shell and black onyx, to name but a few, the tiles alone start at an eye-watering £760,000 per square metre. That’s a cost of £1,520,000 just to tile the average-sized shower room.

Artwork: £20,000,000 ^

Any high-end home needs some high-end decoration, but with even the most affordable rare artwork starting at £50,000 apiece, just five additions can soon total as much as £25,000. However, some more impressive examples sold in recent years include Meules by Claude Monet (approx £84m), Bouilloire et fruits by Paul Cezanne (approx £45m) and Femme Au Chien by Pablo Picasso (approx £41m) and the average high-end homebuyer will spend around £20m on artwork for their new home.  

The rest: £5.3m ^

A high-end home needs high-end finishing throughout, and even the most modest budget for a sofa, lamps and homeware can total £250,000.

A new chandelier can cost in the region of £5m for the most high-end product, although, historical pieces can command as much as £8m apiece. Of course, high-end lighting needs a high-end light bulb and the very best can see home buyers spending £7,500 on light bulbs alone. 

A luxury fireplace is a focal centrepiece of most living rooms and with high-end buyers opting for materials such as gold or Swarovski, with some including multimedia functions, they can cost anywhere from £50,000 and up.  

Finally, you can’t entertain around any old table and most high-end buyers will fork out as much as £45,000 for a bespoke, luxury dining table.  

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