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The real cost of owning a luxury home in the UK

The real cost of owning a luxury home in the UK
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When you think about the cost of a luxury home in the UK, it’s likely that you focus on the price tag. But are you aware of the real cost? Read this article to find out.

Definition of a luxury home

When exploring the cost of running a luxury home, it’s easier to do this with an imaginary home in mind. For the sake of argument, let’s look at the cost of running a luxury home that has the following specifications:

Total estate description

  • Located in the home counties of England
  • Set in five acres of land
  • Outdoor swimming pool and pool house
  • One main house and a smaller cottage

Main house

  • Three floors
  • Six bedrooms
  • Four bathrooms
  • Three receptions
  • Kitchen/breakfast room
  • Storage

Small cottage

  • Two floors
  • Two bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • Two receptions
  • One kitchen

Systems

  • Underfloor heating in the kitchen and the master bathroom in the main house
  • Three fireplaces in the main house
  • A central heating system in the small cottage
  • CCTV throughout

A luxury home in the UK with these specifications would cost around £4 million including stamp duty.

Ordinary running costs

These are the costs that most UK homeowners have to pay. However, in a luxury home, these costs are considerably higher. They are as follows:

1. Council Tax

A home of this size will be in the highest council tax band, which is Band H.

Estimated annual cost = £4,000

2. Fuel and electricity

Unsurprisingly, this is a big annual bill. It includes the fuel and electricity requirements for the main house, the small cottage, the swimming pool and pool house, the grounds and the security system.

The heating systems in modern luxury homes tend to be a combination of heating oil and wood-burning stoves as well as a conventional boiler system. This combination helps to reduce the cost.

Estimated annual cost = £20,000

3. Water supply

You will be responsible for the water and sewerage systems on the estate.

Estimated annual cost = £2,000

4. Buildings maintenance

General maintenance includes some tasks that should be undertaken on a regular basis. These include clearing the guttering, maintaining the heating systems and cleaning the fireplaces and chimneys.

You will also need to be prepared for unexpected events, such as a broken window or damaged sewage pipe. The annual cost includes a contingency fund.

Estimated annual cost = £45,000

Extraordinary running costs

These are the costs associated with owning a luxury home in the UK. Here’s where it starts to get interesting. These costs are as follows:

5. Staff

You will need staff for the following:

  • Indoor and outdoor cleaning
  • Day-to-day cooking (optional)
  • Gardening
  • Building maintenance

This will be a mix of permanent and outsourced staff. For example, you may choose to have a gardening firm on retainer that makes regular visits.

Alternatively, you might decide to hire a live-in housekeeper that oversees the management of the main house and/or estate. If you have your own staff, you will be responsible for paying their National Insurance, income tax and pensions.

Estimated annual cost = £120,000

6. Security

This is the cost of regularly maintaining a camera activated CCTV monitoring system without staff.

Estimated annual cost = £2,000

7. Swimming pool

Costs include the regular cleaning and maintenance of the pool. You will need chemicals to keep the water safe and clean. Heated swimming pools have electrical systems that also need to be regularly checked.

You will need to drain and refill your swimming pool every 2 to 3 years, but this will depend on how well it is maintained.

Estimated annual cost = £2,000

8. Insurance

The different types of insurance you will need are as follows:

  • Buildings insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Employer’s liability insurance

Estimated annual cost = £30,000

Total running cost

Based on our estimates, the total annual running cost of a typical luxury home in the UK comes to £225,000.

Bear in mind that the costs are estimates and can vary. Factors such as the age of the property, the location and extra staff can have a big influence on the running costs.

Final thoughts

After looking at the true cost, you may not be interested in taking on such a major commitment as a luxury home. However, if you are interested in buying your own home, it’s worth checking out our complete guide to mortgages.

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