Architectural and design trends in luxury homes fluctuate, but some features luxury home buyers continue to find essential. These are the features that are the most requested in our markets.
Privacy: Even home buyers who enjoy the feel of a neighborhood do not want a neighbor's window facing one of their windows. Decks must have privacy barriers; yards must be private or have private relaxing or eating areas.
View: Half of the home buyers moving into our area are over 50 and put a higher priority on a view. Whether they telecommute or are looking toward retirement, many will not look at a home without a view. If you have a more expensive home but do not have a water or mountain view, consider creating a view with a water feature and stunning landscaping.
Outdoor Living Spaces: Useable outdoor cooking and lounging spaces are a plus. Level lots are preferred, but regardless of the landscaping or hardscape, the grounds must be well-maintained and should look like a park. The home's curb appeal should convey excitement to see what is inside.
Quality, High-End Finishes: Quality materials, as well as artistic craftsmanship, are expected. The trend toward organic materials, natural finishes, energy efficiency, and renewable resources are likely to become permanent must-haves.
Grand Primary Suite: This has become a private space for relaxing, working, and a refuge. The most appealing amenities include a fireplace, access to the outdoors—such as a private garden, deck, or hot tub, a reading area with comfortable seating, a coffee bar, and sometimes a desk/work area. The most appealing feature of a primary suite is a bathroom with a curbless shower with multiple shower heads. Suppose it can also be a steamer that is a bonus. Other features include lots of counter and storage space, designer statement lighting, and interesting uses of tiles, rocks, or slate. Seldom-used freestanding soaking tubs placed in front of a window look wonderful in photographs, but this feature does not necessarily add value as long as there is a tub somewhere in the home.
An Entertaining Kitchen: Kitchens have always been the “heart of the home,” and they are the gathering spots whether entertaining or just eating with the home inhabitants. The industrial/commercial kitchen look is softening as home buyers are bored with stainless everything. Buyers show a preference not just for function but also for appliances that are beautiful, energy-efficient, and easy to use and maintain. The kitchen overall must be beautiful and inviting.
Home Bar/Wine Cellars: A wet bar is no longer essential in a luxury home. Coffee/Espresso bars are in much higher demand. Most luxury buyers prefer multiple high-tech programmable wine coolers for wine storage since they can be placed throughout the home if desired. Wine cellars that are also tasting rooms might look fun, but they are usually too chilly to be enjoyable.
Home Office: The definition of what is essential varies greatly. Some may see the need for a large desk and walls of books, while other need a comfortable place to use a laptop. ALL home buyers need high-speed internet. Wi-Fi works for most homeowners, but some need hard wiring for security.
Storage: The more, the better. Closets should have professionally designed use of the space. Primary bedroom closets often have a stacking washer and dryer to augment the main laundry room. Others actually incorporate the laundry room in the private space of the primary suite and use the laundry room folding space to double as space to pack suitcases. Guest rooms with walk-in closets are a bonus; walk-in " storage rooms or "Costco rooms" are desired.
Dedicated Guest Quarters: A luxury home will always have a dedicated guest room. The preference is that there is a dedicated guest suite away from the primary bedroom.
Garage: A 3-car garage is a must-have for most luxury buyers. Garages with well-designed storage units, upscale flooring, and features such as a compressor are a plus.
If you are considering remodeling, consider these most highly requested home features and keep them in mind for resale value. Some materials can be trendy, but some are timeless, like slate and wood. Some features such as a luxurious primary suite, have always been desirable, and we have seen many buyers purchase based on an exotic spa-like bathroom.
You do want to remodel to fit your lifestyle. Consider having flex-spa accommodate to changing needs. It also allows for the new buyer to be able to make your home fit their needs, whether it is an art studio, media room, or home gym.
If you are remodeling your home or landscaping your lot and want to keep an eye on resale value, we would be happy to come by and let you know how home buyers would view your options. We have had many homeowners tell us that they thought changes would enhance value when in fact, in might have reduced the home's value. We are here to help whether you are considering buying, selling, or just want some advice.