Let’s take a look at today’s trends in what buyers are looking for, and what they’re not looking for, in luxury homes.
1. Smaller properties
From The Healthy Home Economist, The Trend Toward Smaller Homes, “With new home sales down 80% since 2005 (yes, you read that right) and no recovery in sight, long-term changes in the behavior of Americans buying homes was inevitable. In comparison, sales of existing homes for the same period are only down 28%. The trend right now appears to be strongly away from McMansions and toward more reasonably sized, affordable single family dwellings.”
Buyers now desire just the right size with a thoughtful use of space and would rather have a better lot with breathtaking views.
2. Tech-savvy homes
Everyone seems to buy-in to the “there’s an app for that” idea. Homebuyers are no exception. They want their home equipped with the latest technology to control everything from utilities, appliances, security, window shades, and entertainment systems. Preferably from the comfort of their phone! These include:
- Light switches/light bulbs
- Wall outlets
- Thermostats/heating and cooling systems
- Door locks
- Garage door openers
- Entertainment systems
- Security cameras and sensors
- Emergency alert systems (smoke and carbon dioxide detectors)
- Environmental sensors (humidity, water, etc.)
- Shades and drapes
- Irrigation systems
3. Spectacular kitchens
The kitchen is probably the most important item to a luxury buyer – whether they cook or not. Today’s open plan designs place the kitchen on center stage and where the entertaining happens. Homes with ‘luxury kitchens’ sell quicker and for more money than others. Some 80% of remodeling projects take place in the kitchen according to National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index.
According to Forbes.com, Designing the Luxury Kitchen of Tomorrow Today, “The kitchen is now the showpiece of the modern home. “The ultimate design statement of the home starts in the kitchen,” said MaGaha as she introduced the discussion focused on the three essential design elements for the modern kitchen – Cabinetry, Appliances and Water Appliances. “With the trend toward open floor plans, the kitchen sets the stage for all the other design decisions in the home.”
4. Uniquely special
Today’s high-end buyers want a home filled with custom finishes and features that reflect their personality and taste.
Whether it’s custom-designed furniture, items incorporated into a home’s design from the owners’ travels or purchased elsewhere for a one-of-a-kind feel, they don’t want what everyone else has — so look for hand-crafted and specialty-sourced pieces.
Luxury homeowners want their home to tell a story when guests walk through it.
Whether it’s within the home or nearby, today’s luxury buyers want easy access to pools, fitness, spas and more.
Specialty rooms or living spaces tailored to interests like media rooms, sports courts or collection garages to house specialty cars are also of importance.
Proximity to a community pool or country clubs that offer it all is also quite attractive for buyers relocating from another area as a way to be able to connect with other like-minded individuals.
1. Oversize, overdone and ostentatious
The McMansion era ended with the 2008 recession. No longer does having a ton of square footage define a luxury home. The same with over-the-top finishes that are really taste-specific and possibly outdated such as swirled marble floors, walls of glass or custom mirrors, etc.
2. Inconvenient and far removed
Buyers today crave convenience. They don’t want to travel unnecessary distances for shopping, dining and services. The same with excessive commutes to work or an airport.
An extra 10 or 20 minutes to get from a property to the main entrance of a gated community, for example, can negatively impact how buyers feel about the neighborhood and home. The same goes for proximity to amenities and activities they enjoy.
3. Lack of quality finishes
4. Functionally obsolete
5. Pie-in-the-sky overpricing