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Each year brings unexpected twists to many real estate markets — including new spins on what consumers want when buying in the luxury market. Owning a luxury home means enjoying the finer things in life, whether understated or flashy.
Today’s luxury buyer is looking for new technology mixed in with some upgraded features. Here are five amenities high-end buyers will pay top dollar for.
1. Smart-home tech and automation
Buyers today are looking for the same smart technology they have on their mobile devises and in their cars. They expect the best when it comes to technology in their homes, with the ability to control everything from temperature and lighting to entertainment and security — all from one device at the press of a button or a voice command.
Why would they settle for a run-of-the-mill media room when they can have a dedicated home theater designed to their specifications that creates the perfect environment for movie lovers?
Today’s technology makes it easy to create a theater environment complete with surround sound and 4K visuals, plus no dealing with lines or crowds.
Homeowners can also control interior lighting in every room of the home and decide how much natural light they want to bring in with motorized shades.
2. Custom features: new meets recycled
A trend we’re seeing a lot in Houston is mixing old with new. Builders are incorporating reclaimed brick and wood to offer homeowners flooring, beams or brick features. These features become beautiful focal points and interesting conversation topics.
Builders and owners are looking for ways to set their properties apart from other homes. Whether importing stone or marble from a distant locale, incorporating reclaimed materials or hiring local craftsmen to create spectacular ceilings and walls, owners leave no detail to chance.
Buyers want architectural elements they can share with others.
3. Show-stopping kitchens
The kitchen has become the modern-day hearth and a must for luxury buyers. After all, the kitchen is often the heart of any home. Luxury homebuyers focus on cabinetry, chef-grade commercial appliances and design.
It doesn’t matter if buyers prefer a sleek or classic country look, today’s kitchen is integrated into other living spaces for entertaining, and it has become a staple in most designs. The open floor plan is great for entertaining, however, it can create challenges as cooking can be a messy business.
So, builders have incorporated secondary kitchens also known as “dirty kitchens” or “catering kitchens” when laying out plans for a luxury home.
Who wants a dirty kitchen when entertaining, or for that matter, ever. These second kitchens are typically located next to the designer version, making them easy to use without sacrificing perfection
Lastly, a kitchen without integrated technology from the ground up is now just another room. Today’s luxury kitchens incorporate refrigerators that alert you when groceries are needed and coffee makers that can be programmed to have owners’ coffee fix ready when they are.
4. Luxury outdoor retreats
More and more buyers are looking to incorporate resort-style luxuries into their homes; after all, when you’re used to the best of the best when traveling, why not bring those luxuries home?
High-end buyers desire luxurious resort-style pools and gourmet kitchens to unwind in after a long day.
Luckily homeowners in Houston can entertain and enjoy alfresco dining and lounging long after the rest of the country has packed their outdoor furniture away for the winter.
Taking advantage of the mild temperatures, many homes are engineered so indoor spaces such as the living and dining rooms open into courtyards as well as the covered open-air veranda, lanai and terrace.
5. Collection garages
Garage space matters, and large garages have become a staple in luxury construction. These extravagant amenities offer homeowners lavishness from the moment they pull into their garages.
If homebuyers want to create a showroom for their car collection or incorporate a man-cave into their home, there are really no limits on what can be done.
The one thing you can guarantee is that luxury homebuyers are looking at all the finer things, indoors and outdoors, and an excellent agent knows just how to find, or create, what his or her luxe buyers desire.
Shari L. Mattern is the director of marketing and communications with BHGRE Gary Greene in Houston, Texas.