When the average home buyer looks for a home, they typically have a list of must haves, like gourmet kitchens, en suite bathrooms and big backyards. Deal breakers are about things like garages and multiple bathrooms. But when it comes to luxury real estate, the stakes are a bit higher. The common items are expected. So what’s on a luxury home buyer’s list of must haves?
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According to a recent report from Trulia, the list of wants has changed, and new design trends are emerging in the luxury home market. When the average person hears wine cellar, movie theater or gym, they may think we’re discussing a mall, but for those willing to spend big bucks, these are just part of the package that comes along with luxury home ownership. We’re taking a peek into some of the most luxurious homes in the country so that we can experience what it’s like to live the good life.
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A wine refrigerator or a built-in wine rack in the kitchen might be a perk to most people, but that’s just not going to cut it in the luxury home market. People don’t want a rack, they want an entire room dedicated to their love for wine. Whether they want an ample supply on hand for entertaining or they simply like to collect an assortment of cabernet and sauvignon blanc, a wine room is a must have.
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Who needs a country club when you can have your very own tennis court? For tennis fans, having a tennis court in their backyard is a necessity. “A private tennis court is a rare privilege and a favored amenity for luxury home buyers,” said Geoff Gifkins of Nest Seekers International.
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Marble is an expensive material that can be difficult to care for, making it an impractical choice for most people. However, the luxury home buyer really isn’t concerned about practical; remember, they have an entire room dedicated to wine. Marble is elegant and classic, and they want it on everything from the floors to the countertops.
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Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy convenience, and that’s one thing luxury home buyers are willing to splurge on. Having a gym down the hall cuts down on a lot of excuses, and you don’t have to worry about anyone hitting on you. A home gym also means you won’t have to stand in line for the next elliptical machine. Tracie Heffernan of Resorts West Real Estate said that luxury home buyers are often “recreation enthusiasts,” and that requires them to be physically fit.
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Rooftop decks are an especially hot commodity when space is limited and when the views are premium. In New York City, for example, outdoor space is rare, even in the luxury market, so a rooftop terrace can be the feature that sways a home buyer. Plus, who wouldn’t want to sip wine on the roof with the view of the city in the background?
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Nothing says luxury like your very own elevator. Imagine stepping off the elevator right into your own foyer. Now, let’s take it a step further. Imagine driving your car into an elevator and having said elevator take your car up to your apartment. That’s exactly what you’ll get at the Sky Garage in New York, and all the rest of your rich friends will be jealous of their normal, people-only elevators.
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An infinity pool just won’t cut it anymore. Luxury home buyers want a relaxing escape from their busy lives, and that’s where ponds come in. Backyards become more like parks, and the truly zealous can fill them with koi, turtles or exotic fish. Sabrina Seidner of Nest Seekers International says, “Buyers love private ponds because they are beautiful and peaceful.”
Oversize or floor-to-ceiling windows
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Luxury home buyers are likely buying a property with incredible views or a beautiful landscape, and they want to capitalize on every bit of that. Large windows also let in a lot of natural light and make spaces feel grander. Think of large windows like a canvas that sets the stage for the entire room. Nothing is grander than walking into a home and having a view of Manhattan or a panoramic view of the garden.
Private movie theaters
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A theater may seem extravagant, but it’s just as common to a luxury home as the dining room is. Home owners are likely to keep it stocked with their favorite candy, a popcorn machine and their favorite movies. It’s a great space for entertaining, especially for families. Plus, cocktails are allowed and encouraged in your own theater.
We’ve mentioned the importance of a good view already, but sometimes it isn’t the big windows or the terrace that makes the difference, it’s what you wake up to every day. An amazing view typically translates into a great location, and luxury home buyers are willing to spend big to get both.
Whether it’s the perfect location, an amazing view, a home theater or a game room that rivals a Las Vegas arcade, luxury home owners know what they want. While oversize windows and wine rooms may be more common features, the one common thread is that luxury home buyers want their home to reflect their lifestyle and what they love.