Luxury waterfront villa in Sri Lanka.

Infinity pools and ocean views are considered a must for many luxury buyers. (Getty Images)

From state-of-the-art home automation systems to dedicated tasting rooms to private whiffle ball courts and grounds that will rival the most luxurious five-star resorts – in the world of luxury real estate, over-the-top amenities dominate.

Luxury homes are all about lifestyle, and over the past several years high-end homes have stepped up to offer buyers more than ever before. Amenities that were once considered an extravagance have become standard and have forced builders and homeowners to take luxury amenities to the next level.

Luxury buyers are looking for that unique feature and special touch that sets a home apart from all the rest. Here are 10 of the most sought-after features and amenities luxury homebuyers are swooning over.

1. High-Tech Everything

Technology means convenience and convenience is the ultimate luxury. High-end home shoppers are looking for ways to make their lives easier. Home automation systems offer entertainment, security, lighting controls, temperature adjustment and more at just the push of a button or the command of your voice.

Shades and doors open automatically and you can control water and fire features, or set the mood with your favorite music streaming service. Newer homes have also integrated green technology, solar energy systems and high-tech water irrigation systems. It’s not uncommon to find an electric charging station in the garage for your electric-powered vehicle.

[See: 8 Apartment Amenities You Didn't Know You Needed.]

2. Home Theaters and Entertainment Centers

Rather than just another media room, luxury buyers are looking for properties with private theaters. They want a space to lounge with family and friends and enjoy the latest summer blockbuster without sacrificing the excitement and experience of the big screen.

The most impressive home theaters offer stadium seating, recliners, custom couches, mood lighting and the latest and greatest in picture and sound technology. And when the movie ends, the fun continues. Many luxury homes feature their own entertainment centers with game rooms, billiard rooms, full bar areas and more. Top-notch home theaters and entertainment areas give "movie night in" a whole new meaning.

3. Wine and Tasting Rooms

Wine rooms have made a major resurgence as one of the most sought-after luxury amenities. They are no longer tucked away in the basement or hidden away in a forgotten closet. Wine rooms have come front and center to become a major showpiece and a focal point for entertaining and innovative design.

Buyers are looking for beautifully displayed bottles, custom lighting, glass displays, motorized racks and entire rooms solely for the purpose of displaying, tasting and enjoying vintage gems.

4. Private Gyms and Spas

Fully equipped gyms, dedicated yoga rooms and spa rooms are cropping up in new luxury homes all over. Like all homebuyers, luxury shoppers are looking for homes with amenities and features to meet their needs and suit their lifestyle.

Why go out for a massage or acupuncture treatment when they can come to you at your in-home spa? Rather than schlepping to the gym at rush hour, your trainer can come to you, at your convenience. And after a solid workout, you only have to step around the corner to find your in-home sauna for a soothing steam.

5. Garages as Showrooms

For luxury buyers, ample parking is often a deal breaker. Car collectors and entertainers are looking for large garages and expansive motor courts to support parking for events and numerous vehicles.

Garages at ultra-luxury homes have become much more than a shadowy space to park your car along with a barrage of other miscellaneous items. High-end garages have become showrooms to display a buyer’s vehicles as works of art.

[See: Going Deep Into Tiny Homes.]

6. Killer Views

In Los Angeles, views are the ultimate luxury feature and a drop-dead gorgeous city view can add a hefty price tag to a property’s purchase price. View properties are the most coveted and most treasured accessory in the luxury market.

That infinity-edge pool and those walls of glass that disappear at the touch of a button wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic if it wasn’t for that expansive carpet of twinkling city lights, the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean below or the rolling canyon expanses.

But not all views are created equal. In Los Angeles, it’s that unobstructed, head-on, panoramic city view – where it looks like you could reach out with your fingertips and pluck the lights out one by one – that’s most sought after.

7. Indoor-Outdoor Living

Outdoor spaces are just as important as indoor spaces, and the way a home is able to marry the two makes for the ultimate indoor-outdoor lifestyle achievement. Luxury homebuyers are looking for a property where the architecture of the home itself also compliments their lifestyle and aspirations. Open spaces and outdoor living rooms, cabanas, outdoor kitchens and dining areas are all sought after high-end features that add to the lifestyle experience.

8. Resort-Style Pools

Pools are not uncommon at almost any price point in Southern California, where the sun seems to shine almost every day of the year. But luxury buyers are looking for that extra special touch to create a backyard space that will be truly unforgettable.

Luxury buyers are looking for Olympic-sized lap pools, infinity pools that disappear seamlessly into city or ocean views, waterfalls, fountains, swim up bars and more. The more unique and the more drama – the greater the appeal.

9. Land and Privacy

Right up there with a gorgeous view, land and privacy are critical to most luxury shoppers. Buyers are looking for a good-sized lot and usable land with mature landscaping and a private, gated driveway to protect from prying eyes.

[See: The 30 Most Fun Places to Live in the U.S.]

10. Sports Courts to Fine Tune Your Skills

Luxury homes often feature basketball courts, tennis courts, putting greens, racquet ball courts, miniature baseball diamonds, bowling alleys and any number of lawn games or other sports setup to entertain and impress guests. Unique sports courts appeal to hobbyists, athletes and entertainers alike.

When it comes to luxury homes, it’s all about appealing to the lifestyle, convenience, quality and style. Beautiful materials, high-end appliances and innovative design are also critical factors. Beyond simple functionality, luxury buyers are looking for special features, design or new technology that sets a home apart and makes it unique and unlike any other.

Tags: real estate, housing market, housing, home improvements, luxury, Los Angeles


Sally Forster Jones is recognized as one of the top real estate brokers in Southern California. Forster Jones is an expert in the luxury real estate market in Los Angeles and internationally. Her extensive knowledge ranges from residential sales, luxury and architecturally significant properties to new developments and commercial transactions.

She is currently Executive Director of Luxury Estates with Compass in Beverly Hills, California. Her team, SFJ Group, is comprised of agents and a full-service staff ranging across experienced marketing, listing, transaction, and operation experts.

Recommended Articles

The Most Expensive Places to Live

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 21, 2019

These metro areas have the highest cost of living compared to median income.

Features That Make Selling a House Easy

Wendy Arriz | Aug. 19, 2019

These details in a home are a must-have on many homebuyers' lists.

Tips to Make Your Home Instagram-Worthy

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 16, 2019

Inspire social media envy and excitement with these design and photography tips.

7 Fall Decor Tips for Your Home

Deanna Haas | Aug. 16, 2019

Autumn provides home sellers with unique opportunities for staging and decorating. But does fall decor actually help sell your home, or make it more difficult to attract buyers?

The Biggest Cities in the U.S.

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 14, 2019

These cities have the largest populations in the country, with amenities to match.

Smart Home Upgrades to Raise Home Value

Steven Gottlieb | Aug. 12, 2019

Smart home technology may wow homebuyers, but they may not be willing to pay more for the latest upgrades.

The Guide to Closing Costs

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 9, 2019

Here's a breakdown of what buyers and sellers can expect to pay when closing on a home sale.

The Best Places on the West Coast

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 7, 2019

Discover metro areas near the Pacific Ocean that offer residents the most.

10 Secrets to Selling Your Home Faster

Teresa Mears, Devon Thorsby | Aug. 2, 2019

Consider these low-cost ways to sell a home fast by attracting buyers with great photos, fresh curb appeal and social media buzz.

The 25 Best Places to Find a Job

Devon Thorsby | Aug. 1, 2019

These metro areas have the strongest job markets in the country.

5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Robin Kencel | July 30, 2019

Keep an eye out for these details in the homebuying process to keep the right mindset and avoid buyer's remorse.

The Best Places to Live for Singles

Devon Thorsby | July 25, 2019

These metro areas offer affordable, enviable living for people who are looking to make a move solo.

What to Expect When iBuyers Sell Homes

Dima Williams | July 25, 2019

Eventually, iBuyers become iSellers. Here's what homebuyers should know before making a deal.

Why Days on Market Matter for Home Sales

Deanna Haas | July 24, 2019

What’s really measured by days on market, and the implications this figure has for homebuyers and sellers alike.

How to Refresh Your Home on the Market

Wendy Arriz | July 23, 2019

Here are five things you can try to attract the right buyer to your home before you drop the asking price.

30 Most Fun Places to Live in the U.S.

Devon Thorsby | July 19, 2019

Take advantage of what these metro areas have to offer for your free time.

5 Things About Renter Laws in Florida

Devon Thorsby | July 17, 2019

Whether you're an investor or a renter, know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to residential leases in the Sunshine State.

Why a Home Floor Plan Matters

Steven Gottlieb | July 16, 2019

Not all square feet are created equal when it comes to your home's layout.

Packing Tips for Moving to Your New Home

Devon Thorsby | July 12, 2019

Prevent a moving-day disaster with these expert packing tips.

Living Room Renovation Ideas on a Budget

Devon Thorsby | July 10, 2019

Give your living room a personal touch with these simple remodeling ideas that won't break the bank.