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.
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.
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.
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.