The mantra, “location, location, location,” has always been true in real estate. But when it comes to luxury homes, it’s all about lifestyle. From gorgeous views and state-of-the-art home automation systems to private helipads and hair salons, the high-end amenities that bring the most value to affluent homeowners tend to address their most pressing needs — such as more time, privacy or the simple pleasures of being one with nature. To learn more, we turned to those who know best — the real estate insiders in the Coldwell Banker® network and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury℠ program, of course — to see which amenities are “the most valuable players” in the current luxury real estate landscape.
Here’s what they had to say:
“A rooftop helipad. When traffic gets bad and even the trip to your private jet becomes too time-consuming, there’s always the option of taking a helicopter from your building.” – Souzan Davood, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Newton, Mass.
“My marketplace is Tuscany’s coast. Here, international buyers dream about luxury waterfront properties with private beach and dock.
– Cassiano Sabbatini, Coldwell Banker Immobiliare Cassiano Sabatini & Partners, Italy.
“A security system. My clients often own multiple properties across the globe. Having a security system that can monitor the property and control the environment is paramount. Having some control and being able to give access to the housekeeper makes owning a home in a resort town often thousands of miles away easier.” – Chris McDonnell, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, Vail, Colo.
“The most valuable luxury amenity for my clients in the high end marketplace of L.A. is privacy and security. Smart home, features, cameras, online access to the property while being away is an automatic amenity, however having complete privacy from neighbors and security hedges, walls and protection is the most valuable amenity overall. However for specific amenities, my female buyers want a home spa with manicure stations, hair bowls and stations and massage rooms, the men want the home theater, bowling alley, wine room and cigar room. They want it all.” – Christophe Choo, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Beverly Hills, Calif.
“Modern homes need all the bells and whistles and that includes smart home technologies. Large open spaces with natural lighting to match high end marble/quartz/ finishes are highly desired in today’s market. These elements scream modern and that’s what today’s buyers are looking for, tastefully modern and turn-key.” – Jon Crocilla, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Chicago, Ill.
“An outdoor (full) kitchen! It’s a must for entertaining year round especially for pool or waterfront properties —which happens to be my specialty here in the Florida Keys!” – Laura Lynne Kennedy, Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co., Islamorada, Fla.
“In the Arizona luxury markets of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, views are always important and most recently, the access to on-site amenities and services — i.e. the valet, concierge, golf, spa services etc.” – Wendy Walker, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
“The most valuable amenity of any luxury residence is the ‘story’ the house tells. It should be one that leads the prospective purchaser towards the feelings of home in their terms and standards. Whether it be through opulent entertaining, privacy and security, unique societal status, affluent location, sultry history or any combination of these, the ‘story’ the house tells will be set on a stage of prominence and grandeur. Upon enter the property one would be lead along through the home as if being serenaded through a masterpiece of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” – Marty Bautista, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Greenbrae, Calif.
“In an urban high-rise environment where you can’t get pools, acreage etc it’s more about perfect architectural design in the home. In the downtown areas we live in far less space. Amenities fall to the building. Doorman, concierge service, wine cellars, spa, dog runs, media room, ultra luxury lobby and possibly an indoor or rooftop pool! Walking distance to world class shopping, restaurants and cultural spots is a huge plus and in demand.” – Rudy Zavala Diaz, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Chicago, Ill.
“In the high stakes luxury marketplace of the westside of Los Angeles including Bel Air and Malibu, a city or ocean view is the single most valuable asset. The better the view, the higher the price. In terms of specific amenities, move-in condition with the latest technology makes a residence far more sellable and greatly increases the buyer pool.” – Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Beverly Hills, Calif.
“In my market, which draws luxury buyers primarily from Seattle, Portland and the Bay Area, I’m seeing a trend towards less is more. Buyers prefer new or nearly new homes with less square footage over larger homes that may not have design elements or finishes currently in vogue. True luxury also involves lifestyle and by having a smaller home that requires less maintenance there is more time to enjoy the great outdoors. Modern and mid-century modern aesthetics are popular and what is considered traditional NW and lodge-style homes have fallen out of favor. Light, airy, and open floor plans with extremely fine finishes and smart home technology are what the most discerning buyers are after. The icing on the cake for these buyers would be sweeping mountain views or a rare riverfront location. However, there is still a segment of luxury buyers that doesn’t fully appreciate or grasp the concept of quality over quantity. The dinosaurs in our market are 5,000sf+ homes that are 10+ years old.” – David Gilmore, Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate, Bend, Ore.
“Luxury home buyers look for a package of high end features, but most importantly they appreciate that they are buying into a lifestyle that the luxury home will provide. In that regard, many of today’s buyers in the luxury market are looking for world class amenities such as a state of the art fitness center, swimming pool, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, and access to the water for boating. In addition, many such buyers want a sense of community, and they value the convenience of easy access to restaurants and shopping. The better understanding your have of what your potential buyers value, the more likely it is that you will find them the property that will close the sale.” – Nancy Reither, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Ocean City, Md.
“View and setting. Because it’s the only thing you can not change that make a property special.” – Tim Allen, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.