Purchasing a house is a major investment, and one that you need to get the most out of. A purchase of this magnitude should not just be about providing a roof over your, but rather it is your castle, and you should take pleasure in it. We may not all be wealthy, but we want to live like we are. When it comes to a house, we may not be able to afford the mansions that the rich own, but we can experience a lot of the luxuries that they have come to appreciate. Here are some of the most sought after features that wealthy luxury buyers look for in a home.
1. Open floor plans
Topping almost any list (including that for luxury homes) of the most desirable new home features over the past several years is open floor plans. There is good reason for this. No other feature can completely change the character of a home, creating a greater feeling of space and grandeur. Like so many other design features, not all open floor plans are created equal. A poorly thought out open floor plan can actually detract from the design and feel of the home. A talented architect can ensure that the floor plan supports a natural flow and helps create a sense of luxury.
In a Survey conducted by Coldwell Banker into the buying preferences of wealthy American clients, technology was found to be the 2nd most popular feature of a home. They described “fully automated/wired home environment” as an important purchase consideration. Typically wealthy buyers are concerned about living a green and modern lifestyle and are looking for everything from high-speed cabling and integrated music systems to computerized energy efficient lighting and home monitoring systems. While much of the technology today is wireless based, wired connections are still needed for many applications. There are also people who prefer wired connectively for health and security reasons. When purchasing a new home ensure that the builder has incorporated cables to support this kind of Smart home technology. It is a lot easier to include cabling in the build process, rather than to retrofit it later.
3. Reclaimed materials
In spite of the keen interest in technology, or perhaps because of it, wealthy home buyers are also increasingly interested in reclaimed materials. Wealthy homeowners have become more aware of their environmental impact and are looking for homes that use old reclaimed materials such as wood beams, wood flooring and doors. As an example of this trend, a local Ottawa company has supplied barn boards and beams to companies building new homes for American celebrities, such as Barbara Streisand.
4. Professional Grade Kitchens
No matter what the income bracket, kitchens appear to be the centre of virtually everyone’s home life. Wealthy home owners in search of a luxurious home tend to focus on a full featured kitchen with restaurant grade appliances and furnishings. Of course this kind of kitchen comes with a pretty hefty price tag, in cases costing as much as some complete houses. It’s not necessary however, to go the whole nine yards in order to achieve a similar luxurious effect. Investing in some high end fixtures and say for example; custom cabinets can go a long way. It’s not necessary to then purchase restaurant grade appliance. More moderately priced high-quality stainless steel appliances are much more affordable, and usually suit a moderate sized house better than the larger industrial grade versions.
5. Outdoor kitchens
Outdoor kitchens also rated very highly on the survey. Although a large acreage was not generally of interest to luxury purchasers, they enjoy spending time on a patio or deck, as part of their entertaining regimen. These people, who value their time, want to prepare the food where they can continue to socialize with their guests. As a result, an outdoor kitchen is very desirable. For them, the ideal outdoor kitchen would include a built-in gas grill, a sink and stainless food prep area, a small fridge for food and drink storage, as well as lavish patio seating for entertaining.
6. Game and Theatre rooms
Game and Theatre rooms have always been popular with the rich and famous. They like to have everything they need at home, so they never have to leave. Now, that may not be a strong motivation for you and I, but it is easy to see the pleasure in a theatre like experience when watching a movie at home. I can also appreciate the desire to play pool, for example, or some other game at home in my spare time. Other than investing in the equipment for these pursuits, it is necessary that you have a room in the house for these activities. For most of us this means having a well finished room in the basement.
7. Luxury spa bathroom
A well appointed bathroom with high-end fixtures is important to fostering a feeling of luxury at home. Following a tough day, nothing sooths the sole better than the relaxing solitude of a soaker tub in a bathroom spa. While popular for many years now, the increasing amount of travel to exotic locales and luxury hotels/resorts, is further stoking interest in this home feature.
8. Exercise room
Nobody relishes the thought of perspiring and showing physical flaws in public. And for wealthy people this has meant ensuring that they can work out at home. A home gym is also a luxury option that is available to people of somewhat more modest means. It is essential that you have the space to be able to accommodate the equipment. The space doesn’t have to be huge, and in fact, it could be space shared with the games room in a finished basement area.
9. Luxury master bedroom retreat
Nothing speaks luxury quite as well as a beautifully furnished master bedroom – a rejuvenating retreat from the (sometimes) harsh outside world. By bringing the outside in with large windows, it is possible to create the necessary feeling of spaciousness, without having to dedicate a disproportionate amount of space to the bedroom. A deck off the master bedroom will increase the sense of space while also creating an additional element of luxury.
10. Location … Location … Location
In their 2013 report on luxury real-estate, the Luxury Institute noted that; “Location is by far the most important factor in the decision making for affluent consumers”. We couldn’t agree more. In fact, 70% stated that ‘location’ was their most important criteria. This compared to 6% to 10% citing elements such as property condition, price, home amenities and view, as the most important criteria. The feeling of luxury, it seems, may depend more on location than any other single factor.