Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fool's Gold? These luxury home amenities may not be worth the price tag.

If you’re selling your luxury or high-end home, you may survey your listing and see a lot of amenities that you think are attractive to buyers. But in reality, there is a long and distinct list of features that are trending down with luxury buyers, and may be seen as a negative, no matter what you paid for them. Some of these amenities have simply gone out of style, some are impractical and rarely used, and some just waste valuable money – and space. Since it’s important to always take the temperature of buyers in order to maximize profit on your sale, here are some amenities that currently may be overrated or not pay dividends in luxury homes:

Wine cellars with elaborate tasting room:
In the past couple of decades, there has been a huge uptick in high-end homeowners that wanted to enjoy their love of wine with their own custom wine cellar. Many even had large and elaborate wine tasting rooms. But while people still love wine, most of those tasting rooms were rarely used and inordinately expensive, and that trend is starting to fade.

High-end industrial stove:
Homeowners still want large and luxurious kitchens more than anything else on their wish list, but research shows that a professional or industrial range or stove in the kitchen is overkill. Many of these units cost an average of $10,000, require specialty utilities, and are actually not as fun as they may seem for simple family cooking.

Chef’s kitchen:
The same goes for industrial/chef’s kitchens. They are somewhat paradoxical because luxury buyers still see them as a desirable amenity and they may help you sell your home, but surveys show that people don’t feel the same way once they live in the home and use the kitchen every day, and they are vastly underutilized.  Luxury homeowners still want beautiful kitchens with top-end appliances, but they actually use those intended for the home, not restaurants.

Warming drawer:
Intended to keep food at serving temperature during parties, functions, and several-course dinners, in reality warming drawers are hardly ever used.

Pot filler:
Another restaurant-like feature, some kitchens in luxury homes have a swiveling water spigot right by the stove, so large pots don’t need to be lugged to and from the sink. That’s rarely a problem for normal residential homes, making this a superfluous feature for luxury homes.

Whirlpool tub with jets:
Most people have the fantasy of soaking for hours in complete relaxation in a huge spa tub in their home’s master bath, and it is an attractive selling point to home shoppers, but the reality is that whirlpool tubs with jets require more maintenance and clog with fast-growing germs and bacteria. Conversely, it’s becoming more popular for luxury homes to have ornate walk-in showers with multiple heads, and simple soaking tubs, often in copper or replicating antique models.

Sitting areas in walk-in closets:
Buyers still want spacious walk-in closets that are well lit and organized, but the trend of large sitting areas in the middle of walk-in closets seems to be passé. Instead, luxury homebuyers prefer His and Her walk-in closets.

Hot tub:
Some people use their hot tub religiously, but the vast majority only go near it when it needs cleaning, chemicals and maintenance (or pay someone to do it!) so hot tubs are becoming far less popular.

Huge, ornate swimming pool:
Swimming pools are still a commodity among buyers shopping for a luxury home, but instead of garish and large pools of yesteryear, they are now trending towards simple, rectangular, and modern minimalist.

Cathedral ceiling over family room:
High ceilings are highly valued in luxury homes, but only to a point, and the days of cavernous Cathedral ceilings over family rooms and entryways are numbered.

 Sunroom:
 Sunrooms are only prevalent in luxury homes in cold weather climates, but luxury homeowners in California and other warm places will almost never use them, and could use the square footage to expand their kitchen, family room, or great room.

Outdoor fireplace:
 Outdoor amenities like kitchens, living areas, and grand built-in barbecues saw their stock rise precipitously over the last decades, but some of those amenities are starting to slow. Especially in warmer climates, outdoor fireplaces just aren’t used a lot, or homeowners are opting for smaller/portable and less expensive fire pits.

Wood kitchen cabinets:
Wood finished cabinets are considered extremely outdated, with white, gray, black modern cabinets the newest hot look, some with faux natural patterns and often purposely mismatching with other elements to highlight secondary and tertiary colors.

Traditional metal fixtures:
In luxury homes, silver or nickel door handles, pulls and other hardware are being updated with brass.
Granite counter tops:
In luxury homes, kitchen counters constructed in laminate or tile were unheard of, almost like hanging fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror or a Rolls Royce. Granite countertops were largely standard issue in luxury homes, but now granite is becoming the new tile, and high-end buyers are looking for exciting new countertop materials like quartz, sandstone, concrete, and even composite glass, recycled materials, and natural wood.

Here are some other amenities that are trending down in luxury homes, with the percent drop in popularity this year compared to last:

Outdoor built-in barbecues    - 16%

Hardwood floors   -13%

Plantation shutters   -13%

Covered patios   -11%

Lush landscaping   -9%

Custom cabinets   -9%

Fireplaces   -9%

Double sinks   -8%

Stainless steel appliances   -7%

Pool   -7%

Gated communities   -6%

Center island in kitchen   -6%

Bonus room  -6%

Granite countertops   -5%

Formal dining room   -4%

Formal living room   -4%

Surround sound and tech systems   -4%

Large master suite   -3%

Gourmet kitchen   -3%

Breakfast nook   -3%




No comments:

Post a Comment