WHAT HOMEOWNERS WANT
The luxury market often sets the trend.
Whoever said, “The rich are different,” knew what he was talking about. An article published in the Chicago Tribune late last fall sought the opinions of some the Midwest’s top luxury home builders as to what their customers look for in a new home. These were builders who typically build a few homes a year—15 to 20—mostly in the $500,000 to $1.5 million range, although many are in the $1.1 million to $3 million range.
Many of the luxuries would hardly raise an eyebrow anymore. Multiple sinks, dishwashers and refrigerators (such as under-the-counter cold drawers) in high-end kitchens are seen as becoming common. A few others are interesting, however, such as prayer rooms, walk-in cold storage and safe rooms. (And, by the way, don’t call it a basement. It’s the lower level.)
The same can be said about luxury homebuyers’ exterior choices. On the one hand, stone facades are a good choice for practical homeowners looking for durability and low maintenance. On the other, there are many of those for whom it’s a reflection of their tastes: an interest in French style architecture that’s currently popular, the builders say.
But you’ve got to love the call for distressed exterior shutters. Only in America would someone pay $3 million for a new home paying extra to have the shutters achieve an aged patina.
Sought-after items by luxury homebuyers (in no particular order)
Interiors:Indoor basketball courts Exercise spas Home theaters Prayer rooms Walk-in cold storage lockers Safe rooms Elevators Multiples—two or more dishwashers, refrigerators, sinks, family rooms, laundries, exercise areas, home offices
Exteriors:Distressed shutters Stone facades Screened porches Pools Fire pits Barbeques
Source: Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2004