Friday, October 27, 2017

Oversized or Opulent

I worked for an architectural presentation company when I was much younger. We would create 3D presentations of un-built homes for buyers - virtual model homes that they could tour with a keyboard and mouse.

I was astonished by the size of these homes. They always had master ensuites, numerous bedrooms, and what I considered to be dream kitchens. Some had billiard rooms; others had “bonus” rooms. My boss would sometimes correct me when I referred to them as mansions. These are just big houses, he would smile and say.

So what is it that separates a “big” house from a luxury home?

Luxury Home Must Haves

Location, Location, Location!

The most obvious differentiation between a big house and a luxury home is probably location. There are several key considerations:

Luxury homes are usually located in the vicinity of other luxury homes. There may be several reasons for this. The immediate community may offer certain lifestyle choices and amenities. The shared infrastructure would serve all members of the immediate community.

Proximity to beaches, lakes or spectacular mountain views is often a highly desired feature for luxury homes. Certainly for the sake of serenity and air quality most of these houses would be far from more mechanical types of industry, such as refineries and major highways.

Whether urban or a more remote ranch, luxury home owners want to be undisturbed when they choose to be home. Enough land to plant some trees between neighbors, nestled on an ocean-side beach or perched on a hillside, the luxury home offers privacy and tranquility to its occupants.

Availability of golf courses, private clubs and other often exclusive amenities are a consideration. Proximity to exceptional medical services, high end shopping and restaurants would also factor in.

The close proximity of top rated schools would be another important distinction.

Safety and Security

While harder to manage, a low crime rate would be highly desirable for the area the luxury home is in.

Certainly a private police force would be a notable service to offer peace of mind to the residents. Many luxury homes are within gated communities and some have security guards at the gate to greet guests and service providers.

In addition to these features, luxury homes have high end internal and external security. 

Entry points such as windows, doors and garages are monitored. There is usually external motion sensors for video surveillance in addition to lighting triggered by motion detectors. 

These luxury homes may come equipped with safes for valuables, safe closets, or safe rooms where the residents may take refuge in case of emergency.


In addition to the high end alarm system, luxury homes embrace advances in technology. 

Most already have wiring for speakers and other media applications throughout the home. Luxury homes often have electronic systems to control window treatments.

Now more modern luxury homes are blue tooth enabled. Not only do they have smart appliances in the kitchen, they have very specialized pieces that perform unique functions.

Remote controlled climate, lighting control and electronic door locks are all executable from a cell phone and customized by zones or rooms.

These luxury homes are quickly becoming showcases for science fiction-like advances. 

They offer the home owners the opportunity to stay connected at all times. Imagine catching up on Facebook while brushing your teeth!

Interior Features

The very architecture of these homes is different. Doorways are grander and rooms boast walk in closets or built-ins that ordinary big homes just don’t have. There are more dedicated and designed ancillary spaces such as entries, laundry facilities, work rooms, mud rooms, pantries and other storage.

Details such as moldings, tile and electric or electronic interfaces are precisely and meticulously finished. Custom tile work or trim accentuates the architecture.

Master Suite

The master suite is much more spacious sanctuary – and equipped with more features than the “big” home. 

Rather than having a walk in closet, these homes offer dressing rooms with custom cabinetry specifically suited for Madam’s and Monsieur’s garments and accessories.  There may be a vanity area for the application of makeup and storage of jewelry.

Master baths are spacious with top of the line cabinetry and fixtures incorporated into the design. Radiant floor heating and heated towel racks are desirable features. 

One of the top features in 2014 was the luxury shower. Sporting multiple shower heads, seating and controllable lighting, these large shower spaces are replacing spa tubs in terms of preference.


Kitchens are professional caliber. In addition to expansive cabinetry and storage, these sumptuous kitchens feature top of the line materials. 

Equipped with high end smart appliances, these kitchens include multiple ovens, side by side dishwashers, warming drawers, wine fridges coffee bars, and plenty of custom cupboards for smaller appliances. 

Walk in pantries can include enough extra storage for party and holiday feast necessities - including space for caterers to work.


The luxury home will offer a large workspace, or his and hers offices for the owners. Alibrary may still be prominent in some older homes. There may be a “teen room” for the children to entertain friends or study. These spaces may include custom built-in cabinetry for computers and other office equipment, gaming systems or books.

Recreation and fitness

Luxury homes have specific features most “big” houses only dream of. The gyms, cinemas, billiard rooms, home offices and servant’s quarters are more than re-purposed extra bedrooms or basements. These rooms have ample space and come equipped with the necessary amenities and perks, such as wet bars, built in mini fridges, or build in wiring for electronics that an ordinary re-purposed bedroom may not have. 

The home cinema and/or game room may include wet bar, or feature equipment for snacks like popcorn and sectionals have replaced the movie theater-type seating popular in the past.

In addition, the luxury home may include extravagant specialty rooms such as a spa room with wet and/or dry sauna and whirlpool tub, massage room and salon space for the styling of hair and nails. 

The enthusiast may have spaced dedicated for particular interests, such as a wine cellar, including a wine tasting room, or humidor closet and smoking room. 

These specialty rooms all have very particular requirements including climate control, ventilation and other special systems that ordinary rooms just do not have.

These rooms all offer the luxury home owner the conveniences of custom tailored recreational facilities without the need to go off property.

Exterior Features


Outside the house, the distinction could be a cabana, casita or guest house near the pool and spa. In 2014 the outdoor feature “must have” was the exterior kitchen equipped with grill, fridge, prep area, sink and even TV with the seating area. Additional features include a pizza oven, full bar, smoker, and burners amongst the must-haves. Also gaining in popularity are poolside fire pits or fireplaces.

Physical Activity

The private playground amenities are one of the biggest draws for the professionals, business executives and well-to-do families. Tennis or basketball courts or other playing surfaces may be incorporated into the luxury home grounds.

Other Features

Depending on the geographical location, the luxury house may also afford a boat house or dock. A four car garage or larger would not be unexpected. Gardens may be manicured or left in a more natural state.

If you are putting your luxury home on the market, consider current trends before listing. If your home does not have the features expected from today’s luxury market, you may have what is considered to be a “big house”. If updating isn't something you wish to consider right now, we can help.

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for market, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at ways to add value to your house.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory