One of the most asked questions this summer in luxury real estate has been, “What exactly are high net worth individuals seeking in their summer homes?” While each buyer is unique, there are several trends to keep in mind when working with these discerning clients. Our friends at Wealth-X took a look at a report by Christies, Luxury Defined, and shared with us their findings. We coupled these tips with our own research, as highlighted in our recent Luxury Market Report, to give you a greater insight into the luxury summer home market.
The first thing to keep in mind when searching for the perfect luxury summer home, are the preferences of your client. High net worth individuals require their agents to provide a highly personalized service, with expectations for valuable insight all of the variables and nuances of the property and its surrounding amenities – finding the right property to fill their needs is not for the faint of heart!
According to Trinkie Watson, a Tahoe luxury real estate broker at Chase International, “It’s important to play to the strengths of your area – our area has winter and summer sports and people buy here as they need to escape the madness of urban areas. We also look to identify preferences – do people want something within a gated community with lots of amenities, a hideaway with a mountain cabin, or something near a high-quality golf course?”
With the area in mind, one also has to take note of what the buyer wants the property to be used for. Some clients like to use their summer home as a means to throw lavish get togethers and entertain their friends and family, others prefer to use it as an escape, however, the current trend is having a property that is flexible enough to accommodate both.
Oliver Burns, the Managing Director of Alex Holden, says, “Working out what the home will be used for and when and by whom is really important. For example, if a holiday house needs to be big enough to entertain but also cozy enough for just a couple then there is a need for something that is very flexible;
both luxurious and comfortable. As an example, you might have a small four-seater table in the kitchen but then a dining room for 16 too.”
One of the biggest trends we’ve seen in 2018 is the shift in the kitchen areas. High-end buyers are wanting bigger, more lavish kitchens, complete with lots of counter space and seating so that the actual cooking process becomes part of the evening’s entertainment. Traditional facilities, such as a steam room or sauna, pool, tennis courts, etc. still are important factors to any summer home. These more recreational facilities lead us to our next trend…
Recreation areas are obviously an important part of any summer home, and the expectations in this area are high.
According to Christies “The passion for recreation at home is only getting more expensive. This year we have seen ice-hockey
rinks with Zambonis and warming areas, a BMX pump course, and an irrigated regulation soccer field. One noteworthy home had a slide directly from the master suite to the backyard pool.”
Space to Work at Home
As we commented on in August’s Luxury Market Report the trend in summer homes is moving from a two week getaway to a several month long destination. This is made possible by the change in technology over the last few years. With our world becoming more digitized, it is easy for an individual to work remotely in the summer months, only visiting the office a handful of times.
This shift to working remotely however, calls for changes to be made in luxury summer properties. There has to be a functional office space so that the client is able to work comfortably and efficiently during the day.
The design is another key factor in vacation properties. While clients are more willing to experiment with their interior decorating, the trends show that they are prepared to make cosmetic changes only. People want a move-in-ready home, that needs no renovations or remodeling.