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December 8, 2014 / Johanna Bassols / 0 Comments / Investing in Luxury Homes

What Luxury Real Estate Buyers Don’t Want

Luxury real estate is making a global comeback in a big way, and it’s becoming apparent as to what big buyers are looking for in an investment property. Open floor plans, killer views, access to water, and five-star amenities are all desirable, but as important as it is to consider what investors are looking for in a property, it is equally important to be aware about what they aren’t looking for. A recent CNN Money article examined the once-popular trends that are on their way out, identifying a handful that may actual drive your property value down. These over-the-top home customizations were on the top of the what-not-to-do list of home “improvements.”

Ornate landscaping

While curb appeal is critical when trying to attract buyers, there is a limit that is not recommended to reach. According to Miami luxury real estate agent, Bo Mastykaz, current buyers are looking for a clean look. “They don’t want all the fuss with multiple trees, shrubs and bushes. They don’t want to feel like they’re in a jungle.” In today’s market, less is more, plain and simple.

Elaborate outdoor pools

Adding a pool to your property can be a good investment, but it often takes a long time for it to pay off. While elaborate rock fixtures, waterfalls and slides may be fun and nice to look at, they also require a lot of maintenance and can be considered a safety issue for many would-be investors.

Large bathroom tubs

Believe it or not, there was once a time when a six to eight person jacuzzi tub in the bathroom was very desirable. That time has passed. “Most modern buyers want a normal-sized bathtub and a large shower,” claims Mastykaz. Bathroom upgrades can bring a strong return on investment, but trendy additions often don’t pay off. Mastykaz adds that walling off the toilet is probably the most popular demand at the moment.  “When it’s out in the open, that’s a definite drawback.”

High-end specialty materials

Sometimes, purchasing the most expensive materials could turn out to be the dealbreaker for some potential buyers. If it’s too ornate, an investor doesn’t care if it was flown in from Italy. Even the once wildly-popular granite is falling out of buyers’ favor. “Quartz is less busy and more minimalist and it has a natural sparkle finish that buyers want,” add Mastykaz. Dean Jones, CEO of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Seattle says that “it’s difficult for the vast majority of people to envision living in a highly expressive space or anything outside a more neutral color palate that they can then add their own personalization to.

Excess automation and security

In our tech-savvy world, a lot of buyers are looking for some up-to-date use of technology, but too much can become unmanageable. Many buyers are looking for easy, remote control over their lights and thermostat, but when the showing agent can’t work the system during a walk through, the buyer probably won’t want to bother with it. While security is a top priority for many luxury property owners, too many cameras can become invasive.

Oversized rooms

Decreasing the number of bedrooms in a home in an effort to create a larger space or re-purpose a room (ie, wine cellar or recreation space) can often reduce your home’s resale value. There’s a reason that the number of bedrooms is the first detail given in a home listing. The same can be said for converting a garage into a living space. People who are looking to invest millions into their home often have pricey “toys” they’ll want to store there.

Select specialty rooms

Once a coveted space for the man of the house to retreat to, the “man cave” is a trend that is falling out of favor, and fast. It’s just not something people care about. Similarly, large screening/media rooms aren’t as sought after either. With today’s large screen technology, media rooms have simply become old news. According to Mastykaz, “when you add in the stadium seating and everything else, it feels gimmicky rather than true value to buyers and they will pursue something else.”

When looking to make improvements to your property, it is not only important to consider your wants and needs, but also those of future owners. Expensive, over-the-top customizations rarely pay for themselves and can actually cost you potential buyers in addition to extra money.

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