It’s no secret - Austin’s luxury real estate market has grown and changed. In recent years, the live music capital of the world has seen new neighborhoods and communities established to meet the high demand for homes in the lone star state. With a booming economy, many Austinites earning more now than they ever have before, and several buyers making the move to Texas from some of the most exclusive ZIP codes and neighborhoods in the nation, the bells and whistles are more important now than they ever have been before. Italian appliances, impeccable landscaping, and wine rooms are no longer extravagant, frivolous additions. Not only do these extra amenities make your home wildly more enjoyable and impressive - they are now used as bargaining tools for those deciding to sell their homes. Read on to learn a few sound, intelligent investments in your home and financial future.
1. Resort-style pools
No estate is complete without a sparkling swimming pool. Pools equipped with heaters allow for fun in the sun no matter what time of year or what temperatures may be. Placement is also just as important. Homes situated on hillside lots would benefit from placing pools and hot tubs facing outward for guests to enjoy views to the fullest extent. Specifically, an infinity pool with a swim-up ledge would be a wise choice for someone with a waterfront estate, only further adding to an already jaw-dropping view. Hot tubs, jacuzzis, and pools specifically meant for swimming laps are other great touches, while pool houses and guest houses take it to another level. Lakefront homes are also increasingly accessorized with more than a simple boat dock. Some are two stories tall, while some are equipped with multiple slips for boats, Jet Skis, and other watercraft.
2. Dining and sipping
In a home fit for a king or queen, a simple four-burner stove will not do. Today, builders and homeowners have easy access to the finest European appliances, with many American stores also carrying top-of-the-line equipment. Stoves with six or more burners, stretching more than three feet wide, accented by griddle space, a pasta arm, and stylish vent hoods make entertaining and special occasions even better. Wine refrigerators, bar spaces, double ovens, built-in espresso machines, multiple sinks, and even multiple kitchen islands add to the entertainment experience and make everyday life easier. Space for numerous refrigerators is another great addition. Today, there are even refrigerator/freezer sets which even allow you to swap and control temperature settings, depending on if you desire a traditional freezer/refrigerator set up or would simply enjoy the convenience of two refrigerators. Some homes also feature full wine cellars allowing serious wine sommeliers to store hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of bottles conveniently within their own home.
One amenity found even in more affordable price points is a home theater and entertainment center. Today, more and more builders are deciding to dedicate upstairs space to entertainment, and the demand is not going anywhere. Built-in projectors and surround sound, screens stretching a few hundred inches, blackout curtains, and multiple levels of studio seating have brought the movie-going experience home. Dedicated game rooms, bar space, golf simulation games, and separate entertainment areas for kids are becoming the norm, especially as more and more Austinites embrace the work-from-home lifestyle.
Austin has affectionately been named Silicon Hills and is home to one of the largest tech industries in the nation. More and more people have left Northern California for Austin than any other region in the nation over the years, and several have relocated to take new jobs with major companies. Tesla, Google, Facebook, Apple, Dell, and TikTok are just a few of these major employers, and their high-earning employees are looking for advanced tech within their homes now more than ever. Items like Nest thermostats allow you to control your home’s temperature from your phone and allow you to get your heat or air going a few minutes before heading home if you’ve had it turned up/down after being gone for the day or if you’ve been out of town. Ring doorbells provide great security and are equipped with sensors that will actually notify your phone if motion is detected outside of your front door. It’s a great way to deter any unwanted guests, check in on package deliveries, and even allow you the option to speak through a microphone on your phone app. Homes in luxury price points are also now equipped with iPads and other tablets to control lighting, use as an intercom system, play music over surround sound speakers, adjust electric shades, turn on jacuzzi jets, set the sprinkler timers, and so much more, all without ever needing to leave your seat.
5. Serious office space
Home offices have always been a great detail in luxury homes, but buyers across all price points are now considering the necessity of a home office, especially after COVID-19. Additional mountings for televisions acting as extra screens, more-than-adequate storage space, room for large desks and multiple seats, glamorous light fixtures, and extensive technology to support faster internet speed, printers, and anything else are now necessary across several price points, but especially in the upper echelon of Austin's luxury market.
6. In-house gyms
For those paying a premier price, a treadmill and small weight station in the garage simply won’t do. Neither will a secondary upstairs bedroom. Many homeowners are transforming unused spaces into proper, fully equipped gyms with mirrors, sturdy flooring, separate thermostats for temperature-controlled workouts, and the latest state-of-the-art fitness equipment. A few homes even include saunas and steam rooms equipped with red light therapy technology for the ultimate post-workout recovery. For the right price, some sellers are also willing to include the fitness equipment with the sale of the home.
7. Closets fit for a celebrity
Those buying in luxury price points also need a top-tier place to store designer duds and seasonal wardrobe items. At some price points, a simple walk-in closet is just not enough. Luxurious built-in shelves for folded items, dedicated drawers for jewelry and accessories, and decorative storage space acting as a way to display beautiful, rare handbags and shoes add value to your home, making your home into a living piece of art. Today, more closets than ever are getting the luxury interior design experience with marble flooring, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, studio-grade lighting, and some even coming with high-tech locks to protect particularly valuable items.
8. Location, location, location
Luxury homes are found in various Austin neighborhoods, but it’s the placement within a particular neighborhood that can separate it from the rest. Homes situated at the back of neighborhoods and the end of the street allow for the utmost levels of privacy, while homes perched high on hilltops boast some of the best views anywhere around. Even if your home isn’t located in the city’s most expensive ZIP code or what is traditionally the most upscale part of town, there are pockets within every Austin neighborhood offering a great location within the community, making a great selling point many Austinites may not have previously considered.
9. Comfort and convenience
If you are looking to pay a seven or eight-digit price tag for a home, it goes without saying - it needs to be worth it. From the buying experience to the home itself, the standards have never been higher. Not only are luxury homes more spacious, situated upon premier plots of land, designed with the most beautiful finishes in mind, and equipped with the latest appliances and technology, but the comfort of those residing within its walls needs to be heavily taken into consideration. Why sit in traffic on your way to the gym multiple times a week when you could just go downstairs? Why should a freezing cold tile floor (or toilet seat) be the first thing your body touches in the morning when those surfaces could be heated? Why should you pay extra to heat or cool extra empty rooms in your home at night when the master wing could have its own separate thermostat? These are just a few great examples to illustrate comfort and convenience are much more than what meets the eye.
Again, today’s market is more competitive than it ever has been, with luxury buyers expecting more than they ever have. With great advancements in technology and several home builders choosing to raise the bar like never before, it’s a good idea to keep up, stand out from the crowd, and bring something of your own to the table. From Tarrytown luxury condos to the sprawling estates of Westlake Hills, the team knows the ins and outs of Austin’s finest residential enclaves and has exclusive access to an extensive offering of privately listed homes many other Austin agents may not know about. Contact Seely Real Estate today to learn about Austin’s complex, ever-changing real estate market and see what The Seely Real Estate Team can do for you.