| Homeowners | By Anslie Stokes

I recently attended a real estate conference in Palm Beach, Florida to network and share marketing ideas with some of the best real estate agents in North America. Marketing and selling luxury properties was a top topic of conversation and several of my national colleagues have some of the most expensive homes in the country on the market right now.

From penthouse condos in Miami with private negative edge pools to seaside estates in California and everything in between, it was fun to see what developers build towards when they envision what a $20 Mil+ buyer would want in a house.

Here are a few trends that have emerged amongst the highest-end luxury listings, and how they translate to our real estate market:

Large Closets

Any luxury listing worth its weight in salt will have to-die-for master closets. The closest will likely feature a large island, stunning light fixture, custom built-ins with a focus on shoe storage, optimal lighting, and a mirrored area for all-angle viewing.

Translation: Most homes in our area were built when owners used furniture pieces for clothing storage and owned just a few pairs of shoes. One option for a luxury closet in an older home is coverting a spare bedroom or attic into a closet.

Outdoor Living Areas

Be it high-rise condos on South Beach or palatial estates outside of Chicago, all luxury listings have outdoor living areas that match or outshine the indoor space. Think private pools on the penthouse level of a high-rise, or full outdoor kitchens with luxe appliances, islands, cabinets, and multiple living areas clustered around big screens or fire features at an estate home.

Translation: Opening up the back of a more traditional house with a sliding wall of glass doors and spilling out onto a screened in porch or patio is a great way to add outdoor living space to your current home. We also see owners investing heavily in functional outdoor areas with built-in cooking and living spaces, including outdoor TVs, which are far more affordable than even a few years ago.

Smart Technology

The newest high-end luxury homes on the market have the most cutting-edge technology available to control every facet of living, from lighting and sound to temperature control and security. Interestingly, just a few years ago the trend seemed to be the more gizmos the better. But as technology continues to evolve at such a rapid pace (iPod docking stations in the wall, anyone?), developers have started to move away from the shiny new products, focusing instead on items with staying power that will not feel dated in a few years.

Translation: Electrical outlets with USB ports make sense anywhere you are charging multiple devices. Building wiring conduits into the wall makes sense as you can easily rewire as technology changes. App-based systems that control HVAC, security features, and sounds are a must-have (and surprisingly easy to install).

Indoor Sports Courts and Pools

Naturally, any ultra-high-end listing needs to feature wellness as a priority. For some listings in the Mid-West, this means full-sized indoor basketball and tennis courts. High rise condo buildings in Manhattan are moving their gyms and pools to the top floors and beachfront estates now come with private fitness spaces that rival that of most gyms.

Translation: This is a tough one to do on a modest scale but we’ve seen some creative climbing walls installed in garages. Many homeowners are also carving out workout space by adding on above a garage or in an attic.

Property Value

Above all else – and at every price point, from the most expensive homes in America down to one bedroom condos in Arlington – buyers want to see value for their money. For some, this means a garage for 23 cars, but for most in our area, it means a location ideal for your lifestyle and a space that meets your needs.

With help from our team of local real estate professionals, you can find your own touch of luxury at any price point. Luxury listings in our area include condos at Turnberry Tower, equestrian estates in Middleburg, historic mansions in Georgetown, and waterfront compounds on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Call us for a confidential consultation today at 202.270.1081, email us at anslie@thestokesgroup.com, or send us a message here to further discuss your next luxury home purchase or sale.


The Stokes Group is a team of dedicated professionals who have passion for the real estate business and will advocate for our clients with the utmost honesty, integrity, and confidentiality. We believe in building solid relationships with our clients and that starts by getting to know who we are. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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