Elevate Your Home With Must-Have Unique Luxury Features

When you make improvements to a home, it’s common to wonder if certain improvements will increase its value, just in case one day you sell your home. One way to know if these improvements could pay off is by understanding what buyers want in a home today. This article addresses what homebuyers seek in a higher-priced home and what features define a luxury home today.

Two real estate brokers, Tiffanie Danley and Pam Waldman from Keller Real Estate were interviewed for their insights on what today’s buyers look for in a home.

Features that define a luxury home

First, it’s important that your home has “good bones”. Luxury home features or essentials often include:

  • Quality windows and doors
  • Architectural integrity and floor plan
  • Solid wood floors
  • Primary bedroom suite with a luxury bathroom and walk-in closet
  • Open kitchen
  • Strong layout, flow and space

Other luxury home features are dependent on the location, architectural style, and a buyer’s taste. For example, a luxury home in a neighborhood east of the Willamette River in Portland may not have a garden or backyard, yet could offer an incredible deck with a view, or be built with time-honored master craftsmanship. On the westside of Portland, a luxury home will tend to be built on land with more space and connection to nature and the outdoors.

patio with open view of the neighborhood
backyard patio of a nice home with white furniture and wooden ceiling
Top – Architect: Howells Architecture + Design | Photography: KuDa Photography
Bottom – Architect: Scott Edwards Architecture | Photography: KuDa Photography

The kitchen is a very important feature of a luxury house

Most people prefer an open kitchen where family members or guests can be nearby and chat while a meal is being prepared. There is a trend towards a streamlined, modern kitchen that provides a simple unadorned style, and often is influenced by European kitchen design; yet there’s not one style that wins. Here are some premium home kitchen elements to consider:

  • Stone countertops with solid or subtle textures
  • Solid quality wood cabinets stained or painted in neutral or muted colors
  • Restaurant kitchen appliances such as a gas stove with matching hoods
  • Open kitchen layout with an island and seating
  • Higher quality materials, whether it’s the sink, faucet, or lighting
kitchen with a stainless steel hood, white island, and light beige oak cabinets
Architect: Christie Architecture LLC | Photography: KuDa Photography 

Strong home layout, flow and space are essentials

Through our busy lives, and from the two pandemic years that compelled us to spend more in our homes, our need to enjoy our home has become more important. Every homeowner will vary a bit in what they like. However, there are a few things that most buyers today love to see in a home:

  • An open kitchen connected to the living room, or great room for entertaining and gatherings
  • A strong indoor/outdoor connection, whether to a large deck or to a private backyard
  • Private and separate spaces such as an office, family room, or even a workout room, music room, or home theater
2nd floor patio with view of the backyard that has a lot of trees
Architect: Scott Edwards Architecture | Photography: KuDa Photography

Tiffanie Danley, Real Estate Broker, comments, “Buyers are looking for whatever makes life easier, welcoming and convenient, whether it’s the flow of a house, the connection to outdoor living, smart home technology, or anything that makes a home more inviting for spending more time. I find this true for most buyers: whether median-priced home buyers or luxury home buyers.”

Backyards and outdoor living spaces that provide that private retreat have risen in demand in recent years.

Pam Waldman states, “For buyers of luxury or premier homes, there is a demand for having an outdoor space that offers a strong extension to the home. Homes that have exterior glass wall doors that open up into outdoor spaces are popular. These sliding doors are usually near the gathering spaces next to an open kitchen. I’m also seeing a rising demand on the west side of Portland for a pool –  or at least a backyard that has a potential for a pool.”

newly remodeled living room with a pool outdoors
Architect: Paul McKean Architecture LLC | Photography: KuDa Photography

The rise of smart home technology in a luxury home

Many new custom homes are being built with smart home technology –  and even older home remodels are being built with these conveniences. People love the ease of smart home monitoring and smart home cameras, and notice how their daily lives are improved by having these monitoring systems. What’s more, other smart home features such as smart home lighting, sound systems, heating and cooling can often all be integrated into one programmable system that keeps life simple.

How to prioritize remodeling your home for increased value

You may be thinking of remodeling your home such as the kitchen, or perhaps adding in luxury features such as a swimming pool, sauna, spa, exercise room, home theater system, and soundproof music room, or doing an addition.

If you are not sure where to start with how to remodel your home for increased value, both Tiffanie Danley and Pam Waldman agree that it’s a good idea to get the advice from a real estate broker who keeps an eye on what’s popular within the market. Also, architects often work with affluent clients and are knowledgeable on what these clients look for in a luxury home. Architects have a sense of how much certain remodels should cost and what improvements you can make based on your budget.

Tell us about what’s important to you.

We seek to build each project on schedule and on budget, and always with top-notch quality results. We solely work with independent architects and designers, and we build long-term lasting relationships. If you are planning on home construction and are wondering about where to start, we would be happy to be interviewed, answer your questions or refer you to one of our architect or designer partners.

Contact us

We’d love to meet you. Contact us or call us at (503) 460-7203 with questions you have, or ask us about our philosophy, experience, or any other question that is on your mind.

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