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What Makes a Home Luxurious?

Luxurious homes were once perceived as those priced above $1 million, but with well over a decade of rising prices, the new number is closer to $5 million or more. What makes these homes so special? Another metric is that a luxury home is valued within the top 10% of homes within its local market. 

The word luxury is used in real estate to appeal to a certain group of homebuyers, who have their own definition of what is or isn’t luxurious. Among the criteria they expect are words like exclusivity, privacy, rare, breathtaking views, waterfront grounds, craftsmanship, panoramic views, architecturel, amenities, custom, bespoke; and so on. Luxury homes tend to be extra large, built with high-end materials and amenities, and exceptional architecture. 

The desire for luxuries increases with wealth. They are goods, services, and environments that aren’t necessary to sustain life, but make living more comfortable, beautiful, and labor-free. They are superior upgrades from necessities. 

Luxury is a word that can be overused, but there are a few features that luxury goods, services and homes have in common. According to, there are general qualities you can expect to find in a luxury home: 

  1. A high price for the area – Price is a means of exclusion, but it is relative to other homes in the region. If the highest- priced homes in an area are $5 million, a true luxury home could be $10 million. If the highest prices are $500K, then a luxury home could be as low as $1 million. 

  2. Prime location- The top of the mountain, on the beach, the penthouse floor are all coveted locations that are exclusive and limited by geography or design. 

  3. Premier quality – Construction materials, finishes, appliances, design and décor are a cut above standard and convey superiority through their esthetics. They exhibit top notch craftsmanship, last longer and are designed not to fail. The rarity of materials such as a limited quantity of marble or unique art installations by famous sculptures or painters is good examples. 

  4. Luxe amenities – Once defined by swimming pools and tennis courts, luxurious amenities today can include swim-up bars, live-in closets where one can relax, multiple kitchens, indoor spas, helicopter pads, Imax theaters, bulletproof glass as well as the latest smart electronics, and more. 

  5. Privacy. Location, design and amenities work beautifully together to provide the luxury which is the absence of prying eyes, interruptions by solicitors, and layers of security including service entrances. 

  6. Provenance – Luxury homes are designed by world-famous architects and outfitted by heralded interior designers. Or they feature a significant history that gives the owners a story to tell about their property.  

Pamela N. Danziger, and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury, states that luxury must have specific values in order to be worthy of such a superlative word. These include superior performance, craftsmanship, exclusivity, innovation, sense of place & time, sophistication & design aesthetic, creative expression, relevance, heritage, and responsibility.

Luxury isn’t about consumerism, using up valuable resources, or outdoing one’s neighbors by spending the most money.  It’s more about how luxury makes people feel, how they can express their individuality and station in life, and how it can stimulate all five senses with comfort, beauty and opulence.