The 9 most in-demand home amenities of luxury buyers

Much has changed in the predilections of the luxury homebuyer in the past few years. Those seeking a new residence—or looking to update a current one—are demanding household options that were previously much less common, with the pandemic being the primary driver of this shift in priorities.

As part of this year’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices ​Global Luxury Landscape Report​, we spoke with agents from across the network to find out what extra comforts and amenities are being requested by the most discerning buyers. Let’s take a closer look at the state-of-the-art customized add-ons we’re seeing soar in popularity:

High-end gym-style bathrooms

Fueled by the urge to keep mental and physical wellness in tip-top condition during these trying years, bathrooms are being transformed into ones you might find at an upscale gym. 

“These include steam showers and professional gym-like set-ups where there are no walls and the entire floor is tile and drainage,” said Steven James, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties. 

Perfect for some post-work relaxation. 

Elevators on show

Once considered an amenity that needed to be obscured from view in order to uphold a luxury ambiance, elevators are now the focus of many modern residences, regularly sitting center stage, and providing access to multiple floors for people and cars alike.    

“In the past, a lot of them were almost invisible or hidden behind a door,” said Kevin Larsen, senior vice president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties. “Now they’ve become a showpiece and offer gorgeous views.”

Custom garages to fit a fleet

Alongside the rise in car-friendly elevators, garages are being adapted in order to comfortably house growing ​​luxury car collections

“Homeowners are spending nearly $80,000 per bay to add lifts to their garage in order to fit the eight to 10 cars they own,” Mr. Larsen said. “This is especially common if they live on a tight lot line and don’t have the land to add another garage, or if they want to have their recreational vehicles and boats to be parked side by side with their numerous cars.”

Upscale pool houses

As the demand for space and lifestyle amenities continues to rise, luxury homeowners are putting more emphasis on their external facilities to ensure that time outside of the main property is well spent. 

Because of this, pool houses are becoming more extravagant and all-encompassing, offering a range of amenities, and enabling you to stay near the action. “These have become mini houses that are their own destination,” Mr. James said. “They’ll usually have a full-scale bathroom, kitchen, and a sitting room/den. They’re like a second house on the property.”

Indoor sporting facilities

Continuing the trend of bringing lifestyle and wellness to the home space, luxury buyers are requesting—and expecting—more indoor spaces dedicated to sports and recreation, whether that be in the form of basketball courts, indoor pools, or climbing walls.

“For adrenaline junkies who want to be able to do some rock climbing in the house, these walls are easily installed either in the vaulted ceiling of a recreational section of the home or in any space in the home that’s two stories in height,” Mr. Larsen said.

Chef-quality catering kitchens

Entertaining at home has also exploded in popularity since the onset of the pandemic. And as with many of these in-vogue amenities, convenience is often the driving factor. Larger kitchen areas that are geared towards helping you or your kitchen staff efficiently prepare meals for sizable gatherings are therefore especially in demand.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest in larger catering-style prep areas where homeowners can tuck away all

the supplies they need for, say, a big family gathering or dinner party. Butler pantries have especially grown in popularity,” said Maria Kazakos, vice president of operations of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty.

Luxurious lavatories

A luxury home is not complete without a plush lavatory to retreat to—and restrooms are another area where tech upgrades are exciting buyers.

“Whether it’s the ever-rising popularity of installing heated toilets or bidets,” Mr. Larsen said, “it’s become a big status symbol to have a $10,000 toilet in each one of your bathrooms.”

Closets to store clothes for all seasons

Walk-in closets are a must-have for the fashion conscious among us. And these closets are becoming even more user-friendly, enabling style lovers to always reach whatever clothing they desire.

“For those who want to have the easiest time accessing off-season clothing, homeowners are asking for hydraulic racks that rotate up and down—kind of like the ones you’d see at a professional dry cleaner’s,” Mr. Larsen said.

Spaces for home beauty treatments

Again, what started as a pandemic-related trend looks here to stay: buyers are keen to have a spa space within their own homes.

“We continue to see requests for homes with separate spa spaces indoors,” Mr. Larsen said. “This way, a masseuse can come in to do treatments in the home rather than the homeowner having to go out of the home for a massage. We’re also seeing that homeowners want a separate outside entrance for these spaces.”