What exactly is a LUXURY home?

May 3, 2008

Luxury is defined as a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity. A luxury home is definitely in a class by itself but the definition of a luxury home varies by State.
I recently saw a home priced at $299,900 described in the Multiple Listing Service as having a “luxury home lifestyle” and I couldn’t help but wonder if the writer really thought about that verbiage. Luxury is not a term to be tossed about lightly. It truly defines a home’s standing in comparison to other homes in the surrounding area.

In Orlando, a luxury home would be considered to have a value of over $750,000. In other parts of the country (like California) a $750,000 home would be a “starter” home. It just depends on where you live. But true luxury homes are priced at more than $1M and reflect a lifestyle that few can afford.

According to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, the most expensive home currently on the US market carries a $165 million price tag. This legendary estate on 6.25 acres just blocks from the center of Beverly Hills (CA), tops the list of the 1000 most expensive homes currently on the market, according to the just-released Unique Homes magazine’s special issue, Ultimate Homes, 2008. The residence was formerly owned by William Randolph Hearst. John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned at the home. The least expensive price on the Top 1000 homes list is $11.2 million.

In Orange County, Florida, there are currently six homes over $7 million dollars. All but one of these homes is in Windermere and located on the highly desirable Lake Butler chain. The luxury home market continues to thrive in the prestigious Windermere, Florida area. For the record, the average time that an active luxury house listing is on the market is now at 590 days. The good news is that the luxury home owner is typically willing to wait out the market and is not in financial distress.

Despite the sometimes pessimistic outlook for residential real estate today, the uber-rich are not too concerned and there is still a market for true luxury homes. Here’s hoping you have champagne wishes and caviar dreams!


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