Home design “trends” can come and go with a swift season. What was en vogue one year can quickly change, so it’s important for homeowners to evaluate upgrades and changes they want to make to their homes and consider what it could mean for their resale value down the road. Conversely, it’s also important to think about what characteristics and features will set your home apart when you’re ready to sell. In today’s luxury real estate market, there are a handful of go-to features buyers are always looking for—square footage, location, outdoor space, etc. But it is the unique, luxury aspects of a home that can wow a buyer from the get-go and make sure your home sells quickly. Keeping that in mind, it can be tricky to navigate which home improvements are worth the investment, which can range from small to big (and so can the return on investment) I’ve recently read about three interesting home features that I think are worth considering in order to make a home stand apart from the rest.
Photo via Kohler
Professional grade kitchen updates: The sink faucet may seem like just a functional piece of the kitchen, but for luxury buyers, this is one of those details that goes a long way. I find that many of my clients looking to purchase luxury real estate in Chicago are usually into cooking, and the kitchen design and features are extremely important in what they’re looking for. One common way to upgrade the kitchen is to use professional-grade appliances or fixtures that add to the luxury and wow factor of a home, as mentioned in this Wall St. Journal article. For the home chef, a commercial sink faucet is one of those additions that could be a major plus when it comes time to sell your home and you want to differentiate it from other high-end properties on the market. Industrial fixtures are typically larger, with taller spouts, detachable sprayers and a bevy of other ultra-functional features. Kohler, for example, sells a professional-style faucet with a squeezable handle that will run you around $2,000. Add a warm welcome: Seemingly just a functional piece of the home, the mailbox can easily become a showpiece for a luxury home, and was also recently highlighted in this article from the Wall St. Journal. The mailbox is one detail that each and every guest sees before they enter your home, so it’s no surprise that it might get a little extra attention, especially in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park where homes run up into the $3 million to $5 million range. Since I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, where every detail counts, I thought this was a great design element to explore and take a look at the various custom options that are available. A high-end mailbox helps provide a luxury house with the pizzazz it deserves. When it comes to upscale mailboxes, you can find everything from clean and modern styles to bold and bright to more classic shapes. Finding one that pairs well with the style of your home is your best bet, as this is yet another detail that people will notice (before they’ve even stepped inside!) Interactive art pieces: This is truly one ultimate way to add major wow factor to your home: A freshwater fish tank. The Wall St. Journal recently highlighted the home aquarium as an “interactive piece of art” in luxury homes. A custom aquarium can be designed with the homeowner’s imagination. Companies specializing in custom fish tanks can create just about anything—an underwater garden that spans an entire wall, an aquarium in the shape of a favorite object or even a technology-driven tank that can be maintained via an app on your phone. While visually, an “aquascape” is a powerful design element in a home, there could be other benefits as well—researchers have found that aquariums can lower blood pressure. And a custom tank can run as little as $10,000, which may not sound like a small cost, but compared to the potential return on investment when it’s time to sell your home, it may definitely be something to consider. If selling your Chicago home is anywhere on your radar for the next several years, I’d certainly consider evaluating what improvements might be made that could pay off when that time comes. For luxury buyers, it’s all about the details, so while some changes might seem minor, they can speak volumes to the buyer who is looking for that certain something in a new home. For more information on home design trends or to take a look at what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at email@example.com.