Take a peek inside that discreet rambler just a few doors down and you just might find some jaw-dropping amenities you never expected. In a real estate trend I’ve been watching, homeowners with big budgets are choosing to have it all by adding low-key luxury features to the homes they already love.
Here in the Arlington, Virginia area we’ve got our fair share of older homes, homes that have been handed down through generations and neighborhoods that people never want to leave. So when homes start to feel like they need an upgrade, moving isn’t an option. Instead, homeowners are focusing on adding luxury to their living spaces while leaving the exterior curb appeal just as it is.
In this era of frugal mindsets and eco-conscious living, opulent statement homes and massive square footage aren’t appealing to as many homeowners. That’s where low-key luxury comes into play.
Pull up to a single-story rambler with a subtle exterior and you may not expect to be wowed. But go inside and some of the features you might find include game rooms, climate-controlled outdoor sport and living areas, expansive back yards with year-round kitchens, panic rooms outfitted with bathrooms and communications systems, wine cellars with full bars, and spa-like retreats.
No matter the location, it’s always possible to reinvent the interior of a home to fit each homeowners’ personal design style without altering how the home fits into the neighborhood. For instance, if you’re a modern-design loving person who lives in a neighborhood that favors craftsman-style homes, the front of your home can feature a traditional, modest facade as seen from the curb. Inside, however, you can indulge your love of all things modern with Carrera marble, geometric patterned floors, and walls of windows that make a statement.
Backyards are a great place to indulge as well by dressing up decks and creating patio paradises. Designing outdoor living spaces are a great way to increase the feel of your home’s square footage as you let what you love to do inside spill over into adjacent spaces outside. Start from the ground up with flagstones, brick or tiles laid in intricate patterns to define your space. Water features such as extravagant inground pools, spas, waterfalls and even picturesque ponds are great ways to up the wow factor of your backyard. Intricate landscaping with twisting hidden paths and fairy gardens, she-sheds or getaways, art studios and outdoor kitchen and entertaining areas are even more ideas for adding some low-key luxury to the home you love.
If you want to live in Arlington Virginia and like the idea of buying a home with character on the outside and all you ever wanted on the inside I can help. Give me a call at 703-593-6320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the United States, 2018 has been a year that defies expectations when it comes to the luxury real estate market. Even though frugal living and tiny homes are hot topics, buyers are still making the choice to pursue their dreams of multi-million-dollar homes.
Arlington and surrounding areas in Virginia are no stranger to the luxury home market. Beautiful properties with stunning homes can be found throughout Washington DC, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and McLean. Even though these properties can be very unique, a few common trends are emerging that can be applied universally for anyone who wants the very best in their own home, no matter how big or small.
Tech-savvy smart homes
In today’s high-tech world, homes wired to adapt to the apps we use to control our daily life are highly desirable. Luxury homeowners demand the latest in wiring and accessibility for every corner of their homes. Every homeowner can benefit from adding some technology, however, to the point of elevating them in buyer’s eyes if they list for sale. Check out this Home Technology article for ideas to upgrade your home.
Strategic use of space
Luxury homes mean exceptional quality, but don’t require thousands of square feet to get there. Even in this market, homeowners want just the right amount of space with everything they need – and nothing they don’t. Instead of a dining room you never use, knock out a wall to create a stunning kitchen, or create a space you’ve always dreamed of like a yoga room or cozy library.
The heart of the home is the same no matter what size your home is. No matter if you’re a professional cook or just love to putter around with grandma’s recipe book, a luxury kitchen is appreciated in all areas of the real estate market. Trends we’ve seen include spacious islands with second sets of appliances built in, His and Hers Kitchens, and setups equipped to handle everything from grand galas to extended family reunions.
High-end homeowners want custom finishes and features that reflect their personality and taste and add a certain wow-factor to their homes. Hand-crafted, specialty items can be incorporated everywhere in a home. Hand-carved doors make dramatic first impressions. Custom outdoor cooking areas, firepits and sculptured landscaping create unique and memorable living spaces. Love to travel? Specially-sourced items from exotic locations displayed in your home are a great way to highlight your unique personality.
Homeowners are taking the idea of creating a special place within the home to new levels by creating luxury retreats that cater to their particular interests and give them a place that feels like they are removed from the cares of the world, without the time and travel it takes to jet around the globe. From backyards to basements and everywhere in between, this is a home trend worthy of taking a look at for creating unique and creative getaway zones in the comfort of your home. For ideas, check out this article: Luxury Retreats Just Steps From Your Front Door.
With Fall around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get your home ready for winter – and for potential buyers. Performing a simple round of seasonal maintenance chores now can save you time, money, and stress when the cold weather comes. And it will ensure your home looks good and shows great when potential home buyers come around.
Fall home maintenance checklist
Clean your gutters: Fall foliage is beautiful, but not so much when it starts building up in your gutters. Depending on how many trees surround your home, you may need to clean out your gutters a few times before the first snow falls. Packed leaves, twigs and dirt will clog your gutters and cause water to back up into your home or dangerous ice dams to form in winter.
Check the chimneys: An easy annual task is to have chimneys checked by a professional and cleaned if needed. Creosote, soot and ash buildup in chimneys that are used often and can block ventilation and cause smoke and dangerous fumes to come back into the home.
Check your roof: Damage from storms, wind and rain, along with natural wear-and-tear, can loosen and damage roof materials making your home at risk for leaks during winter or invading vermin looking for a warm place to nest. A visual inspection with binoculars walking around your home is a good first step, but having a professional check is even better.
Disconnect garden hoses and drain faucets: When temperatures start dropping dramatically, it’s time to head off damage from freezing water in your pipes. Disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets, drain, and put them away for the winter. Turn off shutoff valves on water supply lines and open exterior faucets all the way to drain the lines and prevent them from freezing and breaking.
Pack up your patio: Clean and store all cushions, pillows and outdoor rugs for the winter. Clean furniture and if you won’t be using it during the cold season store it away. Your furniture will last longer this way and keep snow and debris from building up into a big mess you’ll have to clean up come Spring.
Service fire extinguishers: Fireplaces, firepits, and candles are all a part of the season, and a good reason to make sure you’ve got fire extinguishers in good working order placed carefully where they might be needed. It’s also a good idea to review how to use a fire extinguisher with every member of the household that might have to use it.
When it comes to making your home for sale more attractive you already know that curb appeal and staging are great for boosting your home’s appeal. But if you’re looking for something that will really make your house for sale stand out home tech is the way to go.
A fresh coat of paint and new flowers are great, but today’s homeowners are expecting a little more. Studies have shown that more and more potential homebuyers are looking for preinstalled smart-home tech when they are home shopping. This includes devices and systems such as smart thermostats, smoke detectors, garage door controls, home security cameras, doorbells and locks.
The good news for sellers? A lot of this kind of tech can be installed quickly and easily by the homeowner and without spending a lot of money. Even better, these small investments have the potential to catch the attention of home buyers and increase the home’s perceived value in their eyes. Ready to get started? Here are a few ideas for smart home-tech upgrades that are easy to DIY.
Forget about having to take a walk to the hallway every time you want to adjust the temperature. Smart thermostats come with everything from remote apps you can use on your phone to voice controls and can be installed by following manufacturer’s step-by-step instructions. There are a lot of versions available that list for under $200, are easy to program for energy-saving, and make life much more comfortable for the whole home. You can check out CNET’s recommendations for the best smart home devices for 2018 for ideas by clicking HERE.
Smart smoke detectors
Peace of mind goes high tech with smart smoke and carbon dioxide detectors such as ones offered by Nest Protect, Kidde and First Alert. These detectors send alerts to your phone if they detect smoke and can even tell you when the battery is running low to avoid middle of the night sessions trying to figure out which one is beeping. For recommendations, check out LifeWire’s article about the best smoke detectors of 2018 HERE.
While the idea for Ring’s video doorbell originally fell flat on The Shark Tank a few years ago, since then America has voted with their dollars to make businesses like Ring into billion-dollar success stories. These products add a sense of security to homes by putting a camera right at the front door. When it detects motion, or someone presses the doorbell, it sends an alert to a smartphone and saves a video clip of the activity to the cloud. Many models can connect wirelessly to allow homeowners to talk to the person at the door through the speaker no matter where they are. Most models can be had for under $200 and can be installed by homeowners without hiring an electrician.
Another way to boost the security of your front door (or any door for that matter) is to install a smart lock. A company called August offers several versions of smart locks, with options for under $200 as well. Functionality includes remote auto-lock and unlock and the ability to monitor door activity from anywhere. You can also create temporary guest passes for handymen or visiting friends and family.
Smart garage door opener
Every homeowner has had that moment where you leave the house, drive down the block, and then think to yourself, “Did I remember to close the garage door?” Smart garage door controls can answer that question with the tap of an app, much easier than driving all the way back home again. The garage door is used in many homes much more than the front door, yet it’s often overlooked by tech aficionados at first. But once you install a smart controller, you’ll see how easy it is to open, close and monitor activity remotely. Some versions also monitor time and temperature in the garage and offer motion-sensitive lighting for quick trips in and out. You can find options from makers like Chamberlain, LiftMaster and Ryobi and learn more in this article on CNET.
At the end of the day, you can probably install most of the tech we’ve mentioned here for around $1,000. When you’re ready to list your home for sale, make sure your Realtor has access and knows how to demonstrate the tech to dazzle prospective buyers while you remain confident that this small investment will give a great return in catching people’s eye and truly making your home stand out from the crowd.
With more and more Americans focused on wellness, a new home trend is emerging – finding ways to put some more “om” in your home. From Zen gardens to meditation rooms, homeowners are creating unique spaces both inside and out perfect for getting away from it all.
If you like the idea of creating a relaxing retreat in your home, here’s a few ways I’ve seen friends and clients here in Arlington, Virginia make it happen.
Relaxation / Zen Gardens: As research continues to show that nature can boost healthfulness, the idea of creating relaxation gardens at home has gained some serious traction. Garden retreats don’t have to be large. In fact, a small footprint makes them easier and less costly to create and maintain. Chose a location where privacy, noise and light levels, and the view are favorable for creating the right atmosphere. Beyond that, the details will be very personal according to who the garden is for. Pinterest is a great place to start for ideas, and touring local botanical gardens and nurseries is too.
Firepits and Indoor Fire Features: Firepits with comfortable seating outdoors are very popular these days and provide a great place to unwind. Indoor fire features and fireplaces can also be used inside a home to provide a place for people to “unplug” by focusing on the flames as a sort of meditation technique.
Yoga / Mediation Sanctuary: Doing yoga at home is becoming very popular but figuring out where to lay out your mat with no distractions can be hard. Pushing furniture out of the way in the living just isn’t cutting it anymore. That’s why many people are turning guest rooms or unused spaces into private studios for a more focused practice. The beauty of yoga retreats is their simplicity. All you need to get started are yoga mats and props, muted lighting and soothing paint colors. Aromatherapy, plants and Bluetooth speakers can also add to the mood.
Traditional Libraries: One recurring theme throughout all of these ideas is the concept of removing technology to unplug from the stresses of the daily world. Old-school libraries are still a popular choice for homeowners wanting a space that’s comfortable, peaceful and where they can surround themselves with the things they love.
The important thing to remember when creating your own personal retreat is that you know what’s best for you. Remember that this space is all yours. When you take time to create a dedicated relaxation zone in your home (or backyard), the experience will be more fulfilling and calm only a few breaths away.