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Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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Luxury Homebuyers Want More Than Just Location

Discerning homebuyers today are looking for more than “location, location, location,” say real estate professionals in Orange County who specialize in the ultra-luxury market.

“For the ultra-luxury homebuyers in Orange County, we all know the three constants … location, views and privacy,” says Nicole Donovan of Surterre Properties. “Today, buyers want single-loaded streets, ‘art walls’ for large pieces of art, an office for two, catering pantry, gym and separate entrance quarters for domestic help” or a caretaker.

Single-loaded streets are minor streets that handle mostly local traffic, thereby helping keep the neighborhood quieter.

Hillary L. Thomas, president of Thomas Real Estate Group, points out that a “luxury home” is defined in different ways by different buyers.

“In Orange County, luxury is to some an estate in Coto de Caza or an ocean-view mansion in Crystal Cove,” she says. “For others, a luxury home is an opulent condo in the towers in Irvine.” Her buyers, whether they are purchasing a 2-acre equestrian property in Orange Park Acres or a waterfront end unit at the Montage Beach Villas, all have similar “must-haves.”

“Privacy, above all,” she says.

Views are a must, as are wine cellars, customized master closets, and luxurious master baths.

“And luxury buyers want a completely tricked-out outdoor entertainment area, with a kitchen, a barbecue, pool, TV, and a bar where they can spend time relaxing and hanging out.”

“As far as architecture,” says Adrienne Brandes of Surterre Properties, “soft contemporary or Italian farmhouse with a contemporary flair is the most requested type.”

Buyers, she continues, want open living rooms that merge into the kitchen and family room, with lots of light and air.

“Buyers want smart homes, they want green homes, and more than ever, they want turnkey, brand-new homes,” she says, referring to homes that come fully loaded with amenities. “We’re starting to see less lot-line-to-lot-line builds,” or homes built right up to a property’s lot lines.

“Families are looking for homes with yards and pools more than ever, even though they may be very close to the beach.”

July has been a strong month for luxury sales. Highlights this month include:

Suspended Above Water’s Edge

A 3,267-square-foot, Mediterranean-style villa at 1901 Ocean Way in Laguna Beach sold on June 29 for $14.2 million, down from the $15.4 million May list price.

The 0.28-acre estate, from its perch high above the water, offers 270-degree ocean views that encompass Catalina Island to the west, Dana Point to the south, and Palos Verdes to the north.

The home has expansive entertaining rooms wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass that open through disappearing walls to limestone terraces set above the surf.

It’s accessible only through a private gate and includes four baths, three bedrooms, a waterfront great room, five waterside terraces, a chef’s kitchen, and a wine cellar with a tasting room.

A private path to the beach includes a scenic overlook set above the beach.

Robert Giem of HÔM Sotheby’s International Realty coordinated the transaction on behalf of the seller and buyer.

From Ocean to City Lights

A home at 1103 Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach closed for $7.2 million, under its April asking price of $7.5 million.

Rod Daley and Sommer Killian of Coldwell Banker Previews International represented the seller and buyer, respectively, in the sale of the 4,042-square-foot home.

The four-bedroom, four-bath home is nestled on a 9,800-square-foot hillside lot in Emerald Bay and has panoramic views that include the city lights of downtown Laguna Beach and the ocean.

Ceramic tile, full copper plumbing and vaulted cathedral ceilings are among the home’s amenities.

Puttin’ on the Ritz

The new home at 33841 Niguel Shores Drive in Dana Point sold on July 2 for $7 million, under its March list price of $7.3 million.

The Immel Team managed the seller’s part of the transaction, and Johanna Voytish Andren of Regency Real Estate Brokers worked on behalf of the buyers.

The modern-style, 5,331-square-foot residence includes five baths and four bedrooms and sits on a 0.34-acre ocean-view lot in Niguel Shores, within walking distance of the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis resorts.

The single-level home includes a gourmet kitchen with custom appliances and quartzite counters.

The backyard features built-in heaters and an in-ground spa.

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