What is Luxury?

Sure, you know what luxury is…it’s that multi-million dollar home on Lake Minnetonka that you and I can only dream about. We think of the 10,000 square foot house with all the gadgets, pool, spa bathrooms, media room, or even a multi-car garage.

Webster’s Dictionary defines luxury as:

  1. a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort
  2. something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary ,or an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease

The problem I see now a days is the abuse of the term “luxury”. I see townhomes that claim they are luxury (most likely to only draw in renters), but the vinyl floors, cheap cabinets, and low grade carpet say something else. Now look at the flip side of other townhomes and they have granite countertops, tile floors, maple cabinets, bells and whistles, screaming “this is high end”.

Of course, the price of a home and its amenities do not necessarily make it luxury. Just because the home sold for $3 Million, it may not have the inside characteristics of a true luxury home. Land prices have gone up in desirable areas of the Twin Cities, but building a large home on it, or McMansion, will not make your home “luxurious”. This is becoming more true since so many “average” homes have greatly appreciated in the last few years to become expensive. (If your home was worth $400,000 in 2002, but now is valued at $900,000…trust me, your home is most likely NOT considered a luxury home. It’s just expensive.)

Most real estate agents can spot luxury as soon as they walk in the door. It’s the opulence of the place, the details in architecture and woodwork, the design and floor plan, and quite frankly a feeling that is hard to describe. I sell real estate that can fall into different categories: luxury, high-end, or expensive. Each type is marketed in a different manner, as the buyer’s purchasing in those groups have different expectations and goals.

So I guess my main point is this, next time you see the term “luxury” in a real estate advertisement, really read between the lines and see if it truly is. Most times, it is probably only luxury, not LUXURY.

So what do you think Luxury is?

Read what another fellow luxury blogger has to say about this very issue at The Luxury Home Digest.

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