What is about luxury homes that many people find intriguing? It may be the home itself; or maybe people are interested in the lifestyle of the owner, who may be a celebrity. Regardless, the concept of the luxury home has changed through the ages from an expression of power and security to possibly encompass your home – depending on your perception.
by Dan Krell © 2013
According to Rachel K. Ward (luxurystudies.blogspot.com), luxury is a point that exists between comfort and extravagance; there is no absolute measurement of luxury because it is a matter of personal perspective. And since the definition of luxury depends on who you ask, one’s “level of comfort” may seem excessive to others. Believe it or not, this has led some societies to instill “ethics of luxury.” Dr Ward has attributed the ethics of luxury to the Romans, who instituted laws limiting spending on many items because of their belief of a natural limit when a person has “enough.”
The concept of luxury may have developed in early hominids if there was an awareness of the notion of comfort; which may have been about eating and sleeping well. As civilization developed, the luxuries of life were typically had by the wealthy and powerful. Feudal manor life is an example of this; the manor was a substantial and large building that was the center of feudal life and also served to show the wealth of the lord.
As the middle class emerged during the industrial revolution, simple living comforts became more affordable and widely available. As the middle class became an increasingly important sector of the economy, the housing industry provided affordable comfortable homes that were equipped with the latest technology and living trends.
Although the general concept of a luxury home has changed through time, there are certain characteristics that come to mind when describing a luxury home today. The first is cost: many consider homes that cost in excess of one million dollars in the grouping “luxury real estate.” And according to Luxury Portfolio (luxuryportfolio.com), “A luxury home or luxury real estate is generally defined as a property priced within the top 5-10% of a given real estate market…” However, there are many area homes that sell in excess of one million dollars that seem rather ordinary; “upper bracket” homes may be expensive, but not all are classified as “luxury.”
Luxury Portfolio also describes luxury homes as having “…a unique quality or distinct feature that makes it stand out in the luxury home and luxury real estate marketing arena.” Many luxury homes are thought to be larger than most in the market area; although like price, size alone does not necessarily denote a luxury home. Luxury homes can be of modest size, as well as exist in high rise buildings.
Sometimes, the features and uniqueness of a home may give it luxury status. Luxury homes are often custom homes with the latest in technology and comfort amenities. Unfortunately, a home’s luxury status may diminish with time if the home’s amenities and technology are not maintained and regularly updated; today’s luxury home can be tomorrow’s tear-down.
Ultimately, according to a Peter G. Miller article (What’s A Luxury Home; Realty Times, June 20, 2001), “…For a surprising number of people, ‘luxury’ probably defines a house of reasonable size — and the ability to afford far more.”
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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. This article was originally published the week of November 4, 2013 (Montgomery County Sentinel). Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2013 Dan Krell.