What does your perfect home look like? Most of us can only admire spiral staircases, spa-style bathrooms, and massive walk-in closets while checking out high-end real estate websites and viewing tv shows, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.
Below are 5 luxury features that will make any homeowner say “oooo.” A couple of items may even be within the average owner’s budget.
1. Indoor swimming pool
Inground pools have always signified wealth and prestige. But indoor pools take things a step further. There are a few core similarities between indoor and outdoor pools; for example, any type of material (fiberglass or vinyl) used for outdoor pools is also okay for indoor pools, and the installations can be as simple or as elaborate as your budget will allow for. Some owners go with a lap pool, while others build pools with unique shapes, hot tubs, columns, water slides, etc.
There are a couple of notable differences too. An outdoor pool deck slopes away from the pool to keep leaves, grass and other debris from entering the pool. But an indoor pool deck slopes toward the pool to keep water away from the walls. Furthermore, builders have the option to use a wider variety of materials, such as glass or ceramic, since the pool will not freeze.
From an engineering standpoint, indoor pools require additional care when they are constructed to ensure comfortable humidity levels. Paying for proper air quality equipment can be surprisingly costly. When all of the expenses are added up, owners will pay at least $165,000 for an indoor pool. You can guarantee that an owner who has paid that much will use it often. It can be used for exercise, entertaining, or just a space to escape from everyday stresses.
2. Heated driveway
If you live in a state that gets a lot of snow, a heated driveway might sound incredibly appealing. Just think about how much snow Buffalo received in November of 2022. Just south of the city, during a massive snowstorm, people saw more than 6 feet of snow in one weekend! Imagine how long it would take to clear all of that. But a heated driveway could melt much of that, leaving you with a lot less snow to clear.
There are two main types of heated driveways: portable heating mats and built-in heating systems. Both work by heating the ground before the snow falls so that it cannot accumulate as quickly. These heating systems also help prevent ice buildup on your driveway, which is a big safety concern, especially for older people.
Built-in heating systems are more efficient than mats that have to be monitored for correct placement. However, they also cost more. There are different types of built-in options; you can have manual or automated controls, and hot water or electric systems. Automated systems use sensors to determine when the heat needs to come on, and it is probably the most useful option.
Heated driveway systems can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000, but that doesn’t include the expense of removing the old driveway or installing the new system. For most, the cost is too great, but you would enjoy winter a lot more if you never had to shovel again.
3. Smart access control
Those that live in gated communities enjoy additional security and safety. These neighborhoods are also more exclusive, and as a result, properties generally sell for more (residential properties in gated communities are valued at nearly $30,000 more than non-gated properties).
But, gated communities have encountered problems with archaic access control systems. People have shared keypad codes, and tailgating has become more concerning. As a result, some owners have opted to invest in newer, smarter access control systems.
Keyless access control systems either:
- Use RFID technology (via a smartphone app or physical card/fob)
- Perform a facial or license plate scan
The access control system is connected to the gate opener, which will let the owner or visitor in if they provide the correct credentials. These newer security solutions make it harder for unauthorized people to sneak in, and they make life a bit easier for owners. They can simply drive up to the gate, let the reader scan their license plate, and pass through the barrier. Furthermore, the system will capture the plate number of anyone who creates problems for the community.
Security is more of a necessity than a luxury, but newer systems try to improve the user experience and safety at the same time. Since gated communities are also homeowners associations, all of the members are responsible for paying for security upgrades through monthly fees.
4. Connected kitchen appliances
Luxury homes almost always have kitchens that are stylish and functional, but high-tech appliances and systems elevate the cooking experience. Refrigerators are now smart enough to manage the food inside them and keep a detailed inventory of what’s there. If you’re not sure if you need to pick up more milk, you can check using your phone and an app before you get home.
Intelligent ovens can tell you how to best cook your food – recommending that you roast, bake, toast, or broil it for the best result. You can also receive notices through your phone the food is properly cooked.
Not sure if you left the oven on? Some appliances will even let you turn the heat on or off using a phone app. You can preheat the oven on the way home so it’s the perfect temperature by the time you walk in the front door. Premium cooking appliances are even equipped with internal cameras or technology that allows you to heat two areas in the same oven to different temperatures. Connected appliances can range from $4,000 to $10,000, making them somewhat affordable luxuries.
5. Private movie theater
Private movie theaters allow owners to enjoy the best seats without the sticky floors or overpriced popcorn. A home movie room is a space dedicated to watching shows and films on a big screen.
In order to install a truly immersive home theater, owners will need space. Some have enough rooms to build one on the main floor, while others choose to convert their basement. Regardless of where the space is located, the room needs to be dark and isolated. You don’t want light, sounds or smells interfering with your experience.
On average, it can cost $20,000 to $50,000 to convert a room into a home movie theater. The price range is large because there are many different factors that come into play. For example, will you need to install carpeting, risers, lighting, seating, and soundproofing? Personal wants and needs will impact final costs, but theaters should remain free of elaborate décor. After all, when the movie is playing, you don’t want any distractions.
When it comes to luxury features, owners are only as limited as their budget. Exquisite homes can be found in every state, but each one is memorable. From full golf courses, to underground driveways, to hidden playrooms, luxury features are easy to appreciate.
Exclusivity and uniqueness are the main elements that make luxury items stand out. If you have something that no one else has, it’s a pretty big deal. What luxury additions would you make to your home?