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Everything is 'luxury' now

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 1, 2014 09:43 AM

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We are so lucky to live in such a luxurious age of wealth, comfort and refinement. A time when just about everyone gets to live in a luxury home or apartment.

Can't imagine how our grandparents got by in their merely ordinary flats, capes and ranches.

Luxury is the most overused and vapid adjective right now in real estate, plastered on ads for everything from boring suburban rentals to nice, attractive but thoroughly middle-class homes.

I found this $539,000 listing for a modest, four bedroom colonial in West Roxbury under a compilation of "Boston luxury homes" on Zillow.

West Roxbury house for blog.jpg

I actually like the house - it certainly seems nice enough. But if that's luxury, then my fixer-upper near Natick center is the Ritz!

On that note, just released a survey looking at interest on part of buyers in luxury homes.

In terms of price, buyers in the Northeast believe luxury starts at $1 million, while south of the Mason-Dixon line, that number drops to $500,000 and up - enough to get you a starter home in Medford.

Apparently, to be true luxury home, a house should have a "chef's kitchen," and other amenities, such as an outdoor fire pit.

Views of something other than the street in front - mountains, oceans or "cityscape" - are also what buyers are looking for in a luxury home.

Another 36 percent say an "expansive master suite" had also better be part of the package if they are going to shell out the big bucks.

Of course, even a million dollars these days won't guarantee you luxury in a perpetually inflated housing market like Greater Boston.

If present trends continue, we will soon be seeing the return of million-dollar fixer uppers in Newton, last seen in the bubble years before the Great Recession.

Luxury is a fairly worthless word right now in real estate.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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