Right Place, Right Time

Michaelsaunders.com - "Best Opportunity," luxury waterfront listing.

Michaelsaunders.com - "Best Opportunity," Luxury waterfront listing.

Few have survived the recessionary effects of the past few years with their financial psyches in tact.  Thus, today’s luxury home buyers are much different from the “boom-and-bling” buyers of the past decade.  In a case of reshuffled priorities, they have become relatively frugal; which includes a change in behavior when it comes to buying luxury properties.   For even if their wealth has rebounded to some extent with the stock market, the sting of lost value to their portfolios—even if only on paper—still smarts.

In embracing these new attitudes, luxury buyers haven’t gone totally thrifty.  High net worth individuals still regard luxury properties as solid long term investments; and still demand noticeable “bling” in the ones they end up buying.  Just less bling overall, but more focused on where it will ultimately help boost the home’s re-sale value in future markets; while fully accommodating their own lifestyle.   Nevertheless, in this new age of more disciplined spending—amid the most advantageous buyers’ market in recent memory—whatever “extras” a property has to offer had better be part and parcel of an unquestionably great deal.

Grounded in a new sense of financial realism, many of today’s buyers now eschew such once-desirable extras as upstairs laundry rooms and home theaters; preferring instead more practical and cost-effective uses of space.  For many, the next primary home they buy will be smaller and more flexible version of their current one.   So even if there is a home theater or media room it may have to do double duty as a den, office or spare bedroom.

Trading-down in size is one thing; but trading-down in quality and prestige is quite another matter.  Buyers accustomed to luxury are willing to scale back on the absolute number of extras or amenities, but rarely will they skimp on the quality of the ones they are most determined to have.

“Location, location, location” remains amenity number one for the high net worth buyer.  In the 2010 Private Wealth Report conducted by Citi Private Bank the “reputation of an area” is singled-out as the most important factor when considering where to buy a primary residence. Security, design and size come in second, third and fourth respectively.   Clearly, it’s perfectly acceptable to buy the smallest house on any given block; so long as the property exudes quality and the block is situated in a highly prestigious neighborhood.

Here in Southwest Florida any number of spectacular homes and neighborhoods—particularly in waterfront, downtown and lifestyle communities—match these priorities for prestige, quality and security.  Its here that competitive pricing typically steps-up to break the tie for buyers undecided between comparable properties.  Best priced properties sell; the rest have only hope as a marketing strategy.

According to the same survey of affluent buyers, when purchasing a vacation home their top priority suddenly becomes “the view.”  Looking out your window at something breathtaking re-invigorates the spirit even as it promotes superior well-being.  In a buyers’ market—with many comparable properties offering spectacular and/or soothing views—“price” once again steps-up to break the tie.

Enter the new michaelsaunders.com, which differentiates itself from other web sites by allowing you to cross-reference, compare and save only those properties that best reflect your lifestyle and purchasing priorities.   Once you zero-in on the neighborhoods that interest you most, you can drill even deeper to browse for properties with such lifestyle specifications as:

In our “Best Opportunities” section, we’ve already done much of the homework for you.  These pages only showcase properties which our own analyses show are priced well below comparable competitive listings.  Of course, you can also specify such property parameters as square footage, property type, year built, number of bedrooms and baths and more.

The new michaelsaunders.com is geared for ease of use and is as much about lifestyle and the joys of living here as it is about market statistics and property specifics.  The more you know about the market when you finally link up with one of our agents, the more confident you’ll be that you’re in exactly the right place at the right time when you start to visit properties and compare them together.

  • User Gravatar Becky
    August 29th, 2010

    It is a great time to buy a luxury home.

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