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The Rubin Report: Mid-Range Luxury Homes

Agent Insight // Sep 25, 2014


For the past several years, New York City has seen an incredible boom in ultra-luxury properties. Today, however, I would like to focus on another segment of the market that holds a great deal of opportunity for buyers today. Priced between $2.5 and $5 million, these mid-range luxury homes are also in high demand.

Despite this great demand, there are hardly any new mid-range luxury properties on the market. Developers continue to focus on over-the-top residences, but it is within this gap that buyers today can benefit.

Through strategic renovations and repositioning, a home’s value can be increased significantly. When house-hunting though, it is important to consider what small feasible changes can be made to increase the current net-worth. With demand for luxury residences expected to rise, now is the time to be prudent so that when the property is eventually relisted, it yields the highest return.

As an example, architect Frank Bostelmann has provided a range of insights below about how to realistically increase value in real estate through cost-effective measures. An esteemed architect known for a sophisticated approach to residential design, Frank shares some great tips that I know you will like:

1. How can you ensure that your space retains value over time?
Think classic. Stick to simple, solid designs and materials that won’t date themselves too quickly. When considering unique accents and special fixtures, incorporate these through changeable décor elements as opposed to permanent architectural details – one never knows what he/she, or someone else, may want to change. Also, invest a portion of your resources in specific items that will consistently add value, such as custom fitting millwork, which allows for maximum utilization of space.

2. With prices at an all-time high, what can be implemented by buyers on a budget to make their homes equal to the luxury market?
Key items that buyers look at are the bathrooms and storage capabilities of an apartment. Well-designed and attractive closets that make maximum utilization of the space available make an apartment that much more enjoyable. Investing on a good paint job including a plaster skim coat of the walls will go a long way towards making an apartment feel ‘high-end’ while carefully choosing a wood floor color and finish as opposed to the standard ‘rental-yellow’ wood flooring color will also give an apartment a more finished feel.

3. How can a buyer add value to their initial investment? For example, renovations?
A well thought-out renovation that employs classic design and avoids decorative fads will always improve the value along with functional room shapes, which allow for a logical furniture arrangement.

4. What are the key factors in buying a space that can be easily renovated? Are there new trends to be aware of?
In an ideal situation, one is looking for an apartment that has minimal services located within the interior walls. Older apartments that have pipes and flues in each wall often prove problematic when trying to achieve maximum usage of a space. Also, envision furnishing each room when viewing an apartment: are the layouts and walls conducive to furniture placement? Are there odd angles and short walls that will make it difficult to find appropriately sized furniture?

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