Wants trump needs for luxury-home buyers

Mauricio Umansky of the Agency in Beverly Hills was among panelists at Westweek 2013 exploring the topic how to cater to a world-class clientele.

What luxury buyers want and what they need may not go hand-in-hand, according to the closing panel at Westweek 2013 last week at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Looking at the question from the home-buying perspective on the closing panel at the design industry event were real estate agent Mauricio Umansky of the Agency in Beverly Hills and Malibu architect Douglas Burdge.


Among the wants are view properties. Umansky said he even has one home listing where the garage has an “amazing city view.”

Basements also are a draw among the wealthy. Underground space can be used for a bowling alley, a sports lounge, a theater or parking.

Square footage has appeal. The key in luxury design is to make the space functional, said Burdge, who heads Burdge & Associates Architects. “People are running out of ideas on what to put in these 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot houses.”

Dealing with the issue head-on has worked for Burdge when clients were on the road to overbuilding, Burdge said. “They are able to deal with a bit a bravery.”


Umansky recently asked the single owner of a 40,000-square-foot mansion why he was selling. The response: “I haven’t used 80% of these rooms.”



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