Cristal's Blog


May 11, 2023

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Today’s luxury home buyers are looking for more than just a beautiful estate. They want a property that offers the best in amenities, technology, and style. In this blog post, I will discuss the luxury home features buyers want.

A portion of a Mediterranean mansion, its expansive pool and lawn, and palm trees in the foreground, with the sparkling blue ocean and blue sky on the horizon in the background

The 10 Most Popular Features Today's Luxury Home Buyers Are Looking For:

1. Outdoor Spaces
Luxury home buyers in Santa Barbara are attracted to the region's beautiful climate and stunning natural surroundings, and as such, they are looking for homes that offer ample outdoor spaces where they can enjoy the sunshine and take in the views. One example is an outdoor kitchen—a space where residents can cook and entertain guests while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. Fire pits are another popular feature, providing a cozy gathering place for friends and family to relax. Swimming pools are also in high demand, especially those that include views of the ocean or Santa Ynez mountains.

2. Smart Home Technology
Luxury home buyers are looking for a home that can integrate with the latest technology. Thanks to smart thermostats, homeowners can remotely control their home's temperature, even if they are away from the house. Automated lighting systems allow homeowners to control the lights in their home from their mobile devices. Other smart home technology on the market today definitely makes a property sell quickly and for top dollar.

The elegant Palladian-style foyer of a mansion, with crystal chandelier overhead, a highly polished marble floor, a gilded sideboard and mirror, long pink Victorian-style sofa, and th ocean in the background through draperied French doors

3. High-End Finishes
When it comes to luxury home features buyers want, high-end finishes are a crucial factor, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal while conveying a sense of luxury and sophistication. Marble is a popular feature in luxury estates. As you can see in the image above, marble adds a touch of class and elegance. Designer lighting fixtures are another feature that luxury home buyers seek. These fixtures add a unique and stylish touch to a home, creating a sense of luxury and sophistication. Designer lighting fixtures can range from chandeliers to pendant lights to wall sconces, each contributing to the home's overall ambiance.

The verdant grounds of an estate, looking toward a pickleball court surrounded by verdant lawn, with the blue ocean in the background

4. Home Gyms and Spas
The desire for a healthy lifestyle has become a top priority for many luxury home buyers. And home gyms have become a popular feature for buyers who prefer to exercise in the privacy of their own home. Additionally, many luxury home buyers are looking for a spa or a dedicated relaxation space, such as a sauna or steam room, to unwind after a workout or a long day. Outdoor fitness spaces have also become increasingly popular like the pickleball court pictured above. These features provide homeowners a way to stay active and enjoy their leisure time without having to leave the comfort of their own property.

5. Eco-Friendly Features
Sustainability has become a crucial factor for many homebuyers, especially those who prioritize reducing their carbon footprint. Energy-efficient appliances are one of the most popular features buyers want today—smart thermostats, energy-efficient lighting, and solar panels are a must. Sustainable building materials are also gaining popularity among luxury home buyers. These materials are often made from renewable resources or recycled materials and have a lower environmental impact than traditional building materials. Examples include bamboo flooring, recycled glass countertops, and insulation made from recycled denim.

6. Wine Cellars
Santa Barbara is known for its wine country, and luxury home buyers here often seek out properties with wine cellars to store and showcase their valuable collections. A wine cellar provides a perfect setting for storing wine in ideal conditions, protecting the wine from harsh environmental factors and fluctuations that can damage the wine's quality.

7. Home Theaters
The demand for dedicated home theaters has been growing among luxury home buyers. With the increasing popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, many people prefer to watch movies and TV shows from the comfort of their own homes. A home theater can be a luxurious addition, providing a private and immersive cinematic experience. Features such as high-quality audio and video equipment and soundproofing to enhance the viewing experience are in high demand. Comfortable seating is also an important consideration for a home theater. Think plush, reclining chairs or sofas with built-in cup holders and adjustable headrests.

8. Home Offices
With the rise of remote work, a dedicated home office has become an essential feature for many luxury home buyers. The home office should be designed to promote productivity and creativity, with ample natural light. Custom built-in desks and bookshelves can provide a sense of elegance and sophistication. In addition to being functional, luxury home buyers want their home office to be comfortable and stylish. They may be looking for high-end finishes, such as hardwood floors, designer lighting fixtures, and custom millwork. The space should be designed to match the overall aesthetic of the home and provide a welcoming environment for both work and relaxation.

9. Guest Houses/Casitas

For many luxury home buyers, having a separate space for guests or family members is an important consideration. A guest house or casita can offer a variety of benefits, including privacy, flexibility, and convenience. Even better, one with a separate entrance so guests can come and go as they please without disrupting the main household. Furthermore, a guest house or casita also serve as a private retreat for homeowners themselves, offering a quiet space to work, relax, or pursue hobbies.

A birds eye view of a luxury Santa Barbara estate and its massive pool, surrounded by verdant grounds, with mountains in the background

10. Security Features

Luxury home buyers value their safety and privacy, and security features are a top priority for them. Many high-end properties have secure gated entries with sophisticated access control systems to ensure that only authorized individuals can enter the property as well as security cameras, allowing homeowners to monitor the exterior and interior of their home remotely from their smartphones or tablets. Monitored alarm systems are also essential for many luxury home buyers. These systems can detect any unauthorized entry and alert the homeowner, the security company, and the authorities.

Looking to sell your luxury home in Santa Barbara? It's crucial that your property embodies elegance, sophistication, and functionality, as well as the luxury home features buyers want. Working with the right agent is just as crucial. If you’re looking to attract luxury homebuyers in Montecito, Hope Ranch, or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities, that agent is me. Please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at and I’ll happily help you attract the right buyers while walking you through the entire selling process.

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch