By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
Whether it’s a morning swim in the pool, a game of hoops with the kids or a sunset barbecue on the patio, South Floridians love spending time outside. In fact, the option to go outdoors for recreational activities for most of the year is a major reason so many people relocate here. So, it should come as no surprise that our love for the outdoors is translating into a demand for exterior features in the homes we buy – especially since we’ve been spending so much more time at home, thanks to Covid-19.
“It’s no secret that Covid changed the way we all think about our homes and our interactions with others,” says Luis Dominguez, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “Having an outdoor space to entertain has become an increasingly attractive amenity in luxury homes.”
Outdoor spaces, from covered loggias to manicured lawns, patios, front porches and amenities like tennis courts and summer kitchens, allow homeowners to utilize more space, and, thanks to features such as glass walls, the connection between indoors and outdoors is becoming more seamless.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, exterior features rank high for buyers of new construction. In fact, according to NAHB’s 2021 edition of “What Home Buyers Really Want,” of the 10 top most-wanted features by new-home buyers, three are actually outside the home: exterior lighting, a patio and a front porch, each rated essential or desirable by more than 80 percent of recent and prospective buyers. Between 60 and 75 percent of new-home buyers also want the following outdoor features: a rear porch, a deck, a lot with trees, lawn sprinklers and a built-in outdoor grill. Only two exterior features are wanted by less than half of all buyers: an outdoor fireplace and an outdoor kitchen, perhaps because of the cost of adding them to the purchase price of a new home.
Here are five South Florida homes with exterior features on trend.
With five bedrooms, five baths and over an acre of land, this contemporary mansion at 16111 Aberdeen Way in Miami Lakes offers extensive interior space, from an office to a media room, bar, breakfast lounge, fireplace sitting room, sun parlor and a spacious gourmet kitchen by Italkraft. But step outside of the $4.495 million estate, and there’s plenty to keep you home, including a custom six-hole miniature golf course, an LED-lighted tennis/basketball court and a 28,000-gallon pool overlooking a golf course. “This property affords you the liberty to entertain your guests outdoors in a great open setting, while also enjoying some of your hobbies from the comfort of your home,” says Dominguez, the listing agent. “Sporting your own tennis court will make you the most popular house on the block, if you care to invite your neighbors to a match now and then.” Contact: Luis Dominguez, Douglas Elliman, 305-962-9592, Elliman.com.
Make a Splash
This Modern Mediterranean estate at 16155 Quiet Vista Circle in Delray Beach’s Stone Creek Ranch, listed for $8.995 million, has six bedrooms, 10 baths, an office/library, a stone fireplace, wine room and a five-car garage. Outside, there is room for a tennis court and a 50-foot pool is now under construction. But if you have kids, they’ll be thrilled with the custom “Splash Zone” waterpark – flanked by dual covered loggias – that’s theirs alone. Contact: Mark Nestler and John Poletto, ONE Sotheby’s Realty, 561-239-0700, Onesothebysrealty.com.
This $25 million contemporary residence, on an oversized Intracoastal Waterway lot, offers 343 feet of water frontage and 270-degree views. But the nine-bedroom home at 819 Orchid Drive in Boca Raton has something very few other homes can claim: not one, not two, not three, but four pools, including a glass-walled plunge pool. There’s also extensive private dockage for the boating enthusiast, an upstairs bar, a green roof and – what every mansion needs – a waterfall cascading from the roof. Contact: Oren Alexander and Isaac Lustgarten, Douglas Elliman, 305-610-4559, Elliman.com.
A Personal Resort
Meet Villa Las Palmas, a private gated compound at 24965 SW 162nd Ave. in Homestead. Listed for $6.895 million, this eight-bedroom gated estate has over 22,000 square feet of luxury, but its design accentuates the outdoors, with more than 10,000 square feet of covered patios. After a morning of playing tennis, beach volleyball or basketball (on separate courts, of course), residents can lounge poolside or in the hot tub as the pizza oven fires up at the summer kitchen and bar. “Now, more than ever, buyers value privacy and curated exterior spaces in close proximity to a metropolitan area,” says Ben Moss, a real estate agent with Compass Florida and the listing agent. “The amenities offered by this property – tennis, basketball, volleyball, pool, covered pavilions, fruit trees, gorgeous landscaping and open space – create a strong emotional appeal to a buyer who values these things. And it’s only 30 minutes from Miami.” Contact: Ben Moss, Compass Florida, 305-793-4783, Compass.com.
Photos courtesy Lifestyle Production Group
This six-bedroom penthouse unit at L’Atelier in Miami Beach was designed by Holly Hunt to be the crown jewel of the boutique oceanfront condominium. Encompassing the 17th and 18th floors at 6901 Collins Ave., the residence, listed for $39.9 million, has a floating staircase, glass elevator, 360-degree views and soaring 22-foot ceilings. It also has an expansive private rooftop terrace, complete with a 40-foot infinity pool and summer kitchen. Building amenities include an oceanfront pool, poolside cabanas, a whirlpool spa, hammock garden and spa facilities. Contact: Eloy Carmenate and Mick Duchon, The Corcoran Group, 305-582-7179, Corcoran.com.
PHOTOS: Main photo, of the penthouse unit at L’Atelier in Miami Beach, courtesy of Lifestyle Production Group. All others, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of the property or listing agents. For complete credit information, see pages 66-75 of the print or digital editions of the June issue of City & Shore magazine.