As of this writing there are 41 homes in the area with a list price of over $1 million.
Some of these homes had excellent locations, but were clearly not luxury homes (just simple homes with luxurious price tags).
That sparked a debate in our office about what defines a luxury home.
Looking for answers to this question I came across an excellent article by Roberta Murphy. In it she says, “Price alone does not distinguish [luxury] status. It is location, property entry, arhcitecture, decor, decadent amenities, entertainment capability, lovely grounds and myriad other details that help a home stand out from the ordinary…we believe we know one when we see it–especially when the home has all the markings of luxury, location and panache.”
In St. Augustine there are many oceanfront, or Intracoastal front homes that have all that ever could be desired for location, but lack the architecture, decor, amenities, and so on. One could argue the same for the many homes located in and around the Historic District.
I would also argue that, especially in the Historic District, there are many homes that have fallen into disrepair that would be excellent canditates to be brought up into luxury home status.
What everyone in the office agreed on was that, like Murphy alluded to, price was the least indicator of luxury defined. A ranch home on an oceanfront lot may have an amazing location, but it’s not a luxury home if it lacks all the above.
One thing we debated was a community like St. Augustine’s Sea Colony. It’s gated and on the ocean. Many of the homes were custom homes. But the homes sit very close to each other…some are so close you could almost reach out your window and touch the next door neighbor. In other words, there is no seperation or privacy, which is something you would not envision in a luxury community. And from an architectural standpoint, with a few notable exceptions, there is much sameness in the homes in the areas of style and color.
Yet there are true luxury homes in Sea Colony.
And we know it when we see it.