From the pages of RESIDE®: Luxury Homes and Lifestyles Around the World, Fall 2012 Master Edition
Patrick and Theresa Macri’s dream of coastal living was a distant retirement plan. Until they decided to accelerate their timetable by a decade and turn “someday” into today.
The couple bought a five-bedroom summer home in the resort destination of Fire Island, NY, and remodeled it into a full-time residence. While the summer population swells into the tens of thousands, year-rounders number 250 or so. The Macris are among the fewer still who make the daily commute from the barrier island to the mainland. Despite the concessions–no grocery, no dry cleaner, no movie theater and just a single restaurant–the Macris are living the life they longed for.
“All the tension washes away when you see the water and when you fall asleep at night listening to the ocean,” Patrick says. More than a beach house, it’s a place to “remove yourself from the hectic day-to-day.”
Like the Macris, luxury home buyers are looking for a lot more than a change of address these days. They’re looking for a change of lifestyle. Square footage and number of bedrooms are no longer the de facto starting points of their home searches. In some cases, even price is being muscled out by passion. Lifestyle is king. In fact, more than 2.2 million homes were searched by specialty categories like Waterfront and Skiing on the Sotheby’s International Realty® site last year.
Affluent buyers know what they want and have the means to own their passion.
For most people, an aspirational lifestyle “is something exceptional, something that is just a pause in their lives. One goes to the beach, one goes to the mountain, one goes to the countryside, one visits a capital city,” explains Marc Göhring of de Rham Sotheby’s International Realty in Lausanne, Switzerland. “It becomes a luxury lifestyle when it is an asset in your life. You own the beach, you own the mountain.”
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