Real Estate

FT: Tech tycoons want homes that look like Google offices

And they’re not interesting in remodeling

Young multi-millionaires who made a fortune selling tech startups are changing the luxury property market, according to the Financial Times. 

The spectacular office designs pioneered by companies like Google and Apple have rubbed off on young buyers’ expectations of their luxury homes, the story said. The difference between older and younger buyers is “pronounced,” Nina Hatvany, a luxury property specialist with Pacific Union International in San Francisco, told the FT.

“Younger buyers, especially those in tech, are absolutely not interested in doing remodeling,” said Hatvany. “If they say they are, they usually mean that they would change out paint colors and put up wallpaper.”

They want homes that look like the tech-inspired designs of their high-end offices, said Hatvany.

“It seems to me that the younger buyers are so used to having great office space that’s light and airy and open-plan and completely remodeled, along with an array of services such as a gourmet cafeteria, on-site daycare, dry-cleaning services and so on, that they just want to walk right into a place that looks like their office,” Hatvany said.

Tech execs demand extensive digital information on properties before visiting, from drone photographs to video tours, 3D images and data on prices and building finances, Hatvany told the Financial Times. 

Naturally, this niche of high-end buyers demand smart homes, the article said. 

“All of the buyers would love solar panels and integrated control systems for their homes, in order to control, program and be able to access remotely their heat, their security, their lighting and their music,” Hatvany said.

Beyond the technology and the preference for modern design, tech execs are looking for the same selling points as other luxury buyers, the story said, including “high ceilings, room for art — and parties when it’s time to have one — space to move around, and soothing spa-like bathrooms that feel like hotels.”

That puts them in line with other luxury buyers, Monica Novo, an agent with Douglas Elliman in New York, told the Financial Times

“They’re not so very different from the rest of us,” Novo said, “only maybe they have a better-curated Instagram.”

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