In high-end luxury markets like New York City and Los Angeles, turns out less is often more. Instead of maximizing luxe features like state-of-the-art kitchens and top-dollar fixtures and moldings, sellers are stripping their pads down to bare bones and commanding a higher sales price in the process.
According to a recent article on CNBC.com, the trend is called "white boxing," and it's all the rage among the ultra-affluent who often buy a luxury property only to gut it and redo it in the style that suits their unique design taste and lifestyle. For luxury buyers — who place high value on personalizing a home and making it their own — it's much more appealing to buy a space that's already stripped, as it saves them the time and expense of doing so on their own.
Buying a white-boxed property also makes luxury clientele feel better, too, says one Beverly Hills real estate expert, as tearing out existing features and appliances isn't the most environmentally-friendly course of action. The stripped property can also have the benefit of appearing brand-new in cases where the existing design and features were dated.
White-boxed properties are the ultimate blank canvas for today's luxury buyer, who often favors "designer-ready" over "move-in ready," and for architects and interior designers working with buyers, it's a huge boon, allowing work to proceed in a much more efficient manner — stripped properties easily lend themselves to computer-generated designs and virtual renderings.
Depending on trends in your area, if you're putting a luxury property on the market, talk to a real estate professional to see if white boxing might be a strategy that will work for you.