Sports Cars for Cheap
Buy a condo, get a sports car.
While this sort of two-for-one arrangement has become common in markets where there are a lot of luxury property listings, add-ons like this aren’t always what makes the sale — and in some cases, can actually harm a negotiation, experts say.
In some cases, luxury extras — like six-figure classic cars, yachts, helicopters and fine art — can add value, especially when they’re relevant to the lifestyle of the would-be buyer. Other times, they don’t impact the end deal, but are a way to attract attention and get media coverage. And then there are the cases in which including luxury extras with a listing are seen as a sign of desperation, and a cue for brokers to negotiate hard on price.
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“When it comes to these houses that come with a boat or a Porsche, in general, it’s a gimmick, ” said Gary Gold, executive vice president of Los Angeles agency Hilton & Hyland. “But if we’re talking about a $25 million house on Kauai that’s fully furnished and comes with cars, or a property on a golf course that includes a bonus golf cart, that makes sense. Those aren’t coming out of left field.”
When Gold considers where this practice of throwing in an extra car came from, he sees a direct link to how resort homes are generally sold fully furnished with everything you need already there.
When Los Angeles developers saw how many buyers of homes in the $10 million to $30 million range were using properties as the equivalent of a vacation home, and only staying there for two or three weeks of the year, they adapted that practice to this market.
It was about five years ago that Gold noticed that many luxury spec homes in neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Bel Air were coming fully furnished. Today, he estimates that more than 50% of these properties priced above $20 million come with high-end, modern furniture.
In Manhattan, the developer of a new West Chelsea townhouse, listed for $36.8 million, is applying the same logic, and including a 2016 Bentley, valued at $368, 000, as well as modern furnishings, which the client can purchase with the property.
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“We wanted this mansion to be the complete, turnkey package, ” said Compass broker Alyssa Soto Brody in an email. “The home is already breathtaking, but we wanted this home’s buyer to be able to just walk in and start enjoying.”
A much more extreme example of this same practice is Bruce Makowsky’s 924 Bel Air Road. Listed for $250 million, this 38, 000-square foot spec mansion comes with 100 curated art installations, millions of dollars’ worth of classic cars and motorcycles, a deactivated helicopter and a $1 million outdoor TV.
“He did something in an extraordinary way, ” Gold said, “and he’s shooting for a certain type of person that’s going to be completely enamored with the whole thing. I think it’s cool.”
If these are cases where the luxury add-ons make sense from a utility or lifestyle perspective, there are also times when extras are included in an organic way, leading to increased exposure and a sale.
Brad Robson, a listing agent for Place in Brisbane, sold a property that fits that criteria in late-November. The Chelmer house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and came with a 1993 Porsche Carrera 911, valued at $100, 000. It sold a week before it was meant to go to auction for $2.31 million — an amount that Robson said the seller was “thrilled” with.