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THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT from you and me….

By Mary Anne Walser, Realtor & Attorney, 404-277-3527, maryannesellshomes@gmail.com

“The Rich are different from you and me,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Yes, they are – they have more money,” replied Hemingway (or so goes the legend). The rich often are different in other ways, too. Let’s look at what is it that they expect and want, and how are the homes they buy different from our typical Atlanta homes. (Even if you are NOT a luxury home buyer or seller, these insights can help you when considering how to add value to your home in any price range.)

This isn’t a scientific study, but I took a look at luxury homes on the market and those that have currently sold in Atlanta. The first interesting fact is that there are more than 1300 homes in the Metro Atlanta area that are currently listed above $1M. 1368, to be exact. More than half of those, however, are between 1 and 1.5M. More than 3/4ths of them are between 1 and 2M. The pickings get slimmer and slimmer as the price is increased, with only 26 homes over $6M. When we take a look at the luxury homes above $2,000,000 (since with those numbers, 1 to 2 million is barely “luxury”), many of the homes are largely alike in ways you would expect. Most of them:

  • Are 6,000 square feet at a minimum
  • Have a lot of land – generally speaking, the more expensive the home, the more land associated with it
  • Most of them have swimming pools; infinity edge pools are particularly popular
  • A disproportionate number of them are on the following Buckhead streets:
    • West Paces Ferry
    • Blackland
    • Tuxedo
    • Valley
  • Most of them are in Buckhead or in the northeastern Metro Area, especially Milton
  • There is a lot of statuary (statues) on the grounds
  • Movie theaters with movie seats and popcorn machines are popular
  • Forget guest ROOMS – luxury estates have guest HOUSES on the property
  • Privacy is important – the homes are often gated and far from the street

There are further trends that could apply to ANY price range – so let’s take a look at those:

  • CHEF’S KITCHEN with commercial style appliances (to make it look as if you cook, even if you don’t)
  • SPA BATHROOMS – two shower heads and body jets, heated flooring, towel warmers
  • OUTDOOR KITCHEN – grill, fridge, sink, beer tap
  • TECHNOLOGY – control your entire home from your smart phone. Now that most everything is wireless, this can be the case even in lower priced homes

Even if your home is NOT luxury and worth two million or more, the more you can incorporate luxury elements the more you will be able to get from you home when you go to sell.

The most expensive home in Atlanta right now? A $48,000,000 home on Riverview, inside the Perimeter east of 75 and south of I-285. It has more than 18 private acres, 17,000 square feet and comes fully furnished. It’s an English Manor style home with… you guessed it – a four-bedroom guest house. And, of course, statuary. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there is always the “Urban Island” of Old 4th Ward, which you have definitely seen if you drive down Freedom Parkway. Right in the middle of it all with amazing views of downtown, it’s listed for $5,000,000. Or the “Zombie Fortress” at an undisclosed Georgia location, a bunker built underground with room for 15 people in the event of catastrophe – yours for $15,000,000.

If you want to buy or sell a home or just need advice, for million dollar service in any price range, call us!


Mary Anne Walser is a licensed attorney and full-time REALTOR, serving buyers and sellers in all areas of Metro Atlanta. Her knowledge of residential real estate and her legal expertise allow her to offer great value to her clients. Mary Anne s a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the Georgia Association of Realtors, the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. Contact Mary Anne at 404-277-3527, or via email: maryannesellshomes@gmail.com.