Finding a prestige outdoor retreat – how easy is it?
There's a lot to love about the great outdoors in Australia. There's always the sound of a kookaburra or a gust of wind blowing through the eucalyptus trees and huge pines that are far older than the houses in which we live. That's why it's so important to have a fabulous outdoor space – when you're buying a prestige property and spending so much money, getting the whole package, including the outdoor areas, is vital.
You might be looking for something unique, or even just a great vantage point from which to enjoy a bottle of wine and a view over the magnificent countryside. It might even be as popular as a grand spa or pool area – whatever is at the top of your list for outdoor needs, buying a prestige property right now is not going to be easy on your own. The supply for prestige homes is dramatically low, which is reducing the demand as well. People who live in them aren't willing to move on as there's nothing else for sale.
Using a buyer's agent will cut down the time you spend looking for a home with an outdoor wonderland.
However, with the help of a buyer's agent, buying off-market houses and apartments becomes a possibility. Great relationships with selling agents and market knowledge will allow your buyer's agent to find the perfect home for your needs and make a suitable bid on your behalf. This will cut down the amount of time you spend looking for a home with this outdoor wonderland already installed, and allow you to focus on what's really important.
So, what sort of exterior features might you be looking for in your next prestige property?
Cooling off in a wet area
In the searing Aussie sun, it's always nice to have a pool or wet area in which to take a plunge and wash away all of the stresses of the working day. At night, flip that around and take a dip in the spa to warm up in the most relaxing way possible.
Buying a property with these already installed, or at least with space for them to go, is a great way to ensure a tranquil outdoor space is right outside. You'll also have a popular house for visitors, so you'll never be short of guests coming over to indulge in the watery luxury in your backyard.
Houzz Australia suggests using some Japanese Oak as decking timber to surround a below-ground spa – it gives the whole space a really authentic aesthetic, as well as providing a slip-proof surface, unlike tiles or other shinier materials. Around a pool, a plain glass fence will be in keeping with Australian law regarding pool boundaries but also allow you to take in the scene in all of its beauty – no obstructions.
And getting in some shade
Having an outdoor entertaining area can be a great way to expand your partying areas, especially in the middle of the day.
Not everyone enjoys sitting in the sun for countless hours, so to accommodate this, and also protect yourself from the sun, looking for a shade option will make moving into your new prestige house a real pleasure. When using a buyer's agent, simply specify that a louvred roof or other shade must be present in the home and they'll pull together a list of options for you perusal. There won't be any time-wasting viewings where you turn up only to find that a place doesn't tick your boxes!
A timber pergola can be a beautiful feature of a garden area, and it has a hidden function as well. When the sun sets and you want to continue the celebrations without having to move inside, why not turn on the fairy lights that you've coiled around the frame to give a beautiful twinkle of extra light?
An indoor/outdoor bathroom?
This might sound like a crazy idea, but having a wide-open bathroom space can completely transform the way you spend your time bathing and relaxing. There are plenty of bathrooms out there with serious floor space, but what if you could translate that even further by opening it out onto the balcony?
Large, glass doors are the perfect solution to this need. When the weather doesn't quite permit the flow to the outdoors, just close the sliders and you'll still get all of that wonderful outside atmosphere spilling in. It'll make your ensuite or main bathroom feel a lot more spacious too, with the added light. It's a specialist request, but something that you'll love if you manage to find a house that has this already installed.
After all, who doesn't want to step out of the shower and smell all of the amazing scents wafting in from their carefully manicured garden?
Your very own Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Apartment Therapy suggests that including a vertical planting garden is a brilliant way to add a feature garden to your home without taking away from the available square metreage that the land provides. You'll have all of the benefits of stunning flowers and lovely hanging plants, only this way it'll be on the walls!
It can be a seriously striking visual piece, while also bringing to life an otherwise dull outdoor sitting space. This is one idea that you don't have to find ready-to-go, as it's relatively easy to put together, and if you do start a hanging garden yourself then you'll be able to pick and choose exactly what's included.
They're not difficult to care for either, as you'll typically only choose plants that require a minimal amount of watering and don't need long roots. Another benefit is that your pets aren't going to be able to dig the plants up, because chances are they won't be able to reach them. There's just so much to love about a hanging garden.
Taking the Masterchef outside
In every household is a budding Masterchef, or at least somebody who absolutely loves to put as much flavour on a plate as possible. Doing so inside is easy and comfortable, and you'll probably be within view of a television or family area so that you can keep up with what's going on in the lives of your kids. But what about taking the kitchen outside for those special occasions, or even just as a second cooking space for when the party gets a little too big?
A popular choice is theming the space like a Mexican kitchen, with a wood-burning oven.
Apartment Therapy recommends this as an inspiring way to utilise outdoor space, while also allowing a place for friends and kids to cook without making a mess of your otherwise-pristine indoor kitchen wonderland.
You can implement a different style with an outdoor kitchen as well, which creates a further point of interest. A popular choice is theming the space like a Mexican kitchen, with a wood-burning oven. However, a simple Japanese design or even a rustic Tuscan feel can all ensure a relaxing retreat for your food creation dreams to come to life.
Whatever your specifications for an outdoor space are, talking to your buyer's agent about the needs of your family and the style you're looking for is a great step toward finding exactly what you want. There are some fantastic ideas out there, but finding a home that incorporates them all into one gorgeous, prestige package might be a tough ask on your own.
Cohen Handler buyer's agents are happy to help, and you'll be in your dream, relaxed outdoor space as soon as possible.