The Current L.A. Home Buyer

Understanding your client is essential for delivering their dream home and ensuring you’ve left them satisfied with the home buying process. Get to know the average L.A. home buyer with Abe Roy, CEO of Design Equity, Inc.

What are the key characteristics of the classic SoCal Coast home buyer?

We are talking about an extremely discerning clientele that have a deep appreciation for art, architecture and nature alongside a very specific need for perfection and high construction standards. When looking to buy a home by the water they are, by definition, buying a luxury product.

As such, they expect every last detail to be addressed with the utmost scrutiny and care. They are typically not first time home buyers. In fact, in many instances they are buying their forever homes. Therefore, they have very well defined needs and expectations.

How do you design homes that can be universally appealing for such discerning clientele?

Despite meaningful differences in needs, there is a good bit of commonality amongst what the modern consumer appreciates – simplicity, elegance, visibility and very importantly convenience. Lives have gotten infinitely busier and more stressful over the last several decades.

Multitasking is the norm. Working from home is continuing to become more pervasive. Entertaining is less ostentatious and more woven into the daily fabric of our lives. As a simple manifestation, the modern kitchen is not only a functional space but a social space. A kitchen must be designed for much more than just the convenient culinary experience

Our designers develop empathy for our target consumer group and how they will interact with the house. That’s the first and crucially important step in the design that ensues. We focus a lot on what feelings we would like to evoke in the residents as they interact and spend time in the house.

Most coastal buyers want to feel refreshed, energized, empowered, successful, hopeful and at peace when they come home. Our designers work with focus groups to create design elements that work alongside the beautiful natural elements, the awe-inspiring Pacific, in most cases, to generate those responses.

They are adamant that everything, from the high ceilings designed for optimism, to the wall details for homey elegance, to the closet drawers for basic utility, from the infinite views upon entry, to how groceries will be carried inside, every minute detail contributes to the overall living experience.

We are also pursuing a slightly different model, where we are not trying to make all the decisions for our consumers. We do the heavy
lifting, create the vision and the artistry and leave some of the finer details as blanks for the residents to fill suiting their lifestyles and needs

How do you see real estate market trends pan out over the next several months?

The interest rates and steady rise in home prices have affected affordability some. That said the So Cal economy is the strongest it has been in years and incomes are rising. Coastal properties with strong views and good designs are bucking the general market trends and are continuing to command a solid premium.

Furthermore, the So Cal coastline is almost completely built out. There are a finite number of coastal homes that have a strong interest from three distinct groups – affluent residents of inland LA and OC; East Coast buyers that simply cannot get enough of our weather; and, International clientele – principally from Asia and Europe, that recognize So Cal as a combination of a stable and diversified economy; absolutely gorgeous scenery; and an environment that is very amenable and encouraging of different cultures and ways of lives. A rare combination anywhere in the world, that continues to make us very bullish on the So Cal coastline.

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