In May 2008, only 34 residences costing more than $3 million changed hands in Los Angeles according to the Los Angeles Business Journal (sub. req.). Last month that number had more than tripled to 106. So now that the high-end market has come screaming back to life, what are the must-have amenities for multi-million dollar homes? Any schlub nowadays can turn a room into a home theater and call it a day. But for the latest in amenity insanity, the LABJ turned to the agents and designers who cater to the superrich crowd to see what's new. Bad news for everyone who dies a little at the sight of enormous faux Mediterranean monstrosities: the word "Italianate" appears several times.
-- A "locker room" in a Manhattan Beach house includes a shower "with a skylight with a view of the indoor pool above" and "a waterfall that doubles as a urinal."
-- A house on the Westside has a "3,000-square-foot basement-level firing range."
-- A lot in Holmby Hills (with a 10,000 square foot house on it) is for sale with "architectural plans for a 50,000-square-foot mansion replete with an indoor-outdoor pool; an Italianate spa with sauna, Jacuzzi and massage parlor; a bridge over a waterfall; and a bridle path. If built according to plan, the property would be worth $250 million."
-- A Bel Air estate has "an ornate indoor pool and spa surrounded by marble floors and Roman columns." Elsewhere, "large Italian spas" are big.
-- Buyers "are willing to drop large amounts of money" on views right now according to one agent, especially views from bathrooms. (Presumably the views are for admiring from soaking tubs and not waterfall urinals.)
-- "Pyrotechnically enhanced dance floors," for when you need the insurance money.
-- His and hers walk in closets don't sound so special, but one woman just built a two-story closet to "accommodate her travel and at-home wardrobes," which is a bit more like it.
· Full Houses [LABJ, image via]