Luxury home sales have been rising over the last few years as the United States slips out of the dreary economic and real estate landscape of the mid- to late-2000s, and affluent homebuyers gain more confidence. These days, one of the newest trends in luxury homes is a design that allows homeowners to be close to and enjoy wildlife.
One of these homeowners, Gail Morrison lives in a glass house on Sarasota Bay’s Siesta Key in Florida, which is a high traffic area for wildlife. Dr. Morrison and her husband enjoy the company of bottlenose dolphins, herons, and pelicans.
“It is like SeaWorld,”said Dr. Morrison, a senior vice dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal. “You don’t expect dolphins to be right by your house, putting on this show.”
People who opt to buy custom luxury homes often do so for the addition of features and amenities like porches, jacuzzis, wine cellars, and outdoor kitchens, but these homes take things to the next level — sometimes literally.
Homeowner Richard Farmer had an elevated walkway installed so that he and his late wife could get a better view of the birds that populate the area around their home.
There is one downside to building a home too close to wildlife — the wildlife.
Some homeowners get more than they bargained for when they find moose sleeping on their heated driveways or eating their landscaping. Others, however, welcome the critters.
“It’s a place where we’ll go in the summer and have cocktails, and hope a bear comes lumbering down,” said Kirk Davenport, who owns a home in Jackson, WY. He told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that he can’t wait for a moose to approach when he’s soaking in his hot tub. “That’s going to be the most magic moment,” Davenport said.
Though custom homes are allowing animal lovers to live as close to wildlife as possible, it’s important that homeowners be careful and respectful of the wild.