‘White-Boxing’ Turns Luxury Homes Into Raw Space

May 4, 2018

“White-boxing,” where homeowners strip out all of their property’s finishes and amenities—including high-end kitchens and bathrooms—is a growing trend in hot luxury markets. Much like neutralizing paint color, the move is believed to make homes more appealing to a wider audience of buyers. “White-boxing is really just having a blank canvas,” Jade Mills, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker in Beverly Hills, Calif., told CNBC. “So you can walk in, and you just see the walls, you see the interior space, but you can do whatever you want to that space.” 

An older property can suddenly feel newer. The trend is more prominent among luxury properties, where there is increasing recognition that “designer-ready” homes are more attractive than “move-in ready,” says Josh Greer, a sales associate with Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills who is co-marketing a full-floor penthouse with Mills. White-boxing allows buyers to visualize from the start how to customize the property, and it tends to be less expensive to do so when the property has already been made bare.  

“A lot of times, people will buy something totally done, beautiful, and they’ll still rip everything out and start over. So this trend is more buy it, do whatever you want to do, and you don’t have to pay to rip out someone else’s design,” Mills says. “This is much more valuable than buying something and having to rip everything out.” 

Source: “Sellers Are Increasingly Stripping Out Luxury Homes Instead of Tricking Them Out,” CNBC (May 2, 2018)