The Rise of the Dual Master Suite

Properties boasting a duo of spacious master or en-suite bedrooms offer the ultimate amenity to L.A. homebuyers

Written by Wendy Bowman

When it comes to having a space of their own, Angelenos have long clamored for high-end properties offering separate his-and-her sinks, toilets, and closets. Now the trend includes residences that also feature dual master suites, a luxurious and stylish amenity not only meant to oblige household members with their own personal space, but ideal for guests and in-laws as well.

“Today’s buyers of significant properties are extremely savvy, and no longer is it just about square footage,” says Stephanie Anton, executive vice president of Luxury Portfolio International, a global network of independent luxury brokerages. “Today, a smart, usable floorplan, fabulous outdoor space and spectacular amenities like dual masters are driving sale price, allure and desirability of the best properties. Dual masters are just one of the latest ways developers can offer a differentiator in a world where bigger isn’t always better.

“It’s also worth mentioning, though, that this isn’t just a trend at the very high end of the market,” Anton adds. “Many dual masters are being offered in properties at the lower end of the luxury price point—not as a true, second master, but as an en-suite at the level of the master to accommodate guests or even as an in-law suite.”

According to Richard Stearns, a partner with Pacific Union Los Angeles (formerly Partners Trust), several scenarios have necessitated the move toward dual masters. Among them: households with visiting family members, often parents; families with split heads of household, including brothers, sisters and cousins; and those who buy a home with a partner to save expenses. Having a second master suite also can be a luxurious way to treat guests, as well as a great vacation rental attraction.

In Stearns’ current portfolio, for example, is the Little Holmby estate of producer Peter Samuelson at 10401 Wyton Drive (now on the market for $5.495 million). Inside the 7,371-square-foot residence, one will find two master suites with dual baths. “People are intrigued that the upstairs master is a traditional conventional master with a sitting room and separate baths and closets,” says Stearns. “Meanwhile, the lower master is almost like an exotic spa, with garden windows, an in-ground Jacuzzi and huge bathtub.”

Dual masters also are prevalent at The Liddel, a modern boutique collection of 56 residences on L.A.’s Wilshire Boulevard that offers dual masters in its two-bedroom units, with prices ranging from $1.6 million to $2.4 million. “When a unit has two masters, it increases desirability and broadens the buyer pool,” says Don Heller of The Agency, the property’s exclusive listing agent. “It increases privacy for all, and for people who want roommates, it increases the lease-ability. It also allows for better guest or relative accommodations. Having this option at The Liddel has been very popular and of great interest to buyers.”

Luxury Portfolio’s Anton says she began seeing the dual master trend about two to three years ago, and with price points in L.A. reaching the $350 million and above point, she expects this extra-special amenity is here to stay. “Ultimately,” she says, “we are seeing a significant uptick in wealth in our most affluent population, and as a result, this is driving the high-end real estate market because the affluent love investing in fabulous homes. With that has come a push toward a need for ever more over-the-top amenities.”

There is room for significant customization when it comes to dual masters,” she adds. “We have seen properties where the masters are connected by outdoor space, or even a common room/office/lounge area between the two. We also have seen a ‘her’ master that featured elegant, gold-leaf-painted furniture and a spa bathroom, while ‘his’ room mirrored a boardroom with wood paneling. The rooms ultimately reflect the personalities of the owners, and therefore, are unlimited in their creativity.”

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