Inside Las Vegas’ most expensive homes — PHOTOS

They’re aspirational. They’re astounding. They’re all-encompassing. They’re luxury custom dream homes, where the “entry-level price” starts well above $1 million.

As a city familiar with luxury, Las Vegas has been dotted with mansions for decades, and as the economy moves further into recovery territory, more uberhouses are in the works.

If you have the considerable means to plan, purchase and appoint your own “palace,” where might you consider building?

“Right now, primarily, you’re building either in The Ridges, MacDonald Highlands, Southern Highlands, or you’re looking to the future at Ascaya,” said Robert Bero, founder of Chateau Development and a 24-year veteran of the Southern Nevada luxury-home industry.

Also, on the near horizon, in southern Summerlin, is an enormous luxe planned community with resort amenities and homes on a 555-acre parcel next to Red Rock Canyon under development by Discovery Land Co.

“We’re going to break ground on the golf course this April to May, and you’ll start seeing houses come up toward this time next year,” said Steve Adelson, a partner in Discovery Land Co.

Where to start?

Planning a luxury dream home is far more complicated than many potential homeowners might expect, so it’s necessary to have a plan.

Ivan Sher, a partner at Shapiro & Sher Group with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties is overseeing sales for Ascaya, the gargantuan high-end development terraced along the McCullough Hills above Henderson. He outlines four stages of planning.

“The first component, I believe, is that you need to pick a phenomenal architect,” Sher said. “Someone with an interesting sense, a vision and someone who can represent your unique style.”

Picking the right builder and choosing the right interior designer follow.

“A truly custom home interior designer needs to have the vision of knowing style beyond five years from now,” Sher said.

Finally, the homeowner needs to pick the right lot.

Before starting

Mark Stark, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, is not only a professional in the luxury custom home industry, he planned his own upscale Seven Hills domicile.

Stark emphasizes beginning with a meticulous budget, even for individuals with plenty of money in the bank and generous financing.

“You’ve got to start with a budget. You’ve got to have what you want to spend, because, when you’re building your own home, you pick everything,” Stark said. “You can go from $2 million expenses to $3 million in the blink of an eye; you can go from $4 million to $7 million in the blink of an eye.”

“You’re picking everything from every doorknob to every faucet. Everything. Each item in its own aspect can be important. The problem is it all adds or subtracts to the cost of the project,” Stark said.

“You start going down this list of a thousand items, and it’s daunting. You’ve got to go back and say ‘what don’t I need.’ What helps you No. 1 is that budget,” Stark said.

Interestingly, Stark says that scrimping on land costs is not thrifty, and can unexpectedly blow out a budget.

“You are not saving money buying a lesser-quality lot, Stark said, adding that saving money on land can result in diminished vistas and cramped spaces in a home.

“If you see a lot that’s more money but clearly it’s more money because it’s a little bit larger, it’s a nicer a building lot and it’s got a great view, take the nicer lot,” he said.

Interior designed from the beginning

With millions of dollars at stake, engaging the services of an interior designer from the earliest stage of planning can help make sure a custom home makes a decor statement to match any architectural tour de force.

“If the (clients are) savvy, they’ll engage the designer at the same time as they engage the architect,” said Cary Vogel, a noted interior designer who’s been working in Las Vegas since the late 1980s.

“Then we can create a team between the architect, the interior designer, the general contractor, the landscape architect as well as the landscaper, so that everything will be seamless between the interior spaces and the exterior spaces, because here in Las Vegas we have a lot of indoor-outdoor living,” he said.

What are luxury dream home trends?

Although individual custom homes are highly personal edifices and reflect their diverse owners’ visions and likes, definite trends can be found across the swath of recent Las Vegas luxury developments.

Vogel points out that nods to “desert contemporary” style are extremely popular.

“We’re building homes into the sides of the mountains and into the ridges,” Vogel said. “It’s almost almost a Frank Lloyd Wright feeling of incorporating nature into architecture.”

He notes that home design elements such as burnished copper, stone and large glass walls are hallmarks of this Southwestern aesthetic.

Dan Coletti of Sun West Custom Homes notes a trend in media rooms.

“Three years ago, people were asking for theater rooms that were designated, you just want to go in there, close the door and watch movies,” Coletti said.

Now he’s finding people asking to incorporate their top-line audio-visual equipment into multiuse, everyday rooms.

Acclaimed Las Vegas architect Richard Luke also notes the trendline moving to the modern design.

“Vegas has seen a lot of Mediterranean and Tuscan style, and I think that’s going out now. The more contemporary style is coming in,” Luke said.

Luke also cited the increased use of barrel roofs, metal roofing and LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting in new luxury custom homes in the region.

As for amenities, impressive outdoor kitchens are found in many of today’s dream homes.

Bero of Chateau Development singles out a perhaps unexpected micro-trend in the custom marketplace: remodels.

“We’re doing two terrific remodels that are complete strip-downs. One is in Sun City, and the other is in Tournament Hills,” Bero said

“When I say remodel, and it’s a $1.2 million budget, don’t have the picture that we’re adding on a patio cover. We strip them basically down to the studs and start over,” he said.

Dream Green

A significantly growing trend in the luxury home market is “green” or environmentally conscious, energy-saving building methods.

John Curtis of Tyler Construction specializes in erecting green custom homes in the area.

“We built about a 9,500-square-foot house. We did it through Environments For Living,” Curtis said. “It’s Diamond certified, which is the highest rating they have.”

Environments For Living is an initiative supporting green homebuilders and is akin to the widely known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program for commercial buildings. It meets the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

“It all starts with insulation and how you seal a home,” Curtis said.

He says that Diamond-level homes are so tightly sealed — from every nail hole in frames to roof insulation — that they are separate from the ambient outside environment.

“We have to do a fresh-air intake off the return air, or else you’d just be breathing the same air. That’s how tight these houses are,” he said.

Curtis notes that it’s wise for potential homeowners to verify that their builders are fully certified in environmental-friendly construction methodology, as some companies might use “green” terminology loosely when describing their services and offerings.

How big a dream?

With prices from the low millions to well into the upper-teens in the local market, many might assume that dream homes come in grandiose proportions. However, there’s a diversity of sizes in dreams.

Coletti’s company is constructing homes in MacDonald Ranch that cover a wide range of square footage.

“One interesting thing is looking at the diversity within that subdivision, where we’re building homes from 4,000 square feet — that are still really nicely appointed — all the way up to 19,000 square feet,” Coletti said.

But of course, there are megahouses going up in Las Vegas, too.

“We’re building a very large house in The Ridges, within The Promontory. It’s a 26,000-square-foot home, so we’ve been been busy on that for years and have another year to go. That’s the uberhigh end,” Coletti said.

Bero points out a “midsize” project.

“I’m building a terrific contemporary custom in MacDonald Highlands. It’s a 6,800-square-foot magnificent view lot that’s hanging over the hillside, overlooking the entire valley. A complete panorama. We’re quite excited about it,” Bero said.

Final considerations

Building your dream home from scratch is not merely a matter of signing checks. It’s nearly a full-time job, or a lifestyle — and a stressful one at that.

Stark cautions married couples to be aware of the tension that can arise in building a home, and plan ahead to avoid pitfalls.

“If you are doing this as a married couple, it can be really stressful,” Stark said.

He returns to the importance of sticking to a very clear and specific budget. He also remarked that happy, successful dream home residents are ready for the long haul.

“This is a daunting project, and it takes a lot of time, Stark said. “You can’t just be excited at the beginning, you’ve got to be enthused throughout the process.”

Real Estate Millions
Real Estate Millions: Myron Martin
Real Estate Millions: $15M Palms Place Penthouse
Phil Maloof’s Palms Place Penthouse, which takes up the entire 59th-floor, is for sale for $15 million. (Samia DeCubas/Real Estate Millions)
Real Estate Millions: The New American Home 2019
Real Estate Millions: The highest-priced condos sold in Las Vegas in 2018
Real Estate Millions: 1210 Macdonald Ranch
Real Estate Millions: Jonathan Marchessault
Vegas Golden Knight Jonathan Marchessault, shows off his Summerlin home.
Real Estate Millions: Say Yes To The Nest
Camila and Brent Lincowski have planted roots in the Las Vegas area with a $1.5 million home in Henderson.
Real Estate Millions: KB Smart Home
KB Homes and Google have teamed up to create a smart home.
Marc-Andre Fleury selling Las Vegas home for $2.5M - VIDEO
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has put his custom Southern Highlands home on the market for $2.5 million. The single-story home, built on a .63-acre lot in 2015, measures 5,285 square feet and has a 717-square-foot casita and three-car garage. It has five bedrooms and six baths. Fleury bought the home from former NHL player and fellow Canadian Sheldon Souray, according to public records. When he signed his three-year, $25M contract extension over the summer, Fleury told the media he and his family love Las Vegas and cited its great schools and neighborhoods with a lot of things for kids to do. Fleury said he and his family love their home in Southern Highlands, but wanted to be “closer to the Summerlin area." Home photos courtesy of Ivan Sher Group
Marc-Andre Fleury selling Las Vegas home for $2.5M - VIDEO
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has put his custom Southern Highlands home on the market for $2.5 million. The single-story home, built on a .63-acre lot in 2015, measures 5,285 square feet and has a 717-square-foot casita and three-car garage. It has five bedrooms and six baths. Fleury bought the home from former NHL player and fellow Canadian Sheldon Souray, according to public records. When he signed his three-year, $25M contract extension over the summer, Fleury told the media he and his family love Las Vegas and cited its great schools and neighborhoods with a lot of things for kids to do. Fleury said he and his family love their home in Southern Highlands, but wanted to be “closer to the Summerlin area." Home photos courtesy of Ivan Sher Group
Real Estate Millions: Waldorf Astoria penthouses
Real Estate Millions: Cold Creek Log House
Real Estate Millions: Brett Torino Christmas
Real Estate Millions: Pia Zadora
Real Estate Millions: Lake Las Vegas
Real Estate Millions: 27 Burning Tree Court in Spanish Trail
LEED home
Real Estate Millions: Top 10 Most Expensive Homes Sold In 2018
Real Estate Millions: Operation Halloween
Realtor and owner of Operation Halloween, Nicole Tomlinson, shares high-end luxury 'tricks of the trade' for Halloween decorating.
Real Estate Millions: Ascaya Pool Home
$15.5M Ascaya home has 5,900-square-foot pool.
Rat Pack-era home once housed Las Vegas entertainers
3671 Tioga Way in Paradise Palms neighborhood Listed for $650,000 Professional photographers Mark and Sarah Gascoine
Home builder Toll Brothers has plans in Summerlin
Toll Brothers purchased of 128 acres of property near Mesa Park Drive and Town Center Drive will be used for a housing development. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rich MacDonald estate in Henderson
Rich MacDonald estate in Henderson
Real Estate Millions: Liberace Mansion
Real Estate Millions: 4120 Mont Blanc Way, Mount Charleston
Real Estate Millions: 8 Vista Crescent Court, Ascaya, Henderson
Real Estate Millions: 11172 San Terrazo Place
Real Estate Millions takes a look at Blue Heron Real Estate.
Real Estate Millions: 1325 Villa Barolo Ave
Overlooking the second hole of the Rio Secco golf course within the community of Marquis Seven Hills is a modern masterpiece of light and architectural artistry. Designed by the award-winning Blue Heron design team, the home known as The Aurora Estate adorns the likes of the most noteworthy LED displays and lighting projects from around the world. XLED Systems founder and mastermind behind the world-renowned Freemont Street Experience, Hong Kong’s Disneyland Storybook Theater and the larger-than-life concert stages of Justin Bieber, Keith Urban and the Foo Fighters (to name a few)—brings light and magic to the hills of this private and highly desirable gated community. The combination of the 133” custom HD/LED Digital Display, 150+ interior/exterior lights and 34 indoor/outdoor surround sound speakers bring a unique ambiance and entertainment level to the home. Other spectacular bonus features include a 1,200 SQFT pool, therapy spa, wet step lounge, $100K+ full Crestron system in-sync with Amazon’s Alexa, 9 security cameras and panic room.
Real Estate Millions: One Queensridge Place
Real Estate Millions takes a look at 9103 Alta Drive #1501, Las Vegas, NV.
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Real Estate Millions: 323 Mont Blanc Way
Garry Tomashowski talks about his cabin in Mount Charleston.
Famous Las Vegas underground house
Did you know there is an underground house in Las Vegas? The home was originally built as a bomb shelter in 1978, and sits 26 feet below the surface. The midcentury-style home measures about 6,000 square feet, and features two bedrooms and three bathrooms. There’s a 6-foot-deep pool, a spa, a barbecue area, and a carpeted six-hole putting green. The Underground House has lighting that emulates different times of the day. And mountain and wilderness murals depict an outdoor setting. The home is accessed from a flight of stairs that’s part of a town home.
Real Estate Millions: 36 Olympia Canyon Way
Mitch McClellan and John McDonough talk about their property in Southern Highlands.
Real Estate Millions: 20 Vintage Valley Drive, Southern Highlands
Real Estate Millions: 2315 Alta Drive
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing