Ever heard the term “white boxing”? Me neither.
I’ve since learned that white boxing means stripping all furnishings, all amenities (even high-end kitchens and bathrooms), all everything from ultra-luxury, ultra-high priced listings. Essentially, white boxing is tabula rasa real estate to the very nth degree.
One example of a white-boxed ultra-luxury listing is a penthouse on the 32nd floor in West Hollywood in an iconic building known as Sierra Towers. The listing is stripped naked to its bare concrete bones. It’s asking price is $58M.
The agent representing this listing is Jade Mills with Coldwell Banker of Beverly Hills. In an interview with CNBC, Mills said, “A lot of times people will buy something, totally clean, totally beautiful and they’ll still rip everything out and start over, so the new trend is now to buy it, do whatever you want to do and you don’t have to pay to rip out someone else’s design. (Doing it this way makes the listing) much more valuable than buying something and having to rip everything out”
Some say that white boxing a property saves the buyer time, money and guilt about essentially discarding perfectly beautiful granite slabs or wrongly colored marble bathrooms. Others say that white boxing makes an older property seem new again. Mills said, “White boxing is really just about having a blank canvas…”
Josh Greer with the marketing firm of Hilton and Hyland said, “…design-ready is more attractive than move-in ready to ultra wealthy clients. High end buyers want to put their own stamp on what they buy and so do designers and architects.”
Gavin Brodin, a Los Angeles architect, said that it’s much easier to create computer-generated images, virtual renderings of potential designs, when a space is empty. And besides, said Brodin, “When you’re paying $58M or more for your new home, it’s not perfect until it’s personal.”