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Mansions in Austin, Texas: What makes a home a mansion versus a luxury home?

published on May 13, 2013

austin mansion luxury homeRegent Property Group is privileged to help many clients who are interested in buying and selling upscale homes. Austin certainly has its share of upper echelon homes: from the shores of Lake Austin to prized central Austin estates to fine homes in Westlake, the luxury home market is thriving. One question we often are asked when helping clients with these homes is, “What is the difference between a luxury home and a mansion?”   

While there is not a finite distinction, the answer generally revolves around a home’s size and amenities. Once a home reaches a certain square footage threshold and also has additional, classically-associated mansion rooms or sumptuous features, it transitions to a mansion.

Here are some guidelines for determining whether a house is a mansion:

  • Square footage to become a mansion can be considered as high as 10,000 square feet or as “low” as 6,000 square feet.
  • If the home includes a ballroom, it is a mansion.
  • If the home includes tens of bedrooms and/or a dining hall, it is most likely a mansion.
  • Live-in quarters for a butler, cook, chauffer, housekeeper, etc. increase the likelihood that a home is a mansion.
  • Impressive entryways with gates, security, porte-cochère parking, circular driveways, etc. add to a home’s probability as a mansion.
  • Homes that have separate additional homes, such as with a compound, tend to be mansions.
  • Homes with extensive leisure features, such as separate gardens, large fountains, conservatories, wine cellars, greenhouses, multiple sport courts, and swimming and lounging areas may qualify a home as a mansion, pending their level of quality and distinction.
  • Appointments within the home must be of fine quality (or historically fine, as in the case of older mansions or manor homes) for a home to be considered a mansion.
  • In some cases, a home’s “atmosphere” will elevate it – as in the feelings of opulence it provides.

Many luxury homes today offer features such as home offices, home theaters, home libraries, nanny quarters, and high-level technologies so the distinction rests in having these luxury home features, plus taking it up to the next level through square footage or some combination of the above features.

It’s important to note that historical homes that were considered mansions when they were built generally are still called mansions today, even if they don’t meet all of the modern criteria. This is in deference to the weight and significance of their history.

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