Gold Nugget Winners 2015: Best Homes Between 4,000 And 4,999 Square Feet

September 18, 2015

All five of the award winners in the Gold Nugget 4,000 to 4,999 square foot house category contain guest suites, most with big bedrooms, attached bathrooms, walk-in closets. They meet the needs of a growing trend.

Multigenerational housing is becoming a factor for an increasing number of home buyers. On one end are Millennials, who are delaying home buying and even renting. Young adults are staying at home because of difficulties of finding a stable job, and the rise of student loan debt. 

On the other side is the nation's rising senior population. Because of the influx of births after World War II and rising life expectancy, the elderly population will double between now and the year 2050 to 80 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many active adults, empty nesters, retirees, elderly people are looking to downsize, spend time with family, and remain independent. These houses accommodate them.

Among the merit winners, The Toll Brothers at Hidden Canyon - Capri Collection home in Irvine, Calif., has its guest suite on the first level; the other bedrooms are upstairs. The 15x12-foot suite has its own bathroom and powder room, along with two closets. San Juan Capistrano's Oliva Plan 2 might not have a guest suite per se, but one bedroom is separated from the rest of the house by a breezeway on one side and a loggia and courtyard on the other. It has its own bathroom, too.

Irvine's Amelia at Orchard Hills Plan 2 has its guest suite tucked away in the rear of the house. It is attached to the home, but because of the house's L-shaped layout, the first-floor suite is separated from the rest of the rooms by a courtyard. The suite has a bathroom and kitchen, and is connected only to a sitting room. The Seoul in Mercer Island, Wash., has its guest room on a floor that holds other bedrooms. But, since the three-story house has a flex room, deck, den, and five bathrooms, residents aren't exactly on top of one another. 

Grand winner Plan 2 Sterling Ridge - Premier in Las Vegas holds its guest suite in the very front of the home, off of the entry court. The room has a bathroom and walk-in closet, and it is connected to a hallway that leads to a powder room, bar area, and, eventually, the house's large gathering room. 

With so much attention paid to the guest suites, the rest of the houses' rooms must be nondescript, right? Of course not. Make no mistake that these homes, which can see prices rise near $2.7 million, are nothing if not luxurious.