Cindy Shearin’s resources and skills reach far beyond that of the average real estate agent. She is well known for her skill in designing, building, and rehabbing properties, in addition to expert handling of the traditional aspects of real estate transactions.“Several of my family members were developers,” she explains. “At an early age, I was fascinated by the total process of the design and building of new homes.” Therefore, when Shearin moved to California nearly 30 years ago, she began her career in real estate sales and development. “I was very fortunate to find myself in the desirable South Bay community [consisting of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes],” she says. “I was also fortunate to affiliate myself with the best real estate agents, brokers, contractors, and subcontractors.” Haute Residence caught up with Shearin to discuss types of bonus rooms clients are looking for and best practices for converting a room in your home into a bonus room:
When meeting with clients, do they often require more space in a home?
Yes, to answer simply. Living by the beach is unique, the lots are smaller than most other areas in Los Angeles, so our clients are always looking to maximize their space and use their lot to its best potential. Often we will see developers over-build a parcel, but like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. When working with a lot like our property at 235 4th Street in Manhattan Beach, we anticipated the buyer’s needs by building in unique amenities, and bonus rooms while still providing a grassy yard and as much outdoor space as possible. We accomplished this while still providing the owner with more than 4,000 square feet of living space.
What are some bonus rooms that clients look for in a home?
Our clients are always looking for ways to simplify their busy lives, and interestingly the right bonus rooms in their homes can do just that. While we get a wide variety of requests one of the most popular is the mudroom. These rooms include locker-like built-ins and are located just inside from the garage to catch all the kid paraphernalia like backpacks, cleats, and toys; an excellent solution to keep the rest of the home neat. Also, we find adding a second refrigeration system to the laundry room for cold drinks or stowing groceries when in a hurry helps keep a home running smooth.
Another hot-ticket-item for our luxury-loving clientele has been a second master suite. In the home we designed at 235 4th Street, we designed a stunning junior-master suite with mitered corner glass windows, a huge walk-in closet and deluxe en suite bath. Having a second master suite is nice to have for adult children visiting, an elder parent on an extended stay, or a snoring spouse.
Is there a bonus room that is more popular in your area?
Being by the beach, especially in the highly desired Sand Section, we like to add Beach Rooms for our clients. These rooms have direct entry from the outside and include a wet-bar, and refrigeration system, plus space for a big-screen TV to host Super Bowl parties, etc. These spaces are also excellent for entertaining before or after the beach and a great place to send noisy teens on any occasion.
Do you tend to see clients add bonus rooms to their homes down the road or just move to homes with more space?
Our firm is a one-stop-shop, a team of realtors as well as real estate developers, so we deal with both scenarios. When developing or renovating a property for a client we listen to their needs to implement the right bonus rooms from the beginning. But, we also service clients that buy for a particular location or school district and then strategize adding the necessary spaces either before move-in or as budget allows.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to convert a current room into a bonus room?
Converting a basement or an unused guest bedroom into a home gym or pilates room is a smart solution to simplify one’s life. Having easy access to improve our health saves time and one’s health. This is a room that we try to implement into every project when space allows, it’s great for resale and for the life of the owner.
Photos courtesy of Cindy Shearin