Lewis Glenn understands the allure of the Golden Isles better than many. The managing broker of Sea Island Properties, based on St. Simons Island, has been vacationing in the area since the 1950s.

“I’ve been coming here since I was seven years old. I’ve spent summer vacations here for many, many years,” he says. “We bought a house on Sea Island in 2005.”

Professionally, Glenn spent the majority of his real estate career in the Atlanta luxury market. He served as President of Harry Norman Realtors for fourteen years before moving to the Golden Isles. His experience with both locations — and the fabulous properties they boast — makes him a resident enthusiast and knowledgeable on the latest in home design trends. And there are several elements that he’s noticed in recent years.

“The main thing buyers are looking for is location, which can include marsh view, ocean or lake views, or close proximity to amenities such as schools, dining, recreation, and history. This is an incredible community in which to live, work, and play,” Glenn says.

“There are so many things to do, from boating, fishing, golfing, getting involved with community non-profits, or simply walking the beach. The Golden Isles is so welcoming and we are all blessed and fortunate to live in such a beautiful and natural environment.”

As residents build their lives, they want a home that supports them. Glenn says that the design elements featured in the luxury market, also appeal to buyers across the board.

“Buyers today want open floor living space that is conducive for entertaining family and friends. That’s very important,” he says.

Glenn also indicates that in 2022, property owners want to utilize the latest in clean energy options and cutting-edge technologies. That includes everything from top-of-the-line appliances, flooring, beamed ceilings, window treatments, security systems and lightning fast internet. “Security is important today, as is privacy,” he says.

But even with a move toward modernization, many home buyers are looking for time-honored features that have always been popular. For instance, Glenn says that many of his clients still prefer that the primary bedroom be on the main level. They are also searching for rooms with ample storage and stellar views, and a fireplace in the bedroom for an extra bit of luxury.

“Walk-in closets, well-designed and spacious bathrooms,” he lists. “A lot of buyers don’t want a primary suite on the main level, but from a resale perspective, it is really nice to have.”

One popular recent trend is “flex rooms,” which can be used for remote working, separate study rooms for children, or a home gym. While some buyers prefer to have a game or media room.”

Prior to the pandemic, it was typically only adults who had these types of allocated workspaces, but with home schooling becoming such a major factor in the lives of so many, homeowners have started to keep an eye out for these options.

While house hunters’ must-haves vary, there is one element that is typically sought by everyone — a fabulous space for outdoor leisure and entertainment with privacy. Glenn says that can include a landscaped pool area, fireplace, and an outdoor kitchen.

“A pool is not a necessity, but families love that outdoor feature,” he says. “You can have built-ins with a grill and plenty of outdoor seating coupled with exterior or moon lighting is also popular.”

In Glenn’s profession, he’s privy to the crème de la crème when it comes to homes in the Golden Isles. And one of the key features he’s noticed in recent years is a guest home that can accommodate visiting friends and family.

“We’re very fortunate on our island to have of the best residential architects and home designers on the East Coast to guide and assist buyers with creating a functional and sustainable home that is comfortable and coincides with a buyer’s lifestyle,” he says.

— Lewis Glenn is the managing broker of Sea Island Properties, 351 Sea Island Road, St. Simons Island. He may be reached at 912-638-5161.