Real estate agent Darcy Lord

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Buying a Home, Lifestyle, New Homes, Renovations, Tips and Advice

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Brisbane Real Estate Agent Darcy Lord Answers!

I recently sat down with Darcy Lord.

As one of Brisbane’s premier real estate agents, and the founder of home buying platform makeanoffer.au, if there’s anyone who is qualified to talk about Brisbane’s real estate market – it’s Darcy!

Whilst Darcy offers a wealth of knowledge on all topics real estate, we were mostly interested in giving our readers the inside scoop on a few key questions:

  1. How do architect designed homes compare to non-architect designed homes – when it comes to selling?
  2. If someone is eventually going to sell the home they’re hiring an architect to design, what are some features they should make sure to include to maximise their sale results?
  3. Do the traditional benefits of architect designed homes (when it comes to selling) hold up in an online setting?
  4. Is the online real estate market demanding different things from the traditional market at the moment?

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Who Is Darcy Lord?

Before we get into Darcy’s answers, let me give you a bit of background on Darcy and his new platform, Make an Offer – to give you a bit of insight into his perspective when it comes to the online and traditional real estate spaces.

Make an Offer was created by Darcy with the goal of offering an alternative property ownership journey, one that is different to the traditional “Advertised Only” approach. Make an Offer allows prospective home buyers to choose a seller, and make an offer on a specific property they want – even if that property isn’t currently listed on the market.

If you would like to learn more about Make an Offer, you can check out their website here.

Darcy started Make an Offer due to unfulfilled consumer demands he saw during his work in the traditional real estate market – the industry which he has dedicated his career to for over 20 years.

Darcy Lord is a name many people in Brisbane will recognize. His name is associated with trustworthiness, and a wealth of experience in the real estate industry. As such, I couldn’t be more thankful that Darcy has taken the time to give us his insight on both the traditional, and online, real estate market in Brisbane!

Anyway, now that you understand Darcy’s background, let’s get into what you came for – the insider scoop!

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Does Architectural Design Hold its Value?

The first question I asked Darcy is whether he has found that architectural design tends to hold it’s value during the resell process.

I know for myself, and my firm, making sure we provide the most accurate information on whether a client’s vision is likely to hold it’s value is KEY to the philosophy and beliefs that drive our business.

I’ve always found that generally speaking the homes designed by myself, and other qualified architects, hold their value – provided the clients listen to our advice on certain features and design choices.

That being said, it’s always great to hear the perspective of someone in a different area of the forever home industry.

environmental house design

When asked whether he finds architecturally designed homes hold their value, Darcy said:

“ABSOLUTELY! I am fortunate enough to have been selling in the same suburbs, and the same market, for 20 years. This time has allowed me to get really familiar with the area – and I’ve even had the opportunity to resell the same homes a few times over!

It’s such a privilege to get to see the market reactions each time. For me personally, and for the consumer in my opinion, the sale of architect designed homes is always a more enjoyable sales process. The main reason for this is that there tends to be more thought and tenure with homes that have been designed by architects.

The audience type that is drawn to these homes is more attracted to the finish, feel, and flow of the home – and the prices we achieve are nearly always above average.”

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

What Home Features Should People Request?

The next question I really wanted Darcy’s perspective of is whether there are certain features that he finds make houses perform better in a sales setting. As an architect my focus is to design homes that enhance lifestyles, and improve the livability of homes – but does the real estate market have the same priorities?

Perhaps unsurprising, Darcy explained that lifestyle-focused design isn’t just a bonus for your day to day life, it’s also a massive draw when it comes to selling your home.

“Yeah you could write a small book about this!

I think simplicity is beautiful a lot of the time – I’d say it’s less about certain “features” a home has that boost it’s market performance, and more about certain traits that I frequently see in homes that perform well. Some of my tips for anyone looking to commission a home include:

  1. The elements (sun/wind) are actually big impact points for a lot of homes. People like to live and spend time in areas that give them lots of natural light, and also give them cool natural breezes in the summer. Architects pull all these factors together and focus on designing for the climate – making a home that’s more comfortable to live in, regardless of the season!
  2. I would recommend people who are planning to commission a home design to please attend some open houses! There truly is no better measure or marker of a home design’s performance than to feel a home for yourself, and then to hear the responses at the end. You might find that certain elements of a home’s design may be attractive to you on paper, but in reality they don’t live up to expectations. By attending open homes you will learn pretty quickly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Get clear on the tone of the property. Immerse yourself in planning the look, colours, and the overall feel of the home. Make sure the architect you plan to commission properly understands the vibe you’re going for, and is able to translate this to a finished design.

Adaptive Architecture

Does the Online Market Want Architect Designed Homes?

As Darcy has recently started his platform, Make an Offer, I was curious as to whether the demand for architect designed homes carries over to the online market.

“Yes it does” Darcy explains.

“I personally think that everyone, in one way or another, appreciates good architecture. They may not know how to explain it properly – but everyone knows the feeling and intention that is perceptible when you walk into a home which has been designed by an architect.

Because of our online nature of consuming photographs, floor plans, information on fit outs, as well as the massive help of social media – I find that the interest in architecturally designed homes is moving faster and faster into the online process”.

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Market Demands – Does online differ to traditional?

Generally speaking, is the online market demanding different things to the traditional market?

“At the moment – there is a huge surge of growth in the space of the “what if” sales process.

What I mean by that is – many of the traditional barriers faced by buyers, and sellers, are eliminated due to the extreme growth in online connectivity.

We can now talk to ANY property owner regardless of if their home is on the market yet or not. As a result of this increase in options for buyers – we are now seeing audiences who are hyperaware of what they want in a home. These types of buyers know what they want – and aren’t looking to compromise.

So, I am finding now that the buying audience tends to be more discerning about the specifics when they are looking to buy a home. I’ll often be asked questions like:

  • Who was the architect of this home?
  • Who was the interior designer?
  • Who was the builder?
  • What is the age of this property?

As an agent, I love this increase in both knowledge and interest in specifics we’re seeing amongst our buying audience. I find that when I’m able to supply potential buyers with all the information they’re after – it always leads to a brilliant conversation!”

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?


Architect’s Perspective

Firstly, I would like to thank Darcy once again for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat to us!

Lots of what Darcy said lined up nearly exactly with what I have seen during my time as an architect – despite us both existing at near opposite ends of a homeowner’s journey!

I wanted to wrap up this blog post by adding my 2 cents in, and creating a list of key considerations for anyone looking to commission an architect – combining both my own personal experience, and Darcy’s answers to our questions.

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Key Considerations for your Home Design

  1. Consider whether you plan to resell your home in the future. If so – consider how your design will perform on the real estate market! Key considerations here include how long you plan to stay in the house, and other factors. Speak to your architect to get their thoughts on how your proposed ideas will perform in the reselling process, attend open homes to see how the market is responding to other homes, and just generally try to gather as much relevant information as possible at this stage!
  2. Climate-focused home design provides massive benefits – both to your lifestyle, and your results when selling the home! Make sure your architect works with the local climate to create a home with an abundance of natural light and cool breezes during the summer.
  3. Make sure your architect, interior designer, and other project collaborators all understand the vision you are going for! At dion seminara architecture we offer architecture, landscaping, and interior design all under the one roof for this very reason – it’s important that all elements of your project follow the same creative direction! Regardless of which architect you use, you should ensure that they 100% understand your vision, and are expanding on your ideas to suggest improvements and changes you would’ve never thought of!

residential architect toowong renovation

Final Thoughts

While many people think architectural design is just about creating visually appealing buildings, this is not the truth at all. While architects do create aesthetically pleasing buildings, the main benefit of architects is their ability to combine visuals and science – and create homes that work for you and your lifestyle.

I hope that this blog has provided you with some insight into key things your home design should consider.

Having worked in the real estate industry for over 20 years – Darcy Lord knows the Brisbane real estate market! Combining Darcy’s insights with my 30+ years of experience as an architect means that the advice this blog post contains should put you in a strong position to approach your home designing process!

If you would like to learn more about Darcy, or his Make an Offer platform, you can view his website here.

On behalf of both Darcy and myself, thank you for reading this article – we wish you the best of luck in your home ownership journey, no matter what stage you’re currently at!

Do Architect Designed Homes Hold Their Value?

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.