A Las Vegas home rebuilt in the south valley and showcased to the world a year ago has been sold for $2.75 million to a Manhattan couple seeking a technologically savvy house as they relocate to Nevada like many others in the COVID-19 era.
The four-bedroom, five-bathroom home near Warm Springs Road and Decatur Boulevard is known as the New American Remodel 2020. It took center stage in tours and a news conference during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas when more than 100,000 people from around the world attended.
The 2021 International Builders’ Show was scheduled for Feb. 9-12 in Orlando, Florida, but instead will be held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The show was held in Las Vegas the previous two years.
The show is scheduled to return to Las Vegas in 2023, 2024 and 2025. It returns to Orlando in 2026 and full time in Las Vegas from 2027 and beyond. It is locked in to be held in Las Vegas through 2039.
The show promotes high-performance homes considered to be ahead of design trends and showcases energy efficiency, sustainability and lifestyle.
The New American Remodel 2020 was a project of the Element Building Co. of Las Vegas that showed it could take a 1970s-era home, remove it and build a replacement on its foundation that sits on 0.58 acres. Element owner Josh Anderson bought the home for $415,000 in 2018 and spent more than $2 million on the remodel. Manufacturers donated products to showcase in the remodel. It would take $3.8 million to replicate the home elsewhere, not counting the land.
They found a buyer in Jason Hofmann, a software company executive, and Corinna Lai, a veterinarian, of New York City. The couple closed on Dec. 31. Jim Dahl, a Realtor with Sunstate Realty, represented both the seller and buyers.
The original one-story ranch-style home built in 1977 was 2,170 square feet and consisted of three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The home was operated on a 1,200-gallon septic system that was powered solely by electricity.
It was transformed into a two-story home with 4,802 square feet of living space.
It’s really not a remodel,” Dahl said. “It’s new construction. The reason they call it a remodel is they tore down an old existing home that used it to be there, and they used a small portion of the slab — the foundation. They had to extend the foundation and reinforce the old one to make it sufficient for a new home to be built.”
It has what is called a showroom three-car garage, glass elevator, wine room, five fireplaces, outdoor kitchen, butler’s kitchen and a rooftop terrace with a view of the Strip. The pocket doors open to a backyard with a heated pool, waterfall and outdoor heaters.
“It’s about as unique and rare of a home as you can find, considering they only build one a year, and that made the sellability of it very attractive to a lot of (prospective) buyers,” Dahl said. “It’s a home to show off the latest and greatest technology, new-home construction and energy efficiency. It’s about as solid and elaborate of a home and well-built as you’re ever going to find.”
The home was touted during the International Builders’ Show for a seamless flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces; materials found in nature such as stone, wood and marble; the latest products, including technology, solar panels and LG/SKS appliances; and energy-efficient and sustainable products.
That starts with energy efficiency with its insulation, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances. It has the highest ratings from the National Green Building Standard with an Emerald rating and LEED Platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council.
This home has a registered HERS Index of minus-17, or 117 percent more efficient than the average new code-built home, with an 104 percent reduction in energy use from pre-remodel levels, Dahl said. A resale home typically has a HERS Index rating of 150 to 200, he said.
“It’s a net-zero home, which means it generates more electricity than it consumes,” Dahl said.
The home has a $60,000 Savant Pro home automation system that controls motorized shades, lighting, the alarm system, cameras, music and other aspects, Dahl said.
“There’s an air-recovery system in the home that circulates fresh air throughout the home, which is great in COVID times,” Dahl said. “If you had a guest over, within an hour it would be fresh air throughout the home. There’s an outdoor terrace where the shades can go up or down if there is inclement weather. They spared no cost in every aspect of the home.”
The master bathroom has a steam shower and smart mirrors. Talk to the mirror and it talks back, through Amazon Alexa, Dahl said.
“You can ask how the weather is and get the answer,” Dahl said. “If you are getting ready in the bathroom, you don’t have to pick up your phone; you talk right through the mirror.”
Couple moves to Vegas
Hofmann, a vice president with Bay Area-based Netskope, a software company providing a computer security platform, said he’s followed the story about tech workers from California and others from metropolitan areas, including New York, moving to Nevada.
“I’m one of those people,” said Hofmann, a New York native who works from his 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom Manhattan home. “My company is based out of California, and a lot of people I work with are in the Pacific time zone. I’ve been a work-from-home technology executive for almost a decade, and so I have been working from home long before COVID.
“We thought we would never leave Manhattan, until the pandemic … . The decision tree changed significantly with the coronavirus — the things that we value and most important and what we look for in a city and home. If you can’t enjoy shows and museums, restaurants, opera, ballet and Broadway — all the things that make New York, New York, we’re paying a premium to live in a city where most of the things are not accessible.”
“Because I have been a geek my whole life — I got my first computer when I was 6 — I wanted a house that was super high-tech,” Hofmann said. “All of the custom builders were quoting one- to two-year build times and nobody had any rapid inventory available. Everything on the market was pretty disappointing or $8 million-plus.
”This home was perfect for us. It was big, but not too big. The build quality was off-the-charts high. It checked all of our boxes.
“LG provided every appliance but all of their counters. And the LG commercial heating and cooling system, this is stuff you usually don’t see in a residential property and rarely see in commercial properties — the ability to control the temperature in every single room with nine thermostats in the house. There’s a heated and cooled finished three-car garage. … The AC system alone cost more than $100,000. It has five fireplaces and multiple fire pits.”
The home has a range with a built-in immersion circulator, multiple refrigerators and freezers, two dishwashers and wet bar, and three vertical wine cellars side by side. It has a next-level home automation setup, he said. It has 28 speakers and 14 audio zones.
Hofmann said they like the architecture, which people think resembles an office building with plenty of glass. They also liked that the home came furnished with high-quality furniture and art. It even has outdoor furniture.
“If you move into a home like that size vacant, it’s months before you get to enjoy it,” Hofmann said.
Hofmann said his wife’s parents retired and relocated to Las Vegas a couple of years ago, and they wanted to be closer to them. He said that gave him and his wife a chance to see Las Vegas beyond the Strip and conferences.
“We both love food and cook a lot of cuisines from all over the world and enjoy fine dining and travel the world for food,” Hofmann said. “We were really impressed with the dining scene and spending time with her parents. We realized there is more to Las Vegas than the Strip, conventions and hotels and all that I have been exposed to from work the last 10 years.”
Hofmann said he loves being 90 minutes away from the Bay Area by jet instead of having to fly across the country for six to seven hours. Before COVID-19, he was flying to California once or twice a month. He didn’t want the expense of living in California, and there were no nice properties in New York at a reasonable price.
“When I start traveling again for only 1½ hours, that is a dream,” Hofmann said. “I am going to have to pinch myself when that happens. it is going to feel like a commute.”
Element built showcase home
Element is a luxury custom homebuilder also known for its high-end remodel work. It had previously built the New American Home for the builders’ show in Las Vegas.
During the show a year ago, the upstairs was set up as an office and two bedrooms and a sky deck off the side of the second story with a view of the Strip. The downstairs has the master bedroom and wellness room with gym equipment, massage table and steam sauna.
“We wanted it to be a great learning experience for builders around the country,” Anderson said. “We wanted it to be an inspiration of what’s possible. You look at what we had and what we created, and it’s pretty amazing. It has all the feel and characteristics of a true custom home.”
Anderson said a lot of homes they’ve worked in the past have been larger, but they wanted to see what they could do in a smaller one. They even kept the original footprint of the home but had to create space to accommodate tours of a couple of hundred people walking through it at any given time.
The home’s architect, Phil Kean, wanted to make a design different from a typical Las Vegas home and drew upon Palm Springs as an inspiration. The home became two stories to add square footage and take advantage of an unobstructed view of the Strip.
Pursuing that option, however, created a challenge of the experience created on the property. The views immediately surrounding the home consisted of a street and an area beyond the backyard that felt industrial.
In order to block those views, a lanai (a covered porch) and summer kitchen were designed to create a courtyard that houses a 5-foot-deep pool.
But that concept created another challenge of working around an existing mulberry tree centered in the courtyard.
The home has a stone facade and floor-to-ceiling windows. The great room, which is the kitchen and family room, has 20-foot ceilings with an open staircase and a bridge across to the sky deck.