Anyone investing in property should be looking out for features that differentiate their apartment from all the rest, and home automation is certainly becoming one such feature that both owners and tenants are looking at. What was once considered science fiction – keyless entry, integrated AV systems, lighting systems and heating and cooling – is now becoming standard in high end, boutique property developments. Let’s look at what home automation is it and what you should be looking for in a property investment.
At its simplest, home automation is the automation of activities in and around the house. While in the early days this was relatively restricted and covered areas such as water sprinklers and heating and cooling, nowadays almost every utility and service in a residential building can be automated and controlled using either single or multiple controllers. Many of the features such as blinds, lighting and environmental controls can be set on timers – imagine, for example, being able to set your heater to turn on before you get home from work, to lower the blinds at a certain time every night or to turn down the lighting scheme in your living room when you watch television. Existing properties can be wired up and configured for automation, however this can be time consuming and expensive.
The reason why many property developers these days are choosing to integrate home automation into their properties is to create a point of difference for owners and those investing in property. Having such features integrated into a building seamlessly while it is being built will also mean that the properties within it are better designed and have less wiring and internal clutter.
Savvy property investors will understand that when particularly professionals are looking for an apartment to rent they will pay a premium for brand new, inner city apartments that have a certain level of technology built in. The type of integrated home automation features that are included in some of the more expensive, higher end developments popular today include:
- Underfloor heating and fireplaces
- AV systems
- Shading, including motorised blinds and curtains
- Intercom, entry and security systems
- Heating and cooling
- Watering systems for outdoor areas
One of the most important things to consider when becoming an investor is to find property that is attractive to your target market – be it young professionals, older retirees or young families. Many people have some level of home automation these days, and may expect it when they are moving into a new property, while others will go out of their way to find a property that has the latest in gadgetry because they simply love technology.
If you are thinking of investing in property and are looking at off the plan or brand new apartments, consider finding out about the type of home automation features that could be included in the development. You can ask about the level of integration and its ease of use, as well as the manufacturer of the systems.