The Future of Home Features
Many luxury property buyers today expect to have cutting-edge intelligent home features and functions in their homes. But with so many of these systems and solutions available, what kinds of features are truly futuristic? And more importantly, which ones can add lasting value to a home, rather than being outdated by the next software update?
Here are three trends and features that I am watching closely as new homes are designed and built in the Atlanta area.
1. Climate control for maximum comfort
Not everyone has the same preferences when it comes to technology. Some like having an app for everything, from their blinds to their lights, while others prefer to keep their home as a place where they can disconnect from the virtual world.
Smart thermostats are built into the infrastructure of the home, which means that they are relatively easy for homeowners to use. Some of the most advanced models today can work with HVAC, humidifier, and filtration systems. They can monitor the outdoor weather and indoor air quality, and use machine learning to automatically adjust the temperature and humidity inside the home.
Machine learning can also help smart thermostats to learn the patterns of when residents are at home and when they are away, and change the settings accordingly. This can be a nice feature for homeowners, as well as a way to save energy and reduce environmental impact.
2. Remote maintenance and monitoring
I have seen an increasing number of homes where appliances and maintenance systems are wirelessly connected and integrated with various app or voice-activated controls.
This can be convenient for everyday use, but I think these technologies are most beneficial for luxury homeowners who own multiple properties. Besides being able to turn on lights or speakers with a simple button or command, today's smart sensors can alert residents when something is wrong, such as a power outage or a leaky pipe, and prompt them to contact the appropriate repair services.
Advanced systems can also help maintain the landscapes and gardens when homeowners are away. Intelligent irrigation allows residents to start their smart sprinklers from anywhere, when sensors detect that watering is needed.
3. Self-sufficiency and sustainability
Eco-friendly features and technologies such as solar panels and rainwater systems are getting more attention from architects and builders. I am curious to see how this trend will continue to develop in the near future.
For example, backup battery storage is now more practical and affordable than ever before, allowing homes to go green and off-grid in ways that were once too costly or too niche, even for luxury homeowners.
Another interesting possibility that is emerging is the concept of "water independence", where wastewater, gray water, and rainwater can be purified and recycled to cover all the water needs of a property.
The implications of AI for luxury homes
AI is a hot topic these days, and it is sure to continue to influence luxury home features in various ways. With the widespread adoption and deployment of intelligent, conversant, and self-learning technologies, there is more potential for automation to be built into the property itself, freeing homeowners from controlling everything via a phone.
My advice to agents and their sellers is to highlight their current home automations in their listings — simplicity, convenience, and innovation will appeal to many potential buyers. But it is important to remember that affluent buyers often like to choose their own solutions, and may not be impressed if they have to remove technologies they don't want to use.
What matters most is that the home is well-connected and has the capacity to support futuristic new features as they continue to emerge and evolve.