The tech feature to look for when buying a new house

Article summary

  • A property that already has smart tech installed is a bonus if you’re on the hunt for a new house.
  • Buyers are prepared to pay more for technologies that save time and money, with cutting the cost of utility bills and enhancing security among the biggest incentives.
  • The top tech prospective buyers should be on the look out for includes fibre-optic cable, solar panels, a smart security alarm and thermostat, and sensor technology.

While hover boards and robots to help around the house haven’t quite caught on yet, research shows that homebuyers are prepared to pay more for technologies that save time and money, with cutting the cost of utility bills and enhancing securityamong the biggest incentives.

In today’s homes it’s possible to control a whole host of systems, fixtures, fittings and appliances through an app, including your heating and hot water, washing machine and fridge and security systems. Plus, if you wanted to, you could control your bed temperature, coffee machine, shower and kettle without going anywhere near them.

Here, we list the top five technologies prospective buyers should be on the look out for when scouting out a new home…

1. Fibre-optic cable

Driven by the rising demand for higher bandwidth and faster-speed connections, fibre-optic transmission is becoming more and more common in modern homes – but it’s still worth enquiring after it when considering a new home as not all suburbs in South Africa are yet fitted with the technology.

What many people don’t know is that, in addition to extremely high bandwidth (which allows for the transmission of a greater volume of data), fibre-optic cables pose a lower security risk. Data or signals are transmitted via light, which means there is no way to detect the data being transmitted by “listening in” to the electromagnetic energy “leaking” through the cable.

2. Solar panels

Solar panels are a hefty upfront investment so buying a house with them already installed is a bonus for those buyers seeking an efficient home capable of generating its own energy. If the panels are new technology, show significant savings and are aesthetically acceptable, they may very well boost the value of a property.

However, buyers to be wary of getting roped into a contract for panels that comes with the sale of a house. An agreement that ties prospective owners into old technology is onerous and could well affect the value of a property in a negative way.

3. A smart security alarm

With safety top of mind for South African homebuyers, a smart security system can add significantly to the attraction of a potential home.

These systems allow homeowners to arm, disarm, configure and control their system from their smartphone or tablet using a simple app. They then receive email alerts, push notifications or even a text when the alarm is triggered.

Many smart home alarm kits can also be extended to include additional accessories, such as a power switch to remotely turn on or off home appliances, a PIR camera to view images of inside your home, or a smart lock to remotely gain access to the property.

It is essential to question the seller or estate agent on the security system installed in the house – a smart system is top of the security range and definitely a great add-on for prospective buyers.

4. Sensor technology

Don’t let your wallet leak money when your home leaks water. Property damage, including theft, accounts for 97% of all home insurance claims. Smart home sensors are more than just a luxury, enabling you to close the shutters without getting out of bed. They can significantly protect a home and its occupants.

The sensor technologies most coveted by homebuyers include fire and carbon monoxide detectors, leak and moisture sensors, motion sensors, and a wi-fi connected smart garage door.

Door and window sensors that let you know when people are entering and leaving your home, and can even turn lights on and off as doors are opened and closed, are also highly sought after as a first line of defence, not to mention as a safeguard against deviant teenagers.

5. A smart thermostat

Not only are smart thermostats cool, but they’ll also help you save money by monitoring the temperature and humidity inside and outside of your new home.

A smart thermostat gives you control over the heating and cooling in your home – from any location. When you are in and out of your house, its temperature also changes and a smart thermostat can adjust this based on your behaviour and room usage.

The best thermostats adjust the temperature on a room-by-room basis, allowing you to maintain your ideal temperature when you are in the room and then defaulting to an energy-saving mode when you leave it. Applying cognitive technology to these sensors is paving the way for a home that thinks and knows you and your temperature preferences.

To make the home-buying process that much easier, Get pre-qualified, or apply for a home loan with O-YES today.