What are smart homes?

You enter the swipe of a card, and the sensors automatically detect it and modulate the lighting. The air conditioning is set to perfect temperature even before you enter the home, and you can control the curtains, stereo or TV with the help of smartphone. Welcome to next generation smart home, loaded with technology and contemporary materials, which build an energy saver home.

While smart homes were earlier restricted for premium home buyers, but with lowering costs and increasing popularity, they are available for mid segment people too, priced at Rs 1 crore. While there are several builders in Mumbai that offers wi-fi enabled1 Bhk rooms starting at Rs 1.25 crore, Nirmal Lifestyle’s Smart Series homes at Olympia project offer 1-Bhk home at Rs 1 crore. Puranik Developers have also launched the smart series of home at Thane, available for Rs 75 lakh.

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What exactly are smart homes?

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Smart homes are natural extension to global cyber wave technology. While commercial buildings were first to deploy this technology to improve work productivity but with the increasing popularity and busy lifestyle, people are bringing this technology at home, coupled with what they want for technological sophistication and convenience. The smart home revolution is the next big step world is moving towards-says Santosh Kumar, CEO-operations at JLL India, a real estate consultancy firm.

Expanding hands

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In the past times, smart homes were considered to be a niche concept, owing to premium buyers. Developers initially targeted these projects to highly paid IT professionals. Today, the target audience has changed and it includes a section of young, gadget buyers, with a well defined need for automated homes, says developer Kishore Pate. CMD of Amit Enterprises Housing. Irrespective of career orientation, they are upwardly mobile, aspirational and qualify for home loans.  Apart from that, smart home offer buyers a high level of comfort and amenities to reduce the daily stress. And not to forget they offer security measures to let you relax and get time to spend with families.

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In these homes, owners can operate almost anything in their home within a single click or touch-including lights, air conditioners, gadgets, security system and electronic appliances from within and even outside their home. Smart home technology uses user friendly software that lets you to control climate, lights, entertainment and communication. Such kind of homes is inclusive of motion detector and sensor.

The technology impacts three main areas-like security, energy efficiency and telecom system. The internet has become a sea of information and today, life is centered around the internet. Homes with wireless connectivity and IP based amenities make an obvious sense, as long as developer develops the technology at a reasonable cost-says Mihir Sane, an IT professional residing in Smart home in Thane. However, while smart homes are attractive, but the choice is not always limited to it. You can convert conventional homes into standard home at half the cost.

Smart construction works

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A typical smart home starts from the construction phase. Faced with unprecedented costs and surging labor costs, developers have started changing their focus from labor driven to construction driven. Workers, are now trained in various techniques like 3D modeling and using efficient energy and materials. Developers have gradually moved innovative ways and smarter technology in project construction. Technology is being used in two ways, where phase 1 construction is and phase 2 installation of automation and facilities is. Technology in construction lowerS down the labor time and provides better quality of work as compared to manual work. Meanwhile, some developers are roping towards technology specialist to build entire townships with smart homes. For example, Lodha developers have contracted with IBM for its projects. These project builders are developing a way ahead and are embodying smart elements in the home. Service areas like energy, water, public safety and transport are integrated with help of swipe card and there will be a control centre that will monitor the health of key system. The system will work in a coordinated way and will handle emergency situations in the city. This will also enable the use of big data, analytics, enabling the city to prevent various issues like traffic congestion and emergency.

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How to sale and resale these properties?

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The perception is that the smart homes have a particular value and status attached to it and they tend to have higher resale value. Buyers want homes with maximum facilities at an optimum cost and home automation system are now part and parcel of the package, even for apartments in sub urban areas and surrounding locations, where the prices are lower. The appreciation of such properties are impacted by various features like technology that drive smart homes should be upgraded, making it future ready. It increases the potential resale value as compared to standard or conventional homes.

However, some experts are of opinion that smart features have very less impact on sale of property. The technology is depreciable in nature and doesn’t have impact on resale price. Most smart homes are contemporary version of modular kitchen-means old wine in new bottle. Its an added advantage to the buyer, but it can’t be a sole deciding factor when it comes to buying of home.

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