As time accelerates us into the future, it may be interesting to look back at how lifestyles have adapted to keep up with the times, of which technology and ‘green living’ have played a very important role.
The SOHO (Small Office, Home Office) revolution has added a new dimension to the property market. From the myriad of ‘work from home’ opportunities through to standard corporate positions fulfilled from the comfort of your home; broadband, wireless connectivity and developments such as Cloud Networks and VOIP have changed the face of home offices forever. The benefits that technology have given us are tremendous as workers no longer have to be in the same office to work as a team.
“We are seeing more and more people choosing to rather purchase residential properties with a home office to operate from. This not only offers them a return on their investment, but also reduces overall operating costs dramatically as the company requires less office space, electricity, heating, air-conditioning, parking and insurance” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel &Völkers Southern Africa.
“It is a growing trend” continues Craig. “A property owner with ADSL lines and the benefit of home-based Wi-Fi hot spots has added value in the property as property USP’s move from white picket fences to internet accessibility. More ‘home offices’ are featuring high-up on our listing sheet requirements and we won’t be surprised when choice of location as well as price negotiations take on a different footing as suburbs begin to position themselves favourably in terms of Wi-Fi availability and strength of internet connectivity.”
Few would disagree with Craig as more and more parents invest in the future of their children for whom LAN, ADSL and Wi-Fi are an integral part of life; and who will be the home buyers and home owners of the future.
It goes without saying that a lot of the change we’ve seen is centered on the advancement of technology. Wireless & broadband homes with one-touch control panels and automated systems help us govern our busy lives. In our modern lifestyles, good company and good times are top priority accompanied by innovation and design. Together, these elements allow us to enjoy high tech homes and living, while at the same time adopting a greener approach to life.
Gone are the days when each room had its four walls. Now communal living and ease of movement are top priority as people today value the elements of light, space and community. Alongside open plan living runs a demand for functionality. Freedom of movement, optimal use of space and ‘no mess – no fuss’ are the buzz words when designing the interior flow and usage of the home.
Functionality means little today if it doesn’t go hand in hand with design. For example, the oven/stove/microwave unit doubles up as a design element in our spacious open plan kitchens. Bedrooms have turned into mini living units in their own right sporting computer nooks, TV’s, minibars and en suite bathrooms.
New trends in retirement have retirees living in comprehensive lifestyle estates, which leaves the extra living unit in our backyard free to be used for hobbies or to rent out for extra income, and gone are the days of using a carport for the family’s one car. Nowadays with the need for security and the desire for privacy, we have two or three lock-up garages to house the cars for the family.
“Although our external walls have become higher and neighbourhood living has all but disappeared, the internal walls have come down and life has simply transferred into the security of our homes”, Craig concluded.As you read this article from the comfort of your outdoor/indoor entertainment area, realise that only a few years ago you would have lifted your head to find yourself in a completely different setting promoting a completely different lifestyle.