An eye on the future

When investing in your dream home, it is important to think about your long-term requirements.

A little foresight can go a long way to ensuring your home doesn’t become dated in this constantly-evolving world of technology and you don’t outgrow the space, location or amenities.
Future proofing your home means investing in your home now to save considerable money and effort in the years to come.

Consider what your lifestyle might be like in five, 10 or 20 years’ time, or what prospective buyers might be looking for if you decide to sell the property.

The most important decision you can make is to spend on high-tech infrastructure, which will link your home with technologies that are constantly being developed and updated.
It is essential to have a well-structured wiring system for family, office and communication capability as well as home entertainment.

Nowadays, nearly everyone wants phone, high-speed wireless internet, television, radio, music and even home cinema, from the comfort of their own residence.

Modern technology enables audio and visual systems to be dealt with from one convenient control panel.  Many sophisticated systems can also adjust room temperature, lighting and security alarms at the touch of a button.

David Harvey, systems manager at The Audiophile Group, says it is important to think about the home technology system while the dwelling is in the initial stages. The best way to achieve this is through the combined efforts of the homeowner, architect, interior designer, builder, and the lighting and system designer.

“We always recommend a pipe work infrastructure as, with this in place, cables can be pulled in and out as different technologies change,” David says.

“We strongly recommend Ethernet data points throughout your home as networked equipment is becoming more prevalent. Modern flat screen TVs can now play music and movie content directly from your home computer.

“Dedicated media servers are a realistic addition to your audio-visual setup to include mass storage devices.”

David believes thinking ahead can prove cost-effective in the long run.

“It is very important to get a handle on not only what you want, but what future owners may want or new technologies demand,” he recommends.

“A system should be designed to its maximum scope, ceiling speaker positions allocated, wall mount receptacles for TVs put in place, even if the equipment is not purchased right away. The pipe and cabling is inexpensive compared to retro fitting equipment into a freshly decorated home.”

A wide array of options for consumer electronics and professional audio products are available on island.

These products range from the traditional stereo and audio video receivers and speaker packages to dedicated home cinemas, home automation, networking technologies, intelligent mixing boards and drive racks.

“This is in part due to Cayman’s high level of development and a well-educated population that demands cutting edge technology,” says David.

“The educated consumer knows what is available but doesn’t necessarily know how best to source it or implement it into his or her home or lifestyle. This is where a system designer comes in.”

When future proofing your home, you should also consider the proximity of the house to schools and the number and configuration of rooms should you choose to work from home at a later date.

Kass Coleman, realtor at Re/Max Cayman Islands, suggests that when buying a house, you need to decide how much money and time you can allocate to maintaining both the interior and exterior of the home.

“You should ask yourself, ‘What is the likelihood that I will need additional rooms or flexibility in the floor plan which would allow for all living spaces to be used in many different ways?’” Kass says.

She also believes adopting sustainable means of consuming energy will add to home value and save on electricity bills.

This could include measures such as solar panels, double-glazing on windows and doors, and loft insulation.

“Other things, such as nice landscaping, updated kitchen and bathrooms, great location or an up-and-coming location, modern switches and outlets, a well-appointed master suite, extra storage and strong windows and doors, also help in the value of your home,” Kass suggests.

To increase the longevity and adaptability of your home, take time to dream of the future to ensure you can maintain a contemporary lifestyle.  

futreSM.jpg

David Harvey, systems manager at The Audiophile Group, can recommend how to future proof your home.
Stephen Clake