How Technology Has Impacted Today’s Home
“The best investment on earth is earth.” – Louis Glickman
With the May long weekend only days away, I thought it might be interesting to consider how technology has impacted not only our lives, but our homes too. It is difficult to conceive of a world without the internet, but in 2005, slow and cumbersome dial-up internet was a reality for most North Americans. Newly constructed homes included additional plugs for technology and the home served as a centre for family gatherings and activities. Larger homes included separate offices, grand foyers intended to impress visitors, formal dining room, and games room.
As technology evolved, high-speed internet made dial-up obsolete, and individuals could access information 24/7 on their Smart Phones – including social media which was in its infancy in 2005. One’s ability to connect immediately with others eliminated the need for formal spaces within a home, as friends could send a quick text or post a note of encouragement on a friend’s social media feed instead of “just stopping by”.
An office was no longer required as laptop computers and Wifi allowed a busy executive to conduct business anywhere in a home – not just a centralized location. Technology impacted our entertainment within a home as well. Games rooms that contained a pool table, ping pong table or foosball table were less popular as gaming consoles, such as Wii, offered sports-inspired video games that could be played anywhere in a home. Kitchens no longer required storage for cookbooks as recipes could be referenced online, and informal eating areas replaced a formal dining room.
They say that home is where the heart is, and much like the photo in this blog, our home has become a computer system in many ways as apps allow us to control the lighting, access surveillance systems by a Smartphone, and remotely adjust a thermostat. Robot-inspired vacuum systems helped tidy a home without any human effort, while family members could spend time instead watching Netflix on their phone or tablet.
Technology is changing constantly, and the real estate industry is seeing these changing demands by consumers. Listings can be immediately accessed online with virtual tours, drone videos and 3D interior floor plans allowing a buyer to “view” a home without ever stepping foot inside it.
At the end of the day, a home should reflect the needs of the owner, and I am surprised when I walk into a home and still see the odd rotary phone or an answering machine. I realize that not everyone is racing to embrace the technology, and each home I visit reflects the level of technology that a person feels comfortable bringing into their home. As the teenage son of a client recently asked me, “what did kids do all day for fun without the internet”? I realized that old age had caught me by surprise when I found myself responding quickly to the question with a simple answer – “playing outside”. Something to think of this long weekend as you spend time with your friends and family.