When it’s time to move, what makes homeowners decide to build instead of buying an existing property?

For some, it’s the lure of something new and modern. For others, it’s the move-in ready experience. And now there’s another factor to consider when making this decision: technology. Today, many consider the internet and wireless service to be just as vital as water, gas, and electricity.

As our lives become more digitally interactive, people naturally want to see this trend play out at home, too—especially Millennial and Generation X homebuyers, as Cox Communications discovered in a 2019 survey of 604 people planning to purchase in the next two years. 43% said that technology compatibility would drive their decision to purchase a new-build home instead of a home for resale.

“Making sure homes are ready for wireless means that, when homeowners move in, they can simply activate the services with an app instead of waiting for installation,” says Guillermo Rivas, director of new build and major accounts for Cox Communications.

This concept excites many homeowners and puts heightened expectations on homebuilders to bring these ideas to life. Integrating technology while the home is under construction eliminates additional steps to make the space compatible with smart technology later.

“Many homeowners say they’ve thought about it but haven’t jumped in yet,” says Wendy Rosen, director of consumer insights for Cox Communications. “When these types of systems are built into the home, we’re helping them overcome hurdles. They don’t have to think about it. Builders can use this type of built-in amenity to drive appeal and command higher prices. It opens up new streams of buyers.”

What kinds of technology are Millennials and Generation Xers looking for in a new home? The survey indicates they’re extremely or very interested in amenities like:

  • High-speed fiber-to-the-home/broadband internet for remote work, online classes, and high-definition movie streaming (75% Millennials/ 77% Gen Xers)
  • Wireless connectivity in common areas like the outdoors, in clubhouses, or near pools (56% Millennials/ 48% Gen Xers)
  • Built-in, ready-to-use smart devices, such as thermostats, cameras, light switches, and refrigerators that can be controlled through mobile apps (54% Millennials/ 51% Gen Xers)

To prepare for this, Rivas says it’s important for builders to wire homes with Category 6A or fiber cables to support wired and wireless technology. It’s also vital to make sure homes include a structured wiring panel with power in a central location (like a kitchen pantry).

Lastly, a path needs to be created using something as simple as a conduit for the internet provider to run service from the side of the house (where the transition from public to private service occurs) to the structured wiring panel.

As technology is incorporated into more new-build homes, Rosen predicts the potential for things like technology integration (connecting smart devices to each other), as well as homebuilder certification granted by a third party to lend credibility to promises of wall-to-wall wireless connectivity.

“If these types of systems are built into the home, you can unlock potential by making them built-in and easily accessible,” explains Rosen. “By becoming more innovative, builders can reduce stress for homeowners, add convenience, and provide services we know they want.”

Learn more about how to integrate technology into your next home building project.