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Tickling up your fancy: Why add home entertainment?


Tickling up your fancy: Why add home entertainment?

Sure it’s cool, but is swishy hi-tech worth its pound in pixels when it comes to your overall property value?

Nick Caripis

Few home luxuries are more indulgent than a bespoke cinema. Or an automation system, with all the bells and buttons, that takes care of everything from music and mood lighting, to irrigation and remote security checks – right through to your viewing status on Instagram. But are they worth their pound in pixels, when it comes to your overall property value? Much is to be said in SA about star-quality homes that include entertainment extravagance. Recent property market figures listed 10 of SA’s most expensive homes to have included multiple forms of entertainment hubs. Aside from the proverbial “comes with a sea view, seven garages and built in gymnasium”, property aficionados list private cinemas, rising bars and remote controlled security from anywhere in the world as the precursors to a hefty price tag. One such residence in Houghton, Johannesburg, listed at R110m in 2017, featuring its own private dance club, while a mansion in Clifton took the podium at R150m with its lift access to all floors, cinema room, gym and fully automated curtains and blinds (and that was only second place on the Property Top 10). While the value of entertainment-clad homes shows rising results, considerations are to be made when you’re thinking about going the home cinema or automation route. These are three of the most important:
Home backstory
Every home has a backstory: when and how it was built. Building techniques change exponentially through the ages, so it’s important that while just about any home can benefit from automation, the same can’t be said about a cinema setup. The character of many older-style homes may not lend itself to a crafted space that packs the latest in audiovisual technology. Conversely, a modern penthouse is a great location to install a cinema. With the correct acoustic treatment, proximity to the neighbours isn’t an issue, and will ensure a sonically isolated space to enjoy your favourite flick.
Home buyer
This is a “start with the goal in mind” approach. Even if you install your absolute dream cinema and automation setup, at some point you might move on from your home. When it appears on the market, those two features could be a deal breaker: a comparable home without them may lose the sale. Beyond a certain price point (about the R7m entry mark) many home buyers expect some basic automation at the very least, particularly for security.
Future-proof it
While home technology is constantly improving, it also means obsolescence can be a short-term reality. The solution isn’t to swap out your equipment every six months. Firstly, build for the future – make sure your design accommodates a consideration for more equipment, and the required cabling and connections. And find a balance between what you need and what’s reasonably near the front of the technology field. When your home is sold, it’s sold with the home tech as fixtures.
So is it worth the investment? Yes, yes and yes again. These high-end bursts of fanciful joy are worthwhile resale investments without question – and no, you can’t take them with you, so don’t get too attached.

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