You've decided to start working from home—whether full-time as a new entrepreneur or a day or two a week telecommuting with your boss's blessing. But will your new condo or townhome meet your new tech needs?
Today's properties, mindful of the growing live/work environment, are touting plug-in-ready infrastructure and community-wide WiFi as key amenities on par with resort-style pool or rooftop terrace. "This is where the market is ultimately going," said Irene Catsibris Clary, principal with Catlar Investments and the developer of the new SOHO Scottsdale townhouse project. "A lot of people who work for big companies work from home."
Mobile tech and the increasing demand for telecommuting, couples with a growing gig economy and the rising tide or entrepreneurs, are all driving the demand. Workers are also making quality-of-life choices focused on everything from cutting commutes to finding flex-time — and the condo and townhome market is responding with infrastructure that supports live/work needs.
Indeed, those interested in purchasing a new condo or townhouse should be sure to ask if the property offers plug-in infrastructure at the move-in which can help ensure consistent connectivity, access and bandwidth. They should also ask about any arrangements with an internet provider or providers.
Deco Communities, for instance, partnered with Cox and Century Link for its Edison Midtown and Inspire communities to provide fiber-optic cable to each unit [not just to the main building] for high-speed internet, TV and phone, said partner Dan Richards.
"As a results, all homeowners have the opportunity to get 1 Gig service, which is the fastest speed available in today's market," Richards said. "This internet speed is a strong amenity for the live/work lifestyle."
WiFi at work
New homeowners will also want to know about secure wireless internet throughout the property for seamless mobility, Catsibris Clary said.
SOHO Scottsdale, designed as a live/work community, provides fiber-optic cable directly to each unit and offers Cox Gigablast service for internet, TV and phone. Homeowners will find WiFi throughout the property. Residents walk downstairs [from their living space] to dedicated office spaces equipped with garage-style doors that open to a common courtyard giving them indoor/outdoor work space, she said. The community also includes conference rooms that can be reserved for meetings.
Portland on the Park developers also know that acommodating residents who work from home is a must, said Time Sprague, principal with Habitat Metro, developer of Portland Place and Portland on the Park condo projects.
"Since our first-phase Portland Place was built in 2007, the lines between live and work have become more and more blurred," Sprague said. "Today we witness 10 percent to 20 percent-plus of our homeowners in Portland on the Park working from home. Not necessarily full-time, but a significant amount even though they have an outside office."
Sprague said digital connection to the world was first on the design checklist with a Gigabit fiber connection enabling commercial-type service to every residence and all common areas.
Along with connectivity, Portland on the Park offers a solution to the meeting space dilemma: a 3,600-square-foot lobby with private seating clusters both indoors and also on the adjacent patio. 'No more hunt for the "right" restaurant or coffee shop," Sprague said.