By Elaine Quigley, Realtor, CBR, CRS, GRI, Prudential Prime Properties
One of the most in-demand requests that real estate agents are getting from those looking for new homes concerns home theaters, or at least the space to add such a multi-media room.
With home-theater technology evolving and prices lowering over the last decade, the concept has evolved from luxury to near necessity for many households. It's the place where the family comes together to be entertained, and is the most occupied room in the house after the kitchen and family room. It's become the focal point for entertaining and showcasing expansive, crystal clear flatscreens and impressive components. It's why many homebuyers are looking for houses with home-theater spaces or extra rooms to create one.
Real estate experts agree that home theatres add value to a home. According to the Home Builders Association, most new homes with a $250,000-plus price come with a home theater or media room.
“Home theater is a way for the homeowner to bring all these cool new pieces of technology together and fit them seamlessly into their lifestyle,” said David Start, vice president of Sacramento, Calif.-based theater-furniture manufacturer California House. “You have Apple, Netflix and now Amazon – all these big tech companies with really fantastic products. Home theater allows you to integrate these products into the way you live.”
There are several ways one can make the home theatre room more appealing prior to showing a home.
Start by cleaning all surfaces, keeping wiring as discreet as possible and storing electronics that may look sloppy due to wires or size. Also, although having lots of seating space is practical in a media room, it may be a good thing to reduce the number of sofas to give a spacious look to the room.
“I think a media room does add value, however, it is truly a personal preference based upon what the buyer wants and/or is looking for in a home,” said Teresa Cwik of Showcase Staging Houston, Houston, Texas. “I have seen a lot of these rooms staged and in my professional opinion I believe the room should be staged with appropriate media room furniture, such as theater seating.”
There are a number of smart furniture choices to make the room look better and create the movie environment that so many desire.
“Customers are looking for furniture that will present their TV in style while concealing many of the other components – DVDs, gaming consoles, speakers – neatly out of sight,” explained David Adams, marketing director for home-theater furniture manufacturer BDI of Chantilly, Va. “Unique features that are integrated into better home theater furniture include hidden wheels, flow-through ventilation, adjustable shelves, built-in media or speaker storage, and integrated cable management systems.”
Indeed, we'se in the golden age of gadgets and components. Rooms focused on technology can be just as appealing to today's home buyer as a large bathroom or walk-in closet.
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