The number of bathrooms and bedrooms are important. The age of the appliances, roof and water heater is also key.
But, in an effort to boost broadband deployment into U.S. homes, the Consumer Electronics Association, Intel and others also hope buyers, builders and realtors will start to consider technology amenities when describing the perfect homes.
This month, the CEAs Home Networks and Information Technology Division, whose members include Cisco Systems, Intel and Sony, announced details of a new TechHome Rating System designed to help homebuyers evaluate and compare the tech proficiency of houses using a set of standardized criteria.
"Consumers are, generationally, used to getting a new pipeline into the home," said CEA President Gary Shapiro, describing the introduction during the past century of everything from indoor plumbing and electricity to telephone and cable services into American homes. Broadband is the next "pipeline," Shapiro said, but education and awareness about high-speed data services are needed to boost deployment.
Thats where the new TechHome Rating System comes in. Using the single-page form available online — www.ce.org/TechHome — consumers can rank a homes tech attributes across five categories. Home entertainment looks at television and audio capabilities, including cable TV jacks, satellite TV dishes and in-wall speakers. Communications looks at the number of telephone extensions and availability of intercom systems. The PC networking and Internet sharing category looks at broadband availability for Internet access and Ethernet and other computer networking equipment.
The rating system also checks on home security features and home automation, which includes lighting control and energy management systems.
Truly wired homes earn a "5" rating.