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Old 11-03-2005, 10:55 AM
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Lightbulb Condos are hotter than ever around the country

To hold their value in the red-hot U.S. residential market, condominium units need to offer more than zero-entry swimming pools and personal Jacuzzis. High-tech amenities that will support emerging technologies in the coming years have to be part of the package.

A new wave of voice, video and data systems with names such as VOIP, WiFi and IPTV are creating a kind of alphabet soup that has to be carefully digested before a consumer can properly assess a condo unit's likely market value in the years ahead.

In a climate where several kinds of high-tech systems are vying for the same consumer base, it's the buyer who must exercise caution to avoid acquiring an abode that simply won't make the cut within a few years.

If a developer doesn't install some of these amenities during construction, "it can be cost-prohibitive or even technically impossible to do it later," says Carl Lender, vice president of sales and marketing for CSI Consulting, a South Florida-based firm that advises builders on emerging technologies. That, in turn, can sharply reduce a unit's resale value ...

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