Imagine opening your door to be greeted with, "Welcome home, how was your day? There is wine chilling in the fridge." Now imagine it without a soul to be seen.
Say hello to the automated Westhampton vacation home of Mitchell Lieberman and Tina Silver Lieberman, programmed courtesy of Matthew, their 18-year-old.
Matthew, who started the project at age 14, has been fine-tuning the home for the past year. The process, which started two years before the home's construction, involved writing most of the programming, overseeing the blueprints for wiring the house with fiber optics and making it an all-home experience.
Matthew worked with Home Technology Experts of Southampton to install the nearly $75,000 custom Control 4 system in the house, which the family is now putting up for sale as they search for a bigger summer home in the area. The house can be programmed from anywhere in the world.
"We got the system up and running for Matthew, then he took over and did all the customization," says Alex Karoussos, owner of Home Technology Experts. "Most of our homeowners can't program anything. He had a big part in the products chosen, where he wanted wires and where TVs were installed."
As this is the New Jersey family's vacation home -- now listed for $3.85 million -- being able to access it 24/7 has meant added peace of mind.
"It can do things like wake you up with your favorite music or news program, give you your overnight emails on your television screen, update you on the day's weather and even tell you how many others are up in the house," says Matthew, who explains that each family member is programmed in separately with his or her preferences all the way from movies to how warm to make the shower.
And, additional guests can be added into the system. For example, the house is programmed to turn on all the lights and start music when the real estate agent comes to show the house. Locking the door automatically turns off lights and music. And, while the kitchen's appliances are not on the system, programmable appliances can be added.
"I think once people are accustomed to it, they'll love it," says Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who is listing the 3,785-square- foot waterfront house, which has a private dock. "This house is more technical than most."
The programming is so detailed that each person's preferences travel from room to room with him or her. Don't want to miss a second of the game? Let it follow you from room to room, from TV to TV. Not sure you locked the door to the deck? Click on the television and lock it using the remote.
4 BEDROOMS, 5 BATHS
The house, which has four bedrooms and five baths, was decorated by Tina. It has high-end appliances and a deck and infinity pool that overlook the water. Almost every room has a water view.
"You don't realize how important all this programming is until you go home and realize you can't turn the lights off in the rest of the house from the bedroom," Matthew says with a laugh.
Adds Tina, 51, who owns and manages Hudson Highlands Properties, LLC, in Beacon, N.Y.: "Ten years ago, if you owned a vacation home and thought you left the lights on, you'd have to call the neighbors and ask them to use the spare key and go check. Or, if you're coming out for the weekend, ask them to turn on the lights and start the pool heater. Now, you can do it all from your phone or iPad."
'EASY TO USE'
Matthew says the one thing he doesn't want is for the next owners to just marvel at the technology, but never fully use it.
"I designed it to be easy to use," Matthew says of the icons and other commonsense touches that mean the Control 4 system doesn't require a degree in computer technology to operate. And, even if the new owners are a little unsure, Matthew promises to come over for a tutorial.
"You will be using the system within a half-hour," he promises.
But, no way is Matthew ready to turn off his computer on this one.
"I'm thinking about putting a sensor in each bed or in the floor to tell you who is getting up when," says Matthew, who is a senior at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, N.J.
ADDRESS 646 Dune Rd., Westhampton
ASKING PRICE $3.85 million
SQUARE FOOTAGE About 3,785
LOT SIZE .57 acres
YEAR BUILT 2013
AUTOMATION: Control 4
SYSTEM About $75,000
OTHER FEATURES This waterfront house has an Infinity pool on the deck and its own dock with deeded right-of-way to the ocean. Fully automated, it also has such construction amenities as soundproofing in the floor and walls and built-in fiberoptics.
LISTING AGENCY The Enzo Morabito Team, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-288-6244