EASTON, Mass.–(Business Wire)–When we buy a new car, we expect it to be fundamentally better than a 10-year-old car. We expect technology that delivers higher performance, lower maintenance — innovations that deliver more convenience and safety. New cars really are new, different and better — and it makes us want to buy them. This mass consumer expectation hasn’t resonated in the purchase of a new home — until now.

The affluent have enjoyed the technologies that make their homes smarter, more convenient, more efficient, more secure and more entertaining for some time. Today, the masses are demanding these technologies — causing a fundamental shift in the way homebuilders envision the standard home.

Homebuilders like Tucson, Ariz.-based Pepper Viner Homes, are now thinking beyond granite countertops to smart home automation systems that set their homes apart.

“We wanted to find the next big thing,” says Pepper Viner’s COO, Chad Williams.

The company found it at the TecHome Builder Summit last March, when it struck a deal with home control provider Clare Controls. Pepper Viner will offer these home automation systems with Wi-Fi routers as standard in its Stonebridge in the Foothills subdivision and likely others.

The home automation systems operate two zones of stereo speakers for multi-room audio, two lighting dimmers, thermostats, and they connect to door contacts on exterior doors. They are controlled by iPad minis and include optional upgrades for lighting, entertainment and security packages.

And Pepper Viner is just one of many. In the past couple of years, builders have been jumping on the high-tech standardization bandwagon. Other major homebuilders are looking to offer technologies such as solar, home automation, and ultra-high-speed Internet connectivity as standard.

Lennar Homes, Taylor Morrison and regional builders like Frankel Building Group in Houston, Texas, Copperleaf Homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Landmark Homes USA in Scottsdale, Ariz., offer home automation systems as standard. KB Homes offers energy monitoring in its homes as standard and Meritage Homes has added basic home control as standard in its high-amenity communities. Even modular builder Irontown Homes plans to offer home control in standard packages.

Lennar’s Landmark development in South Florida will feature boomerang baby suites and Savant Systems’ Smart Series home systems that cater to the younger generation’s interests in technology.

Early adopting homebuilders are seeing strong take rates on the standard smart home — growing their businesses, by differentiating themselves as forward-thinking technology advocates.

But, the door on this opportunity to lead is closing.

As homebuyers of all economic backgrounds grow hungry for the tech-rich smart home — soon builders won’t have a choice.