Could this computer game be the future of new homes?

If you played the computer game — and later the iPhone app — The Sims, then the latest development in new housing will be right up your alley. The game, PLACE, has a similar interface to its simulation video counterpart, where you can scroll through house design options, creating your dream home. Once you are happy with it you click order, and 30 days later, your house arrives. You can even order your new furniture through the game as well.

Unlike The Sims, there are no cheat codes to create more money so you can afford that fancy chaise lounge you have your eye on, but the creators, PLACE Technologies, do claim using their home building game can save you 20% per square metre — compared to using traditional builders. Being able to see your new house design laid out in a virtual form with furniture and colour palettes in place, is not a new technology, but the fact you can design and customise it yourself (without the hefty architect fees) and order the furniture at the same time as your house could save a lot of time and really allow you to let your imagination run wild.

Another aspect of this game that could help buyers of new property in Australia is keeping to a budget. When walking through furniture stores and browsing different online suppliers it can be hard to keep track of what you have spent. But with it all in one place, you will see the costs stack up before your press order and be able to re-asses your choices (or adjust your budget if you really do need that chaise lounge).

The site works still have to be done by a real-life human builder, but you can get in contact with builders in your area using the game. You can even find out about local council regulations and planning permission by entering your postcode into the game, as well as creating the 3D model and accompanying information to send off for council approval. So, for as little as $90,000 you could get yourself a brand-new customised 60-square-metre, two bedroom, one bathroom home (however, delivery is extra!). The 30-day turn around is another impressive feature, considering that build times for new homes in Australia are usually counted in months rather than days!

If you are buying new land in Brisbane, this means you could get a new block of land and a house for as little as $242,000 in new land estates such as Waterlea at Walloon, just outside of Ipswich. However: you would still have to pay delivery, site work and council costs on top of that.

There has been no release date announced for the new game, so whether virtual reality equates to real-life savings in actual reality, is yet to be seen.

Written: 31 January 2019

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