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Popular Mechanic's 1955 House of the Future

By Brian Kline | January 15, 2014

Designed in 1954 and built in 1955, the Popular Mechanics' House of the Future is on the market for only the second time in its history. With no remodeling, it is listed at $1.8 million.


Built to last for centuries, features include the ability to withstand fire, earthquakes, and temperature extremes. Likewise, it was built for easy maintenance and comfort. While it might last for centuries, the amenities it featured are rather mundane today. It features one of the first garage door openers that have become standard with all new houses. It also features an intercom system that came and went in popularity.

The house of the future was built from steel rather than wood. Construction involved more welding jobs from welding services. The house was prefabricated to save time because time is money. Still, built in 1955, the only expected improvement over the next dozen years is the addition of solar powered energy, which would be an improvement to most modern homes today.

Modern Features

The modern features at the time included a master bedroom control panel that was capable of turning on all of the interior and exterior lights as well as starting the coffee machine from the bedroom.

As far as the upgrade to solar energy, it was predicted, if not available. A strengthened section of the roof was created in anticipation of accommodating both the solar panel and a helicopter pad. Other features still popular today include an open floor plan, large windows, along with a heating and cooling-efficient design.

Built in the heart of Brentwood, the L.A. home remains modern with 4 bedrooms, 2.75 bathrooms in a 2,362-square-foot space.


Home of the Future

A noteworthy more current home of the future was built by Microsoft in 1997. Unlike the Popular Mechanic's house of the future that has not been update, the Microsoft house is constantly updated.

As predictable, Microsoft's version leaves no wall or surface in the house safe from being a digital device. A table and tray at the entrance enables you to simply place your electronic devices on it to be recharged without needing to be physically plugged in. By simply placing a recipe on the kitchen counter, the counter delivers a shopping list of ingredients needed that are not immediately available in the pantry or refrigerator. It can also suggest recipes based on what is available in the kitchen. A medium sized touch screen in the kitchen also provides family information such as schedules and health information. At a touch, you can find information needed to improve the family's health including workout information, the right food, supplements, and medication to consume.

In the living space, you can visit almost any place in the world using 3D technology. You can visit an art gallery in almost life like surroundings or do your retail shopping by having a salesperson appear as if he or she was there in person.

In Microsoft's vision, the teenager's bedroom of the future has interactive surfaces on every wall. Entertainment and social connections are seamlessly integrated with touch and voice technology. The room's wall design is easily changed to match the ever-changing mood of teenagers.

Oh, wait, that's close to the modern house of today.

Brian KlineAuthor bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 25 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest in the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.

Images courtesy of Zillow.

Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News
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