The Real Deal New York

Trulia CFO: Virtual reality, 3-D printing to transform real estate

Showings will take place in buyer’s home

May 01, 2014 04:35PM

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Trulia CFO Sean Aggarwal and 3-D building materials

From left: Trulia CFO Sean Aggarwal and building materials from a 3-D printer

The hunt for a new home, already transformed by the abundance of information available to buyers online, will be transformed by technology over the next 25 years, according to Trulia CFO Sean Aggarwal.

A “showing” will one day take place in a buyer’s living room, thanks to a pair of virtual-reality goggles, Aggarwal wrote in a recent CNBC column. High-definition displays will provide shoppers with tours of homes on the other side of the country, while details like the time left on a home’s water heater, average temperatures in the house or how well a solar-powered system is powered will be available at the touch of a button.

But even more of a game-changer, Aggarwal wrote, is the 3-D printing industry. Such advancements in computer-aided design software and advanced robotics will break down the economics of manufacturing, enabling market players to be wiser to the details of how homes are built.

Some spots on the globe are already tapping this science, the Trulia exec wrote, as in China where Winsun New Materials is already using 3-D printing to create environmentally-friendly building materials that slash construction costs. Such tools, Aggarwal predicts, will drive down the costs of building new homes and cut resale prices, especially in markets most sensitive to housing demands. [CNBC]Julie Strickland

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