By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Out of town or down the block, owners can turn off lights or set the temperature of their homes in The Oaks at Indigo. It’s a touch away with a smart phone or tablet.

No one’s claiming the technology as brand new, but Rex Thompson Homes of Charleston plans to take extra steps to develop and promote the SmartTech perks within its new 37-home neighborhood off Dorchester Road.

Such extras don’t stop with high-tech gadgetry. The builder loads up its gourmet kitchens found in every home with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, gas cooktops and pot fillers behind the range “for cooking convenience,” the company says on the community website . Buyers can choose up to four cars worth of garage space that are mixed and matched as attached, detached or both.

Meanwhile, owners can go buy groceries in the day, then turn on the surround sound system and lighting fixtures when arriving home after dark.

“Basically, we tried to take a lot of the guess work out of a home,” says Jason Harper, community manager for The Oaks at Indigo and agent with Carolina One New Homes.

Here’s how the company describes the home-building process on The Oaks at Indigo website: “Our elegant home interiors feature many items that you would pay extra for anywhere else; such as 9-foot ceilings on the first floor, hardwood floors in your downstairs living room, stain and fade resistant carpet for your bedrooms, beautiful satin nickel finishing on the lighting fixtures, smooth painted ceilings, spacious closets and a deluxe master bath.”

Meanwhile, The Oaks at Indigo showcases energy-efficient features. The homes include a Bryant 16 seer heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and a Rinnai tankless water heater to help owners save money on monthly utility costs.

Rex Thompson Homes completed its sales model late this summer while framing four houses. The backers last week installed an entrance monument. “It’s just getting started,” Harper says.

The builder sets out five floor plans running from 2,200 to 3,400 square feet. The two- and three-story homes shake out in price from the upper $250,000s to close to $355,000. “We do have some (models) with the master bedroom downstairs,” he says. Lots span at least one-fifth of an acre.

Models include the Capers, Berkeley, Coosaw, Morgan and Waccamaw.

Harper says the initial sales surge brought out buyers from a host of age groups and family makeups.

“We’ve got a good mix,” Harper says. “Folks from Boeing come by,” he says. The Bosch auto plant sits just down the road. Shoppers include folks with an extra parent or a son or daughter home from college.

Home buyers in The Oaks at Indigo can take advantage of an incentive for a two-year membership at neighboring King’s Grant community, which offers tennis and a swimming pool.

The Oaks at Indigo counts as just one of Rex Thompson Homes’ ongoing communities. The company also currently builds in Moncks Corner, Summerville and elsewhere in North Charleston.

Rex Thompson Homes knows a little about the surrounding Indigo Fields neighborhood: It was a builder in the early stages of the community more than a decade ago. “They had a seat in there the first time around,” Harper says.

To reach The Oaks at Indigo from downtown Charleston, get on Interstate 26 heading west. Follow the interstate to exit 209B, which is Ashley Phosphate Road. Make a left on Ashley Phosphate and continue to Dorchester Road. Turn left on Dorchester and proceed less than a half mile. Make the first right onto Indigo Fields Boulevard. Look for The Oaks at Indigo signs.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.

The Oaks at Indigo at a glance:

Location: North Charleston

Number of homes: 37 when built out (200 in Indigo Fields)

Square footage: 2,204-3,415 (1,918-4,163 in Indigo Fields)

Look & feel: Columbia-based builder Rex Thompson Homes is framing homes in The Oaks at Indigo toward the front of the existing Indigo Fields village off Dorchester Road. Families could be smitten with the new homes, which are two to three stories and can be nearly 3,500 square feet in size. Younger parents and couples could be drawn to high-tech touches such as adjusting the lights remotely via smart phone. Due to the variety of layouts, look for a diverse neighborhood with professionals and retirees alike.

Homes on market: 6 (on MLS); 11 more in Indigo Fields

List prices: $259,000-$355,000 ($165,000-$444,900 in Indigo Fields)

Schools: Windsor Hill Elementary, River Oaks Middle, Fort Dorchester High

Fun facts: Rex Thompson Homes returns to the neighborhood after building Indigo Terrace at Indigo Fields in 2005; reports in the late 1990s cited deer in the community as well as rabbits, foxes, squirrels and a small cougar.