Over the past few years, smart home technology has become more accessible and affordable. The “internet of things” is a commonly used phrase now. Not only can smart upgrades make your home more convenient and efficient, but they’ll also make it much more attractive to potential buyers in the future.
A recent study of buyers’ trends by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shows that this generation represents the largest share of potential home buyers. Hence, this is a market you don’t want to ignore.
Here are some of the latest, greatest smart home upgrades you may wish to consider:
Programmable thermostats have been around for a long time (at least since the 1950s), but the problem is that most of the standard clock-type thermostats are confusing to figure out and difficult to use. The newer, smart thermostats take all of the guesswork – in fact, most of the thinking – out of the process since they can sense whether you are at home or away and adjust your home’s temperature controls accordingly. One of the most popular smart thermostats is the Nest, which currently costs $249 but projects an average savings of around $173 per year. This is among the most popular smart home technology items and is key for connected houses.
Smart Smoke Detector
Another smart technology product, the smart smoke detector, could not only save you money (approximately 5% on your insurance premiums) but could even save your life. Two such products, the Birdi and the Nest Protect will not only monitor smoke but also carbon dioxide and general air quality. They can even send an alert to your smartphone or tablet if anything is amiss. These products retail for $119 and $99 respectively.
Smart Door Locks
With a smart door lock, you need never fumble in your pocket for a key again, nor will you have to resort to hiding a spare in a fake plastic rock. Instead, these Wifi and/or Bluetooth-enabled devices can, thanks to your smartphone, automatically detect when you arrive home and unlock the door as soon as you’re standing outside. What’s more, you can also program them to allow access to selected guests such as family members, friends, and real estate agents.
Smart Sprinkler Control
If you live in a climate where you regularly need to water your lawn during the summertime, a smart sprinkler system can save you a lot of hassle as well as money. These devices, which can be programmed via a computer or smartphone app, automatically adjust your sprinkler system to account for the season and the weather. The makers of one such system, the Rachio Iro, claim to save most customers over 30% on their outdoor water usage, although some users report saving up to two-thirds on their water bill.
According to Energy Star, the cost of lighting your home amounts to about 12% of your home’s annual energy bill or around $264 per year. While that may not seem like a lot, every little bit adds up and smart technology can help you make a “brighter” choice. Smart lighting dimmer and sensor systems can allow you to easily turn lights on and off via your smartphone, and they can also be customized to perform certain actions such as slowly growing brighter as you wake up or switching off automatically whenever you leave home. Smart outdoor lighting can also help increase security around your place, serving as a motion detector and also making it safer for you to venture out into your well-lit yard at night. While your energy savings will vary with usage, Lutron lighting systems project an annual savings of 60% with the installation of a combined dimmer/sensor system.
Although the return on investment ranges for each of these upgrades, there is no doubt that every one of these features is a bonus that is sure to appeal to home buyers whenever you choose to sell your home.