Given an easy option, I believe most of us would choose to save money. Am I right? The reality is whether it is you primary residence or a rental income property we would all like to save money.
I love my Nest thermostat in my mountain house and it not only save me money on my electric bill it also makes my life easier and gives me peace of mind. Never again will I pay for a month of high heat when nobody is in the house as I can turn down the heat from my phone and as I drive up the mountain I turn it on for my arrival. An added feature I never thought about is the motion sensor that lets me know if someone is in the house and automatically turns the temperature down if it is not activated. So I thought you might like to know what Jennifer has to say about home automation – Can Home Automation Increase Your Property’s Value and Save Money?
My husband and I had very specific requirements in our quest for our forever home here in Charleston, S.C.: four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an office, at least a third-of-an-acre and a neighborhood that wasn’t cookie-cutter. Over 12 months, we viewed over 40 single-family homes.
The one that stands out was the smart home. When we stepped inside this home, situated in a modern subdivision, with a postage stamp sized backyard, and a death-defying balcony (not ideal for a couple with two adventurous children under five-years-old), we still walked out in agreement that this was the one.
Why? Because it had iPads built into the walls. The owner had integrated home automation seamlessly, and in the right way. This wasn’t some $10,000 proprietary system; this was a full-on embracing of the Internet of Things. From the iPad stations (there were three, one on each floor), you could control the Philips Hue lights in each room, adjust the Nest thermostats to the perfect temperature, view footage of the Dropcam at the front door and many other incredibly cool and useful features. You could also do all of this on your smartphone or from your computer.
In the end, we chose another house, mainly because the fear of our children falling off a third floor balcony finally outweighed the benefit of built-in iPads (but only just). Mostly, however, we walked away because the realtor told us that the owner planned to take it all with him.
Rule number one about the value home automation can add to your home: it will only do so if you leave it there!
Home Automation – The ability to control lighting, shading, heating, cooling and security from a smartphone or computer — adds a lot of convenience, but does it add value, beyond just the dollar for dollar swap?
According to a 2012 New York Times article, home automation does boost value, at least in very high-end homes with full-house systems, selling for over $1 million. The article specifically singles out buyers seeking second homes (the category in which corporate housing falls) as being attracted to properties equipped with home automation. The ability to light up, warm or cool, and check that everything is in place before arriving at a home that has been unoccupied for a while, appeals directly to these buyers.
However, as the technology becomes simpler and crucially, drops in price, home automation is moving out of the high-end realm and into the mainstream. It’s set to become the next “hardwood floors and granite countertops” of the real estate market.
Current conventional wisdom among realtors is that a smart home doesn’t necessarily translate to a higher asking price. “Don’t install a smart home system in hopes you’ll get more value from your home sale, because as of right now, smart homes don’t have a significant return on their investment,” writes Anne Reagan.
However, as with many industries, technology is in the midst of bucking conventional wisdom. And there is no doubt that, as in the home I saw, home automation adds a substantial ‘wow’ factor to the home viewing experience.
Additionally, sales figures show a growth projection of around $9.5 billion by 2015, and $44 billion by 2017 according to wireless industry group GSMA. That’s a clear sign that more and more people will be adopting home automation into their lifestyles, and likely looking for it when they move into a new home.
If you are considering installing a home automation system, here are a few things to consider to ensure that it adds, rather than detracts, from the salability of your home:
- Make it simple: Install a dedicated touch-screen system, such as an iPad, in the home so that the new homeowners don’t need compatible smartphones to operate it (you don’t want to limit your pool of potential buyers to only iPhone users).
- Build adaptability into the system: Being able to easily switch out devices will help future-proof the home.
- Focus on money-saving home automation tools: Incorporating devices that will save a homeowner money, such as learning thermostats, Wi-Fi enabled water heaters and automatic blinds, will always add value to a home.
- Go secure: Security systems are known to increase home values, and smart home security systems often come without monthly fees, making this a great addition for smart home salability.
- Avoid Fees: Steer clear of installing any systems with high monthly fees that will turn off homebuyers.
- Simple shut down: Make sure the system can be easily disconnected and that the house will still function if it is.
Remember, you will have to sell the house with the system installed if you hope to see an increase in the home’s value. But, as this trend takes off, chances are that the home you are moving into will be just as smart.
Jennifer Tuohy likes to write about the latest gadgets for The Home Depot. With her recent home renovation project, she has been researching what the best home improvement investments are for her house and is happy to share her findings. If you are thinking about investing in some smart home technology for your house, view The Home Depot’s home automation pages.
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