What to Know Before Adding Smart Technology to Your Home

    Smart technology for the home is a growing trend in today's high tech environment. Home security equipment, HVAC systems, and even the refrigerator and slow cooker are now available in models that can be operated remotely from a smart phone or tablet. Incorporating smart technology in a home can help busy families save time, as well as enjoy their homes more – but it may also help them sell their home. 

    An overview of smart home technology 

    One of the most important benefits of smart technology in the home is its ability to provide more cost effective use of energy by lowering heating and cooling costs. In addition to using smart technology to continually optimize heating and cooling temps in the home, it can also control lighting, appliances, and even window coverings to help reduce the amount of energy the home uses.

    Other popular forms of smart technology are capable of operating computer systems, security cameras, entertainment systems, including television, audio, and video systems, communications equipment, and appliances to offer increased comfort and convenience for the occupants of the home.

    Smart Technology Protocols Assist DIY Homeowners 

    Due to smart home technology's relatively young age, most existing homes are not yet equipped with it. However, it is possible for most of these older homes to be retrofitted to take advantage of this advancement. Even better, most homeowners may be able to handle these upgrades on their own as a DIY project.

    Part of the relative ease of adding smart technology to a home is because the technology is designed by components which adhere to specific protocols. While all of the protocols are designed to work with smart phones, computers and tablets, and land line phone systems, choosing components that belong to the same protocol will ensure that they will be compatible. Examples of some smart home technology protocols include UPB, Z-Wave, and EnOcean.

    Smart Technology Can Increase the Resale Value of the Home

    As more and more options for smart home technology become available, it becomes increasingly apparent that adding at least some forms of it to an existing home or incorporating all of it into the design of a new home can be a smart thing for homeowners to consider.

    One reason for this is the "Internet of Things", or (IoT). Basically defined as a network of devices, vehicles, structures, appliances, and other objects that have embedded sensors and software that make it possible for them to communicate with each other. The IoT network can connect over the internet to collect and exchange data which can then be used to further improve the overall smart technology experience.

    According to recent statistics from CNET, a leading electronics media website, 81% of those who currently own some type of smart home device would favor buying a home already equipped with smart technology over one without it. In addition to smart technology making a home more saleable, it can also boost per-foot sales prices. In fact, according the same CNET survey, most homes selling in the top 25% of the market in the Miami metro area were equipped with smart home technology.

    Millennial Buyers Favor High-Tech

    Millennials grew up in a digital world, making them far more comfortable with all sorts of technology. As more of these tech-friendly millennials enter the housing market, the demand will continue to rise for smart home technology. This trend is illustrated by the data from the CNET survey noted above which shows that currently 28% of all adults in the USA use some form of smart home technology. But when only the millennial age group (adults 18-34 years of age) is considered, that number rises dramatically to 47%.

    While most homes are likely to become more competitive with the addition of smart home technology, homeowners who are unsure of whether they should upgrade their home should look at both the costs involved and the expected return. A good plan for making the right choice begins with discussing the matter with a trusted real estate professional who successfully lists and sells homes in the area. Their expertise will help homeowners understand the potential gains, based on comparable sales in the area, as well as understand the potential costs involved with this type of upgrade. 

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