When you think about your home, the more comfort you can surround yourself with, the more relaxed you likely feel. Regardless of whether you plan to stay in your home for several years or are preparing to sell, one of the best improvements you can make involves the vast number of choices in smart home technologies. From safety, peace of mind, and convenience to saved time, comfort, and routine, smart devices can quickly upgrade a house into a home.
In the past few years, smart technologies have become so integrated and user-friendly that any intimidation around set-up and maintenance has simply been put to rest. If your home has little to no bluetooth enabled switches and devices, expect to invest at least several hundred dollars in getting an initial base system that you can expand as needed.
Smart Home Trends
If all this intrigues you, you are not alone. A 2015 Harris Poll revealed that over half of all Americans believe smart home tech will improve their lives in the next 5 years. Furthermore, a 2015 Houzz survey showed that over a quarter of current homeowners say living in a home with smart tech is very to extremely important.
Smart Home Hubs
To get started, research the various base systems (or Smart Home Hubs) that send signals to devices and often link to your smart phone or tablet with interactive controls. Consider not only the cost of the initial hub, but what other types of devices can network to it and the longevity of the type of signal utilized. Also a factor, depending upon where you plan to mount the hub, is basic aesthetics. Strive for a good balance between features, looks, and cost. Also consider whether you’d prefer a monthly subscription service fee or a one-time investment. There truly are quite a variety of options available to fit many types of needs.
After you select a brand and hub, it’s time to add features and devices to your network. I’d suggest a 3-step process expanding your system.
First, focus on utility-based devices such as thermostats, lighting, water use trackers, and more. Well-designed systems can shave costs off of bills and can quickly learn patterns and needs. From adjusting temperatures for various times of day to controlling zones in your home, these devices tend to have the most immediate impact on your wallet.
Next, focus on security-enabled tools. From random lighting schemes for when you’re away to door lock monitors, video doorbells, garage monitors, and fully networked in and out-of-house surveillance devices, you can rest assured that your home is secure. Many devices even have key pads where you can assign temporary or custom codes for use by cleaning staff or neighbors. The highest end of these devices also snaps a picture of the visitors, tracks movement in your home, and record when they leave. You can control access codes remotely, so you can disable a code whenever you’d like and prevent further access. Choose the level of security that’s right for you.
Finally, indulge in some bonus automation and intelligence around home theaters, gaming, and kitchen devices (such as coffee makers that begin their work while you slumber or faucets that turn off automatically). These devices might not be essential, but they can be a heck of a lot of fun!
The Time is Now to Make Your Home Smart
Smart home technologies are trendy and add to both your enjoyment and the property appeal of your home. Take your time and do your research on what devices are best for your needs, keeping the long term expandability in mind. With these tips and guidance, you’ll soon have a home that’s more comfortable and convenient, plus you’ll have some cool new gadgets to share with your friends!
For more information on home appeal and expandability, please contact me, Ellen Dudley, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249