According to Ellie Mae, a software company that analyzes mortgage data, Millennials currently represent the largest segment of home buyers, accounting for 45% of all home loans. Since many millennials grew up in a connected world, smart home tech is often a major selling point for them.
Regardless of whether a Millennial buys your home or not, the demand for smart home tech is on the rise. With smart home hubs making connected tech easier to use than ever, smart home tech is only expected to increase in demand.
What is smart home tech?
Smart home or connected tech is anything you can control via a cell phone, tablet or home hub such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home. Smart home products include sprinklers that can check the weather forecast or precipitation levels before turning on so your greenery is always the greenest, smart outlets that allow you to turn lights on and off from a connected device or even vacuum cleaning robots that keep your floors spic-and-span.
Benefits and challenges:
The benefit of smart home tech is that it can save you a great deal in energy and utilities costs in addition to being convenient. The challenge of connected tech is security and privacy.
While most Millennials are comfortable living in a connected world, many older homeowners may have concerns about connected tech being hacked or the potential invasion of their privacy by companies that offer home hubs. These concerns are often far outweighed by the convenience that connected tech offers, however.
Think about it. It is thanks to digitization that you can call customer service when you are experiencing an issue with your thermostat and they will know exactly what caused it without physically coming to your door. The wonders of the fourth industrial revolution!
Is it Feasible?
There are a number of home upgrades that many real estate agents advise sellers against undertaking prior to selling. Planning a complete remodel should be done only after consulting with the real estate agent.
Often, it’s more feasible to remodel only a few select areas. A smart home remodel may not significantly increase the value of your home, but it can give you a significant advantage in a competitive market.
Installing smart tech does not generally require the kind of labor that other types of remodeling do and the tech itself is decreasing in price. A smart home remodel may only cost you $1,000 or less, since you can install a great deal of smart home tech by yourself in just a few hours. One important factor, however, is ensuring the seller’s real estate agent is tech savvy enough to know how to properly sell the features of a connected home.
Top 5 Smart Home Upgrades:
1. Smart thermostat
Smart thermostats not only make it easier than ever to regulate the temperature in your home, but also save a significant amount of money in energy costs. Smart thermostats are also able to regulate temperature better, which overcomes the issue of homes ping-ponging between being too hot or too cold.
Learning thermostats can even begin to switch themselves on and off at the appropriate times based on the homeowner’s schedule. If you decide to stay up later one night, you can even simply adjust the temperature from your phone instead of having to get up and go do it.
You can also look at purchasing plug-in radiators which can be placed on a timer switch and these can be incredibly efficient and save you money.
2. USB outlets
From razors to TV remotes to cell phones, the number of devices that can be charged via a USB port are increasing exponentially. USB outlets may only cost a few hundred dollars or less to install throughout the home, but they can become a major selling point. Sometimes, it is the small practical details more than the big, exciting features that can actually be the most attractive selling point.
3. Smart Smoke and CO2 Detectors
Smart smoke and CO2 detectors are a major selling point to homeowners with pets in particular. A smart smoke or CO2 detector will actually send an alert to the homeowner’s phone whenever it detects smoke or high CO2 levels. This can mean the difference between getting beloved pets out of the home before help arrives or even getting things under control before their house goes up in flames when they are not home.
4. Smart lighting
Smart lighting offers a number of different features including increased security, decreased energy costs and even great ambiance. Smart lighting can be controlled via your connected device such as a smartphone or tablet, so you can turn lights on and off even when you are not home. You can also program lights to turn on and off when you are away from home to keep your darkened home from becoming a target for burglary. Smart lighting also comes in a wide range of colors that can be controlled and changed, allowing you to even light your home according to your moods.
5. Video doorbell
A video doorbell is another smart home feature that combines convenience with security. If you are in the kitchen cooking and someone rings the doorbell, you can check to see who it is before dropping what you are doing. Same thing with early weekend morning visitors. A smart doorbell can also send an alert to your phone if there is someone at your door. If you check your phone and determine they are up to no good, many smart doorbells will even record video that you can send along to warn neighbors and alert the police.
When you combine the price of connected tech with the inconvenience of installing and connecting it with concerns about security and privacy, many homeowners will not invest in connected tech for their own home. That does not mean, however, that they would not jump at a home that already had a number of smart features pre-installed. Investing in smart home renovations before you sell can potentially make your home one of the hottest properties on the market.