Whether you’ve decided you want to age in place or you’re a millennial buying your first home, you’re probably going to want to install the best home automation system you can find. There are so many smart home devices available now, offering safety, security, convenience, increased comfort levels and often energy efficiency savings, that it doesn’t make sense, when considering upgrades, not to invest in one or more smart home devices.
Benefits of Home Automation Systems
Real estate agents are particularly bullish on home automation systems, although they advise you won’t necessarily recoup your direct investment costs when you sell. A smart home can, however, be a true differentiating factor in a neighborhood with many similar homes on the market. In addition, a real estate agent who knows their technology will be able to educate potential buyers on the very real advantages of smart home devices. If a house has a Nest thermostat and your agent mentions the potential of 10 to 12 percent heating and cooling savings, you might be willing to pay a little closer to asking price for that house knowing you’ll recoup your investment over time in energy savings.
Voice-activated devices, smart entertainment systems, smart lighting, heat control or watering systems and smart security elements can all increase your property’s value, especially if your real estate agent focuses on real savings in energy costs and the convenience benefits of your devices.
You’ll also save up to 20 percent on homeowner’s insurance if you install an automated security system. Other devices, like built-in flood sensors, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide monitors will keep you, your family and your home safe.
Since home automation systems are still quite new, an integrated automated system will increase both your home’s comfort and its market value. The following are the systems that have the greatest potential to increase your home’s value.
Lighting Control Systems
These systems provide convenience and energy savings when interior lighting is automated and additional safety and security when there are motion-detection sensors installed outside. They don’t just deter potential burglars—by clicking on as you approach, they could save you from a fall on wet or icy stairs or pathways.
Automated Door Locks
Leaving a spare key under a rock or flowerpot or over the door jamb was never a terribly good idea in terms of home security, and an automated locking system removes any need for a spare key. You’ll also know every time someone enters or leaves your home. Better yet, you can lock all your doors and windows with a simple voice command.
Home Alarm Systems
One of the earliest and most universally adopted home automation systems, at least 50 percent of buyers now want wireless security systems when purchasing a home. When coupled with an increasing “move-in-ready” trend (as opposed to buying a fixer-upper), having a home alarm system will make your home safer and more appealing to buyers.
Smart Home Entertainment Systems
These devices let you sync your speakers, TVs and computers to your smart home security system.
Smart Shades, Thermostats and Lighting Systems
Smart shades and thermostats can save up to 20 percent of both heating and cooling costs. Smart lighting systems using LED lights can save up to 75 percent of lighting energy costs.
If you’re replacing stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers or laundry equipment, investing in smart appliances will pay off. According to some studies, smart appliances increase return on investment 11 percent over traditional models. You’ll also see energy savings from these investments, as well as the added comfort of not being awakened in the middle of the night by a noisy dishwasher.
A 2017 survey by residential real estate brokerage consulting firm T3 Sixty indicated 40 percent of realtors think smart homes sell faster, no matter their price range. And as millennials enter the home-buying market, energy-efficient homes are becoming more and more of a priority.
With all the pressures of work and young families, today’s home buyers don’t want to spend every weekend renovating. They want to enjoy their downtime, and they want convenience, whether it’s an automated home entertainment system or the convenience of knowing they can control their blinds via tablet or phone to make sure they don’t have to crank the air conditioning when they get home.
Best of all, as home automation systems become more popular, they’re getting cheaper and cheaper. With the potential for energy and insurance savings and the convenience and security features the best home automation systems can provide, your home will be more valuable, not only to potential buyers, but also to you and your family.