We are living in a world of increasing automation. We now have the technology to call home through a watch on our wrist with tiny, cordless headphones while on a morning run all the while our phone sits back at home. It’s hard to believe how our technology world has morphed and changed over the last decade. We can see the impact of technology on our everyday lives. It makes sense, then, that our homes would morph and change along with technology. The introduction of smart homes has created a unique problem when it comes to buying and selling homes. The major difficulty home seller’s face is the challenge of home appraisal. There is a definite home value increase to smart homes depending on what the home is equipped with, but how do we appraise the true value when there is very little within the market that is comparable. The additional challenge of smart homes is that a buyer might find the base home to be desirable, but has little desire to maintain the technology in a smart home. Even with an increase in home value due to the smart home technology, the buyer may not see the same value in the technology.
At the top of most people’s smart feature list are smart alarms and locking devices. As a young child I remember watching tv when a commercial for ADT (or any home security commercial, for that matter) came on and gave me nightmares. The days of monthly fees for home security are beginning to dwindle, however. Smart alarms and smart locks allow the homeowner to have the peace of mind of 24 hour security while eliminating the middle man in the security process. Smart alarms are usually hooked up through an app on your phone. You are typically alerted through the app when a home security breach has been made. Smart locks also allow you to lock the front door when you are partway to work and realize you ran out of the house and forgot to lock up behind you. The convenience of smart locks and the reduced cost on home security can definitely be viewed as a strong asset to your home as you consider adding smart features.
Smart thermostats are another feature that provide a lot convenience and money saving benefits to a homeowner. My home is equipped with a smart thermostat. With my ability to adjust the temperature from a great distance, I am able to reduce my electric and gas costs by adjusting my thermostat from my phone to accommodate when I will be arriving at home. I never have to spend time bundled up while I wait for the apartment reach a comfortable temperature and I don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount keeping my apartment at a high heat all the time. The reduction in monthly bill costs and the convenience it provides makes smart thermostats a good return on value investment.
Will Smart Features Increase My Home Value?
There are numerous smart features you can install. Anywhere from smart lights that turn on when you verbally say, “turn on the kitchen lights,” to smart detectors that alert your phone when the smoke alarm goes off and you might not be home. The challenge of selling your home comes in the appraisal value of the home. As technology continues to change and advance, the value of certain smart features may greatly vary the value of your home. For example, my iPhone that was purchased 3 years ago for over $800 is now worth around $70 due to the release of newer, sleeker, and more efficient versions of my phone. Smart features are ever changing and growing, meaning that the features you install today may not be the top of the line, most efficient, and most accurate versions 3 years down the road. Ultimately, smart homes can allow for a more convenient lifestyle and may even save you a good deal of money in the long run on monthly bills, but may not elevate your home value.