Smart home technology is rapidly advancing and ranges from a smart home assistant — such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa — to complex systems managing every aspect of a residence. While some homeowners make the assumption that adding smart home technology will increase their home’s value, Mansion Global warns that things aren’t quite so simple: “Your home’s smart technology could give you an edge over other sellers whose homes don’t have it, but it’s challenging to assign a dollar value to it, experts say.”
If you elect to install smart systems into your home, your primary goal should not be to increase the resale value of your home, because the return on investment is variable and difficult to predict. Instead, consider that smart home technology could help your home sell faster and choose options that enhance your lifestyle in the home.
As Mansion Global outlines, “the options for home automation run the gamut, from basics like smart, energy-saving thermostats to house-wide systems that allow homeowners to control lighting, HVAC, window shades, and more, from anywhere in the world.”
The ability to control a home from anywhere in the world is particularly desirable to high-net worth buyers, who frequently spend time traveling or in other residences they own. As Catherine Bassick, senior international real estate advisor for Sotheby’s tells Mansion Global, “at the high-end it’s absolutely crucial to have high-end tech. there are people who will remodel an older home and it could be beautiful, but they don’t have the wiring to make it updated for today, and that really does turn off buyers.”
Investing in Smart Home Tech
Once you have considered how automating can enrich your daily life, it’s important to weigh the expense and time required to install and maintain the technology. A small upgrade, such as a smart thermostat, can cost just a few hundred dollars, however an elaborate system such as “hiring a consultant to wire your home for complete control over lighting, shades, temperature, cameras, and more can run into the millions.”
When installing smart home technology, one must also consider the rate at which systems go obsolete. As Johnathan Miller, chief executive of New York-based real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel tells Mansion Global, “if you install and go to sell five years from now, I can assure you that the technology will have changed by many multiples. The obsolescence factor is significant at this segment of the housing market.”
The easiest way to ensure you will remain in the moment and easy to update, Mansion Global recommends that you “invest in a system that allows for swapping out features that are no longer relevant.”
Automation + Resale Value
Home automation can be expensive and timely, and while it may increase the value of a home, “it’s difficult to assign a number to the addition of automation. As an amenity, the technology isn’t visible, and therefore the added value is less apparent to would-be buyers.”
Because technology is changing quickly, it truly is key that smart home and automated improvements be made not for their future returns, but for the immediate impact they will make in your day-to-day life while living in the home.
So, what tech trends can we expect to see in 2019? According to Inman, “smart-home and energy-efficient features are sought after.” Here are there notable technologies for the coming year:
1. Smart Locks — these connect to a traditional deadbolt lock, allowing homeowners to monitor their door’s lock from their phone or tablet.
2. Energy Efficiency — many homeowners have begun to adapt energy efficient technology to save funds on energy bills and reduce their environmental footprint, and often even save on taxes.
3. Charging Stations — say goodbye to the mess of cords while charging devices and instead implement a dock that will charge a range of devices and free up outlets for other uses.
4. Integrated Electronics — while the television was once the focal point of a living room, many homeowners are now integrating their electronics so that they are hidden when not in use.
5. Smart Thermostats — these are among the most popular smart home technologies, which can save energy and keep you comfortable. These thermostats adapt to your energy-use habits to maximize comfort and efficiency.
6. Outdoor Lights — outdoor lights set the ambience and look pleasing, but they also deter would-be intruders, which can add an element of safety to your home as well.
7. Smart Doorbells — a smart doorbell can integrate with a security camera so that you can see who is at the door directly from your phone. You can also opt for one with a two-way audio option, allowing you to, for example, give delivery instructions to the post office when you aren’t home.
8. Solar Panels — solar panel technology has improved ten-fold over the past few years and homeowners that invest in them drastically reduce their energy costs and their environmental impact.