You may already be familiar with the latestInternet of Things (IoT) craze: Digital personal assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. These stand-alone devices can be used to regulate your home’s temperature, lock and unlock your front door for guests, and even refill your pantry.
Echo and Home are just two of the many smart home technology devices on the market today. From security systems like digital front door locks to intelligent thermostats designed to heat and cool efficiently, smart home devices can not only make your life easier, they can also increase the value of your home. Best of all, you can turn your home into a smart home with little cost.
What Are Smart Home Devices?
To connect the Internet and Things of IoT, smart home devices use your existing WiFi network. (However, some IoT devices require an ethernet cable.) Once connected to the internet, smart home devices are able to talk to each other, connect to their secure cloud servers, and even communicate with you using your smartphone if you’re on the road.
Not all smart home devices are as powerful as your smartphone or computer. Most devices act like remote sensors and controllers with all the heavy processing occurring in the cloud. For you, this means low initial costs and zero maintenance, equalling an increase in home value.
What Makes A Smart Home “Smart?”
CNET defines a smart home as “any home equipped with network-connected products for controlling, automating, and optimizing home functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.” In addition, smart homes must have an internet connection with at least one device, according to Marian McPherson, a contributor for Inman News.
Your home is considered a smart home when it has internet-connected and remote-controllable devices or appliances that are designed to make your life easier by automating certain functions.
How Smart Home Devices Increase Your Home’s Value
Smart home devices can add considerable value to your home. The Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Home Builders found that smart home devices can increase the listing and final sale price of your home by 3-5%. Why?
Smart homes are becoming more and more desirable to a growing segment of real estate technophiles. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), millennials and first-time home buyers represented a third of all home buyers in 2016 and are on track to become the biggest segment of home buyers within a few years.
In a survey by Better Homes and Gardens, 64% of millennials expressed that smart home devices make their living feel space safer and more enjoyable. But millennials aren’t the only group of home buyers interested in smart homes. In a 2017 CNET survey, 81% of current homeowners who are looking to purchase their next home desired a home with smart home devices already installed.
Common Smart Home Devices
In a joint CNET-Coldwell Banker survey, the most popular choices were smart locks and alarms, followed by thermostats, lighting, and safety devices such as smart smoke detectors. The most popular rooms for smart home devices were the living room followed by the bedroom, the family room, kitchen, and lastly, the dining room.
If you don’t know where to start, you can buy pre-packaged smart home staging kits from Coldwell Banker.
Smart home starter kits cost as little as $200, and single cameras and bulbs can be purchased as low as $20. If you opt-out of any subscription plans, you can turn your entire home into a smart home for as little as $1,000! Here is a list of common smart home devices you can buy and install today:
Security & safety. Smart cameras and monitoring devices give you digital eyes when you’re not home. You’ll get a notification — plus video evidence — when a delivery driver shows up, when a child returns home late, or if your dog secretly jumps on the couch. (In fact, devices like Butterfleye can learn to recognize faces and identify people!)
- Smart cameras by Butterfleye, Wyze, and Arlo
- Smart baby monitors by Nanit
- Smart alarms by Alarm.com
- Smart smoke detectors by Nest
Convenience. Smart convenience devices help you save on energy bills by automatically regulating the temperature, opening your front door for friends, and even adjust the lighting in your home by the time of day. Smart thermostats from Nest sense trends and adjust to help you save money in the long run on heating and cooling bills.
- Smart keyless entry by August
- Smart lighting by Lutron
- Smart thermostats by Nest
- Smart garage doors by Ryobi
Central controllers & networking. Stand-alone devices like Echo and Home can also be used to control every other smart home device. By connecting each device to the same WiFi network, you can use your voice to control the lights, temperature, and even lock every door at night from your bed.
- Amazon Echo or Google Home
- Advanced WiFi by Linksys
Digital personal assistants can also act as stand-alone devices, but connecting them to your other smart home devices is the easiest way to make your home truly smart for potential buyers. Think of the upgrades as a quick and easy remodel. Even simple upgrades like a smart thermostat can go a long way. From smart monitoring systems to intelligent thermostats, smart home devices can not only make your life easier, they can also increase the value of your home.