Are Smart Homes Worth the Investment?

As technology advances at exponential speeds, it’s becoming more affordable and convenient for homes. From smart light bulbs that help us sleep and save money, to bluetooth door lock systems, it makes us wonder; do these tech upgrades actually make our homes worth more? It depends on how you look at it.

Some smart home devices, although expensive to buy, in the end can save you money like the Nest Learning Thermostat. This thermostat learns what the homeowner’s schedule is and adjusts the temperature automatically for when they’re home or not; thus, saving money in gas and electric bills. If safety and security is a concern, there are many home monitoring systems that stream live video feeds straight to your phone or computer, offering peace of mind. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on the safety of you and your family.

So, do the tech extras add more value to the home? Realtors say these advancements put the home at an advantage over others when it’s up for sale. “I don’t necessarily see these features raising home prices, but having that technology there focuses attention of buyers to that house over others,” says Miami-based Hal Feldman of RE/MAX Advance Realty; “and often I’ve seen those homes sell significantly faster.”

Greg Boss, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Boise, Idaho, says “Consumers are starting to see it, appreciate it, and ask for it. It won’t deter them from buying a home they like, but in real estate, any time you can bring in another wow factor, it really helps,” he adds. “Builders who are cutting-edge are definitely on top of it. As a younger generation moves here, they’ll be asking for it.”

However, with technology moving at such a fast pace, most home technologies become obsolete in only three to five years. Apps and services get discontinued when newer alternatives become more popular. Sometimes setting up these home-tech ecosystems is more trouble than it’s worth.  It’s important for homeowners to decide where to put tech upgrades and how many should be added. Installing expensive-looking gadgets in a rather older looking home can make the rest of house look even more dated.

Check out our blog on the pros and cons of buying a new home vs. a pre-owned home HERE.

So which ones are worth it?
If you do decide to make some tech upgrades, consider these, as they each save you money:

Smart Thermostats
The Nest thermostat projects to save $173 per year on energy costs

Smart Smoke Detector
Getting a smart smoke detector can save you 5% on your insurance premiums.

Smart Door Locks
No more having to make copies of keys for cleaning service or family members. A smart door lock opens with codes you give to your guest and can be easily deleted or changed say, you change cleaning companies.

Smart Sprinkler System
For those who live in climates where they have to water their lawns often, customers who buy a smart sprinkler system can save over 30% to 60% on their water bill per year.

Smart Lighting
A smart lighting system can save you around $264 a year on energy bill by streamlining light usage with motion detectors and making it easy to turn off any lights with your smart phone.

Smart Solar Panels
Solar panels can save you $1,500 a year on utility bills and can add up to $15,000 to your home’s value. The smart solar panels come with smart junction boxes and apps that let you monitor panel performance and even switch off panels in cases of emergency.