Smart home technology and home automation may not be the same, but the technology is here to stay, according to real estate professionals. Today, a home without some sort of basic home security and temperature controls could be considered outdated by some buyers. In fact, the surging demand for technology is expected to lead to market growth totaling $130 million between 2020 and 2025.
While fully automated homes may still be in the future, smart homes are available right now and they make living easier (and perhaps more fun!) in numerous ways.
From Nice to Have to Must Have
Technology has changed the way Americans live in their homes. It was only a couple of decades ago that cumbersome wiring and high prices made home security a “hassle.” Even programmable thermostats were considered a burden for some. Now, many home buyers not only want a smart thermostat pre-installed, they also want smart fire and carbon monoxide detectors, smart cameras, locks, lighting and appliances.
Options Multiply as Prices Fall
With prices of DIY home security systems falling, even buyers of modestly-priced homes are interested in home technology. However, the value of different smart home options varies. Home security and temperature control rank higher than many smart appliances and entertainment options.
While basic DIY systems can cost as little as about $200, the monitoring cost over a five-year period can easily amount to thousands, according to a 2017 Consumer Reports study. Homeowners who are unaware of the specific price of home security monitoring can be surprised when they get their bill. However, if you find a security system that has all the features you want for a reasonable price, it may be well worth it in the long run!
Essential Smart Home Components
For some home buyers, a security system and smart temperature controls are basic requirements for today’s smart home, along with other options from a list that may include lighting controls, outdoor irrigation, smart appliances, smart locks and entertainment features.
Now with the ability to individualize a system through wireless technology, there is no longer a need to install all components at the same time. In addition, smart home components are increasingly portable, opening the door for smart systems to be considered personal property rather than home amenities.
There is no doubt that the future of home automation is still in flux. But there is little doubt that homes of the future will be more automated.
Is There a Limit to Smart?
Options and add-ons are virtually unlimited, extending far beyond the cost and energy savings that made early smart technology popular. Connectivity may be the way of the future, but how much is definitely a personal decision.
While security and hazard detection top the must-have list, more consumers now want smart thermostats that can automatically adjust and monitor indoor temperatures based not only on exterior conditions but also on the preferences of residents. And, new lighting technology can track the sun and adjust to personal bio-rhythms. The realm of possibility expands almost daily!
Not to mention, many smart options also save on utilities and allow homeowners to reap energy benefits. It’s a way to feel good about being green; it’s also an added convenience. Plus, HomeAdvisor notes that smart lighting may be one of the most cost-effective ways to modernize.
The story of smart homes is being edited daily. It’s not an exaggeration to believe that most homes of the future will be interactive, and much different than the homes of a decade ago.
For a glimpse of what’s on the horizon, all that’s necessary to take a look at some of the products showcased at CES 2018.