Smart Home Additions – Creating a State of the Art Home
Home today is much more than a place to “hang your hat.” In fact, in addition to serving as sanctuary, retreat and center of family life and emotional well-being, the home is apt to enjoy almost equal status as office and entertainment complex. Not only can homeowners access music and television on demand, but they can shop, communicate, and conduct business easily and comfortably at any time, day or night.
Many of today’s homeowners can also manage and monitor their home’s systems easily from across the street or across the globe. At least one major U.S. homebuilder is offering a “smarthome” option to buyers in select subdivisions.
Technology has made it so; and technology makes it easy.
The Value of Smart Technology
Buyers and sellers alike are driving demand for home technology. Nearly half of consumers today believe that smart technology is important for their current or future homes. Smarthome technology is termed “a great differentiator” that can help a home stand out and sell faster.
Among potential buyers, 65% reported a willingness to pay at least a $1,500 premium, with 40% responding that they would pay an additional $3,000 for a home with smart features. More than half of sellers questioned said they would be willing to spend money to install smart products if, by so doing, they could be assured of a faster sale.
The market is expected to grow by an average 17 percent annually in the U.S. alone, becoming a $58.68 billion industry by 2020. Worldwide, the “global smart home market is expected to be valued at USD 137.91 Billion by 2023,” according to Markets and Markets.
What Constitutes “Smart?”
A state-of-the-art home is physically safe, comfortable and energy-efficient. It is equipped with the “toys” that make life enjoyable, effortless, effective and “connected” with the world outside the walls and beyond the borders of personal property. Smart home technology has spawned the ability to affect and control the home environment, to access information and to interact with others in ways that were the stuff of dreams and the subject of science fiction not so very long ago; that world is still being altered at almost warp speed.
Real Estate Broker Coldwell Banker and CNET, the world’s largest online source of consumer technology news, teamed up in 2016 to standardize guidelines and adopt a workable definition. This is the result:
“A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka ‘smart products,’ connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.”
The property must have reliable internet connection, in addition to a security system that either “monitors or controls” access, or a smart temperature feature. The home must also have at least two additional features from a list that includes lighting, safety and entertainment features or appliances, outdoor plant sensors or watering systems, security and HVAC.
The Internet of Things
This increasing connectedness of devices — termed the Internet of Things — is a bit intimidating if you’re not a true technology geek, but there’s no escaping it, according to all observers. Even though a Forbes article reported in 2016 that the vast majority of people were unfamiliar with the term, most are affected by it. Whether you are loaded with internet-connected devices, embrace smart home features, or simply own a “Fitbit” and plug in your earbuds for “power walks,” chances are you participate in the world of “big data” that is expanding rapidly.
In 2008, there were already more things than people connected to the internet; it is estimated that by 2020, the number may exceed 50 billion!
It is no stretch to believe that tomorrow’s home will be connected in a way that allows you to be “virtually” at home even when you are physically far away. Already, there are Family Hub refrigerators that allow you to view the contents while you’re at the grocery store, eliminating the need to make extensive shopping lists. It will also stream videos, play music, maintain your electronic calendars and send messages direct to family members’ cell phones.
It is, indeed, a new and exciting world.
How smart will the smart home become?
Only time will tell.
Thank You: Our Grateful thanks to Anthony Gilbert at Austin Real Estate for his assistance in putting this article together.