According to a recent survey*, a whopping 65% of home buyers are looking for modern day technology in the homes they’re considering for purchase. Smart home technology is not just for brand new construction, as there are many simple options available that require little advanced knowledge or skill. Of course, there are others that do require more time, skill and money but are strictly optional.
If this is what potential home buyers are looking for when they tour your home, even a small investment on your part ahead of time can bridge the gap between hesitation and home sale. Of course, you’ll get to reap the benefits long before the first person walks into your Open House, so
incorporating smart home functionality is not just for home selling preparation. Enjoy the benefits now.
Some easier upgrades to consider first:
The video doorbell. While there are heftier versions which are hardwired into your home, others work on battery and are easier to install.
If you opt for the battery version, you may need to replace batteries several times a year. However, the size of these makes them more conspicuous (to accommodate the batteries) so consider carefully if that aesthetic matters to you.
If you decide against the battery version, you will need to have your video doorbell hardwired to the existing wires that serve your current doorbell. Depending on the model you choose, there are many functions that will come with your video doorbell. Remotely, you can check on package deliveries, see who’s at your door, and even speak to the person outside. It can be set up to be motion-activated and some allow you to adjust the sensitivity so that you don’t record every passing dog in your neighborhood. Many of them on the market allow you to record the activity at your door, as well, and store it in the cloud.
Smart light bulbs and dimmers – wifi-connected and controlled LED bulbs – are gaining in popularity as consumers become more aware of them. While some require a hub – a piece of hardware connected to your router – others do not. Although they can initially appear to be quite expensive for a light bulb, the energy and long-run monetary savings of these bulbs make it worthwhile for many. Although the hub is an additional expense, bulbs are sometimes more responsive when using this type of system.
The smart thermostat is another practical and popular smart device. Some work with Amazon’s Alexa capability without even needing the Echo or Dot in your home, just the app, while others are compatible with Google Home. And even those that aren’t quite as sophisticated still get the job done. The basic premise is that this device learns your habits and temperature patterns, and then automatically adjusts accordingly. If you want your home to heat up in the winter 30 minutes before you arrive home from work each day, the smart thermostat will do that. A convenience for sure, this thermostat will also help you save on your energy bills by not heating and cooling at your usual comfort level when you’re typically out of the house.
Google Home and Amazon Alexa are commonly found across Canadian homes these days. Fairly inexpensive to purchase, these hubs are easy to set up. One of the biggest issues with them is that the average consumer doesn’t use, or know how to use, their hub to its capacity. You can set reminders, ask for a countdown timer, request a joke or the weather, as well as use it to control many smart appliances and devices, bring up recipes for you while you cook or even read books aloud. If you do a quick internet search, you’ll be amazed at how much these home hubs can do for you.
Whole home audio is desired by many but can be pricey. As its name states, you can control music or the news throughout your entire home from one keypad in each room. In fact, these can even be set up to be voice-controlled. The number of speakers required throughout your house will be determined by each separate zone you’ve preset. Generally speaking, the larger the room, the more speakers. But an average-sized bedroom may not need more than one. This is a larger project that might have you running to find a contractor. If that’s the case, call on Mike at D4 Construction in Kamloops. He and his team of professionals will have you up and running and listening to all your favorite music in no time. Call Mike today at 250-572-4812.
Smart outlets/plugs and switches are easy to install, fairly inexpensive, and you get a lot of value for your money with each one. By plugging one into any existing outlet, you change it from a traditional outlet to a smart outlet. Now any device, lamp or appliance becomes a smart one – controlled by an app on your phone using the wifi in your house or the sound of your voice. You can program many to operate on a schedule you define. Your coffee can begin brewing at 5:45 a.m. and individual lamps in your home can turn on before you arrive home from the office if you so choose. The fireplace can even be started by voice command when you walk in the house in the evening. There are endless ways to use a smart plug.
There are many more smart home upgrades that can be retrofitted into your existing home or planned for during construction of a brand new one. While none are necessary, most are desirable and simply bring comfort and practicality to your life.
Some other smart purchases to upgrade your home include:
- Smart smoke detectors
- Smart door locks
- Smart security (even in low or no-light conditions)
- Smart vacuums
- Smart grills and other baking/cooking systems
- Smart televisions and DVRs
- Smart refrigerators
The world of technology constantly changes and innovations evolve at a faster rate than many industries. By the time you’re ready to consider your own smart home upgrades, there may be many more additions to those discussed in this article. Research your options once you’ve decided to make some upgrades and teach your old home some new tricks in terms of technology. Remember, call on Mike at D4 Construction in Kamloops. You can reach him today at 250-572-4812.
*Home is Where the Smart Is, ADT, 2019
Author: Tiiu Garrett