As the millennial generation comes of prime purchasing age, studies show that expectations for smart home technology are rising.
As of 2015, 23% of Millennials had already installed a smart home product in their home. 41% were interested in owning smart home products, significantly higher than ages 35-54 and ages 55+ (source: The NPD Group).
As the majority of the millennial generation transitions from renting to buying homes in the coming years, expectations of smart product-equipped homes will continue to grow.
A 2017 study by Houzz shows that recent homebuyers are more likely to base their decision-making around smart home technology. 35% of first-time buyers said they would prioritize smart home integration during renovation projects. (source: Houzz).
A 2016 study by Wakefield Research in conjunction with Allegion found that on average, millennial renters are willing to pay about a fifth more for smart home features. 86% are willing to pay more for a smart apartment (source).
Given market trends, many homeowners are opting to make investments in their homes intended to increase value and appeal to the next generation of homebuyers in the long term, as well as to reduce energy consumption and increase convenience in the short term.
But what are the most efficient ways to do that?
If you’re considering an investment in smart home technology, it’s important to consider which enhancements might have the greatest impact on your home’s value and the greatest potential for savings.
The following sections are intended to address these questions:
When you’re considering and investment in automation technology to help add value to your home, look first at the features that will help your home catch the attention of buyers.
Features like smart thermostats, automated lighting, keyless entry, controllable shades, security and in-wall speakers are some of the most practical, and offer a quick path to saving money in the short term and boosting resale value in the long term (source: Redfin).
Home entertainment options are also increasingly popular and good ‘hooks’ to bring in additional interest. Consider video distribution systems that allow all televisions and entertainment systems in a home to access the same set of video content.
Ultimately, this is how you’ll be able to attract the growing number of potential buyers interested in smart home technology. According to a survey by CNET and Coldwell Banker, 81% of current smart-home device owners would be more willing to buy a home with connected technology already installed (source: CNET/Coldwell Banker).
Not only will features like these attract buyers’ attention, homeowners can expect to see reductions in maintenance costs, utility bills and even home insurance premiums (source).
Lighting control is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy usage in your home, while increasing everyday convenience.
Consistently recommended by experts as one of the top smart home investments you can make (source) (source), lighting control systems provide immediate impact on your home’s monthly utility bills by decreasing energy usage.
Solutions from Lutron estimate a reduction of at least 15% in energy savings annually by modestly dimming your lights. Other solutions can save even more. Occupancy/vacancy sensors that turn lights on and off as people enter and leave a room, have perhaps the highest energy-saving potential at up to 60% energy savings (source: Lutron).
Lighting controls are also a powerful green technology. Lutron estimates that if every home in the US installed just two dimmers in place of two standard light switches, savings would add up to $1.5 billion in electricity and almost 25 billion pounds of C02—1 million cars’ worth of output! (source).
Smart home technology is increasing by leaps and bounds every year, and it’s difficult to always understand what route it’ll take. The platforms that are driving home technology today will experience innovation and disruption over the coming 5-10 years, and new competitors will emerge. Ensuring your home has a structural backbone of technology is crucial to ensuring that it’s able to handle expansion into the technologies of the future.
It’s also critical to pick the right time to do this work. Waiting until the walls are already finished can cost many thousands of dollars and may not be possible in every case (source).
For both of these reasons, pre-wiring your home and doing so while it’s under construction or under renovation is critical.
Many homeowners assume that wireless technology will cover their needs.
However, particularly for larger homes, wireless signals are less stable and handle lower speeds than wired. If you’re thinking about streaming 4K or Ultra HD, be prepared for limitations. Wired connections that terminate in a central hub will also keep your options (and future homeowners’ options) open for single-source distributed audio, video and home control (source).
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