Boosting Your Home’s IQ:

Smarter Homes will Appeal to Future Buyers

So you’re ready to upgrade your home. Do you know which advancements in technology can bring you the greatest return at the closing table? 

In a 2015 Better Homes and Gardens survey, more than half of U.S. women, including 64% of Millennials, believe that smart technology makes their home safer and enjoyable.

US News & World Report states that 32% of homebuyers (the largest share overall) are part of the Millennial generation, and 68% of first time home buyers fall into this age group (25 to 34.) 

If the home you live in now is not your forever home, any improvements you plan should appeal not only to you – but to future potential buyers. Based on statistics, a significant portion of the buyer pool is part of the Millennial generation; a group that generally appreciates and embraces technology as a vital part of our lives and sees the value of making technology improvements at home for the sake of convenience, the bottom line and the planet. Whether you’re a hipster in your mid-twenties or a Baby Boomer planning for retirement in the next few years, it will pay in the long run to be smart about smart home improvements.

Survey participants indicate that the kitchen and living room are the top rooms in the home to benefit from smart technology … digital video recorders (DVRs), heating and cooling systems and television controls are the top technologies that U.S. women currently make use of with smart technology. Compared to those 35 and older, a larger percentage of Millennials see the garage, laundry room, and parent bedroom as rooms in the home that would benefit from smart technology.
— BHG Survey

So what upgrades should be top of the list for bolstering your home’s IQ?

Smart Lighting

Energy Star estimates that about 12% of home energy costs go toward lighting. Installing smart lighting products with sensors and motion detectors can save money and add convenience both inside and outside the home. Consider programmable lights that turn on slowly to help you wake up naturally in the morning, lights that sense when activity within a room has stopped and turn themselves off and exterior motion sensor lights for added safety. 

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Smart Thermostat

Programmable thermostats have been around for a long time, but current technology can be confusing for the average joe to operate. The newest technology can sense whether you are home or away and adjusts automatically. This technology will set you back $200-300 dollars, but pays for itself in energy savings in just over a year, on average. 

Smart Lock

Forget hiding your spare key in a fake plastic rock or under the mat. Smart door locks, enabled with WiFi and Bluetooth technology to communicate with your smart phone, can sense when you or other “safe entry” parties are at the door, and will automatically unlock for you. The latest models offer a guestbook feature that is ideal for home sellers, allowing a text message with showing instructions to be sent to the person viewing your home, and feedback to be sent to you afterward. 

Integrated Smart Entertainment

When you get home from a long day at the office, the last thing you want to do is figure out a complicated remote control system for your television or music devices. Bluetooth speakers, smart televisions with push button access to your favorite streaming outlets (Netflix, Amazon, Pandora) and voice command technology simplify your entertainment options and make it easy for the you, your kids or a visitor to tune in to favorite tunes or tv. 

Smart Yard Maintenance

For those of us in a dry climate or water restrictions in place during warmer months, a smart sprinkler can save time and resources, and take the guesswork out of watering your lawn and exterior plants. Have you ever driven by a sprinkler system watering its little heart out in the middle of a summer shower? What a waste! Smart sprinklers can be controlled via computer or smart phone apps and account for weather and temperature conditions as well. Second generation technology is available now, and makers of this technology claim the product will save most consumers around 30% (or more) on exterior water consumption. 

Smart Smoke Detector

Have you ever removed the batteries from your “dumb” smoke detector out of frustration when it just wouldn’t quit squawking? One 2014 report suggests that 2/3 of home fire fatalities occur in homes where smoke detectors have been tampered with or disabled. This is troubling information, but if you’ve ever been the victim of a faulty middle-of-the-night alarm, you understand the temptation. Smart smoke detectors can zero in on individual rooms (basement, kitchen, nursery) and inform the homeowner, via smart phone message, what is going on in which space – such high levels of carbon monoxide near the furnace, or fire detected in the kitchen. Next time you are frying up bacon or the hallway outside the bathroom gets a little too steamy during a shower, you can inform the system there is not a problem and avoid the hassle of an erroneous alert. You’ll save an average of 5% on your insurance premium with this device, and it could even save your life. 

At TRELORA, our goal is to get smarter at what we do every day in order to better serve you, the savvy real estate consumer. If you are interested in taking advantage of technology to save money through a commission free real estate transaction, give us a call. We’re here to serve you!