The ‘Intelligent’ Home Investment

May 15, 2018

Kelsey is a freelance writer in Salt Lake City who specializes in technology, home, and parenting—and the areas where all those subjects intersect. Her work has been featured in publications including Realtor Magazine, TechSpective, and Working Mother. Follow her on Twitter @kladown23.

When it comes to boosting resale value, not every smart home device is created equal.

It’s likely no surprise that most Millennials believe technology enhances daily life. You may be more surprised, however, to hear that Millennials and Gen Y have grown into the largest group of homebuyers in the United States.
The dominance of these rising generations in the housing market is reflected in a recently heightened demand for smart homes. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 42% of real estate professionals note that their clients have expressed interest in smart home devices. This interest is only bound to increase as smart technology becomes more universal among consumers.
If you are looking to sell your home in 2018, or in the coming years, you should consider investing in at least a few smart home features to entice prospective buyers. But it’s not as simple as buying up every flashy new gadget imaginable; you should aim to recoup any dollar you spend on smart technology when you sell your house.
These guidelines will help you choose devices that actually appeal to buyers and could potentially increase your home’s value:

Prioritize Security & Privacy Over Comfort

That same NAR survey found that homebuyers value security functions above all else when it comes to smart home technology. Other top concerns include privacy, cost savings, and energy savings. Though important to many, only 38% of homebuyers ranked comfort as an essential function of smart home devices.
Take your cues from these statistics, and prioritize your purchases based on what homebuyers want to see. Invest first in products that protect a family’s safety. That can include more obvious solutions, such as security systems with smart locks, as well as other types of devices that protect against more subtle dangers. For instance, carbon monoxide detectors keep homeowners safe by preventing environmental poisoning.
Once you’ve installed smart security devices, you can decide whether you want to invest in other products as well. Smart thermostats that help homeowners save money and energy might also be a worthwhile investment.

Prioritize Interoperability & Ease of Use

More and more consumers are buying their own smart home products every day. For example, 39 million Americans own a smart speaker. As that number rises, it will be increasingly important to install devices that are compatible with other products. Potential buyers will be less inclined to pay more if they cannot integrate their current smart technology with their new home.
What’s more, you will encounter some buyers who are not yet comfortable operating smart home devices. To avoid putting off these less tech-savvy buyers you should opt for intuitive products that come with a lower learning curve, and little need for user interference after installation. You can even choose a professionally installed system, accompanied by trained specialist support, to ensure that your home’s future owners never have to struggle to control their smart technology.
The guiding rule to follow is to put yourself in the shoes of potential homebuyers, rather than thinking primarily about your own desires or needs. If you install smart home devices that appeal to universal concerns like security, ease of use, and integration, you will be much more likely to see an increase in your home’s value.

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