Smart homes are homes that have been equipped with lighting, heating, safety features and/or other devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer. According to a 2016 survey, 60 percent of Americans think that a home needs to have at least three categories of smart products for it to be considered “smart”.
There are a growing number of devices that can be retrofitted into a pre-existing home with relative ease, helping bring an older home into the future. But this begs the question – is the extra investment worth it at the time of sale?
The Cost of Creating a Smart Home
How much would it cost to create a smart home? Looking at lighting, heating, and safety features – here are a few examples of devices, and their costs, that can be used to upgrade your home:
Smart lighting systems often come in two parts – a smart bulb and a device to control it. This controller could take the form of a “hub” or a the lighting element itself. A single smart bulb costs around $8 – $15. Some of these can connect directly to an app on your smartphone, while others can be controlled by a virtual assistant which can cost anywhere from $50 – $200 or more.
Perhaps the most well known smart heating device, the nest thermostat can learn your heating and cooling habits and build a schedule around your preferences. It has also been shown to save you 10% to 12% on heating bills, 15% on cooling bills, thus potentially paying for itself in under 2 years. As of writing, these thermostats are are on sale and cost close to $250.
Sensors on your windows, cameras by your doors, and locks synced up to your smartphone – smart safety devices have been increasing in number and decreasing in price over the past few years. Many companies give you the option to sell devices individually or as a pack. The price for these devices tends to start in the $200 range, but can go up or down depending on the number and quality of the devices included.
So in total, if buying middle of the road items, it’s possible to make a “smart home” for around $1000 – $1,500. But is it worth the investment?
An important consideration when investing in smart home devices is integration; How well does one smart device interact with another and do they respond to the same controller? By investing in smart devices from the same company, or in devices that sync up with the same virtual assistant (i.e. Google Home or Alexa), you will be able to manage multiple smart devices seamlessly from one app, or with voice commands.
The Value of Investing in Smart Home Features
While studies have shown that there is a growing market for smart home devices, there is no definitive evidence that a home with smart features will sell for more money or faster. With that said, if you invest thousands of dollars in smart home devices that are integrated across the home, you will likely add monetary value to your property.
Additionally, surveys such as this one suggest that buyers, both old and young, are becoming more interested in smart home devices and would be willing to spend over $3,000 to install them in their home.
On average, real estate agents also think that these devices assist the sale – in late 2017 major research firm T3 Sixty surveyed of over 3,000 brokers and agents and 82 percent said that Smart Home technology streamlines a home sale.
So, you likely won’t see a higher sales price after installing a few smart home products, but doing so can help your home stand out and may result in a smoother sale. Just as staging can help buyers envision your property as their home, smart devices may help buyers see your home in their future.