Whether you are building a new home, updating your current home, or if you own rental properties, now is the perfect time to consider installing smart home technology. Real estate is a big investment so why not do everything possible to increase the total worth of your property?
With the rise of the circular economy and the addition of smart technologies to your property, you not only add value to offset future realtor fees, but you also make your home safer and easier to maintain. We have compiled seven tips that will help you increase the value of your real estate using current smart technologies. And if you follow one or all, you will also notice a distinct reduction in operating expenses almost immediately.
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You and your family have finally agreed on a destination for a vacation; you’ve packed clothes for everyone, you have remembered to take the dogs to the dog sitter, and have gathered all medicines and stuffed animals — you are on your way.
After 1000 miles on the road, however, you can’t remember if you set the thermostat to the correct “away” temperature. Do you frantically find the neighbor who has a key to your house and ask them to check? Or do you continue your trip and arrive home to find you have been needlessly cooling or heating the house for two weeks?
It would be so much easier if you had a smart thermostat because a device like this will take one more thing off of your to-do list. All you do is open the smart thermostat app on your mobile device to turn the temperature in your home to a reasonable, “no one is home” level. You have instantly begun saving money, and you can now control your HVAC system from anywhere.
If you are building a new home or apartment complex, the installation process of a smart HVAC system is simple. If you are adding a smart system to an existing structure you will need to identify any equipment that is past its prime. Generally, anything over seven years old can be considered obsolete so hire someone to do an energy audit of your home.
This will help you determine the necessary size and capacity of any new HVAC units you will be installing. Installing a smart HVAC system will make your home more energy-efficient, you’ll have total control from any device, and you’ll subsequently spend less money on utility bills.
Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs are quickly becoming obsolete. Though LED bulbs can initially seem a bit pricey, in the long run, your ROI is greatly improved. A single LED bulb can last 20 or more years. Lighting fixtures can be found at big box stores that contain no visible light bulbs (!) and they are made to last 40 years. LED bulbs are also safer and healthier by providing superior visibility which can help improve cognitive performance and alertness. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, LEDs contain no mercury, are silent, and don’t flicker.
LED lighting can be paired with a smart app on your mobile device that allows you to control hues and intensities. If you build a new home or office, you could qualify for rebates from your utility provider for installing LED lighting. Each year, new styles of LEDs are designed and they now include grow lights, task lights, and decorative bulbs for almost any lamp. One other plus: LED bulbs never get hot to the touch so they are much safer than halogen bulbs.
Smart garden apps
Gardening can make you healthier; whether you grow your own food on a huge suburban or rural property, participate in a community garden or simply have pots on your patio, a garden of any size contributes to your overall well-being. According to The British Journal of Sports Medicine, gardening provides cardio benefits — not the same intensity as a marathon — but still beneficial.
Working in the garden increases hand strength, self-esteem, and happiness. A Dutch study revealed that working in the garden for as little as 30 minutes reduces cortisol levels. (Cortisol is the hormone associated with stress.)
Now that you know why you should garden, try one of the many garden apps that will help you plan and maintain your bit of the earth. There are apps with enormous online libraries that allow you to identify plants and pests with a photo, and for a small fee, you can be in touch with expert gardeners, botanists, and entomologists.
Need help remembering when to do what in your garden? There is an app for that too. Plan and document the development of your garden, catalog plants that do well in specific locations, and keep track of soil conditions and weather conditions. You can also track plant rotation schedules on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. And never be embarrassed again if your drip irrigation or sprinkling system starts to operate during a rainstorm. Just choose an app that gauges moisture in the air and turns your watering system on or off.
The physical safety of you and your family is one of the most important reasons to consider adding smart technology to your home. It also adds value to your property, and if you own an apartment building, whether it’s in a pricey market like Chicago or a cheaper one like Milwaukee, a smart entry system is a great perk for renters.
An example of a moderately priced smart entryway system is Nest, which is sold at most big box stores. Many of these security systems can be a DIY project or you can contract with an electrician or a home maintenance company.
If you do the job yourself, you will have to be prepared to spend time setting the app up on your mobile device and be aware that can be a little involved. Another option, of course, is to hire a security company to install and maintain your smart entryway mechanisms.
Owning a swimming pool is fun for you, your children, and your guests, but with that ownership comes a lot of responsibility. Most municipalities have strict laws regarding fencing for outdoor pools. But even the tallest fence or the strongest gate can be no match for a child or teenager who wants to get in.
By installing smart technology to your pool fencing you can reduce the number of possible accidents. Add a pool app that uses a small sensor placed in the pool, and you will immediately be notified of any activity in the water. Unfortunately, these sensors don’t distinguish between a small child and a raccoon but the peace of mind they provide is astronomical. Another consideration is the insurance you need to carry on your pool for accidental drowning. With a smart sensor, there doesn’t have to be a single incident.
Convert any outlet in your home to a smart outlet and you will have instant remote access to any item plugged into that outlet. Not only can you turn lamps on inside your home so your family doesn’t have to walk into an eerily dark house after school, but you can double-check the outlet you used for your last-minute ironing before work.
If you think you forgot to turn the iron off, you’ll be able to take care of that problem right from your mobile device. Smart outlets allow you to control lighting, music, or a television show for Fido from your smartphone, Alexa or Echo.
The pool sensor, the appliances, the HVAC system, and the lighting inside and out are all parts of a smart home. But wait, there’s more! What if you could have all these systems in one place and find all the information you need to run your home in an easy to use spot?
You can accomplish this with something called a whole-home control panel. Vivant makes a panel that is simple to use and connects all your devices on one central platform. You don’t have to hunt for an app on your mobile phone for each system; just simply install a whole home device and everything can be taken care of from one point.
Samsung offers a refrigerator which is no ordinary icebox. With Wi-Fi capabilities, it allows you to access your family’s notes, calendars, and photos remotely and gives you a real-time look at what is in your fridge. It also has an entertainment system so you can stream music and television.
What seemed only possible in science fiction stories a couple of generations ago is now everyday hardware and software that makes our lives easier, safer, and a lot more fun.
There is no need to spend an entire day at work worrying about a hair curler, an iron, or a toaster that may have been left on accidentally. And no matter how vigilant you are there is always a chance a little guy could sneak his way into the family pool — it only takes a split second for our lives to change dramatically. With smart home technology, we have an extra set of eyes and ears to help us lead safer and calmer lives.