smart homes

Smart Homes: Gimmicks or Worth the Investment?

Smart homes have continued to grow in popularity over the last several years. With numerous convenient and often eco-friendly features like solar panels and voice-activated LED lighting, these homes certainly offer plenty in the way of technology. Are they worth your investment? Should you convert an existing home into a smart home or pay extra on a new build? Here’s what you need to know. 

Luxury vs. Necessity 

The addition of things like smart lights, outlets, and thermostats to any home gives people options that they might not have had before. These novelties aren’t really needed, but they add a certain level of convenience that is intriguing to would-be homeowners – especially the younger generations. Smart homes do more than just give the homeowner the option to ask Alexa to turn the living room lights off during a movie; they solve problems, too. Rather than going up and down the stairs to tell the family dinner is ready, you can use a built-in intercom system. Instead of stopping what you’re doing to add coffee to your shopping list, you can simply say, “Hey, Google!” or “Alexa!” and do it with your voice, instead. 

Money-Saving Possibilities

The novelty of a smart home is certainly a selling point, but buyers who opt to purchase smart homes can save a great deal of money, too. Imagine being able to turn off appliances at the outlet from hundreds of miles away or giving your kids the option to turn the lights off in their rooms with a goofy command. Furthermore, the ability to simply ask your virtual assistant to drop the thermostat down to 68 degrees at bedtime is much easier than physically changing the thermostat, either at the thermostat itself or via an app. The more convenient these simple things become, the more likely everyone in the family will be to use them, and the more money they will save in the long run. 

The Drawback of Instability

The biggest drawback associated with smart homes is their instability. A hiccup in internet access or a bugged software update is all it takes to render the entire system useless, and unless the homeowner can implement an update rollback, there’s not much they can do to fix the situation. Smart home products can be difficult to install, and they can often be just as frustrating to update. This is especially true for smart homes with multiple components made by several unique brands since one product may bottleneck the functionality of another.

When to Invest in Smart Homes

Are smart homes gimmicky or are they worth your investment dollars? The answer to this question requires some research into the local market and the people who are most likely to purchase the property. For example, if older couples without children are the likely buyers, they may not want to pay the added expenses associated with a smart home. On the other hand, if the likely buyers were born in the 1980s or later, the intrigue of a smart home – and the convenience it can afford a busy, bustling family – may very well be worth it. Before you decide to convert an existing home into a smart home, or before you choose to add smart home features to your new build, ask yourself who your ideal buyer (or renter) would be and go from there. 

In the future, more homes will transition into smart homes using rapidly improving technologies. Generally speaking, incorporating a few smart technologies into any home – things like smart thermostats and built-in speakers in every room – are a fantastic way to give potential buyers the framework they need for the smart home systems they prefer.