Smart home technology once belonged in the realm of fantasy – but today it is a top feature that buyers are looking for in a home. This feature is exciting and still somewhat new; and can help with the marketing of your home. Smart homes are here, and homeowners are surprised at how affordable it is to convert an existing traditional home into a cutting-edge smart home.

Integrating smart technology into your home can improve your quality of life, and it could also improve the resale value of your home if you ever decide to sell. Anything that sets your home apart in a positive way is potentially beneficial. So, given that the cost is relatively small as compared to the possible return, why not take the initiative and smarten up your home?

Smart homes used to be well beyond the budget of the average consumer, but with increases in technology, and the fact that nearly everyone has a smartphone or tablet, the cost of integrating smart technology into the home has plummeted. Before long, smart-technology integration may be a requirement rather than a bonus feature, especially in the luxury real estate market.

To get ahead of the curve and make the transition now rather than later, here are a few things you can do right now for a relatively small investment.

Smart Interior and Exterior Lights

For a long time, and with limited success, people have been trying to figure out how to turn off the lights without the need to get off the couch or out of bed. Now, using just a screwdriver and a few spare minutes, almost anyone can install smart lights switches throughout a home and control them via a smartphone app or by voice command. These lights can be set to turn on or off at preset times or when the sun rises and sets. Smart light switches cost about $50. For those not wanting to install new switches, or with a healthy fear of electricity, choosing to install smart light bulbs by Phillips can be a path to savings. Each bulb can then be controlled through a smartphone and no screwdriver is required.

Smart Door Locks

Have you ever lost your keys, had to rush home to let in a visiting friend or open the door for a handyman? With the addition of a new Smart Lock System, these worries can be a thing of the past.  An example of the technology includes the August Smart Lock which unlocks as soon as an authorized person approaches the door. Doors can also be unlocked and relocked remotely. Temporary keys can be issued to people such as contractors or short-term guests. Smart locks similar to the August Smart Lock typically cost between $150 and $250 and can be installed in just a matter of minutes.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most popular thermostats currently on the market is the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat eliminates the need to program because it programs itself. Simply set it and adjust it as you normally would throughout the day. It will remember and begin to adjust itself in the future. The Nest Thermostat also provides the ability to set and monitor temperature via a smartphone or tablet. A Nest Learning Thermostat costs only $249 and can be installed in under an hour.

Smart Appliances

Finally, there are the new smart appliances. These are the most expensive upgrade to a home, because there is no way to turn a traditional appliance into a smart one. Buying new appliances is necessary. So if you are already in the market for a new refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker or washer and dryer, going the smart route is something to consider. Imagine a refrigerator that alerts you via text if you are low on milk or a coffee maker that cleans itself. Or how about a washing machine that tells you if there’s a problem or an unbalanced load?

Turning your house into a “smart home” is a great way to boost your home’s value with a relatively small investment, and make life a little more convenient in the process. For additional ideas on how to improve the value of your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.    

Image courtesy of Grant Sewell/