The latest trend in home remodeling isn’t a color scheme or granite countertops. It’s more like something out of a science fiction movie.

Smart homes are finally here, and many homeowners are surprised at how affordable it is to convert an existing “dumb home” into a cutting-edge, smart home.

Smart homes used to easily exceed the budget of the average consumer.  But with advances in technology – and the fact that many consumers now have a smart phone or tablet – the cost of integrating smart technology into the home has plummeted.  

It won’t be long before smart-technology integration is a requirement rather than an upgrade feature, especially in the luxury real estate market.

So, why not be ahead of the curve and make the transition now rather than later?

Here are a few things you can do today for a relatively small investment.

Smart Door Locks

How often do you misplace your keys, have to rush home to let in a visiting friend or open the door for a handyman? What about all the time you waste digging through your pockets or purse trying to find your keys with a handful of groceries?

Once you install a new Smart Lock System, those concerns will be a thing in the past.  For example, the August Smart Lock opens as soon as an authorized person approaches the door. You can also unlock (or lock) the door remotely -- just in case your guests beat you home. It can even allow you to issue temporary keys to people such as contractors or short-term guests. Smart locks like the August Smart Lock typically cost between $150 and $250 and can be installed in a matter of minutes.

Smart Interior and Exterior Lights

Smart light switches have solved that decades-old desire to turn on and off lights without the need to get up from your couch, chair or bed.  Today, with just a screwdriver and a few minutes effort, you can easily install smart lights switches throughout your home that can be controlled via a smartphone app or your voice. These lights can be set to turn on or off on a predetermined schedule or when the sun rises and sets. Your best option for smart light switches only run about $50 apiece. Another choice for those who don’t want to install new switches or folks with a healthy fear of electricity includes using smart light bulbs by Phillips Hue. Each bulb can be controlled through your smart phone with no screwdriver or electrical tampering at all!

Smart Thermostats

The most popular smart thermostat currently on the market is the Nest Thermostat. While programmable thermostats have been around for years, and they are great, they do require programming. The Nest Thermostat eliminates that need and programs itself. All you have to do is set it and adjust it as you normally would throughout the day.  It remembers and adjusts itself based upon your usage. The Nest Thermostat also gives you the ability to set and monitor temperature via your smartphone or tablet.  A Nest Learning Thermostat runs about $249 and can be installed in under an hour.

Smart Appliances

Finally, there are the new smart appliances.  Because there is no way to turn a dumb appliance into a smart one, these are among the most expensive upgrades you can make since you will have to buy new appliances.  So, if you are currently in the market for a new refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker or washer and dryer, going the smart route is something to consider.  

Integrating smart technology into your home can improve your quality of life, and also improve the resale value of your home if you decide to sell.   As a new and exciting improvement, smart technology can set your home apart from others and provide an added bonus in its marketing. So before your sell, you may want to consider making a small investment to impact your potential return and smarten up your home.

Are preparing to sell your house? Contact me today and I’ll be happy to help you determine the value of your home and suggest ideas designed to assure that you obtain best price for your house.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

Photo courtesy of Stephane at Flickr.com