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Smart Home: Friend or Foe

Smart Home: Friend or Foe

It seems like the hottest topic in real estate right now is the Smart Home.  In this day and age, everyone wants to be in control of as many things as they can – right from the palm of their hand.  Recently, many Builders have begun to equip all of their New Construction projects with Smart technology.  At LYL Realty, we ask is the Smart Home really Smart or another time-zapper posed as a cool idea and fun trend?

Some ask, what constitutes a Smart Home exactly?  And, our experts say that it is any home equipped with lighting, heating, and electrical components (i.e. appliances, sound systems, etc) that can be controlled through your computer or mobile device.  The rise of smart homes has been increasing every year due to the stress-free environment and convenience they provide. Is this advance in technology all it’s cracked up to be when it comes to saving time and money?

For one, energy savings is the biggest attraction.  Most people use lights, appliances and/or temperature controls daily.  And, everyone considers how energy will be consumed when buying (or even renting) a home.  Who likes to be surprised with a large heating or air conditioning bill?   In a Smart Home, you have the ability to pre-program temperature and light timers which makes you able to efficiently use these things when you aren’t home.   Product manufactures have actually done surveys and estimate that Smart technology can contribute to close to 15% in annual energy costs.

Two, Security is huge.  Our personal dwellings homes MUST be safe.  Smart technology allows you to have remote monitoring, which can put your mind at ease when you’re away home.  Automated security alerts you and the authorities of suspicious activity.  Features can even include camera and audio views of inside your home when you’re away.   Now, with Remote monitoring, becomes another To Do.  Finding the time to “unplug” seems to get harder as the years go by and having a live video and audio feed to your home may cause a bit of paranoia and obsessive behavior.

Three, Smart technology is still considered an “upgrade” by the Construction community.  Some Sellers/Builders of new homes will include it (with the right price!) but for the most part you are going to pay extra.  Installation can be complex.  And before you know it, you could be looking at a costly project depending on what you require.

Finally, one issue that has been popping up is the voice activated programming and its hyper sensitivity.  Sometimes the system can pick up a normal conversation that you are having like “Our office got pizza and I wanted two of the pepperoni slices…”.  All of a sudden a delivery guy is at your doorstep with 2 pepperoni pies.  Little did the voice activation system know that you are meat-free this week, but you were eye-balling the pepperoni at work.

Even with all the pros and cons, smart homes are not for everyone. Buying and renting a house can be stressful. Remember to stay on budget and focus on the things you need. Upgrades can always come later!  If you want to know more about Smart technology and how to get it in your existing home or rental, give us a call.  And don’t forget, when it’s time to find a new place to live, whether you are looking to buy or rent, LYL Realty Group is here to help you every step of the way!