What is a Smart Home?

With advances in technology at an all-time high, it is no wonder we want and expect our homes to have the same level of artificial intelligence as our phones do. The term ‘smart home’ has been thrown around for years, but what does it really mean? How smart does a home need to be to be called “smart”?

Just what is a Smart Home?

According to Realtor Magazine (July/August 2016), “the term was coined in the 80’s by the Association of Home Builders to refer to a home with integrated telephones, lighting, audio and security.” As one might imagine, that would have been out of budget for many home buyers at that time due to the technology of the time. However, today we have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities that make all this reasonable for every homeowner to enjoy.

The same article sites the collaboration between CNet and a Coldwell Banker team in Florida to nail down a definition of a Smart Home that will mandate standardization of the term moving forward. Their definition, “equipped with network connected products via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols for controlling, automating and optimizing functions of the home.” They also stipulate “that the home has internet access, a smart security or temperature system and at least two other smart features.” This definition will clear up the ambiguity with buyers and make it clear to all concerned when a home is labeled “smart.”

What types of technologies can be expected?

With many builders implementing smart technology into homes, it is only a matter of time before it trickles down to the resale market and older homes as well. The big players, Belkin, Amazon, Nest, and Google already have systems in play, but we can expect that many more will be available to the marketplace in no time. You can change an outlet so your smartphone can communicate with lights and other electrical devices in the home. There are interactive speakers that permit voice control for a multitude of functions. Thermostat control options can be accessed from your phone while you are away. You can even have your refrigerator send your phone a grocery list so you have it when you are shopping!

What is the bottom line?

With energy costs as high as they are today, buyers are conscious about monthly expenses beyond the mortgage payment. Any opportunity to lower costs and create efficiency is appealing. Technology is the language of today’s buyer, so equipping a home with a familiar mode of communication increases its sale value.

Over the next few years we can expect to see guidelines changing and parameters set to help with the clarity and disclosure of what is and is not “smart.” Until then, we may have to do our research. At the rate that technology changes, we can also expect that what is new today is old tomorrow. That being said, not all systems are created equal and the dilemma is in choosing what makes sense when it comes to investing. Again, research is the best course of action at this time.

Are you interested in buying a Smart Home? Would you like to upgrade your home with Smart Home capabilities? Call Presto Real Estate Services at (800) 495-1120 or email us at info@prestorealestate.com. We will help you find a Smart Home to buy or suggest Smart Home capabilities for your home today.

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