We use smart phones. Our childrens education is enhanced by Smartboard in the classroom. Smart cars are becoming standard. Certainly new homes are being equipped with technology so dazzling we are left suspended in slack-jawed amazement.
Although it is a cinch to upgrade to the latest piece of personal technology, one may be more intimidated at the prospect of integrating smart technology into an existing, lo-tech, home.
Fear not! The following 5 technologies are not only simple to implement, but they have also been proven to increase the value of your home.
The Convenience of Automated Lighting
Whether you are using it to create ambiance, improve safety, or conserve energy, being able to centrally control the lighting throughout your home and property is an essential first step in coaxing your home out of the dark ages.
Lighting automation can be as simple as installing motion sensitive lights or using a timer, to the most state-of-the-art systems that allow for remote operation via the internet, smartphone, or tablet.
Advanced options include the ability to program lighting in such a way that your home appears to be occupied when you are away. Automated lighting can decrease energy costs by lowering consumption, while providing the homeowner with the immediate benefit of improved safety and security.
Whole-House Audio with Intercom
At first glance, this may seem a purely decadent feature. However, it is an attractive selling point for families with young children and the disabled.
Wireless technology makes streaming your iPod playlist throughout your home effortless. Also, remote listening to a nursery/playroom or communicating with unexpected visitors at your front door offers convenience and peace of mind.
Save Money with a Programmable Thermostat
Have an older heating and cooling system? Consider upgrading the thermostat.
The Energystar.gov site state that A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.
Solar panels are nothing new and that is an awesome thing, since the cost of new technology decreases over time. Worried about having enough space or unsightly rooftop clutter?
Think small, discrete, and efficient. A single solar panel and compatible water heating unit are all you need in order to cut your water heating bill in half. When properly maintained, solar hot water heaters outlast conventional units.
Energy tax incentives rebates and special financing help to offset the initial cost and you pass the energy savings to the future buyer.
Finally, do you remember when the most effective feature offered by alarm companies was not the service or the equipment, but rather the deterrent effect from the small but conspicuous sign the company planted next to your shrubbery?
Those days are gone. Home security systems today provide the latest in detection of fires and theft, but also serve as the hub that connects you to your home.
Fully integrated systems allow you to manage, control, or observe every detail inside and out and interact with your home remotely via cell phone or internet from virtually anywhere at any time.
While it is hard to put a price on true peace of mind, there are other more tangible benefits that home buyers will surely take notice of, including homeowners insurance discounts, disaster aversion, and energy savings.
Technology in the home offers added convenience, improved accessibility, greater control, safety, and cost savings. Whether you intend to integrate one or all of these great technologies in an existing home, you will not only boost your homes cool factor, but you will also increase its overall home equity value in real and measurable ways.