Homes are getting smarter, and homeowners who want to stay ahead of the trends need a real estate professional who understands the latest in smart home technology. Voice Control and Home Security were the hottest trends in 2020 with regards to Smart Home technology. Here are the Top 5 smart home features our agents found in 2020.
1. Home Security
Everything from a full security system with door chimes and cameras to a lamp with a motion sensor camera could be considered part of the smart home security category. Home owners have plenty of options and many systems come bundled from the companies that provide monitoring services. There are also stand-alone security items available such as a pan-and-tilt security camera that recognizes frequent visitors and zooms in automatically on suspicious activity. Prices vary greatly depending on the home size, interior vs exterior security, and monitoring. Remember that if you plan to install home security, you should check with your local municipality to see if an alarm permit is required in your area.
2. Video Doorbells
Video doorbells are one of the most popular smart home devices being purchased. Additionally, they provide a low-level of security if you don’t want the expense of the full home security package. There are plenty of options with prices ranging from $99 to $249. If you are considering getting a video doorbell, you may also want to consider a few things such as ongoing subscription costs, local versus cloud-based video file storage, video quality, available power supply, and other smart home products you may want to integrate with.
3. Smart Thermostats
Generally speaking, nearly half of a typical utility bill goes towards heating and cooling. That’s why installing a smart thermostat could save you hundreds of dollars each year. According to the US Department of Energy installing a smart thermostat can save about 10% a year. The cost of adding a smart thermostat is generally between $150 - $300 depending on the one you choose. Some utility companies even offer rebates of $50 to $100 for installing one.
4. Lighting & Switches
Now that you know almost 50% of your utility bill goes to heating and cooling, let’s tackle another 25% of your utility costs – lighting. This category involves not only smart light bulbs, but also smart switches, and room sensors. All of these devices work together with the “hub” and most are sold in a kit which includes everything you need. When choosing smart lighting, look for devices that use low-power communication so that you don’t offset the energy savings with the cost of energy to control them. Total cost per item could be anywhere from $10 to $100, and getting started with a kit could cost $60 or more.
5. Smart Locks
Many homeowners are choosing to replace their locks on the home instead of just re-keying the lock when the purchase. Smart locks allow you to control access to your home remotely, assign entry codes to different people, and monitor who is entering your home and when. Many smart locks are available at big box home improvement stores and are priced between $100-$300.
There are plenty of other smart-home technology items such as microwaves that you can watch Netflix on while you cook, and ovens that allow you to preheat or set a specific cook time from your phone. There are smart washing machines, smart sprinkler systems, smart plugs, smart vacuums, solar panels, and even a smart camera that can feed treats to your pet. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination.