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Spotlight

A 'smart' way to add value, upgrade your home

Posted December 5, 2016

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

Nearly half of all Americans are planning to invest in smart home technology by the end of 2016, according to surveys. It's undeniable that connected homes have now attained the affordability and convenience to reach millions nationwide.

Whether you're saving energy with an automatic thermostat, securing your door locks while away at work, or turning lights off with a tap of your phone, smart home technology can instantly upgrade the security, convenience, and value of your home.

"Today's buyers are technology savvy, and they want their homes to be as well," said Kim Thompson, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston Smart Home Certified broker. "A house with a smart home automation system is very appealing and often sells more quickly at a better price than the competition. It's an investment a seller will see a return on."

Smart home technology works by connecting everyday devices to the internet using a home Wi-Fi router, which can then be controlled by a smartphone or remote internet-connected device from wherever you are.

Security & Safety

Traditional smoke alarms can be plenty loud when they detect a problem, but beeping noises aren't very descriptive, or helpful if you're outside. Smart home smoke detectors -- like the Nest Protect -- can send specific messages to your phone, instantly letting you know if the problem is burnt toast or a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. The Nest can even call 911 for you.

Smart locking doors can allow you to control your locks from anywhere you can connect online, perhaps by setting up virtual guests when the in-laws are in town, or letting the kids in from school before you leave work. More advanced smart homes can even have remote video cameras so you can keep an eye on things no matter what the circumstance.

Convenience & Connectivity

Controlling your lights from your smartphone is one of the more sought after features of smart homes because of their ease of use and affordability. Not only can you turn your lights on or off from the road, allowing you to save energy or increase security at night when necessary, but many affordable systems such as Lutron Caséta Wireless allow vanity lighting and dimming to be controlled remotely as well.

A good Wi-Fi router is the heart of any smart home, and larger homes with more devices may even want to opt for an extender to accommodate their system or install a more advanced, voice-controlled Wi-Fi router.

Affordability & Value

Wireless control of the thermostat can save an enormous amount of energy and money, either by allowing you to cut off heat or air conditioning when you're not home, or even by letting a smart thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat use data and sensors to regulate and save energy for you. You don't even have to program the Nest, just turn it on and it does the rest.

Energy.gov says smart bulbs can last three to 25 times longer and use 25 to 80 percent less energy than standard bulbs, and Nest reports their users save an average of 10 to 15 percent on their heating and cooling bills each year. This isn't just great news for homeowners, but potential home sellers as well, as smart homes show increasing market value.

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

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