When we think about upgrading our home, we usually start thinking about what we want to do but also start wondering which upgrade will bring us a better return on our investment when selling it. The two most popular upgrades in a home are the kitchen and bathrooms because those two items will usually bring us a good return when we are ready to sell and will raise the value of our home, but what about home automation products? Home automation is a very popular thing out right now and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. If we put in a whole home security system controlled by Alexa, or if we put in smart light bulbs through the whole house, is it a good return on investment? What if we put automated window shades, or a whole home theater system with multi-zones, all controlled from Google, will that bring me anything back when I go to sell my house, will the appraisal be more? These are questions that we should all ask ourselves, especially for anyone who owns a home because we want to get the best bang for our buck. Maybe adding smart home products and features will lessen the value of your home, or make it harder to sell. Let’s take a look and find out how much truth there is to any of this.
Do smart home products increase the value of your home? Yes, and no depending on what you do to your home to automate it, and how much you actually spend. You will usually not get what you paid for when you go to sell your home, but adding smart home products do have some benefits. If you spend $1000 dollars on smart home products for your house and then try and sell it, you might not get everything you paid for out. What adding smart home products might get you is more interested buyers that want these features in a house they want to buy, so the amount of traction and prospective buyers will go up, and will usually be younger couples that have grown up with technology. You will definitely get a “WOW” factor for people who love home automation, but there might be some drawbacks. Older couples who are not as “Tech Savvy” may be turned off by all of the technology in your home because they may lack the knowledge to use it, so there is one downside. There is also an increasing concern with data and privacy that might turn people off, so it is better to add smart home products to your house because you want them and to increase interest upon resale rather than trying to recoup your lost money.
Which Automation Brings Value
So now that we know that home automation will not bring a ton of money back into your resale value, but actually will more likely bring prospective interest to it, let’s find out what automation will actually do it. For starters, security is a must-have in this day and age, so anything security related will be very popular if wires, glass breaks, and motion detectors are already run to windows, doors, and walls. If you are having a new construction home done, it might be a good idea to have network (Cat5e) and home security low voltage wire run in the walls for you to make it easier to do than having them try to run that stuff after it is built. having wire run after having a home built will cost quite a bit, and they will usually run it outside of the house instead of inside the walls which can be an eyesore if they do not paint it to match your house color. Another good product is smart lighting, and light bulbs because not only is it nice to have full control over your lighting, but it also saves a lot of money. If you have a bigger house, with a lot of lights in it having smart bulbs can help people remember to turn off the lights when they get into bed without having to walk way down the hall or downstairs. Selling potential buyers on saving money will always be a plus, so if you can show a potential buyer that you put all new LED smart bulbs in, and that it will save them X amount of dollars per year, they will remember your house, and it will be very enticing. Smart bulbs can be a little pricey up front, but they last over twenty years and are very efficient. Automated blinds are also a very nice touch because people will not have to hassle with pulling cords, and animals chewing on them and breaking them, so they will be more apt to make a memory of your house over others. Having blinds be put on a schedule is a great thing for people who have windows facing the sun in the morning or afternoon because they can have them automatically close and save on electric bill in your house by keeping it cooler in the summertime.
Security Is In Demand
Whole home security is by far the most desirable feature that a home can have added to it because of so many issues that people are having now. People who have doorbell cameras and exterior cameras are also very desirable because of all the Amazon product thefts that have been happening in the recent years. People want to know that they can park their cars and have packages delivered and not have to worry about anything, so any systems that record people coming to the door or the driveway will be the most desirable systems to put in. Places like Vivint and ADT, and RING are good systems, but they can come at a cost when it comes to installation and ease of use for anyone that has issues with technology. Vivint likes to put their own wireless system in and uses cellular data, so anyone that only has a landline, and no internet might have issues with this, so always ask what you can do do to bypass needing internet and cellular service. Other places also use wireless sensors instead of hard wiring to save money for the client, so make sure you ask the right questions when they come out to give you a quote.
Should You Take It With You When You Sell
Unfortunately, when a device becomes affixed to the house, it will generally have to stay with the house when you sell it. So, things that are attached to the wall, ceiling, and wiring will have to stay with the home because the buyers real estate agent will tell you their are already fixed to the property. Things like Nest thermostats, doorbell cameras, outdoor cameras and other devices can usually be replaced with regular thermostats and cameras can be removed if they are not in the sale contract. Make sure you ask your real estate agent before listing the house if you want to take things with you so they can put it in the listing and potential buyers know up front that you want to remove stuff. Things can always be negotiated in the offer to purchase your house, so you can counter offer them if they want to keep all connected devices. NEVER just remove stuff from your home that a buyer may have seen, or you could be in breach of contract and have to come back to replace things after you move out, and could have serious consequences. There is a grey area when it comes to attached devices so be very careful and ask your agent before anything happens.
What About Home Audio
I have asked my previous agents if having built-in home audio would be a good resale factor for my home, and in previous years it was usually a no, but it is a bonus feature that clients like, however in recent years that has changed. New construction homes normally have extra features you can pay for like adding in ceiling wiring for speakers that are usually capped, or actually having speakers put in for you for an additional cost. This is another grey area for people who add home theater and home audio into their home because it really does depend on the type of equipment you put in and the design of how you put them in. Features like outdoor home audio and home theater speakers are a very popular feature for homes right now, so that might be a good thing for return on investment. People are having more in home movie nights and parties that want wired speakers that can be controlled by one thing, a phone or smart home hub, so anything you add like this will definitely bring value to your resale value if you use the right equipment. If you use equipment bought at Walmart you a probably not going to get the same return like something you might buy from the Magnolia Room from Best Buy. Home gyms are also a very popular thing now, so if you can run surround to a room in your house that can be turned into a home gym, that will also bring a great return for you. Remember, equipment and design is everything, so spend the extra few hundred dollars to have the right speakers put in, and have them flush to the wall or ceiling, and you will be fine.
How Much Value Does A Security System Add To Your Home
Security systems are very popular, and in my opinion, will bring you the most return on your investment when selling your home. Since people want a peace of mind, a security system is going to bring more value than you think it will. It is very hard to put a price on how much a system will increase the value of a home because value is also based on the size of your home, location of the home and other factors like age, and community, so one house might have a thousand dollar increase in value, while another might be five thousand, there is another thing that is a valuable interest in home security systems. If you own a security system, some homeowners insurance will give up to a 20% or more break on your bill, so it could save you a lot over the year.