Every home owner is concerned about the value of their house. While one real estate market or another may heat up, wise owners know that you need to look for the things that will add permanent value to the home when it comes time to sell. Most people now know about some of the obvious value-added features. Kitchens and bathrooms raise the value of a house, while in-ground swimming pools bring it down.
What about Home Automation? While it’s fairly new in the real estate market, there are many professionals suggesting that a well designed and professionally installed home automation system can help your house to sell for a higher price. According to the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Home Builders, a home automation system can increase the value of the home at resale by 3-5%.
Many buyers are looking for energy efficient homes. With intelligent control of lighting, heating and shade, home automation is a champion at saving energy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every dollar you save annually in energy adds $20.73 to the value of the house.
Buyers want an uncluttered house: One of the beauties of home automation is that it takes things you use every day and puts them out of sight. A whole-home audio system means you get music or TV sound in any room on the house with the speakers hidden in the ceiling. Remote controls vanish. Touch screens can even be discreetly wall mounted so they use no counter space at all. DVD players, cable TV connections and cables disappear. Everything looks cleaner.
There is a new awareness of personal security: Homeowners are taking more ownership of their own security. If your house isn’t in a gated community, (or even if it is), you want to make sure you protect your family, and also protect the precious personal items in your home that could be stolen. Home automation is an obvious way to enhance this important part of our lives.
Dramatic lighting: When homes are being dressed for sale, the dressers will often bring in new lights to try and make the home look more appealing. A home that has been professionally automated already has that covered. With dimmable energy efficient lighting, both direct and indirect, an automated home shows well.
“Cool” Factor: A lot of homes are very similar – same size, same features. What puts your home ahead in the minds of potential buyers? According to the website AVS Forum, some realty ads for high end homes are now leading with the home automation system. It is all about “curb appeal” – that something extra that makes the potential buyer say “Yes, this is the one.”
There are some things you need to be aware of if Home Automation technology is going to add value to the house.
The job has to be done right. Just as home handyman carpentry will lower the value of your house, so will a poorly installed automation system. The technology has to be major brands, not no-name products. Educated home buyers are starting to recognize brand names like Crestron, AMX and Lutron, and they know these brands will give years of trouble-free service.
The system has to be easy to use. You need a professional elegant design and rock-solid programming, the kind that comes from an experienced pro. It also means you have to train your real estate agent in how to show and operate the system. That way, prospective buyers can appreciate the ease of use and lifestyle advantages that come from this technology.
The system has to be well documented. This is huge, but many homeowners overlook it. If everything’s labelled clearly, there are as-built drawings, and operation manuals, it will greatly increase the appeal to a potential buyer, because it should be a lot easier to a) figure out how it all works, and b) get it serviced, should the need arise. That’s why you should work from day one with an experienced home automation professional that can supply you with this kind of documentation and support.
If you’ve been trying to decide whether it’s time to automate your home, it’s great to know that you can have all the benefits of this technology and also know that your house may one day sell faster and at a higher price because of the investment you made.