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Buyers looking for smart homes

Posted February 04, 2015 in Advice Column, Urbandale

How smart do you want your next home to be? According to a recent survey by ERA Real Estate and HGTV, nearly half of today’s homebuyers (46%) want their home to have smart technology. Smart homes enable homeowners to control systems and appliances via internet- connected devices. Many consumers believe a home with smart technology brings more comfort, safety and cost savings.The survey also finds that more than half of homeowners (51%) would consider installing smart technology to make their home more marketable to future buyers. The most popular smart features for homebuyers involve security, heating and cooling, and lighting.

Homes equipped with remote access to security cameras allow homeowners to monitor their home while they are away and can be programed to close and lock doors remotely with the touch of a button on a smartphone. Push button door handles can text a homeowner when their children get home or when a package is delivered. You tube videos show homeowners watching their pets while they are away.

Smart thermostats can be programed to automatically adjust room temperatures after the homeowner has left the house to avoid unnecessary heating or cooling during their absence, or adjust the temperature to the owners comfort level before they walk in the door. Some programs also track a home’s energy consumption through a website app. Automated lighting is another sought-after feature that enables homeowners to turn lights on and off remotely from a smartphone. Look for internet enabled electrical outlets and usb plugins. Recently Nest, who makes the smart thermostat, has been promoting their Nest Protect alarm speaks to you where smoke is in your house compared to just the alarm going off.

Appliances will have more smart technology involved in the kitchen. Watch the crockpot settings while you are at work. Tablet computers installed in your refrigerator. See the counter tops that they use in Hawaii Five-O and CSI. Microsoft is already looking at placing these computer counter tops in the home.

For many tech-savvy homebuyers, investing in a house with smart technology is a practical choice worth the extra investment.

Information provided by Jon Smith, Iowa Realty Beaverdale office, 3521 Beaver Ave., 240-2692.

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