How to add value to an old home using automation upgrades

How to add value to an old home using automation upgrades


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SALT LAKE CITY — While location may be a home’s key selling point, technology is likely a close second, and spring is the real estate market's time to shine.

Over 70 percent of Americans want to buy a home that’s move-in ready, which doesn’t necessarily mean new construction. Among these people, 44 percent agree that a move-in ready home has smart-home technology installed, and 57 percent would consider an older home with smart-home technology up to date. Thirty-six percent believe that home automation is a major selling point when purchasing a house.

Last year, Coldwell Banker predicted that smart-home technology would become mainstream in 2016 because 45 percent of Americans owned or planned to invest in it.

Before listing an old home on the market, consider installing a few of these attractive, simple home automation tools to impress buyers, increase the asking price and improve the chance of a faster sale.

Smart locks

Smart locks not only look sleek and convenient, but they also offer more home security, which is an important selling point to many buyers. Instead of a physical key, homeowners use a code or their smartphone to lock and unlock their door from any location. They can also provide visitors with a temporary access code.

One of the top-rated smart locks is the Yale Real Living Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt, which can store up to 250 individual PINs. The Yale lock is compatible with Zigbee and Z-Wave wireless technologies, and it integrates with many home automation and home security systems, making it ideal for a smart home.

The locks can be self-installed, but a professional can also do it in an hour or two.

Smart detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors may not seem like exciting devices, but they’re home necessities. Adding a sleek smoke and carbon monoxide detector can make an old home seem much more modern, and it shouldn't have an annoying alarm that goes off arbitrarily while you're cooking.

One of the most popular smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is the Nest Protect. As a photoelectric smoke alarm, it detects smoke much faster and more accurately than ionization detectors.

The device lasts up to a decade and tests itself automatically and silently. If the Nest Protect senses smoke, it uses a human voice to tell you where it’s coming from. Homeowners can install it in a few quick steps, making it one of the easiest home upgrades.

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Smart home security system

Everyone wants to feel safe at home, and a home security and camera system can help create that sense of protection. A smart security system offers homeowners a second set of eyes on their property when they’re at home and away.

The Canary Smart Home Security System offers an endless list of attractive features, including an HD night-vision camera, a wide-angle lens, real-time alerts, motion sensors and a mobile app. Some insurance companies even offer customer discounts for using Canary security devices.

A few outdoor cameras around the house and indoor devices in main rooms can offer that security upgrade that many buyers look for. From there, the homebuyer can customize the system and app settings as they like.

Smart thermostat

Home buyers who care about their budget and the environment will appreciate the addition of a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats learn and adjust to the temperature preferences and daily schedules of residents. Along with comfort and automation, these systems can also help reduce energy usage and costs, a real boon when heating and cooling can account for almost half of the utility bill.

One of the most attractive options is the ecobee3 Wi-Fi thermostat. Unlike a standard thermostat, the ecobee3 relies on multiple room sensors to deliver warm or cool air to the rooms that matter most, rather than reading the temperature of a single room. The ecobee device is compatible with 95% of heating and cooling systems and takes 30 minutes to install, so it should be an easy addition to an old home.

When selling an older home, there are endless opportunities to modernize with smart home technology.

If a home includes any of these upgrades (or other smart-home devices), feature them in the listing. Include the specific brand and name of the products — particularly if they’re well-known gadgets — and list their main features. Adding a few of these smart home automation tools can make an old home seem new again.

Sarah Brown is a business student with a love of outdoor adventures. You can reach her on Twitter @SarahDBrown136.

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