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Could smart technology increase the value of your home?

By Andrew Bell

Many of us remember the novelty of clap lights – with a single clap of the hands, you could light an entire room. Not only was this endlessly entertaining for lots of kids, it was a convenient alternative to crossing the room just to hit the light switch.

Now, automation has reached new heights; forgetting to turn the lights on or off can become a thing of the past. Smart technologies have developed to include sensor-activated lighting, self-managing thermostats, intelligent locks and a whole lot more. These advancements are designed to make our home lives simpler, safer and more sustainable – three undeniably desirable qualities for a home.

With that in mind, can the inclusion of smart technologies increase the value of your Gold Coast property?

What kinds of smart home technologies are available?

Smart tech is any system that provides connectivity with personal devices and monitors activity to adapt for better, personalised performance. Here are just a few of the existing smart solutions available in today's market:

  • Thermostats: Programmable thermostats have been available for decades but the latest advancements take away the need for hands-on engagement. New thermostats are able to sense when you are away or at home to automatically adjust the temperature of your home for you. Many also provide an app interface so you can control them from a distance or select specific areas of the home to heat (or cool).
  • Smoke detectors: These could not only save you money on insurance but save your life. Many of us could claim we've disabled smoke alarms in our homes at some point due to oversensitive sensors. Smart smoke detectors will not only monitor the smoke, but carbon dioxide and air quality to ensure that your home is safely habitable and no false alarms are raised. Better yet, some will even send notifications to your smart phones so that you're alerted of issues while you're away as soon as possible.
  • Solar panels: Installing your very own solar panels can save you or future buyers money on energy bills in the long-run. Recent models also include app-enabled functions which allow users to shut off and activate modules to meet energy demands or protect junction boxes during emergencies.

Should I invest in smart home technologies for my home's resale?

Return on investment is something that can rarely be guaranteed when it comes to renovations. Just as you can't be sure your kitchen rework will add value, you should always be prepared to find that your smart home upgrades don't add thousands to your home's resale price.

That said, there is evidence to suggest that the inclusion of smart technologies in your property could attract more people to your home and promote faster turnaround. Even if monetary ROI is not guaranteed, smart technologies may have a positive influence on the appeal of a home, reports global tech publication CNET. A whopping 81 per cent of respondents to their survey claimed they would be more likely to buy a home that was already equipped with smart technology. Simply put, most high-tech home features will add a surefire "wow" factor to your property which could be the thing that seals the deal.

However, not all smart solutions are made equal. The most desirable technologies are those that improve security or contribute to energy efficiency, according to Scripps Networks Interactive. The same research found that most consumers would look to the kitchen as the first spot in the home to install smart tech such as WiFi-connected refrigerators and app-enabled appliances.

If you're installing tech for the sole purpose of preparing for resale, remember to think more about what potential buyers may want rather than your own needs. For example, if you're selling in an area popular for young families, tech that will save them money in the long-term may be more appealing. Meanwhile, in areas with an older population, too much smart tech may actually be a deterrent. 

For personalised guidance in preparing your home for the market, get in touch with the team here at Ray White Surfers Paradise. We'll be happy to help you along your real estate journey.

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