What Is A Smart Home? Are They Hot or Not?

Smart Home

Smart homes are hot right now in residential real estate. Recent consumer polling data shows that buyers are willing to pay more for a smart home.  A survey of nearly 22,000 prospective buyers conducted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting earlier this year found that buyers are prepared to pay thousands of dollars for smart home products.

What is a Smart Home?

What is a Smart Home? There has been some confusion among both real estate professionals and the public.

CNET.com defines a smart homes as a that which is, “equipped with network-connected products (also known as smart home products connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or similar protocols) for controlling, automating, and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety, or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer, or a separate system within the home itself.”

In order to be recognized as a smart home, the property must have a smart security feature that either controls access or monitors the property or a smart temperature feature, in addition to a reliable Internet connection. It must also include at least two additional features, from this list:

  • Lighting (smart light bulbs and lighting systems)
  • Safety (smart fire/carbon monoxide detectors, and nightlights)
  • Entertainment (smart TVs and TV streaming services)
  • Heating/Cooling (smart HVAC system, smart fans, or vents)
  • Outdoors (smart plant sensors and watering systems)
  • Security (smart locks, smart alarm systems, or cameras)
  • Temperature (smart thermostats)
  • Appliances (smart refrigerators and smart washer/dryers)

Currently, less than one percent of homes fit the smart home definition. However, experts predict that applications of home technology will climb to a $71 billion dollar market by 2020, an increase of nearly 30 percent. Although it may cost more at the outset, smart home systems can provide long-term savings by adjusting the house temperature based on the homeowner’s lifestyle, saving as much as 20 percent on the homeowner’s heating and cooling bills.

HGTV’s Smart Home in Raleigh

Smart Home Thermostats

The HGTV Smart Home 2016 contains three Nest brand smart thermostats.

This year,  HGTV selected Homes by Dickerson to build the “HGTV Smart Home 2016”.   The home features the latest in remote control features such as appliances, window coverings, built-in charging stations, a house-wide audio system, and skylights. This home helped peak interest in smart homes nationwide, especially since HGTV was giving the home away. (Theresa Smith of Glenwood, Maryland, was the lucky winner).

According to Ron Reinbaum, Senior Vice President of home promotions for Scripps Networks, Smart Homes are here to stay, and not just for the well-to-do. “Costs vary widely by product, builder, and region, but rest assured there is smart home technology to fit just about any budget,” he said. “Whether you’re building a new home from the ground up or retro-fitting an existing home, the resulting energy efficiency helps offset the cost of going with the upgraded technology. And the good news is that, just like any new technology, it becomes more and more affordable as time goes on and additional options hit the market.”

To learn more about Smart Homes and explore a “living lab,”, visit CNET.com.  If you are thinking about building or buying a smart home, contact us today at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected]. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.