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Smart home, smart investment?

Dear Renovating Realtor, I am a bit of a techie and I am considering taking the plunge into home automation, any recommendations and does this add value to my home?  Sincerely Swarslover5

Hey Star Wars lover, home automation is very cool!  I myself have a lot of devices and enjoy them very much.  There are a lot of cool gadgets that can take care of tasks around the home, especially if you forget to do something like shut the garage door. 

I am a big fan of smart thermostats, they are a great way to ensure you are maximizing the use of your home HVAC system while you are home and help you save money when you are not.  My favorite aspect is that I can control my HVAC system from my phone.  For example, when I was at the cottage this summer  before I headed home I turned on the AC before I hit the road so my home was nice and cool when I got home.  The best part is that while my family and I were gone for two weeks, the system was not turned on which saved us money.  Smart thermostats are a bit expensive; however, there always seems to be rebates you can apply for that will help with cost.

The next product I would recommend is not necessarily ‘home automation’, but LED lighting.  LED’s last a very long time and use minimal power.  They really help with the electric bill.  Switching your whole home over to LED’s is a bit pricey; however, you see savings on your electric bill overtime and eventually they pay for themselves.  

Now does home automation add value to your home?  Not really…. The reason being is that most of the items that automate your home can be taken with you when you move.  Now there are exceptions to this.  If you spend around 20-50k for a true home automation system, meaning that everyone in the home has a special fob that when they swipe it the home changes completely to their personal preferences, then that can add value since that is very particular and high end.  But having things to turn the lights on and off, open and close your garage and water your plants are fun to have, but they do not really enhance your property value.  The value you will see is in your pocket book with savings on utilities and allowing you to free your mind of little tasks that would otherwise keep you from your day to day activities.  May the force be with you.