Should I invest in a “smart” home?
Is living “smart” interesting for me, and do I really need a smart home?
Whereas 5 years ago, the term “smart home” was mainly used by professionals, we can now see that it has found its way in the vocabulary of the end users. With the new term, also the question “what do I need a smart home for?” has to be answered by all providers on a regular basis. This article will try to make you understand that an investment in a smart home is useful and why this can also apply to even a 3-bedroom apartment.
The usual first step in order to have your questions answered… “What does the internet say?”
Ask 10 questions and you get 10 different answers by people of different backgrounds. Same is the case when you ask the internet, whether a smart home is the right or wrong choice for you.
In the article by Will Forsey, who asked the question “Do You Need A Smart Home?,” he focused on the following aspects:
- Your home utility costs being out of control
- You being frequently away from your home or property [needing automatic functions to simulate presence + remote control]
- Weather in your area being unpredictable.
- You want to save [decreasing utility bills and insurance discounts].
If at least one of these points addresses you, Forsey encourages to invest in a smart home!
Other articles suggest that the requirements for a smart home are already given. Almost everybody has a smartphone running on either Google, Apple or Samsung and everyone has access to the internet at home. The installation of a smart home is not complicated and even ‘dummies’ can do it.
So, assuming that one of the points that Forsey mentioned in his article is applicable to you and the installation of a smart home can even be done by dummies, what prevents you from proceeding with turning your home into a smart home?
Internet research vs. Reality
As with many articles on the internet, the written text just represents a fraction of the bigger picture. This is the case with the above article, which focuses on the Canadian market and many of the benefits, which he identified might not be applicable to you. And the installation for dummies becomes trickier, when you consider alone that on the cover we already see the term “short-distance wireless protocol” and the excerpt points out that you need two broadband connections at home and the – so the installation is not necessarily for ‘dummies’ but more for people with an affection for electric appliances.
But what is the right perspective in order to answer the question, whether I need a smart home and the investment makes sense?
“The smart home has to adapt to you and not the other way around”
The tough part in order to be able to answer the question, whether you need a smart home or not, is to see the all-encompassing picture of opportunities a smart home can offer you. At the same time, we need to know, which solutions can offer an increased comfort to our life.
Basically, what we need to understand is in which areas a smart home will make our life easier, which is a tough task. For this, a system integrator near you can help you with identifying your needs and pointing out your individual benefits such as:
- Increased comfort
- Energy savings
- Sustainability of your real estate
- Increased value
- Higher sophistication of your home
Investment – Outcome
The final answer has to come from you by having a look at the ratio “Investment – Outcome.” A smart home requires an investment, which can reach unknown heights. However, what is also unknown is that you can already have basic smart home installations for around €1,000 which already add benefits to your home. Depending on your individual needs, the extra investment can already be worthwhile, when you do not have to worry about lowering the shutters, switching off the lights in the whole home, or having forgotten about the stove plate (just a few examples of smart home solutions).
Extra functions in cars are commonly spread, such as parking cameras and heated seats, for which most of us are willing to pay extra money. The same is not possible for your home to make your home more inviting not only to your guests, but also to you.
The final question, which can only be answered by you is: “Is this investment in the smart home worth the outcome?”
It’s no surprise that an investment in a smart home will add benefits to your home. The challenge is however to understand what functions and solutions should be taken care of and invested in. Only then the investment would focus on the desired solutions and make fully sense. In order to help you explore the full potential of a smart home, a professional system integrator can help you understand how the individual installation could make your home more comfortable, increase the value of your property and get rid of your everyday worries.
Smart homes, using open standards, such as KNX, can already be installed for a little extra money, which could start at a range of 1 or 2% of your real estate investment, but increase the overall resell-value tremendously.
In short: An investment in a smart home, no matter if retro-fitting or as part of your smart home investment is more than just a topic to look at, it should strongly be taken into consideration.
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