After living in a home for a few years, it’s not uncommon to begin considering an upgrade. The question is: Do you want to renovate in place or move into a new home that better fits what you need? That question can also get more complicated when one has a desire to make their home a smart home, which we highly recommend.
Selling can be time-consuming and expensive, but living in a construction zone isn’t fun either. The good news is that some upgrades, particularly many smart home improvements, can be made with minimal fuss. It’s expected that 28% of homes will be smart homes by 2021.
So should you upgrade your dwelling to become a smart home or look to buy one already outfitted? Here’s what to consider.
Currently, home inventory is at historic lows. That means it can be challenging to find a home to purchase, and those available often get multiple offers. Because of the low inventory, home prices are high as well. It can be a battle to win the bid for a home.
Many of the homes being built are higher-end, which is typically good news if you’re looking for smart home features. However, that also means they are expensive.
Of course, if you’re planning to buy an upgraded home, the current housing market means it will may be much easier to get top dollar when you sell your current property. Just be careful not to get caught in a quick sale without any place lined up to move into.
What’s Your Financial Situation?
Understanding your finances will also help you decide whether to buy a newer house or upgrade your current one.
How is your credit? It can be challenging to buy a home if you have bad or no credit. On the other hand, if you have excellent credit, you can take advantage of some of the lowest mortgage rates in quite a few years. In fact, over the past year alone Freddie Mac says rates have dropped one full percentage point, making a huge reduction in monthly payments.
Another idea is to save up money over time to enhance your property. This allows you to make improvements slowly, making it easier to live in your home during the process. You can also look at financing smart home upgrades.
Managing your finances is an essential part of choosing how to improve your home.
Consider Your Needs
What, exactly, do you want to change about your home? For instance, beyond your desire for smart home features, do you need significantly more space for a growing family? If that’s the case, pursuing the path to a new home may be the just the ticket.
On the other hand, if your space basically works well and you determine a full renovation or expansion isn’t needed, then investing in smart home technology may make the most sense.
Whether the time to move on is now or later, smart home updates can improve your chance of getting top dollar once you put the home on the market.
Smart Home Features to Look For
Whether you elect to buy a new place or update your current house, it pays to know what smart home technology is the most popular and useful today.
One of the first things many homeowners invest in is their thermostat. A smart thermostat allows you to control the temperature remotely and lets you create an automatic schedule as well. Raising and lowering your thermostat strategically depending on whether you are home or away can save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.
Security is becoming increasingly prevalent, so a large number homeowners look for a smart video doorbell when they renovate or buy a new home. These doorbells allow you to see who is at your door and record activity to review later. They are also a godsend for making your package deliveries more secure, and can even notify you the moment a package is dropped on the doorstep.
The same goes for security systems, whether it is a DIY system like those from SimpliSafe or a more traditional professionally-installed system like those from ADT. Either way, these systems can be configured to automatically notify local emergency services in the event of a break-in or fire, whether you are at home or not.
Smart speakers and smart displays are another wise and versatile buy, whether they use the Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant digital voice assistants. These allow you to control other devices with a simple voice command, while still enabling app-based controls and myriad automations.
Finally, think about getting smart plugs and lights. Smart plugs allow any device to become easily accessible through voice command technology. Smart lights can be set to automatically turn off and on based on simple home and away routines.
Also, consider device portability. In many cases, today’s smart home technology can be easily packed up and moved to a new home when the time is right. However, smart features such as automated window coverings are typically sized and tailored for specific windows and can’t be easily moved. The same goes for built-in smart appliances such as smart ovens.
Get a Smart Home Your Way
Whether you choose to upgrade your current property or buy a new smart home, today’s smart technology makes sense and is becoming mainstream. These devices make life easier and can help you stay both organized and safe.
Voice commands through smart speakers can help those with mobility issues or disabilities continue to live independently. On top of that, managing lights, temperature, and more through automation helps you live energy-efficiently and saves money.
Only you can determine whether it makes sense to upgrade in place or buy a new home. Either way, there are many benefits to embracing smart technology.
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn't searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.