You know you can equip your house with a lot of the latest tech stuff. For example, you can close or open your garage door via an app on your phone and turn down the A/C as you drive home from anywhere. You can turn interior lights on, monitor and engage your security system, see who's ringing the door bell while you are in Europe.
It’s all part of a smart-home revolution, introducing us to new electronic improvements at a fast pace. Here's a list of some of devices that are dropping in price and increasing in availability. Many of the new items can be installed yourself .
Wi-Fi/smart thermostats – As you probably already know, you can have electronic thermostats in your home to let you turn on the heat or the air conditioning from your car or your office on a phone, pc or a tablet. These “stats” come with at many price levels; the best ones seem to be priced from $250 to $300.
Electronic door locks – These locks can make doors easy to open in-person or at a distance using a smart phone, tablet or computer. Several manufacturers have produced deadbolts that automatically lock or unlock when a four-digit user code is entered. Temporary pass codes can be given to visitors, family, and neighbors and then erased later. No more fumbling in your pocket or purse for a key. The basic cost can be about $120 to $200 for each device. There is no hard-wiring; they run on batteries. If the batteries die, there is a backup key-way.
Home security cameras – You can set these up on or near a doorway to alert you via your phone or tablet when someone is at your door or when there is movement inside a room of your house when it’s supposed to be empty. It’s also a way to tell if your kids got home safely from school or the housecleaners arrived. You might also want one in a room where your children are playing or doing homework so you can check on them from a home office. You can rerun the footage later to see what activity happened during the day at your house. Cost of the devices range from $150 to $200 but there can be an annual fee.
Parental control devices – You can program TVs, video games and other devices to play for a set amount of time each day. A child gets a pass code, and once he or she enters the code, a countdown timer begins. When the timer hits zero, the device shuts off. Most of these devices are already available in your cable system or your new flat-screen TV. It’s just a matter of getting out the manuals, reading them and using the right remote control.
Closing and opening the garage door – You can spend $150 to almost $300 on a garage door opener with smart phone capabilities so that you can open or close that door from almost anywhere. You can even get alerts electronically whenever the status of your garage door changes. Those prices don’t include installation.
If any smart-house devices are grabbing your attention, you need to do some serious research before you buy. Because the overall technology is still new, go online and check out all the comments about what can go right – or wrong with the equipment you are about to buy. There may be some drawbacks to many devices that you should know about. For example, some comments online say it can be hard to program those smart deadbolt locks with your code. Other buyers complained that there were too many alerts and alarms with the video cameras. Every time the dog walked by in the living room, their smart phones went “Ping.”
Richard Bazinet - Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate
Smart Phoenix Scottsdale Homes