Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Greenwich Smart Homes Aren't Such A Dumb Idea


With cars, TVs—even watches—getting connected through WiFi and wireless telephones, it’s small wonder that “Smart Homes” in Greenwich are gaining popularity. According to Forbes, companies offering smart homes technology will be a $35.6 billion industry within just three years. They already offer Greenwich homeowners an array of connected appliances, security systems and even HVAC systems.
From what I’ve seen, their marketing has highlighted the convenience factor—but if that seems to be more sizzle than steak, here are some surprisingly substantial reasons why you might consider upgrading your own place into a smart home:
Your current security system gives you peace of mind whenever you’re out of town. But have you ever wondered whether you remembered to lock the back door? Smart homes let you click a function on your phone that commands the home to lock itself! The same app can also send you a live video feed of the interior and exterior of your home.
In addition to securing the premises, smart homes can help prevent home accidents. Smart appliances can be controlled via mobile apps which allow you to turn off ovens, stovetops, microwaves and even washing machines from anywhere you establish a WiFi connection. This minimizes the risk of the kind of home fires that can be caused by unattended appliances. (If you’re thinking that homeowner insurance premium discounts may soon be offered for connected homes: the Wall Street Journal reports that they already are!)
Major manufacturers GE, LG and Samsung have introduced complete lines of connected appliances controlled via mobile phone, eliminating the need to physically get up to adjust settings. Think how, especially for the elderly and handicapped, this would meaningfully enhance their quality of life—maybe even extending their ability to live at home without assistance. For all age brackets, being able to effortlessly control lighting, heating and air conditioning at the touch of a device screen will inevitably result in practical energy savings; and that raises perhaps the most important selling point for smart homes technology—

Increasing the value of  homes when they come up for sale. The practicality of smart homes is already especially appealing to the growing number of tech-savvy buyers.  My experience and work in interior design, listening to what Greenwich homeowners are seeing as important, as well as hearing what tech features are most valued by today’s buyers, is information that can be helpful if you are contemplating putting your house on the market.  Contact information: Rkencel@houlihanlawrence.com

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