By Al Ricci
First and foremost, consider your target buyer. A smart home may not be of any value to the buyer who has to call his grandkids to open the front door.
Also consider that while “smart homes” may be appealing to buyers, they present an opportunity for “hackers” to gain access to your home.
The benefit of the technology is that it is convenient to remotely turn on your lights and security system, or set the temperature of your home on your way back from work. Smart appliances can start dinner, and have it table-ready upon your arrival, or have your coffee brewed before you wake up in the morning.
The security features of a “smart home” (cameras, Ring) can let you know who is at your door, porch or yard from wherever you are, at home or away.
If you are selling a “smart home,” be prepared to instruct and provide the passcodes before escrow closes.
To make systems more secure, California has passed SB-327, which goes into effect on Jan. 1. It requires smart device manufacturers selling systems in California to design their products with security features that will deter security breaches.
According to a recent article published by the California Association of Realtors, there are four precautions any homeowner should take to prevent breaches:
1. Change the default password. If a hacker picks 1234 to get into your house, you probably should not have an electronic security device.
2. Do not use the same passcode for everything. Change it up so that one breach does not lead to another.
3. Keep the security system updated. Many manufacturers change the system because of security issues they discover after the system is sold.
4. Secure your wireless router. Use a strong password and a wpa2 encryption instead of wep. Also give your router an obscure name that makes it harder for hackers to gain entrry from personal information.
In the future, all homes will have some elements of smart technology, from appliances, to switches, to entire home systems. Today’s “home of the future” will be outdated very soon, as technology improves. Keeping up usually requires a sizeable investment. If you believe you are going to benefit from the devices, then you should install them. But to sell the home, you must weigh the cost versus the benefit to the new owner.
Should you invest in making your home smart?