TMCnet Feature
September 26, 2019

Tucson's Colin Reilly Outlines 5 Ways Technology Can Maximize the Value of Your Home

In the age of technology, a house with “smart” features, such as lighting and locks, is an important piece of criteria for home buyers. These technological details are not only aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, they often have the added benefit of being better for the environment. Buying an environmentally friendly home is of greater concern to today’s buyer, who is more eco-conscious than ever before. Beyond the environmental benefits, technology in the home has been proven to be safer. For example, unlike the smoke detectors of the past, smart smoke detectors can detect carbon monoxide, send alerts to your smartphone, identify the exact location of a fire and the severity of the smoke. They can even dispel voice instructions on how to respond to the fire. Finally, and most relevant to maximizing the value of your home, “smart” technology is cost-effective.

Colin Reilly is a Tucson-based real estate investor of over 20 years. He is the co-founder of the Tucson investment firm Townsend Kane and the previous owner of a “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise. As an expert in the real estate field, he has seen firsthand how certain technological features can increase the value of a home. Below, Colin Reilly outlines five “smart” features that can maximize the value of your home.

1. Smart Lighting

These days, smart lighting not only refers to LED light bulbs, but also to automated lighting with dimmer and sensor systems. Smart lighting allows you to easily turn off the lights and even control lights through your phone. Automated lighting has been proven to have high ROI, claims Colin Reilly. This is likely because LED bulbs use roughly 75% less energy, while a dimmer/sensor system can save you up to 60% on your monthly electricity bill. Both offer huge financial incentives for the buyer. Reilly recommends that all real estate agents use the smart lighting features of a home to their advantage, by drawing a comparison between the utility bills of a home that has smart lighting versus a home that does not.

2. Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are an important part of smart home energy management, which is of increasing importance to the consumer, explains Tucson’s Colin Reilly. Programmable thermostats are nothing new. But where smart thermostats differ is their ability to sense when people are in the home versus when the home is empty and adjust the temperature accordingly. Smart thermostats can also be programmed from your smartphone and store your usage history, so you can find out how much you used the heating or air conditioning in any given period. Overall, smart thermostats are easier to work and do the work for you.

3. Smart Locks

According to a real estate smart home marketplace survey conducted by Coldwell Banker last year, 63% of home buyers would like to find a home with smart locks. According to Tucson’s Colin Reilly, beyond simple convenience, smart locks take you and your family’s safety to a whole other level. Smart locks are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled devices that link to your smartphone, and can detect when you, or anyone else, arrives at your house. In terms of the convenience side of things, smart locks can be programmed to allow certain guests into the house, such as family members, neighbors, or repair workers, and can even be unlocked remotely.

  1. Smart Smoke Detectors

A National Fire Protection Association report from 2019 found that two thirds of all home fire fatalities were in houses with missing or disarmed smoke detectors. Many people are guilty of simply forgetting to replace the batteries in a smoke detector, or better yet, purposely removing them in a wave of frustration after your toast sets the smoke detector off for the third time that week. With a smart smoke detector, these days are gone. Smart smoke detectors have capabilities well beyond their predecessors; the most important functions of which are designed to keep you safe. Firstly, smart detectors can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. Second, they are linked to your smartphone and send you alerts if they register anything out of the ordinary. For example, it will alert you as to which alarm in your home was activated, the severity of the smoke, whether it was activated due to smoke or carbon monoxide, and even when the detector's batteries are low. Finally, smart smoke detectors, like older models, will sound an alarm when it detects a problem, but more than that, it will send an audio alert to your phone and in some cases, will even voice instructions for how to handle the fire.

  1. Solar Panels

Solar panels are a form of smart technology, and one that can significantly increase the value of a home by up to $15,000, shares Colin Reilly. According to Solar America, the installation of solar panels can save homeowners hundreds of dollars per year on utility bills. In addition, there have been recent improvements that make solar panels even “smarter” than they already are. For example, smart junction boxes now allow homeowners to monitor the performance of their solar panels and even turn off individual panels or groups of panels in cases of emergency.

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