Updated: Feb 6, 2019
There are major advantages to buying a smart home or investing in making your current home, smart.
A recent study showed that criminals looking to break into a home, are looking for the path of least resistance. You can literally drive through neighborhoods now, and see from the comforts of your car if that house has a "video doorbell". Those video doorbells, store footage of motion, regardless of whether the doorbell has been rung or not. In many cases they can also alert the neighbors in the surrounding area with the same doorbell system if someone is hanging around the neighborhood that shouldn't be!
For Christmas, I purchased a Nest Hello Doorbell, and my mother purchased the Ring Doorbell. While each has its own perks, both doorbells give crystal clear footage of our respective front doors, stoop, front yard, and street in front of our houses - day or night. One reason I love my Nest doorbell is it has a feature that can recognize faces - and it will announce who is at the door through my Alexa if it is a recognized face! Let's just say I order a LOT from Amazon, and its 1 of 2 people each time they deliver. When I'm home alone - this makes me feel comfortable knowing who is at my front door.
On top of the doorbell - both brands (and many others) offer home security systems. They both have DIY installs with monthly subscription plans to monitor your home. Along with smart deadbolts, alarms, motion detectors, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, broken glass detectors, etc. Everything hooked directly to alert your smart devices!
2. Cost Savings
Thermostats - Utility Bills
Proven cost savings with smart thermostats like those from Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee, which can determine when you are home and away and also allow you to make adjustments remotely, with your smart phone. I LOVE the Nest Learning Thermostat. It has learned my husband and I's habits when we get home, and what temperatures we like when we go to sleep, etc. It is AMAZING!
According to a Nest study, the company's smart thermostat saved consumers on average 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, that translates to an average savings of $131 to $145 a year, which would mean this smart device (which costs $249) can pay for itself in less than two years.
Best thing is - I was able to install the Nest Thermostat all by myself with help from the app! And it works with my Alexa and Google home! I often get into bed, and wonder what the temperature is - and all I have to do is ask! And I can adjust the temperature from the comfort of my warm bed! There really is no reason NOT to update your thermostats to be smart!
Security Systems - Insurance
Most insurance companies will give you at least a 5-10% discount on your mortgage insurance if you have an alarm system active on the house. Think about it - the more protected you are, the less likely you are going to need to use your insurance! It benefits both parties!
Smart Appliances - Water
According to Consumer Reports, water-efficient laundry machines use about 13 gallons or less for an 8-pound load—half the 26 gallons sucked down by a regular washer. We have a smart Samsung Washer and dryer we bought when we moved in - but we don't know what the bills would be without it.
Let's be honest... this really is the most important reason for making your home smart! I can let in the dog walker with my smart deadbolt (Nest), tell the delivery guy to leave the package at the door with my doorbell (Nest), change the temperature so that it is 72 degrees (Nest) and start the dryer (Samsung) so my sheets are warm and ready to go on the bed when I arrive home - all from work!
My husband also has a "distracted" mind and often leaves the garage door open when he leaves for work. Now, because we bought a device to make our garage door smart - and it reminds him he left it open, and he can shut it when he's approximately at the highway - instead of turning around and coming back to check on it.
4. Peace of Mind
Another great thing about having a smart house is having peace of mind that everything is going smoothly at your house, when you aren't there (and lets be real - even when you are).
I find myself checking in on my security camera to look in on my dogs, double checking to make sure the doors are locked, garage is closed, etc. I also used to HATE when my doorbell rang if I wasn't expecting someone, especially if I was home alone! When the dogs start to bark, and you've binge watched too many scary shows on Netflix... it makes you feel good when you can check your locks, cameras, door to see who is around. It also makes me feel safe, that my husband is also getting the same alerts when he is away, and can see any interactions I make at the doorway.
I also love the fact that most of these smart systems now have smoke, carbon monoxide, and water detectors that will alert your phones with any increase. Having one of these in your nursery/child's room can really give you peace of mind to detect things that you can't and alert you to anything that isn't right.
5. Act as your own personal Assistant
Cooking has become so much easier for me thanks to Alexa! I always had a hard time getting all my food to be finished at the same time - trying to use every timer possible to time my food cooking! Now - I just have to tell Alexa "Set a timer for the Meat for 30 Minutes... Set a timer for the potatoes 45 minutes". It is a game-changer for me. On top of that - I am the WORST grocery shopper of ALL time. Honestly - we bought a smart fridge so I could see the inside of my fridge so I would stop buying things we already had (I was gonna leave that smart option - although it is amazing also). I literally am able to tell Alexa as I use the last of some ingredient - "Alexa add Olive Oil to my shopping list".
On top of the timers, grocery lists, and kitchen uses... she also has been set up to wake me up telling me the traffic on my way to work, the weather, any big news story, and any meeting I have on my calendar for the day! Let me tell you - she's amazing.
Best of all - she can control every single device I talked about above - and more. She controls my lights, my coffee, my tv - I'm just waiting for a car company to add Alexa to our cars!