Do Consumers Really Want Home Automation or Are They Being Sold?

It is no secret that home automation is becoming more prevalent. From Wi-Fi enabled security systems to cost-conscious HVAC systems, more and more homes are being built to accommodate the home automation craze. To understand more about why home automation is becoming more popular, it is necessary to look at who today’s home buyers are, and the factors that drive their purchasing decisions.

Shifts in Family Situations

Only a generation ago, a majority of family households included a single working parent while the other stayed home and tended to the children; cooking, cleaning and generally managing the home front. Today, it is more common for both parents to hold full-time jobs, and that means families are looking for more and more ways to save time at home without giving up the creature comforts that a well-maintained home has to offer.

Identifying Millennials as Homebuyers

As the baby boomer population reaches retirement age, millennials – people who were born after the early 1980s – are taking the reins as the leading consumers of the world. These are people who grew up with video games, home movies, computers and microwave ovens. They matured in a world where automation and electronics were a fact of life, and they embrace these factors in their homes as well as their personal lives. According to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, more than 75% of today’s first time home buyers fall into this category and welcome home automation as a means to an end.

Economic Concerns

Modern home buyers are looking to get more for their money, and stretching spending a little further. With home automation, that means setting a timer to turn on the HVAC system, or watering the lawn at optimal times.

It also means conserving power with smart lighting systems that know when to draw the shades or dim the lights. Home automation systems can pay for themselves in about a decade, resulting in increasing savings over time.

Environmental Pressures

Whether you believe in the claims of climate change or not, there is no denying that environmental concerns are shaping the way we live. Sprinkler systems and lighting controls are one aspect, but others can include automated kitchen appliances that turn themselves off when not in use, or garage doors that can sense when a resident’s car is approaching to automatically open.

In addition, automated water heaters can learn usage patterns within the home and are able to provide hot water when it is needed without wasting excess energy.

Automation Brings Convenience

In an article published last year, 5 Things Home Buyers Want In 2013, Forbes magazine online opened by pointing out that today’s families are moving away from traditional home designs that include a spacious dining area in favor of home theaters that include surround sound and other facets of home automation.

The article mentioned above stipulates that Generations X and Y demand the luxuries of automation. There’s no doubt that home automation is a key driver in these demographics.

Just as they wouldn’t think of leaving home without a Wi-Fi enabled phone, they prefer to have a home that knows their preferences and habits. Gone are the days of searching through the radio dial for the right music, because modern home automation can store each person’s favorite songs and musical tastes so that they can be called up at the touch of a button.

The ultimate conclusion is that home automation is in high demand. It may be true that home builders are pushing automation to increase the value of homes, but the simple fact is that younger home buyers are accustomed to having things easier and faster.

Our society has thrived under the promises of shorter waits, better service and immediate gratification, and home automation services are only a single example of the way that the Internet of Things is working to shape the future of technology.