Mathematicians and nitpickers tell us that the next decade doesn’t “officially” begin until Jan. 1 2021, but most people view the first day of 2020 as the kickoff of the next 10-year time period. What does that mean for your home? It’s a good chance you need to examine the state of your abode’s technology and make sure everything is up to date. Are your kitchen appliances “smart”? Do you have a security system that can actually deter criminals? Is your home safe for older folks who have mobility challenges according to a future-proofing home elevators post? Finally, are you willing to do what it takes to cut down on energy usage?
All those questions and many more, pertain to getting your home in tune for the 2020s. Real estate professionals refer to the process as “future-proofing” the structure to make its long-term resale value rise with inflation. Owners who fail to make the proper upgrades risk a decline in value that could eat in to the potential sales price a decade or more from now. What can the average homeowner do to future-proof a house? Industry gurus say there are four key things to look at.
Some of the most important advances in home tech will be in the area of energy efficiency. Things like solar panels, smart power systems, water utilization programs, electricity management and others will mean lower utility bills for homeowners and a much lower rate of energy usage for entire communities. Even low-tech items like smart thermostats have the potential to reduce overall home electric usage by as much as 20 percent. And that’s just one appliance in one category. Whole-house “smart” grid systems can do even more. It’s possible that the average home in the year 2030 will consume, on average, about one-fourth as much energy as today’s homes consume.
Safety for Old and Young
In-home accidents, mostly due to falls, cause thousands of serious injuries each year. The two most susceptible populations are very young children and senior citizens. Not surprisingly, these two groups of people have frail or underdeveloped bone structures. That means a typical “slip and fall” incident that might have no effect on a healthy young adult could be a serious occurrence for an elderly person or very small child.
Many newer homes are addressing this concern by including home elevators in original home designs. Other homeowners are opting to install in-home elevators for purposes of safety and to boost resale value. Houses with elevators regularly bring higher bids when they go on the market, as opposed to homes that don’t have elevators.
Security system enhancements are an exciting new area of technology for homes. Owners are opting for items like all-around surveillance cameras, smart doors and windows, hard-to-defeat alarm networks that create lots of noise and alert the local police at the same time.
High-tech materials that stop house fires before they get out of control will mean lower insurance rates for homeowners who use them. Many new homes are being designed to be not only fire-resistant but truly fireproof.