Maybe not as important as we are lead to believe with all the gadgets now available from video doorbells to remotely controlled smart refrigerators. A 2018 survey by the National Association of Home Builders ranked security cameras as the most desirable of all technology features, followed by a video doorbell. I have recently had both installed so I am part of the almost 50% of home owners/buyers who are concerned about security which is a national trend. So its no surprise that three out of the four most desired features are directly related to security. Can you guess which is the fourth? It is a feature that helps owners run their homes more efficiently by automatically adjusting room temperatures, based on the use and time of day. In other words, a programmable thermostat which 44% of buyers want. Think ‘the nest’ which I had installed a couple of years ago and am still trying to figure out how to make it work! That’s about as far as my investment in home technology goes. I do not have a voice activated assistant or a remotely controlled smart oven. But some tech savvy homeowners/buyers are also interested in lighting control systems, remotely controlled washer/dryers, even a charging station for their electric car. But would you be surprised to know that 30% of homeowners have no technology?
Over the past eleven years, technology features in a new home have gone from zero to almost 50% on the new buyer wish list. But, you might also be surprised to know that millennials are not necessarily the ones for more pushing technology features. Different generations have different interests in technology. For example, only 29% of millennials are interested in multi-zone HVAC system, energy management system display and only 34% are interested in lighting control system. Seniors, on the other end of the generational divide, are more interested in a lighting control system, energy management and here is one that I thought everyone had forgotten about—a central vacuum system.
One reason why millennials may not be as interested in technology features in their home is affordability. Seniors expect to pay more for their home and have more financial resources while millennials struggle with student debt and finding or saving funds for the down payment. It’s not that they don’t want the savvy smart home, it’s that they can’t yet afford it.