Smart home technology increases in prevalence, accessibility

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As smart home technology becomes more and more standard, several home builders in the Cy-Fair area have begun incorporating technology into all of their new homes that are designed to increase security and comfort.

McGuyer Homebuilders—which has homes underway in the Alden Woods, Bridgeland, Bridlecreek, Towne Lake and Enclave at Longwood communities—is the first company to implement smart home technology systems across all the homes it builds, CEO Gary Tesch said. The standard smart home package is based on buyer requests that have been made over the last several years, he said, including the ability to lock and unlock doors, activate alarm systems and control lights at the push of a button.

Walter Draughn, the sales counselor for Highland Homes and employee owner for the Valencia at Rock Creek community, said customers are mainly interested in technology that can provide additional home security and integrate wireless capabilities across appliances. Devices from garage doors to microwaves can be synced through Wi-Fi to let a resident control them remotely, he said. It is also possible to integrate the technology into preowned homes; any residence with fiber optic cables is conducive to using it, he said.

McGuyer homes come standard with a package that Tesch said is valued at $2,000 to $3,000 and can be upgraded to include more features, such as additional smart door locks and lights. Buyers typically purchase between $2,000 and $10,000 in additional features, particularly in audio and visual upgrades, he said.

The “brain” of the system, designed by Control4 Home Automation, communicates with all devices through a mobile app or remote, he said. The technology can be integrated into a buyer’s daily routine, Tesch said, giving the example of the “good morning” command. When the system hears those words, certain lights turn on, the thermostat temperature is adjusted, the television or stereo can power on to a specific channel, and traffic and weather reports are read aloud. Travelers can turn lights on and off remotely or lock and unlock the doors for a pet or house sitter.

“We’ve given them the brains of the system and … the key components, but then they can customize to how they live best,” he said.

This article is a part of a series on real estate trends in the Cy-Fair area. View more trends here to view our other real estate content.

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