Smart home technology increases in prevalence, accessibility

Smart home technology increases in prevalence, accessibility

Smart home technology increases in prevalence, accessibility

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.
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.


Construction will be underway at Alys Crossing through March 2021. (Rendering courtesy Willowick Residential)
Units begin opening at Alys Crossing off Fry Road in Cypress

The new development joins several other multifamily projects that have opened or will open in the Cy-Fair area this summer.

The number of deaths reported has been declining for the past three week, according to the Texas Medical Center. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center: COVID-19 hospitalizations down 10% since Aug. 3

The number of deaths reported has been declining for the past three week, according to the Texas Medical Center.

Several Cy-Fair ISD teachers spoke before the board about their concerns with reopening schools this fall at the board's Aug. 6 meeting. (Courtesy Cy-Fair AFT)
Cy-Fair ISD officials respond to teacher concerns at Aug. 6 board meeting

Teachers at last night's board expressed health concerns around schools reopening, saying if students have the choice to learn remotely, teachers should be able to opt to teach from home.

Harris County leaders discussed this week whether to raise or lower property taxes. (Courtesy Fotolia)
UPDATED: Harris Co. commissioners eyeing property tax rates

This article was updated Aug. 8 to clarify that an 8% tax rate increase is not considered to be on the table by commissioners.

A mother and daughter visit at Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care in Conroe earlier in the pandemic. (Courtesy Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care)
Texas allows limited visitations to nursing homes, long-term care facilities

Facilities that meet the requirements will allow limited visitations, but you still will not be able to hug or kiss your loved one.

HomeAid Houston partnered with Boys and Girls Country to open three cottages in Hockley. (Courtesy Boys and Girls Country)
Builders partner to serve homeless population through nonprofit HomeAid Houston

Since launching in 2003, the organization has helped provide 20,000 beds for homeless individuals in the Houston area.

Cy-Fair ISD will offer in-person instruction in addition to a learning-from-home option in 2020-21. (Design by Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Most Cy-Fair ISD students opting for virtual instruction in 2020-21 according to early survey results

Initial survey results are in, but parents have until Aug. 25 to complete the questionnaire or change their original learning method selection.

The farm-to-table restaurant plans to create 90 jobs and offer familiar American meals. (Courtesy Whiskey Cake)
Whiskey Cake restaurant to open in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Cypress Christian School is located on Cypress North Houston Road in the Cy-Fair area. (Courtesy Cypress Christian School)
Cypress Christian School prepares to start 2020-21 school year Aug. 13

With plans to open next week, Executive Director Jeff Potts said the school’s admissions office has been busier than ever heading into a unique school year.

Visitors line up in front of Northwest Assistance Ministries to request rental assistance. (Courtesy Northwest Assistance Ministries)
Northwest Assistance Ministries now accepting online applications for rental, mortgage assistance

According to the release, NAM officials will randomly select 100 applicants every Thursday afternoon from the correctly completed online applications and contact those individuals to schedule an appointment.