The smart home of tomorrow is the functional home of today. We need not wait, we need not promise, we need not predict what will be—what may be—when we know what is: that we have the means to create smart kitchens without buying new appliances, that we can improve our health and make our homes models of healthy living, that we can add value to the price of a home without spending a lot of money.
Real estate agents should champion these facts.
Real estate agents should apprise clients of these facts, so as to reveal how real estate appraisers consider these facts.
On a practical level, homeowners should invest in technology that is as substantive as it is stylish. To distinguish between the two—to know the two are not always the same—is to invest in those things people want and need.
For example: Rather than buying an appliance that is expensive but no better than the cheapest product on the market, rather than wasting an egregious sum on an everyday item—something people use every day, for years if not decades—it pays to look beyond how a product looks and feels.
Forget the logo, the badge, and the emblem. Put aside the symbols of wealth, including the status symbols that have no currency among the wise and frugal, because a homebuyer is in the market for real estate, not products worthy of a high-end estate sale.
The homebuyer has an eye for value, not personal validation.
The real estate agent, in turn, has particularly good eyesight. He sees what others do not notice; she notices what others may never see, that a costly appliance does not justify the advertised cost of a home, that the cost of an appliance does not always reduce the cost—in food and power—of running a home, that less costly products match or exceed the features of the costliest appliance.
Take, for instance, Fridge Eye: a durable, rechargeable (via USB-C), water-resistant camera that transform a refrigerator or cupboard into a smart appliance. Install the camera and download the Fridge Eye app, and streamline food shopping instantly.
I mention Fridge Eye not to tout a product, but to promote a way to shop and live more productively. I mention this fact to change the facts, because the average U.S. family throws out about $2,275 in food annually.
We cannot afford such decadence. We cannot sustain so much waste amidst so much squalor. We cannot continue to fill our stomachs and starve our souls.
We can, however, assuage our concerns.
If we concern ourselves with saving lives by saving money, if we have more money to feed the hungry and help the homeless, if we have the intelligence to know and the strength to do, if we have the smarts to apply ourselves, there will be no question about the value of smart appliances.
The expense is minimal, the total expenditure minor, the benefit of maximum importance.
The future awaits us.