Does your dream home have smart appliances on every counter? Do you dream of living in an automated smart home that makes your life easier, does chores for you, and saves you time? If so, you’re not alone. A growing number of Americans use smart home technology every day and 57% say smart tech saves them at least 30 minutes per day.
If you’re aiming to build a home with every smart appliance and gadget you can find, it’s going to cost you a chunk of change. It’s not cheap to furnish a home from scratch. In addition to paying your mortgage, you’ll be spending a large amount of money on décor, furniture, and appliances. If you want an IoT connected car to match, you’ll be looking at another exceptionally large monthly payment.
To create an automated smart home, you’ll need more money than you’d normally expect. Thankfully, some of the funds you’ll need can be acquired through crowdfunding, but not in the traditional way. There’s a special crowdfunding hack available specifically for home buyers and we’ll get to that in a minute. First, let’s look at what it can cost to acquire basic smart appliances.
Be prepared: automated smart homes are expensive
Unless you’re exceptionally lucky and someone finances your smart home, you can’t buy or build it without a significant amount of money. First you have to cover the cost of your home before you can even think about buying anything that goes inside.
When you use a home loan calculator to figure out how much your estimated monthly mortgage payments will be, you’re going to realize really fast that you’ll be making mortgage payments for a while. You’ll also notice the amount of interest you’ll pay will be almost half of the loan amount. You never want to fall behind on your mortgage payments because the end result is possible foreclosure. You’ll need to balance the acquisition of smart appliances with your mortgage payments so you don’t fall behind.
Balance the acquisition of smart appliances with mandatory payments
If you have to take out a loan to buy smart appliances, make sure you can realistically pay it back without forking over too much interest. You’re already paying plenty of interest on your mortgage. The best course of action is to balance your acquisition of smart appliances with your existing monthly payment obligations (like credit card debt and your mortgage). Realistically, how much can you afford to set aside each month for smart tech? If you have yet to purchase your home, you’re not ready to buy smart appliances just yet.
First things first: get your down payment together, estimate your monthly bills, and then budget for smart tech purchases. When you’re trying to create a smart home, the name of the game is to save money in every way possible. Every dollar you save in one area is a dollar you can throw toward a smart washer and dryer or a smart refrigerator.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could save money on your down payment and put it toward your first smart appliance? What if you could cover your down payment without taking out a loan?
It’s common for first-time home buyers to take out a loan just to get started. However, there is a better way. Today, you can crowdfund just about everything, including a down payment on your first home. Although it’s not perfect, it will give you a head start at getting your down payment without having to pay interest, fees, and taxes. All the fees you would have paid can be used to buy your first smart appliance.
Crowdfund the down payment on your dream home (yes, really)
Let’s face it, home loans are expensive and working a regular job isn’t going to make a big dent in your payments. You’ll probably be paying off your loan for 30 years like the rest of society. However, in recent years people have been using crowdfunding for everything, including generating a down payment for their home.
The mortgage lender CMG Financial recently launched a specialized crowdfunding platform called HomeFundIt that allows aspiring homeowners to crowdsource their down payment without having to pay fees and taxes on the money they’re given. Just like other crowdfunded projects, you tell your story and share your dreams and people can contribute to your dream in whatever amount they want. You can raise money from friends, family, social media followers, and even strangers. If you have a popular YouTube channel, you’ll probably have no issue generating the funds you need.
As a bonus, the HomeFundIt platform offers a grant opportunity to eligible first-time home buyers. The company will provide $1 for every $1 raised on the platform for up to 1% of the purchase price of your home. This grant is intended to help first-time home buyers cover their closing costs.
Saving money on your down payment means more money for smart gadgets
The more money you save in taxes, fees, and interest, the more money you’ll have to throw at the latest smart home appliances. For example, imagine having an unexpected several thousand dollars to spend on top-of-the-line luxury smart appliances like LG’s InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator that reveals its contents when you knock on the door. These refrigerators cost between $3,000-$6,000. If you’re looking to splurge, one of these refrigerators would be a good place to start.
if you’re going to create a smart home from top to bottom, you’ll need money for both major and minor appliances. In addition to a refrigerator, you’ll need a smart washer and dryer, and you may even want to buy a smart bed that keeps you cool all night long.
If you like to cook, prepare to spend some money on a range oven with dual-stacked, sealed burners that offer a variety of cooking methods. For example, one luxury range made by Wolf has the power of a microwave, convection oven, and broiler. There are 12 different preset cooking modes that make it easy to dial in the perfect cooking experience. Another appliance made by the same company includes a refrigerator with three separate temperature zones inside to keep food fresh according to specific needs. For example, the crisper drawers aren’t as cold but provide high humidity that prevents bacteria and mold.
Minor appliances and gadgets won’t cost as much, but are equally necessary. You’ll want gadgets like:
- A smart thermostat
- A smart system that controls your lights
- A smart coffee maker
- A smart microwave or toaster oven
- A smart home assistant and extra speakers (perhaps even connected to surround sound)
- A smart home security monitoring system
- A smart digital faucet
- A smart hot plate
These are just a handful of the potential smart devices on the market.
A smart home requires a smart security plan
Having a home full of smart appliances is fun but also dangerous. The problem with connected devices is a hacker’s ability to literally render the device unusable by a process called bricking.
You may have heard about cybersecurity nightmares dubbed BrickerBot and Mirai. BrickerBot specifically attacks unsecure Wi-Fi devices that haven’t changed the default username and password. When the device is attacked, BrickerBot permanently removes the device’s storage, revokes internet access, and kills the device’s usability. Mirai was bad enough, but only corrupted IoT devices. BrickerBot completely destroys them.
Whenever you bring a new IoT connected appliance or device into your home, be sure to change the default factory login credentials. You may not be able to change the username but you can usually change the password.
An extra step in security would be to disable Telnet access to each device. If you’re not sure how to accomplish that, consult with a network security specialist and pay them to do it for you. Considering the amount of money you’re going to spend on automated appliances, it’s worth the cost to pay an expert to secure them for you.
Make sure to password protect your Wi-Fi network and if there are other people using your network, communicate clear policies to them about not allowing others to join your network. For example, your kids might give the password to your neighbor one day not realizing that could give a bunch of unknown people access to your network.
To prevent unauthorized use of your wireless network, change your Wi-Fi password periodically.
Smart home appliances are a great way to splurge
If you want to throw your money at top-of-the-line luxury smart appliance and really make your dream home comfortable, do it. What good is collecting money in your bank account if you have no intention of using it? It’s important to budget for your smart appliances and make sure you’re not over-spending on things you can’t actually afford. However, if you can afford to foot the bill for a completely automated smart home, why not? You’ll be comfortable, your guests will be amused, and you’ll have more time to do things you want to do.