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A number of “smart house” products are making headway in 2017, so let’s review which ones promise to have significant real estate applications. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the Phoenix area anytime soon, you might want to become familiar with some of these technologies.

It’s safe to say that the whole notion of household management gadgets that connect to the internet – an idea that was exotic just a few years back – is now readily recognized by the majority of U.S. consumers. More and more of us are beginning to seriously consider which ones will make life a little easier (rather than just producing a ‘gee whiz!’ reaction from friends and family).

The greatest enabler for most smart house devices is the presence of a fast home wireless network. Whereas installation used to be tricky and expensive, it’s currently close to foolproof (even for those without a twelve-year-old to handle the installation). And the cost to have one has fallen sharply, too. You can find plug-and-play wireless routers for under $40; some of them carrying 90+% customer approval ratings. More powerful models are still pricier, but that is to be expected.

The smart house innovations dealing with household security seem to be among the most popular. There are smart door kits that remotely control compatible deadbolts. There are wifi-connected video doorbell products that do a lot more than ring a bell: they also broadcast and record video of visitors while allowing truly remote smartphone monitoring. Also in the security realm, there are smart smoke and CO2 detectors. If the alarm goes off, it alerts your smartphone, and then you can call 911 or silence the alarm. Garage door openers have been remote for many years now, but some of them have gotten smart, too. With just a tap on your mobile device’s screen, you can open or close your garage door from almost anywhere in the world. For advanced users, smart garages can even be programmed to automatically open when your car nears the driveway and close shortly after your car has left the driveway.

If you’ve ever had a nightmare about being on vacation when one of your house’s water-related appliances floods, smart water monitors can send an alert to your mobile device. And smart light bulbs can perform all sorts of clever tricks, including changing their hue and turning on at predetermined times throughout the day/week. Some can also sense motion to help them decide whether they should turn themselves on or off. They can even pow-wow with the thermostat, deciding whether the heat should be turned on or off, depending on whether you’re at home.

Then there’s Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home – the always-on devices patiently awaiting your requests for information about the local weather, news, or a song just you heard. They’re often called “speakers” because they can double as pretty decent-sounding entertainment systems that make your music library available for instant playback.

Still NOT available is a Phoenix real estate application that can respond to the command “play music that makes prospects want to buy this house.” Until they come up with that one, better just call The Hill Group!