Home Automation - Can You Afford It?

When considering the costs of purchasing a new home, the overall increase in price of adding a home automation system is a small fraction of the overall cost of the home.

Though it might not be the first item you think about when searching for a new home for you and your family, you should seriously consider the various home automation options available to you. Lighting in every room is obvious, but what about advanced lighting control? How about in ceiling speakers and in wall volume controls so you can listen to your music throughout your home? In the past, these, and many other home automation luxuries could only be found in high end, expensive homes.
The cost of these systems has decreased dramatically and is now a relatively inexpensive option for any new home buyer as long as it is installed before the sheetrock goes up.
When considering the costs of purchasing a new home, the overall increase in price of adding such systems is a small fraction of the overall cost of the home. When you divide this into your monthly mortgage payment, you are really only adding a few dollars per month. For example: You are paying $400,000 for a home that will be completed in about 5 or so months. You want music from your current stereo system to play through high quality ceiling speakers in 4 rooms and your deck with one volume control located in each enabled room (1 pair of speakers per room). The cost including labor, wiring, and parts would likely cost (considering you select a reasonably priced installer/distributor) about $6,000. Now you're at $406,000. Let's assume you are on a thirty year fixed mortgage with a 5% interest rate, $1500/yr property tax, $500/yr homeowner's tax, and your down payment was $50,000. Without the distributed audio, you'd be paying $2,046 per month. If you had decided to go with the distributed audio, you'd be paying $2,078 per month. That's $32 more per month to enjoy your music throughout your home and on your deck, without having speakers and wires taking up valuable floor space! That's less then you pay monthly for your morning coffee at Starbucks! For around the same price, you could add advanced multi -room lighting control, or even a small in wall wired network. These are just a few of the many electrical options available to you as a new home buyer.
Keep in mind, however, that the installation cost of adding these items to your home after it is completed can increase by almost three fold, plus you will likely have to pay cash because it will not be included on your mortgage.

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