What is this House’s Operating System?

“Is your home updated with the most recent security patches?”

Will that soon be part of a home buyer’s due diligence?

  • I already ask for utility information (cost, providers, etc)
  • Googling a property address is a good step in the process
  • I think it’s a good idea (not yet sure how it would be received by sellers or sellers’ agents) to ask for a copy of the past few weeks/months of neighborhood communications
  • How fast is the internet here? is a big question.
  • What is this house’s operating system? Apple or Google? Amazon? — I’d wager most agents aren’t even close to being ready for this (but more buyers are going to be asking for this in the next 2 years).
  • Does the service/support contract convey with the house?
  • Has the warranty on X smart thing been voided by the sellers’ fiddling? (Good Lord; I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this).

This week, a question was raised about Dominion Powers’ smart meters. Leaving aside whether the meters are good or bad, my question is – could they be hacked?

My tin foil hat thinking – everything can be hacked. Jeeps, Teslas, the Pentagon, Nest thermostats, seriously — your thermostat — your home.

Everything can be hacked. If a homeowner chooses to have a home that’s a bit less hackable, why shouldn’t they?

Not on my hacking tangent …

From the WSJ article:

The system breaks so often—about five times a year, he estimates—that he has installed a second system, with a hard-wired electrical switch to override it.

But some homeowners find themselves frustrated by the proliferation of smart-home technology. They complain of complex systems for once-simple tasks like turning on the light, “learning algorithms” that get their preferences wrong and systems that simply go on the fritz too often. As a result, they’re being more selective about what technological amenities they’re installing.

But when the smart home reaches maturity – and it will – it’ll be something akin to air conditioning or internet.

And a question for you – who owns the historical data about energy usage in the house?

 

Image courtesy of.

 

Update 7 September 2016: Interesting article from the Washington Post – Buyers say they’re willing to pay extra for ‘smart’ homes; sure, but … this comment sums up most of my buyers’ thinking:

With all these new viruses, I would expect them to infiltrate the smart appliances, making them inoperable. As far as keyless entry, that can be overcome as well. The only smart tool I have in my house is the thermostat. I can change the temperature from elsewhere, but I would do that before I left home anyway.

I was happy to have regular deadbolt doors and the standard windows.

 

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