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Accomplishing your smart home dreams with equity release

Article | Apr 2024

Did you know that the main motivation behind almost a third of our customers’ applications for equity release was home improvements?

In today’s ever-evolving world, the concept of a smart home could represent the epitome of modern living. We’re also living for much longer due to our improving standards of living. But even though we’re experiencing longer lifespans than in the past, we’re also aging, and unfortunately managing and living in a home can gradually become more burdensome.

This is why we want to help you here at Responsible Life and show you how you can use equity release to upgrade your home to a smart home, streamlining and facilitating every aspect of your life just like you deserve.

Why are homeowners releasing equity?

Equity release is available to homeowners over the age of 55 and offers them the chance to release tax-free cash from the value of their home.

Last year, 29.8% of our customers declared that they were seeking equity release for their future home improvements, and as we progress into 2024 this trend could be set to continue. That’s right, so far this year, 27.9% of applicants have already shared home improvements as their main reason for seeking equity release. Based on our research, ‘smart homes’ garnered a huge average monthly search volume of 4,504 throughout the entirety of last year. And what is particularly noteworthy is that there was a definite surge in interest in late November and early December, witnessing up-clicks and searches peaking at just over 20,000 searches within a mere four-week period!

So, what are you waiting for, now is the perfect time to consider enhancing your home into a smart living space with the assistance of equity release!

What smart upgrades could you make?

From smart lighting and smart thermostats to smart appliances and blinds and shutters, the abundance of options that exist to upgrade your home could be endless thanks to technology. Not only could they make life at home so much more convenient and simpler but could also ensure increased privacy and safety. And the best thing about all of this is that you might not have to worry about the cost of all the new swanky gadgets in your home, because equity release could have you covered! Of course, you should make sure that you have done your research on the available products, received quotes on the possible costs, and assessed that releasing equity is the right way to fund them with the help of a qualified adviser.

So, what sort of smart home technologies could you consider installing in your home to help revolutionise your living?

Smart thermostats

One recommendation could be the installation of smart thermostats, which are increasingly popular in modern households. These devices could offer convenient and efficient heating control from your mobile device, providing flexibility even when you’re away from home. There are options with multi-room controls which could be great in helping to conserve energy and reduce costs, especially for those with unpredictable schedules.

And if you think that it is just us who think that smart homes are the next big thing to come, then you’re mistaken!

Nick Duggan, Director at The Radiator Centre, comments:

We have seen a huge growth in the popularity of ‘smart’ technology in our customers’ homes. This has led to some interesting developments as home automation is becoming the norm, with consumers wanting to control everything from music, heating, lighting and security systems via their phone or tablet.

In particular, he advocates for the introduction of smart radiators, stating:

Used correctly, smart heating apps are very easy to use and provide a great way to ‘connect’ your home. The improved functionality offered by connected home systems and smart heating apps should be considered part of a range of energy savings initiatives. No longer will central heating systems be running with no one in the house; wasting heat and money.

From the Sofi to the Strada Hybrid and a variety of other potential products, why not treat yourself to smart radiators and indulge in a fabulous modern heating system? 

Smart blinds

Smart blinds and shutters are also a great addition to any home, allowing complete control over lighting, helping to increase both security and privacy, as well as providing some aesthetic decoration to your home. With the ability to manage them remotely and set schedules, you can wake up to gentle morning light and drift off to sleep in the tranquillity of a dimmed room at night, all with the simple touch of a button. Along with smart lighting, whether that be smart bulbs or smart switches, the added convenience and control over your lights will allow you to create a seamlessly synchronised living space – no more having to get out of bed to turn off the pesky light switch that someone may have left on!

Taking advantage of voice assistants

As we all know, Alexa and Siri have become household names, representing the widespread adoption of smart voice assistants in homes. They have helped transform and ease the lives of everyday households through effortlessly handling mundane tasks like setting alarms and reminders, accessing entertainment, and even making phone calls and texts, essentially serving as your own little personal assistant. Furthermore, their cost-effectiveness makes them a very attractive and affordable option too, allowing you to splurge on other smart devices that you may want in your smart home.

What also makes them great is that voice assistants can be linked to virtually any smart device, from Alexa-compatible fridges to smart ovens that allow remote control ease, transforming your kitchen into a hub of modern efficiency at your fingertips. So, that Samsung Smart Fridge that you might have been longing for could soon find its place in your home with our assistance!

What does this mean for homeowners?

The concept of a smart home isn’t just a growing trend but a demonstration of the progression of modern living. The statistics speak for themselves; home improvements remain a top priority for our customers seeking equity release at Responsible Life, and we’re committed to aiding you to enhance your quality of life as you have worked so hard to achieve. Now could be the moment to transform your home into a smart hub, and with the convenience of equity release your home could help to pay for its own improvements, creating a living space that is both modern and luxurious.

One thing to take into consideration is that releasing equity will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. One of our expert advisers will explore this with you and help you to understand if equity release is for you.

If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch and book an appointment with one of our advisers today! They can help you to discover how equity release might help you to transform your home into a sleek smart hub. As part of your investigation, you should also do your research into the providers of smart home gadgets and make sure that the products you are interested in are right for your circumstances.

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