Smart Homes: Moving Into, Out Of, and Taking Them With You

By Jess Hutton


One of the best things about a smart home is that it can be customized to accommodate your preferences and anticipate (almost) every need. But what happens when you decide it’s time to move? Because this is new territory for nearly everyone, we’ve compiled this handy guide to mastering the art of moving in the age of smart homes.

Moving Out of a Smart Home

If you’re an early adopter, then you probably already have a smart home hub that connects your security system, lights, and thermostat, all while turning on your coffee maker every morning. But some automated systems require control panels to be installed and wired right into the walls of your home, which makes relocating difficult. If you have to say goodbye to some or all of your current smart home tech, here’s how to do it right:

  • Take Inventory: Make a list of all your connected devices, user manuals, vendor websites, customer support contacts, and any other information relevant to your smart home system.
  • Get Disconnected: You don’t want the new owners of your home to have access to your information. As soon as you know your move-out date, take action to disable all administrative and user access.
  • Let Everyone Know: Alert vendors and manufacturers about the pending change in ownership, and leave the vendor information and equipment manuals with your real estate agent to hand over to the next occupants.
  • Clean the Slate: It’s likely that your temperature preferences will not be the same as the next owners’. Reset programmed or learning devices, like smart thermostats, to factory defaults. This makes it easy for the next family to train the system their way.
  • Update Software: This is a security must — for both you and the people who will be moving in. Make sure all smart devices and software are up-to-date to ensure the latest security and encryption protection from hackers.

Photo by Global Panorama/Flickr

Taking Your Smart Home with You

Some smart home systems and equipment don’t have to be left behind. If you move a lot, these are the best ways to take advantage of smart home tech without losing your mobility:

  • Opt for Portable Smart Hubs: Make sure you can take your smart home with you by choosing an easily movable hub, like those from SmartThings. These hubs can be just as powerful as integrated home automation systems, but they don’t require drilling or hard-wiring to install.
  • Use Smart Switches and Outlets: You can automate your small appliances and lighting by changing out ordinary switches for smart ones. Insteon and WeMo offer easy, DIY solutions that help you connect all of your corded electronics to your hub and to each other. The best part is how easy they’ll be to unplug and take with you the next time you move.
  • Leave the Equipment, Take the Service: If you already have a smart home but don’t want to deal with tearing out the wall-mounted control panel yourself, check with your provider. Many smart home tech companies will want you to keep the service you already enjoy, and they may offer supplementary devices or installation services for your new house.

Moving into a Smart Home

Whether you’re building a new house or buying one, moving is the perfect opportunity to reconfigure — or start — your smart home operation. If you’re ready to get started with some new smart home tech, keep these tips in mind:

  • Work with What You Have: You may already have some smart devices that will be moving with you. Double-check compatibility between existing smart home technology in your new home and any smart gadgets you already own.
  • Clear the Decks: If you’re moving into a smart home that was set up by former residents, verify that all prior owner access has been disabled.
  • Watch the Budget: A smart home is definitely convenient, but it takes an investment to get things going. If you’re new to the smart tech world, there may be a few budget surprises at first. Keep in mind that things like smart lightbulbs are more expensive, but they should save you money in the long run on your power bill.

If you run into any issues during your move, don’t hesitate to consult with a home automation pro or reach out to a device’s manufacturer. Got any tips from firsthand experience on moving your smart home?

Featured photo by Leonardo Aguilar/Flickr