Many homeowners base their upgrade and remodeling choices on how much they'll recoup on their investment when it comes time to sell. Smart home technology is becoming more popular but how does it stack up as an investment that boosts home value? The key to getting the best return on your smart home investment is in choosing technology that will age well and saves money. Here are some handy guidelines to help you select the best home tech:

1. Focus on affordability. Choosing smart home technology that is affordable allows you to implement it through the entire home. Similar to just remodeling one or two rooms in an 80-year-old house, if you only incorporate smart home features in one or two rooms, it will be very noticeable to future buyers. Smart home options that make a difference for the whole house include smart thermostats, smart HVAC systems and smart security systems.

2. Forgo pricey high-end "closed" smart home systems. Stick to smart home systems and devices that use popular technology such as WiFi or Bluetooth to communicate with various components. This type of system has more flexibility to add new components as desired or as they are released to the market in the future. Closed systems use less common technology to communicate with components and can result in "lock-in" that restricts the number and type of components that can be added.

3. Start with smart home tech that buyers can easily understand and see value in. The more useful and understandable a smart home component is, the more likely it will appeal to future buyers. Some examples include smart smoke detectors, smart ceiling fans, smart thermostats, smart door locks and smart security systems.

4. Choose smart home options that save money or protect the property from damage. Smart HVAC systems, smart water heaters and smart sprinklers/outdoor watering systems conserve resources and save money. Smart leak detectors, smart smoke detectors and smart carbon monoxide detectors alert you to potential property damage or risk of physical harm.

5. Apply long-term strategy to smart appliance purchases. When choosing smart appliances, be sure to choose brands and models with WiFi connectivity. WiFi is the most popular and easiest way for manufacturers to send software updates and new features through to smart appliances - often automatically. These appliances are likely to receive more updates over time and have greater longevity before the technology becomes obsolete.

Investing in smart home technology can definitely pay off when it comes time to sell your home. To reap the best gains in home value, stick with smart technology that is understandable with a clear value - whether that value is saving money or saving lives. The more buyers can envision themselves easily using the smart home technology you've chosen, the more willing they'll be to pay more for your home.