Smart homes powered by smart phones are coming in the near future and they are coming a big way.
 From high end integrated systems to basic kits, homes are getting smarter and, as you might expect, the smarter a home is the more valuable.
 According to IHS Electronics and Media, 20 million home automation devices shipped worldwide in 2012, with 1.5 million home automation systems installed in the U.S. in 2012.
 That number is expected to rise to 8 million by 2017.
 But today there are smart homes and there are really smart homes.
 At the high end, Creston home automation is an example of a company whose installation can start at a cool $1 million for complete control of a home.
 Coming home from vacation?  Get your smart phone out, turn up the air conditioning, heat up the pool, turn on the lights and, when you arrive, wave your phone across a door sensor to enter. Sweet, but you still have to carry the luggage unless the footman is available.
 According to the New York Times, this sort of integrated system, installed during construction or at remodel, can set a high end house apart from the competition.
 But homes that are not built to be smart, can get some learning for just a little bit of effort and money.
 A smart home that does some very basic tasks, using a broadband internet connection and a computer, tablet or smart phone, are becoming very affordable.
 ADT offers a beginning system for about $80.
 Lowes' DIY Iris System, for example, costs $179 for basic components and requires little more than a broadband connection and a phillips head screwdriver to install.
 These are a component group that connects with a broadband modem. You can buy various components to suit your needs. For example, if you want to control lights, you can buy smart plugs for lamps and decide when the lights will go on and off.
 With a pet collar device, your pet doors will open and close as the animal approaches the door.
 Video cameras can let you see your house when you are away and keypads will email you if someone opens the door without a code.
 Nearly every system offers thermostat control, but beware. Customer reviews note that if you do not understand how the system works, or if you make the wrong setting, your utility bills could soar on your mistake -- especially if you are out of town.
 Other home features that you can install include entertainment controls, voice controls, security pendants for seniors, and window monitoring.
 These modest systems will probably offer sellers a slight 'wow' edge -- if they work properly.  But they could also detract from a sale if the buyer likes another brand.