If you’re like us, you may have picked up some new skills and habits during the quarantine. We have enjoyed countless calls with friends and family over zoom/Facetime. You may have gotten out your apron and made your own bread. Or, if you’re like a large chunk of the country, you’ve looked around your house each day and thought, “we need to change this, or that needs to be updated.” According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, home centers, hardware stores, garden centers, and building materials suppliers realized a year-over-year sales increase of 22.6 percent as home improvement projects increased during the pandemic. A big way people are improving/updating their homes these days is by making them smarter. While it can seem a bit overwhelming and maybe pricey, the truth is that it can be a lot easier and more affordable than many realize. So, get ready to make your house run more smoothly and smartly because yes … “there’s an app for that!”
While we don’t have the flying cars we always imagined the future would hold, we do have robots at our beck and call to help with any and everything you need around the house. Coming in the form of a speaker, there are two Smart Home Assistants that dominate the market by essentially controlling other smart devices in your home. Your speaker assistant can play music, answer your questions, help with grocery shopping, set reminders, and much more. Check out the Amazon Echo and Google Home to help jumpstart your hub of smart home activity.
The second easiest way to make your home smarter is through your house’s lighting. A simple way to do this is through smart light bulbs that you control through the above mentioned Amazon Echo and Google Home or through a mobile app. With these smart bulbs, you’ll be able to turn lights on and off individually or set them up to function for an entire room. You can even dim and brighten rooms and change the color of the light depending on what kind of mood you want to have.
This smart home feature may catch your eye most because not only can it help you with comfort, but it can also help you save on utilities by making your house more energy-efficient. Of course, you’ll be able to set the temperature to your liking and create a schedule for heating and cooling depending on your schedule. But, these smart thermostats can do much, much more. They can learn about you and your home by detecting when you’re home and away, and which rooms you use most frequently so your HVAC system only runs when and where it’s needed. I’d recommend trying the Ecobee or the Nest thermostat.
Finally, let’s talk about how your smart home can deliver one of the most important things you need: peace of mind. You can install a smart doorbell with a camera that not only allows you to see activity at your door, but it allows you to speak to whoever is there. This is incredibly handy for receiving packages especially when you are away on vacation. Then, take your door game one level higher with smart locks that make hiding a key a thing of the past. You can simply open your door with a code or an app and allow others you trust — like a dog walker or your postal delivery person — to do the same!
We know how much you value and love your home. And if you’re like us, you’ve spent a lot more time there this year, which has led to home improvements. An easy way to update your home is by making it smarter, and you can use some of the suggestions above to make your home safer and more efficient.
As your local trusted advisor at GARDNER, REALTORS, it’s our job to help you create the life you love. From buying and selling to updating and improving, our team is here for you.