Home Technology

Published on February 26th, 2015

Incorporating Technology into Your Home

We may not have flying cars or personal robots yet, but 2015 offers many technological solutions to home-related problems. From apps that can be installed on your smartphone, or additions to your home to save on electric and water bills, there’s a lot you might be missing. Check out this list of must-have gadgets for your home -- old or new.

Apps

  • SmartThings – If you have iOS, this is a great app for controlling different devices on the SmartThings platform. Purchasing the full kit for around $300 allows you to connect the device to anything with the included sensors. You can pair a plethora of things, including your oven, A/C, garage door, and even your coffeemaker. It will start detecting patterns, too. A couple examples: if you leave the oven on - you will be notified, if you leave the front door open - the A/C will shut down to compensate for energy. Doors, lights, locks, and everything in-between can be added too. If you’re just getting into home control apps, this is a great place to start.

  • WeMo – For android or iOS, WeMo is an app that comes with AC Adapters you plug into frequently used outlets. Forget to shut the curling iron or space heater off? Just remotely disable the outlet via the app. You can also schedule and automate different appliances, so your coffeemaker will kick on at 7 a.m., or your house will be warm by the time you’re home from work. In total, this will set you back around $80 for the base kit.

  • Alarm.com – Arguably the most well-known alarm app, Alarm.com, offers many features that a standard alarm system does not. It integrates with iOS or Android and offers automation features as well as the option to have “No-delay alarm,” or notifications when your kids come home from school. It can also use GPS to track where you are in relation to your home for an added security benefit. The system is $199 for installation, then a monthly fee.

  • DirecTV – Make sure you never miss an episode of your favorite show, no matter where you’re at. This app comes free with your DVR.


Appliances

  • Vacuum—Look into a laser guided or remotely programmed vacuum. These vacuums have come a long way since the original Roomba, offering robot buddies that don’t just bump into furniture and stop. Neato Robotics vacuum adds laser guiding to the mix, making a floor plan of your house and using its GPS to navigate back to its home base. You’ll be surprised how much time you save when your floor is getting vacuumed while you're at work!

  • Heated Floors – Keep your toes warm in the winter with heated tiles, wood floors, or even laminate flooring. But don’t just stop on the inside, heated driveways are all the rage for the winter months. No more shoveling the driveway or getting your car stuck. Heated driveways could be the tipping point if you can afford to add this luxury to your home.

  • Audio – Get the most potential out of your home audio, without having a massive media console. Speaker manufacturer, Klipsch, offers dome speakers that double as lights and can be paired and controlled wirelessly throughout the house. The speakers can mount into your ceiling or walls and won’t be noticeable.

  • Solar Panels— if you live in a sunny area, solar power is becoming a more viable option. Look for companies that offer strong warranties, include installation, and have a good track record. Not only will you save money, you may also be able to qualify for tax incentives for going green. Solar can help you reduce your carbon footprint and save some cash on monthly electric bills.


These are just a sampling of apps and appliances that can make a dramatic difference in your home. While this technology may seem daunting or expensive to some, once you get used to the automation and savings, it will be hard to go back. If you’re thinking about upgrading to a new home to fit all this technology, it’s best to start by speaking with a qualified mortgage professional. For more information on financing a new home, please feel free to contact a member of our Housing Buzz Team today.

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