Barbara Cleland Realty Group's Blog
New technologies are constantly being produced that are designed to make our lives easier. Technology around the home is no different.
America recently underwent a boom in residential solar power, a trend that doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. And, big tech companies like Google and Amazon are trying to nudge their way into the smart home technology sector with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Many of these tools and technologies are great for convenience around the house. Amazon Dash buttons let you reorder common household goods like paper towels and laundry detergent with the touch of a button in your pantry when you run low.
However, some forward-thinking homeowners are looking towards home improvements that can increase the resale value of their home by making it more desirable to potential buyers.
In today’s post, we’re talking about the latest tech that homeowners are buying to give their home an edge over the competitors in the real estate market.
Read on to find out which technologies can make a difference and which ones will soon be obsolete.
Smart home technology
Our phones have gradually become all-encompassing devices that help us organize our lives, and smart home tech companies hope to do the same thing with your home.
There is no shortage of competition for access to your home in the form of remotely controlled lighting, sprinklers, HVAC, and more.
And, while some state of the art systems might attract potential buyers, it’s important to remember that smart home tech is a fledgling industry.
That means that the tech is constantly evolving and might not be relevant or useful to potential buyers when it comes time to sell your home. (It would be like trying to sell an iPhone that is 4 generations too old for anyone to want it anymore.)
While home security technology is still rapidly changing, there is a benefit to having a system installed that can help woo potential buyers who are concerned about the safety of their family.
Aside from safety, this tech can also be just plain convenient and time-saving. Smart door locks can sync with your smartphone to unlock when you arrive at your home and lock when you leave, shaving a few seconds off of your daily routine.
One benefit of installing solar panels on your roof is that you can then show potential buyers physical evidence of the amount of money they can save each month on their utility bills.
However, it should be noted that there are some exciting new residential solar solutions coming to the market in the near future--one example being Tesla’s solar roof that looks almost exactly like a regular roof but generates electricity for your home.
So, when considering new technology for your home to boost its resale value on the market, remember that technologies are still changing. Keep your timeline for sale in mind, and try to avoid tech that will be obsolete before you plan on putting your home for sale.
Sweeping, dusting, and moppingLet's face it, the Swiffer is a great invention. It mops, sweeps, and dusts without the mess of a bucket of water. Plus it's lightweight and versatile making it useful for many surfaces around the home. The down side? Having to buy all of those expensive replacement pads. If you're like me, you feel a twinge of guilt whenever you throw out at item that seems wasteful. For me, cleaning supplies are the epitome of wastefulness. So, instead of using the throwaway pads you could do a a few things. First, you could buy a reusable pad online. Some are designed to fit various sweepers. Alternatively, there are some cloths that you can buy at your local dollar store that will fit onto your sweeper just fine. Once one gets dirty, put the next one on and sink wash them all when you're done. The other option is to knit or crochet your own sweeper cover. There are lots of patterns online that will help you get started, plus a hand-made cloth adds more meaning to the mundane work of sweeping the house. For those spots you don't dust with your sweeper-duster (like a TV, or the tops of picture frames), you could always dust with your used dryer sheets that you'd otherwise just toss in the trash. Keep them in a bag in your cabinet so you remember to use them.
Go paperlessPaper towels and napkins are always expensive and seldom on sale. Plus, all that paper usage does a number on the environment. Instead of reaching for a paper towel at dinner, keep a stack of microfiber cloths, handkerchiefs, or hand towels. When this isn't possible, like in the case of a big cookout, use choose-a-size paper towels to get more usage out of a roll. And speaking of choosing a size, the next time you buy sponges or "magic erasers," cut them in half to double the length of time you can use them.
Cleaning solutionsMaking your own cleaning solutions has many benefits. First, you get to save money because the supplies tend to be cheap, household items. Second, you get to avoid all of the harsh chemicals that are often added to commercial cleaners, helping your health and the environment. Third, you can make them in bulk and not have to worry about them running out. Recipes for homemade cleaning solutions and air fresheners are abundant online. In general, however, they rely on a few simple ingredients: water, vinegar, baking soda, and some type of citrus like lemons, limes, or oranges.
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or across the country, moving into a new neighborhood can be hard. You want to make your new property, and new area feel like home. Relocation is always a challenge. There are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother for your family. Meeting people and learning about your new community doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Read on for tips to make it fun!
Approach Your Neighbors
It can be kind of scary to approach your new neighbors, but reaching out to them is one of the best ways to meet people. If you see your neighbors out and about give them a wave or shout “hello.” These gestures are a way to extend yourself without intruding on them. Ask questions about the neighborhood like when the trash pickup is or how the traffic on a local route is. You can even find out where the best grocery store to shop at is. Anything simple can open up a great conversation.
It’s easy to meet up with your neighbors if you give them an opportunity to see you. Sit out on your porch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Spend some time outside gardening. Just be approachable. If you’re cheerful and seem a bit inquisitive about the area, people will be more likely to talk to you.
Spend Time In The Community
If there’s a local diner or coffee shop, spend some time there. You’ll be more likely to meet your neighbors and have something in common with many of the people that live in your new space. Check out local parks with your kids or bring your dog. You can talk to other dog owners or parents and get to know them.
Finding ways to volunteer and get involved in your community is also a great way to connect and get to know where you live.
Other Ways To Get Involved
You can get connected with people in the area through connections you have. College alumni networks can connect you with social clubs in a new city or region. Your employer may also have mentoring programs to assist you through the transition
Moving to a new area can be hard, but with an open mind to opportunities, you can make the transition pleasant for both you and your family.
If you've ever experienced the frustration of paying more than necessary for home repairs, remodeling, or upgrades, you're not alone! Most of us have done it at one time or another, and it's not a pleasant feeling!
The good news is that if you make up your mind to do a little research, ask questions, request a free quote, and get two or three estimates, then you probably won't have to repeat the same mistake. Unless it's a dire emergency, it's always better to take your time in choosing a contractor or repair technician for a home project.
While it may be a little more time consuming to get recommendations, compare prices, and talk to several contractors, it's well worth it -- both in terms of monetary savings and peace of mind. Since the typical homeowner incurs many expenses, every year, to maintain their plumbing, electricity, roof, floors, HVAC system, landscaping, appliances, and much more, the amount of money you can save from comparing estimates and researching contractors can really add up!
The ideal scenario for hiring a home contractor is to get a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll be getting the best value for your dollar, but it's a darn good starting point! Online reviews of contractors can also be helpful, but sometimes they lack the detail and credibility that's essential to a meaningful recommendation. No review is complete unless it says whether the customer would hire the contractor again and if they (the customer) would recommend them to family and friends.
Since no one's perfect, it's also helpful to know what the contractor could have done better. A lot of times people will say something like, "I was satisfied with the end result, but the project took a lot longer than expected and the contractor always showed up late." Asking questions, comparing prices, and asking for references are among the ways to increase the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with the contractor you choose and the quality of work they provide.
Depending on the scope of the project and its estimated cost, you may also want to check whether the contractors you're considering are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and if anyone has filed a complaint against them. Being accredited does not mean that the BBB endorses the business, but it does indicate that the business does meet certain standards and that they have agreed to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints. In order to be accredited by the BBB, businesses need to submit an application, meet accreditation standards, and pay a fee. To keep their designation, they must maintain at least a "B" rating with the Bureau and continue to comply with its standards of professionalism, honesty, and customer responsiveness.