6 Smart Home Upgrades That Can Help You Sell Your Home Faster
As smartphones are becoming a staple in the lives of everyday people, smart home technology is gaining more traction with each year. There are different opinions on whether making smart tech improvements to a home can raise its selling value, but one thing is for certain: these improvements can attract buyers and help you sell your home faster. And you don’t have to go broke by upgrading your home; you can shop online and save money at major retailers.
As long as you consider your budget, choose devices that are popular and understand the functions of each device, adding appeal to your home via smart technology could give you an advantage on the market. Here are six of the most popular smart home devices and what they can offer potential homebuyers.
“Safety first” applies to many situations in life — including when you’re shopping for a home. Smart locks leave you in control of your safety, and they allow you to automatically lock/unlock your doors, whether you’re pulling into your driveway or away on vacation. Also, you can program them to unlock for any family members, friends, or other people who need access to your home. There are a number of high-quality smart lock systems on the market, but remember to check weekly ads and get cash back for stores like Walmart to save money.
Smart security cameras also offer safety, control, and convenience. With only a wireless connection and a smartphone, you can monitor your home throughout the day from wherever you are. Set one up at your front door or back porch, set one up to watch your pets, and/or use one as a baby monitor. Either way, the benefits make it clear why smart home security systems by brands like Nest and SimpliSafe are becoming so popular. Check out daily sales and search for discounts for retailers like Amazon to get great deals on these systems.
Convenience is the song of smart lighting. Oh — and savings. By connecting all the lighting in your home together through a smart hub, you control which lights are on at all times with your smartphone. Use LEDs with your lighting system and you can significantly cut your energy costs. You can see a great selection of smart lighting options, as well as look through sales and get great deals, by shopping online at stores such as Target.
If any device on this list has an upfront ROI in the form of actual money on your asking price, it’s smart appliances. This makes sense because working appliances, in general, can add a lot of appeal to a home for sale, so when you offer next-gen appliances, it becomes even more appealing to buyers. Whether it’s a refrigerator, oven, washing machine, or dishwasher, being able to control the appliances from your smartphone has its obvious benefits. Furthermore, you can set alerts on your phone for when the casserole is cooked or when your clothes are dry! Remember to check for savings for stores like Lowe’s when you’re ready to make a purchase.
Like some of the other items on this list, smart shades may sound like the stuff of luxury. However, there are affordable options when it comes to motorized shades and blinds, and they can save you a lot on your monthly energy bill. Some shades are operated by a remote and some by your phone, and you can even find add-on solutions for your existing blinds. Need help fitting shades or blinds into your budget? Sign up for a money-saving site such as Honey, which can bring down those costs in a big way.
If you’re investing in smart technology for your home, you may as well bring it all together with a smart hub, such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home. These hubs allow you to operate all your smart devices from one app on your phone, and most of them have a voice-activated option. That means that you can speak to the device to control your oven, dishwasher, lighting, locks, speakers, or any other smart device that is connected to the hub.
Even though the ROI that comes with upgrading to smart technology doesn’t always come as money upfront, getting your home off the market faster can make it well worth it. Smart locks, security cameras, lighting, appliances, shades, and hubs are some of the most popular smart home devices on the market because they provide convenience and can noticeably cut energy costs. Consider upgrading to home automation—it could be the smartest thing you ever did!
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Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner weighs in on mortgage rates, inflation and Dodd-Frank.
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The question that we have to take a look at when it comes to mortgaging is the Quality Residential Mortgage, QRM. Remember back last year we gave you the fact that the federal government, CFPB, The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau was taking a look at all mortgaging. And they said what really defined a quality residential mortgage? And different government reports either called it a quality residential mortgage or a qualified residential mortgage, QRM. There were four major considerations. One is what types of products would the mortgage industry be allowed to give? Second was what was going to be the borrower's ratio as far as monthly debt to gross income. And the borrower's ratio to monthly debt to monthly gross income. We talked about the front and the back end debt situations and how was that going to change. We talked aboutwhat was going to be the minimum down payment and what was going to be minimum FICO score. There were four major points – type of mortgage, front end and back end debt, the amount of down payment, and the FICO score. Those were the things that the federal government was going to look at to define a quality residential mortgage. Half of that has already been determined. Product type? CFPB came out some time in January, the middle of January, saying that, alright, we only want real strong conventional mortgages; no crazy negative amortization, no crazy balloon payment loans. The second piece, the monthly gross income vs. the monthly expense, those ratios. That front end ratio is going to stay at 28. They were more lenient than most people thought they were going to be. They originally said they thought the back end ratio should be 36 percent, but when the information came out, when the regulations came out, they said that could go to 43 percent with even some exceptions over that. So those first two pieces, product type and the borrower's ratios – front end and back end – they've already been decided. However, ladies and gentleman, the last two have not and those are the two most important. How much down payment is going to be demanded and what's going to be the minimum FICO score. This is from Bloomberg news. The six regulators drafting the separate QRM rule including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Office of Controller and This Currency, and The Securities and Exchange Commission must decide whether to include such a requirement – meaning a 20 percent down requirement, and whether to make it less than a 20 percent they originally proposed. Again, on a previous slide we showed what the original proposals were. They thought that if you were purchasing a home, you should put 20 percent down. I don't think it's going to come out as 20 percent. Most experts don't think it's going to come out at 20 percent. Most experts are kind of guessing it's going to be about 10 percent, but ladies and gentleman, that's going to be a minimum requirement needed. What we're saying here and the FICO score, no one's taking a guess what the minimum FICO score is going to be. But both of those issues are going to be settled over the next couple of months. The only thing I can tell you is what that's going to do is tighten lending standards a little bit. So if you have a buyer looking to buy a house right now, well what do we know? Well in most parts of the country, prices are going up. It seems that interest rates now are heading up north. And the requirements to getting a mortgage are going to become more stringent. If someone's looking to buy a house, I think they should move right now. I think they should jump on that right now. There's a better interest rate, a better price,probably a less expensive mortgage overall. And it will require less money down than it might in a couple of months from now. Again, we need to sit with our buyers and sellers and talk intelligently about what's about to take place in the market. When we're talking to buyers right now, QRM should be part of our conversation. COURTESY OF STEVE HARNEY, KEEPING MATTERS CURRENT
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