There are a number of great apps and programs that can easily control the systems in your home – many of which can be mastered even if your tech skills are less than expert. Here are some tech-related tips to consider when buying a home in today’s market!
While most homes will be wired for cable and Internet, you might want to see if the nearest cell tower is providing good mobile phone service for you in case your Wi-Fi doesn’t reach to that grill in the backyard. Obviously, if you love the home this may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to know if you’ll need to consider switching phone carriers before moving into your new abode.
Create a smart home
Many buyers want to connect their home’s systems, appliances and technologies so they can easily control them from their mobile devices. A common example of this is the Nest thermostat, which becomes intelligent to your living habits over time and turns itself down when you’re away. Nest also features a live-streaming service, to provide a full smart home service that includes smoke and carbon monoxide detection.
The Rachio smart sprinkler system is good way to keep your utility bills down. Rachio measures weather conditions in your area and makes sure your lawn is watered only as much as it needs to stay lush and green.
While devices like Nest and Rachio help you save money, many other smart home products are designed with convenience and safety in mind. For example, products like Ascend and LiftMaster open and close your garage door from your smartphone, allowing you to let in guests when you’re not around or to double check that your home is secure even after you get to work. Similarly, the August Smart Lock detects when you (or approved guests) are approaching and unlocks your front door. That’s right — you can finally carry all seven grocery bags into your home at once! Plus, August’s customization options mean you can give 24/7 access to your world-traveler brother who shows up unannounced but only let your contractor in when you have a set appointment.
Also, for those of us who aren’t morning people, there are several automatic coffee makers out there that will brew coffee on demand from your smartphone in just minutes. Although you can set up a brew time in advance, just think of the power you’ll feel when you hit “brew” — then “snooze” — allowing a few more minutes of sleep and the promise of a fresh cup of joe when you finally arise!
One final thought – remember that if you control security systems or smart appliances with your mobile phone, you need to be sure the device is protected against hackers. Add a pass code to your phone, and download an app that will remotely erase data if your phone is lost or stolen.