By Hogan Willis, Realtor, Luxury Simplified Real Estate
In this world of increasing technology, your Charleston home may just be the one thing you have not thought to upgrade. What are the advantages of having a "smart home" and how can you keep up with the changing times? A smart home gives you the ability to control door locks, lights, thermostats and many other features from anywhere in the world (as long as you have internet connection). In fact, it can be fairly easy to upgrade your home to become more "intelligent." But why make the change? Smart homes make life easier, offer better security, cost savings, and add another level of comfort to your home; not to mention added value if you plan to sell your home.
There are a couple of ways to convert your home to include “smart technology” for an affordable price. Upgrading your home to include some of these integrated technologies can ultimately save you money on your energy bill every month.
Adding wi-fi-connected lights to your home is one of the easiest ways to turn your home into a smart home. Philips Hue bulbs make it fun and easy to adjust the mood of a room from the palm of your hand (your iPhone). These smart and energy-efficient LED lights dim, flash, and can even pulse when its time for a dance party. If you're out of town, but want to make it appear as if you're home, you can turn on your lights from anywhere in the world.
These bulbs use up to 80% less power than a traditional bulb and last as long as 15 years or 15,000 burning hours. Think of all the trips you won't have to take to the store when a bulb burns out!
A smart thermostat helps save energy and creates the perfect temperature for when you arrive home. The Nest is a learning thermostat that has already made its way into millions of homes and businesses. Over time, this thermostat learns your preferences and your schedule, then adjusts the temperature in your home accordingly - which is perfect for our Charleston climate.
Forget to lower your home's comfort level while your away? You can be on vacation anywhere in the world with an internet connection and make corrections to your thermostat. It also notifies you when it's time to change the air filter. In addition, it monitors energy consumption from week to week and can alert you if your usage goes up or down. Talk about adding value to your home.
Go keyless! One of the main advantages of a keyless door lock is not needing to carry a key around to get inside, or worry about losing that key (I'll admit, I've lost a key or two and been locked out). There's no need to hide a spare key in the flower pot outside, or one of those little "hide-a-key" rocks. Most criminals are smart enough to look around to find a hidden key, so with a keypad lock you've eliminated the possibility of a break-in and made your home more safe.
You can provide entry to your home for others at your discretion, and never have to make copies of a key for the housekeeper, house guest or dog walker – just give them a unique code to gain access. You can also tell exactly when and how people attempted to access your home from an app on your iPhone.
Our Luxury Simplified Retreats team uses these locks on all of our vacation homes to keep each home safe, changing the code for before each vacation guest arrival. It also allows a smooth check-in for guests no matter what time they arrive.
Expecting an important package to be delivered, but you’re not home (maybe at work or went to the grocery store)? Ring is a video doorbell that lets you answer the door from your smart phone. You can see and speak to whoever is at the door, and even have a 2-way conversation to ask the delivery person to leave the package on the porch. Ring also records video motion so if you aren’t by your phone, you can see the video after. You are also alerted by movement and triggers a notification on your phone.
Note: The value of your home, quality of life, and peace of mind can increase significantly with these technology updates. However, if you're looking to upgrade your home beyond technology, our Luxury Simplified Renovations team is outstanding when it comes to home renovations and upgrades. Have a look at some of their recent projects...