Affordable Home Technology

There are all kinds of new gadgets that can make your home life more convenient, particularly if you have a smartphone or tablet to control them all. Even if you don’t, you can take advantage of some of these cool new ways to make your life less complicated.

Need a more efficient way to control the temperature in your home? Check. Need to monitor for water leakage? Check. Need your smartphone to open your front door? Check. Read on for just a few ideas of great, inexpensive ways to add cool tech to your home.

Thermostat Control

There are some great, affordable thermostat options that will quickly pay for themselves with how much energy you’ll save. The Honeywell Smart Thermostat with Voice Control ($299.99) has a large touchscreen display instead of standard dials or buttons. Voice control allows you to change the temperature without even moving from across the room. You can also control the thermostat with your smartphone or computer. The Nest Thermostat ($249) also uses smart technology, although it does not have voice control. It knows when you’re not at home and changes the temperature accordingly. It can also be controlled remotely via smartphone or computer, and it analyzes your usage patterns to save you more energy.

Garage Door Opener

Reaching for your garage door opener is often a pain, especially when it’s dark. Chamberlain’s MyQ Garage Opener ($102.99) lets you tap your smartphone’s screen to open or close your garage door from anywhere. It alerts you if you forget to shut the door, so no more driving back home to make sure! You will also receive alerts any time someone opens the garage door. The device works with nearly all major-brand door openers manufactured after 1993.

Water Leakage Monitor

One of the most potentially harmful things to a house is water leakage. The average cost for a water-related repair is between $2,000 and $3,000. The WallyHome ($299) will help you detect leaks quickly and stop them from turning into costly repair jobs. It works by using wireless sensors that you place next to any potential trouble spots. The sensors are small enough to go behind pipes or underneath appliances. If a sensor detects water, you get a text message. You get another text message when the area is dry. If the monitor saves you from serious water damage, the initial price will quickly be worth it!

Humidity Sensors

It’s important to keep humidity levels in your home low (around 30 to 50 percent). The Leviton Humidity Sensor and Fan Control ($26.69) helps you do just that. It’s nearly invisible, and it detects humidity and then automatically activates an already installed ventilation fan to regulate humidity levels. You can set sensor sensitivity and humidity levels to fit your needs in each room.

Smart Door Lock

The Kwikset Kevo ($179.95), which looks just like a regular deadbolt on the outside, can be locked or unlocked with the touch of your finger via your smartphone, which becomes your key. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can use the included key fob to lock and unlock the door. You can assign virtual keys either permanently or temporarily (and even allow them to work only at certain times), and you can monitor ins and outs remotely. You can even receive activity alerts with the Kevo app. In case of any technical problems, the lock can still be opened with a regular old key. It also works with the Nest thermostat to set your personal temperature preferences as you come and go.

Nice newsletter. Good article. Good information. Thank you. Carol

For conventional financing, borrowers with scores at 740 or anywhere above generally receive the same loan pricing (rate and cost). That being said, the better your credit the higher your chances of receiving loan approval with high debt to income (up to 50%) or high loan to value (up to 95%) which can be a major benefit when applying for a new loan. For Jumbo financing, borrowers with credit scores above 800 are generally rewarded with both better pricing and easier guidelines. There are no situations where better credit is a negative when obtaining new financing so we should all continue to strive to reach and then stay in the 800’s.

What are the advantages of a score over 800

Thank you Mike for this information. As a residential realtor the information that you provide is crucial to a successful transaction for my clients. You are indeed a pleasure to recommend to all of my clients. You are so professional, thorough, conscientious and pleasant to work with. !!

Hi Dane! Wanted to make sure I'm clear on this. Am I right in saying that on whichever remodel is done you still take a loss rather than an increase in value - the ROI will never exceed 100% of cost?