Smart Appliances Get Smarter: Here’s What We Saw at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Smart Appliances Get Smarter: Here's What We Saw at the 2016 Consumer Electronics ShowWith technology advancing at a mile a minute, the 2016 Consumer Electronics is a great place to see what’s new to the market and what will be sure to turn heads in the year to come. If you couldn’t make it to the show yourself but are curious about the highlights of the event, here are some of the hottest items in technology that appeared in Las Vegas this year.

Make It Molecular With A Spectrometer

Designed by Consumers Physics, the SCiO is a modern, small-sized molecular sensor that can give you volumes of information about your food that you’ve never had before. Instead of consulting the nutritional information, you can easily obtain all of the products contained in your food (or any other product, really) by simply pointing it at the item in question. This information will then be transferred to the product’s associated app for you to review.

Forgot To Lock? Grab Your Phone!

We’ve all experienced the fear here and there of thinking we forgot to lock the door, but with the innovative Kwikset Premis door lock, you can easily put this former fear to rest. Instead of having to rush home with key in hand, the Kwikset allows you to easily control its locking mechanism with a PIN number using your smart phone. So, the next time you’ve think you’ve forgotten to lock the door behind you, you can instantly access your smartphone and put your mind at ease.

Wake Up To Your Favorite Scent

Waking up is often associated with the uncomfortable sensation of a beeping clock, but with the Sensorwake the first few minutes of the morning don’t have to seem like such a chore. Instead of beeping, you can insert an aroma module into your Sensorwake that will release the scent you choose, whether it happens to be espresso, croissant or peppermint. If you don’t think this will be enough to wake you up, you can also arrange for an audible alarm that will come on a little bit later.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is one of the best events of the year for interesting, new technology, but if you missed it there are plenty of exciting gadgets that will soon be available on the market. If you happen to be looking for gadgets for a new home that’s on the horizon, you may want to contact your local real estate agent for more information.

Ready to Move in to Your New Home? Not So Fast! Take Care of These 3 Items Before the Big Move

Ready to Move in to Your New Home? Not So Fast! Take Care of These 3 Items Before the Big MoveWith the excitement involved in moving into a new home and all of the things that need to be done, it can be easy to forget a few important things before you load up the moving van. If the day of departure is drawing closer and you’re mulling over the final details, here are some items you may want to check off the list first.

Install A New Lock

One of the most important aspects of home ownership is the feeling of security it automatically provides, so you’ll want to change out the locks on the doors before you embark on the big move. As soon as you’ve received the keys to your new home, contact a locksmith who will be able to do the dirty work for you or, if time permits, you may want to take on this task on your own and save a little bit of money in the process.

Do A Quick Clean

With so many boxes to unpack and items to organize, the concept of cleaning the house you’ve just moved into might not be very appealing; however, this can be a necessary step in making you and your family feel more at home. It doesn’t have to be the kind of cleanup that will take 10 hours, but a quick dusting and wiping of cabinets and appliances, as well as a quick sweep and vacuum of the floor, may change the way you feel about your new home.

If Time Permits, Paint!

If the walls of your new house happen to be in immaculate shape, you can probably avoid paint; however, a prime up of the walls can add a lot to the sparkle of your new home and may make it feel like yours much sooner. Instead of going for boldness or deciding on a decorating scheme right away, choose a neutral color that will instantly brighten your room. If the walls are in particularly bad shape, you may even want to contact a professional who will be happy to sand and spackle away.

Moving into a new home is undoubtedly a time of great excitement, but there are some things you should do before you make yourself comfortable in your new place. If you’re curious about what’s available on the market and would like to know your options, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

First Time Home Buyers: What You Really Need to Know About Buying a Beachfront Home

First Time Home Buyers: What You Really Need to Know About Buying a Beachfront HomeThe idea of an idyllic beachfront home is appealing for many people, but there are a number of factors involved in this type of home purchase that should be considered before getting serious. If you’re on the fence regarding waterfront property, here are some things you should keep in mind if beach life might be right for you.

The Ever-Shifting Shoreline

It goes without saying that the times are changing, and erosion of beachfront property is set to be a more pressing issue in the years ahead. If you’re planning on living in a house by the beach, you’ll want to research the surrounding area to ensure your investment will be sustainable over time. If significant shore erosion does occur, you could suffer a loss in regards to your most expensive asset.

In The Event Of Extreme Weather

Home insurance exists to cover you in the event of theft or fire, but if you’re planning on buying by the beach, it’s important to purchase an insurance package that will have you covered for many of nature’s calamities. Instead of leaving this to chance, double check that your home is protected against wind or water damage, as leaving this out could cost you a lot of money down the road.

Do Your Market Research

If you’re buying by the water and you’re looking to live there into the foreseeable future, it may not be necessary to do a lot of research, but if you plan on having renters it’s important to know that someone will be able to make your investment more feasible. If the market is down and people are not flocking to the beach during the months you’ll require renters, it may not be wise to invest huge amounts of money into a property.

Everybody Loves The Beach

It’s important to do research before you decide to invest in a beachfront home, but you will want to keep in mind that a home by the water will probably end up being more valuable than a home in the same town that doesn’t sit on a patch of sand. If you’ve done your research and everything looks good, this may be an investment well worth it.

Beachfront property has its own set of risks and rewards, but if you do your homework it can be an ideal investment. If you’re looking for homes in your area and are interested in waterfront property, you may want to contact your local real estate agent for more information.

3 Trends That Will Help Shape Your Local Real Estate Market This Year

3 Trends That Will Help Shape Your Local Real Estate Market in 2015Each real estate market is unique in various ways, and your local real estate agent can help you to become more familiar with the trends in your community. For example, in some areas, it may be common for a seller to pay for at least a portion of the buyer’s closing costs, but this may not be common practice in other areas. While each market may be unique, there are some common trends that you can expect to be rather widespread across many communities throughout the next year.

Buyers Acting Quickly To Make An Offer

In recent years, it was rather common for buyers to take their time researching the market and comparing various listings. There was a feeling that financing would continue to be affordable and that home prices would remain relatively low in many markets due to economic conditions. However, the economy has generally rebounded and market conditions in many areas have improved. There is an increasing feel of urgency in buyers to make a purchase sooner rather than later in order to lock in a great deal.

Younger Buyers Making a First-Time Home Purchase

Many younger adults have notably been sitting on the sidelines and have not been buying real estate at the same level that previous generations did in their 20s and younger 30s. However, as overall real estate market conditions have improved as well as other economic factors like the employment rate, consumer confidence and more, younger buyers are increasingly finding the confidence to move forward with their first home purchase.

More Realistic List Prices

In recent years, it was common for some sellers to list their home for sale based on the amount they owed on their mortgage or their general belief in property value without giving much consideration for market conditions. This may have been out of financial need, a general belief that their property value did not decline significantly even when markets plummeted and more. However, because market conditions have dramatically improved, you will find that the list prices on many properties are much more realistic.

Real estate agents keep a pulse on the trends in your local market, and their insight and guidance can be invaluable to you as you search for a property, structure an offer and walk through the rest of the home buying process. If you are preparing to purchase a home in the coming year, you can begin looking for a friendly and helpful real estate agent to assist you.

Feeling Squeezed by Higher Rents? It Might Be Time to Consider Buying Your First Home

Feeling Squeezed by Higher Rents? It Might Be Time to Consider Buying Your First HomeWith the cost of rent going up across the board and becoming even less affordable in metropolitan centers, it’s never been a better time to seriously consider home ownership. While the price of a home and all the associated costs can certainly seem like a tight squeeze after years of renting, here are some reasons you may want to consider giving up your rental and springing for a home instead.

It’s An Automatic Savings

It’s a sure bet that the money you spend on rent is going down the drain as soon as the month is over, but investing your money into a home each month means that you’re actually putting it into something tangible that you can profit from later on. While there are no certainties that the price of your home will improve, there’s a good chance you’ll stand to make a bit of money in the end that will easily offset the cost of insurance and property taxes involved in buying a home.

The Insecurity Of Apartment Living

With apartments being bought up all the time and torn down to make way for new developments, it’s always a possibility that the day may come when your home won’t be your home anymore. The good thing about using your purchasing power to invest in a home is that it gives you the freedom of feeling like you really have something that belongs to you, and you probably won’t have to worry as much about your loud next door neighbors or a landlord that never completes the required maintenance on your apartment.

You Can Consider A Roommate

An apartment often means a smaller amount of space, but it’s possible that a home purchase may provide you with a little bit of extra room and a place for a renter who can help with the monthly bills. Whether you decide on a friend, relative or someone you don’t know, this can be a great way to make home purchasing a little bit more economical and still provide you with the equity you’ll need to make it a worthwhile, long term investment.

With rent becoming less affordable in so many cities, the idea of purchasing a home is becoming a more tenable reality for many people. If you’re interested in what is out there and are curious about your own possibilities for home ownership, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.

Dream Renovations: Upgrading Your Bathroom from ‘Regular’ to ‘In-home Spa’

Dream Renovations: Upgrading Your Bathroom from 'Regular' to 'In-home Spa'There are times you might long for the relaxed leisure of the spa experience, but with the cost of a manicure it’s not always a pleasure one can afford. If your current bathroom set-up isn’t the optimal place for rest and relaxation, here are some cues for how you can turn it from a bit of a problem to a consummate pleasure.

Install A Vintage Vanity

The look of slick steel and porcelain can certainly be classy, but if you’re looking for an upscale room you’ll love to spend time in, consider a vintage dresser that you can turn into your very own unique vanity. While you’ll need to develop some plumbing and woodworking know-how to make this dream a reality, it will easily fancy up your bathroom and lend for an elegant, everyday experience.

Spring For A Bold Color

Part of the spa experience is often the palette of jewel-toned colors that are used on the walls, but it can often be considered a risk to take on such an intense tone in one’s own bathroom. However, if you have a smaller sized bathroom and can find a brilliant color you really love that will work with your decor, it may make for a unique and singular spa-style experience.

Add An Accent With Tile

A sizeable Jacuzzi that you can really get comfortable in is a great start for an in-home spa experience, but there are some stylish ways you can add to it that will make for a particularly sophisticated look. Instead of taking out the tub, pick a colorful tile that will mesh with the other colors and textures of your bathroom to add an accent. It’s not necessarily a simple fix but it will add a lot of oomph.

Work A Walk-In Shower

It goes without saying that a shower curtain does not always provide for the most sublime of bathroom experiences, so one step towards your own ‘in-home Spa’ may involve the addition of a walk-in shower. While this can be an expensive upgrade, it can completely change the look and feel of your bathroom, and might just mean you’ll save on manicures.

The spa experience can be enticing for the relaxation and comfort it offers, but you can create a similar experience in your own bathroom with a few changes that will elegant it up. If you happen to be renovating your home because you’re planning to sell, you may want to contact one of our local real estate agents for more information on homes available in your area.

3 Reasons You Might Decide to Retire to a Tiny Home – and Why You’ll Love It

3 Reasons You Might Decide to Retire to a Tiny Home - and Why You'll Love ItMany people romanticize the idea of paying off their home mortgage early so they can enjoy their home in retirement, but when it comes to the later years of life, a big house can actually be too much to handle. If you’ve started to consider a smaller home and are wondering why it might be a good decision for you and yours, here are a few things you may want to consider.

It’s Much Easier To Maintain

It is often the idea of the palatial estate with a pool that homeowners get excited about, but when it comes to reality, the larger the home, the harder it is going to be to take care of and maintain. If you don’t have a maid or a butler, a smaller home will enable you to spend a lot more of your free time doing things that you love instead of being bound to a house that is full of repairs and maintenance that needs to be completed.

Save On The Big Home Bills

One of the worries associated with getting older is having the ability to maintain your lifestyle in old age, and a smaller home can actually alleviate many of the high costs that go along with having an oversized home. A smaller home will not only minimize your insurance and taxes, it can also positively impact the amount you pay each month for heating and electricity, so you’ll notice the savings right off the bat.

The Freedom Of A Downsized Lifestyle

One of the best things about downsizing to a smaller home is the huge sense of responsibility that can be left in the dust. Instead of being held back by all of the stuff required to fill a big house, a small home means there is less to worry about. This may mean you’ll have the option to go on longer vacations or can even relocate to a hot climate for the summer months, and you’ll only need someone to come by and water the plants every once in a while!

There are plenty of people that decide to downsize later in life since it can actually be a great way to save money and have a lot more freedom. If you’re considering your smaller home options and are curious about what’s available on the market, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

Looking to Invest or Live in an Up and Coming Neighborhood? Here are 5 Clues to Finding Them

Looking to Invest or Live in an up and Coming Neighborhood?: 5 Clues to Finding ThemMaking a home purchase in a neighborhood that is sure to boom in the coming years can be a great real estate investment, but guessing on the next trendy locale may seem fraught with risk. If you’re trying to determine which area will be up and coming down the road, here are some telltale signs that buying may be a benefit to your bank account.

Full Of Creative Energy

Many bohemian areas are popular because of their lower rental and purchase prices, but a locale with plenty of artists and cultural vibrancy is probably going to be on the upswing soon with the interest it will attract. While an investment may be economical in the short-term, it may see a significant spike in the years to come.

Community Restoration In Progress

There’s a good sign, whether it’s parkland or buildings, that if restorations and renovations are occurring in a community, it’s going to see an increase in purchasing prices soon. With a nicer area and better amenities, it won’t take long for people to flock to a revived area.

Close Proximity To Cool Locales

When development of one neighborhood has left little room for further changes, there’s a good chance that prospects will move into surrounding communities to capitalize on the popularity of the area. If you’re considering a neighborhood that’s close to somewhere trendy, it’s almost a sure thing it will see its star rise.

College Kids And Young Professionals?

Restaurants and bars tend to pop up in areas where students and young professionals abound, and as the area becomes more popular it will likely see a spike in its real estate value. With the establishment of many cool places, you can bet that an area full of young people will become the place to be.

Ask A Realtor

There are few people that will be more informed about upcoming building projects in their city than a realtor, so you may want to check in with one to determine the economic viability of an area you’re considering. A realtor you can trust should be able to give you an honest answer about your potential investment.

From young people to community restorations, there are many telltale signs of a community that is likely to see a real estate boom in the coming years. If you’re looking to purchase in a new neighborhood and are curious about your options, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.

Eliminate These 5 Barriers To Saving For Your Down Payment This Month!

Saving Up: 5 Barriers to Saving Money That You Can Eliminate in Just One MonthWith all the expenses that go into monthly living and the temptations that come along with life, saving money for the down payment on your new home can be quite a struggle for many people. If you’re having a hard time saving and are wondering what you can do to ensure a higher bank balance next month, here are a few things that may pose a risk to getting the home of your dreams.

Forgetting To Take Lunch

One of the things most likely to defeat your bank balance is the daily office trip to the deli or diner. Instead of opting for an easy but expensive $10.00 lunch, take a few minutes at the end of each day to put together a sandwich or salad so you don’t have to spend extra funds on your lunch break.

Relying On Cable Television

With all the available options for streaming services, many people are switching out their packages for something a lot more economical. Cable can easily add up to $100.00 a month to your expenses, but a streaming service may only be a fraction of the cost and will provide savings you’ll soon notice.

Splurging On Morning Coffee

Grabbing the familiar cup of joe on the way to the office is certainly a way to ease yourself into the day, but one coffee can add up to a huge expense by the end of the month. If this is a vice you crave, try taking your own coffee to work and opt for a treat once a week if you really can’t resist.

Impulse Buys At The Grocery Store

Food certainly counts as a necessity, but there are many things that end up in the grocery cart at the end of a shopping trip that aren’t really staple items. If your cart is filling up with chips and chocolate, you might want to stick to your list or review your cart before the final purchase.

Avoiding Your Budget

Unless you’re taking to a spreadsheet to balance out your expenses and earnings, you may not see any significant savings at the end of each month. Budgeting will give you a better idea of what you can and can’t afford consistently, so make sure you’re writing everything down.

The idea of cutting back on spending is rarely a popular one, but there are things you can do every day that will make for a better bank balance at the end of the month. If you’re looking for more tips on buying your own home, contact your trusted mortgage professional today!

Ready to Move in to Your New Home? Not So Fast! Take Care of These 3 Items Before the Big Move

Ready to Move in to Your New Home? Not So Fast! Take Care of These 3 Items Before the Big MoveWith the excitement involved in moving into a new home and all of the things that need to be done, it can be easy to forget a few important things before you load up the moving van. If the day of departure is drawing closer and you’re mulling over the final details, here are some items you may want to check off the list first.

Install A New Lock

One of the most important aspects of home ownership is the feeling of security it automatically provides, so you’ll want to change out the locks on the doors before you embark on the big move. As soon as you’ve received the keys to your new home, contact a locksmith who will be able to do the dirty work for you or, if time permits, you may want to take on this task on your own and save a little bit of money in the process.

Do A Quick Clean

With so many boxes to unpack and items to organize, the concept of cleaning the house you’ve just moved into might not be very appealing; however, this can be a necessary step in making you and your family feel more at home. It doesn’t have to be the kind of cleanup that will take 10 hours, but a quick dusting and wiping of cabinets and appliances, as well as a quick sweep and vacuum of the floor, may change the way you feel about your new home.

If Time Permits, Paint!

If the walls of your new house happen to be in immaculate shape, you can probably avoid paint; however, a prime up of the walls can add a lot to the sparkle of your new home and may make it feel like yours much sooner. Instead of going for boldness or deciding on a decorating scheme right away, choose a neutral color that will instantly brighten your room. If the walls are in particularly bad shape, you may even want to contact a professional who will be happy to sand and spackle away.

Moving into a new home is undoubtedly a time of great excitement, but there are some things you should do before you make yourself comfortable in your new place. If you’re curious about what’s available on the market and would like to know your options, you may want to contact one of our local real estate professionals for more information.