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7 Smart Features to Include in Your Next Home Upgrade

Person using home automation to control lighting, heating, air conditioning … etc in modern apartment with fireplace, large windows with blinds, wooden floor and concrete ceiling.

Homebuyers today have become ever more discerning. They’re not just looking for a state-of-the-art kitchen or a well-appointed master bedroom, they’re also looking for convenient and money-saving features. If you’re looking to renovate your home, consider including these clever upgrades:

LED there be lights

Here’s a bright idea: replace fluorescent or incandescent lights with LED bulbs, which consume up to 80% less energy. LED lights can also be integrated into home automation systems, allowing you to turn them on or off remotely with your smartphone. For even more savings, install occupancy sensors, which scan a room for people and turn off the light automatically if there aren’t any.

Gadget-friendly sockets

Isn’t time to upgrade your home to suit today’s gadget-centric world? A great way of doing so is by adding built-in USB ports into your power outlets. This simple but useful feature lets you plug in smartphones, tablets, and other devices without the need for adaptors. A USB socket that outputs 4.8 amps should be enough to power most gadgets.

Master your thermostat

Thermostats should be adjusted according to the the season to maximize savings, but many homeowners forget to do so. With a smart thermostat, however, you can set desired temperatures throughout the day and throughout the year, so you only ever have to program it once. Your power company may even offer a rebate for installing such power-saving devices, making them truly a smart investment.

Stress-free lawn care

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a verdant front lawn. Unfortunately, up to 60% of urban fresh water is used just to maintain front yards. Luckily, there are now smart irrigation controllers that utilize evapotranspiration calculations to determine the optimal time and amount of water to use on your lawn. With this simple tweak, you can save up to 7,600 gallons of water each year.

All-natural energy

Installing solar panels can make your home more self-reliant, and potentially save you thousands of dollars in electricity costs. Though the upfront cost can be rather significant, there are federal tax credit programs that can offset your expenses.

Outsmart intruders

Aside from making everyday living more convenient, smart upgrades can also make your home safer. Integrate an alarm panel into your home automation system, and it will send you a mobile alert if doors or windows are forcibly opened. Likewise, a smart lock automatically bolts a door when you exit the house, so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to lock the front door.

Level up your smoke detector

Get more peace of mind by swapping out your old smoke detectors with a smart one. These devices send you phone alerts when they detect smoke, letting you report home fires even if you’re out and about. Another convenient feature: they’ll also notify you when the battery is running low, so you’ll never be caught off guard.

Not quite sure where to begin with smart home upgrades? Jane Sullivan Horne can help!

As one of the most trusted real estate professionals in the Smith Mountain Lake area, she has an extensive network of experts who can provide guidance to you. Give her a call at 540.493.1690 or 800.858.4653 or send an e-mail to Jane(at)JaneAtTheLake(dotted)com.