The housing market has moved past the bust, but it’s still finding its way to a boom, though things are building. According to Consumer Reports, in 2016, nearly 1.23 million new homes were built and this year analysts project that over $300 billion will be invested in home improvement. With that much likely to be spent on updating and renovating, the next question clearly must be – what’s going to add the most value? The following smart trends should help you decide on a few ideas for your home or real estate investments.
Smart homes are not a new trend, but as innovations occur, more can be done at a lower cost. Topping the list of desired items are home security systems, security cameras, and easy charging and connection options. For security systems and camera, Ring just introduced their new product, a Floodlight Cam Security Camera, retailing for approximately $250. No more need for a traditional floodlight, since this hardwired device includes a motion-activated camera and floodlights. There’s also an 110-decibel siren alarm and a two-way talk feature that live-streams audio and video using a free app from Ring. You can virtually monitor your home or property from anywhere you get cell service.
Connected appliances and devices are easier to get and use when connected to digital voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. All new General Electric appliances come WiFi-ready with their own digital assistant, Geneva – who can easily talk with Amazon’s Alexa. So if you need to preheat the oven, but you’re tied up in the other end of the house, if Alexa is close, just say, Alexa, ask Geneva to preheat the oven to 350.
This is a larger investment, but if the kitchen is already being renovated say with new counter-tops, back-splashes or cupboards, consider new connected appliances. Get them in a matte finish, since that too is a new trend that extends beyond the appliances to counter-tops and back-splashes as well. There’s one exception to that, though: marble! Marble is a major trend these days.
If there’s a problem in the walls of a home, it can go undetected until it ends up being a very costly repair job, but smart tech provides a solution here too. One detection system, called Wally, is a wireless network that logs water leaks, humidity, and large changes in temperature and informs you via your smartphone. Or there’s a new product that will hit the market soon offering an internet-connected shutoff valve that detects water leaks and turns off the water automatically. That should be available on Sears.com starting in the Spring for only $200.
You may already have a robotic vacuum, but the next big thing is a self-cleaning toilet. Yes, a bidet helps keep you get clean, but the new self-cleaning toilets mean they in turn stay clean with almost no help from you whatsoever. Lowes offers one for just $350. It has a built-in cleaning cartridge, an easy to remove seat, and it’s curved to make what little cleaning it needs that much easier. Other self-cleaning toilets offer UV light along with an electrolyzed water system to kill germs and keep things sparkling.
There are various high-tech innovations in development now. Imagine doing small loads of dishes while they stay in the sink, or a suction system built into the edges of the kitchen floor so crumbs get removed automatically, though there’s a current option that could work in until the future arrives.
Other High-Tech Options
Televisions don’t have to be seen anymore, at least not as a traditional framed television. Tech television makers can blend them right into a mirror, or have a transparent one that drops down from your ceiling only showing the screen when it is being used. If you’re looking for something unique and different, talk with an electronic system contractor to find out what the possibilities may be in your home.