Dan’s Holiday Gift Guide: Best Smart Home Devices

According to my calendar it’s still November but apparently the stores aren’t on the same schedule because no matter where I go the holiday season seems to be in full swing. While I could turn this into a rant about what an appropriate date is to start playing Christmas music and put up decorations (December 1st!), I’d rather this post be a little more useful to you.

Odds are you’ve got bunch of people to buy gifts for. I know I certainly do. This year, I plan to be smart about my gift giving… literally. As in I’m giving people cool tech products to turn their home into a smart home. Soon everything in your house will be connected to the internet so I figure, why not get a head start? With that in mind, I’ve made a gift guide of the best smart home devices of 2017.

Nest Learning Thermostat

This is one of the coolest smart products around. The Nest Learning Thermostat replaces your old style thermostat and, like the name says, learns your heating and cooling habits. Whenever you change the temperature, Nest picks up on when you like it warm, when you like it cold, and when you’re actually at home. Once it learns this info, it’ll start programming itself around your schedule so your furnace or A/C only runs when you actually need it to. You can also control Nest remotely so if it’s cold when you leave in the morning but the day warms up significantly, you can turn your heat off from work! It’s a great way to save on your power bill. Plus it looks gorgeous.

Netgear Arlo Q Security Camera

If you or your loved ones don’t already have a security camera, I recommend picking up the Netgear Arlo Q Camera. It’s easy to set up, records in full HD video 24/7, has night vision, and even two way audio so you can listen in and speak from the app on your phone. The app also lets you check in on things when you’re out and about and will alert you when something out of the ordinary happens. Definitely a smart way to feel more secure.

Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock

Ever had had an armload of grocery bags and when you arrive at your door, you realize your keys are still in your pocket and you have to juggle things around to get them out? Yeah, the Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock eliminates that by unlocking when it senses your phone nearby. It’s got a close range authentication system so it won’t open until you’re close to it or you can lock and unlock it remotely using your phone. Definitely a neat upgrade over hiding a spare key somewhere. It still comes with a Weiser lock built in for old fashioned access but with something this slick, I bet you won’t use it often.

Phillips Hue Lighting

Do you need smart light bulbs? No. Will you want them after seeing them? Heck yeah! The Phillips Hue system is the most complete system of smart lights available. As with everything on the list, you can control them with your phone or with a smart home hub like Google Home or Amazon Echo. Yes, they’re more expensive than regular “dumb” bulbs but since they’re LED, they’ll last for years. You can set them to turn off when you leave the room, dim when you’re watching your smart TV, and even set up colour schemes with different hues (see what I did there?) depending on the vibe you want.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are smart washer and dryers, smart blinds, smart smoke detectors, and a heck of a lot more. I even read an article there’s a company trying to launch a series of smart pans that’ll alert you when your food is cooked! If there’s anyone at all on your gift list that loves technology, they’d be thrilled to get one of the smart home devices I’ve listed here. All of them can be found at tech-y stores like Best Buy or the Telus Store in Orchard Park Mall, though Home Depot and RONA have started carrying a few of them too.

And if you or someone you know is looking to find a new home to fill with smart tech, make the smart choice and contact me to help! I might not come with an app but I’m easy to get a hold of and I’ll always try to get you exactly what you want.

5 Home Staging Ideas To Sell Your Penticton Home Faster

The proof is there. Staging your home helps to increase property value and sell your home quicker. Here are five home-staging ideas for a faster and better sale.

1. Aesthetics Are Important

The majority of folks only pay attention to real estate listings with nice pictures. Anything that looks blurry, dated, or messy? Next! Before you even think about taking real estate photos or having an open house, make sure it looks nice. There are plenty of ways to decorate your home for a more inviting feel; lighting each room with ambient, task, and accent lighting can help people feel more comfortable. Also, try mixing together three different sized table decorations with different colours, shapes, and textures, and don’t forget to declutter every single room which should be a home seller’s number one priority.

2. Too Personal Is Too Much

Okay, this one can be a bit tough but you have to take down some of your family photos on the wall. If a home-buyer can’t picture themselves living within your space because you and your kids are, well, everywhere, they’re not going to buy it. Replace those dozens of family pictures with modern art pieces placed in creative spaces throughout your home for a clean and inviting aesthetic.

3. Contemporary Sells

If your home is out-dated, there are plenty of simple home improvements you can do to sell your home faster. Paint the inside of your front door a different colour than the rest of your house, stick with a neutral theme throughout the interior, and try adding pops of colour to walls that make sense. Giving your home a fresh and modern look will wow those home-buyers and who knows? They might just put in an offer.

4. Style Furniture

For bedroom staging ideas, try creating a relaxing atmosphere with soft colours, fresh linens, and furniture that’s in good shape. For livingroom styling tips, keep the area clean and neatly add throw pillows and blankets to the couch to create a comfy feeling. Also, autumn is here and if you’re wanting to stage your home for the fall season, look no further than your own backyard. Try an autumn DIY project where you collect leaves and create a dining room table centrepiece for some budget-friendly home staging.

5. DIY Home Décor

I mentioned above about a budget-friendly way to stage your dining room, and if money is an issue or you just like to get crafty, there are so many ways to improve your home with little to no money out of your pocket, like making your own artwork and frames to hang on the wall, creating your own headboard for the bedroom, and getting comfortable with doing minor maintenance on your own like patching up holes, recaulking the sinks, and keeping up with your landscaping.

For more ways to sell your home quick, see 20 helpful tips to helping your home sell. When you’re ready, get in touch and I’ll happily help you list your home and sell it fast.