The latest Cheddar @ Home episode details how to buy and sell a home with smart home products
When it comes to buying a new home, house hunters are inundated with decisions. The typical choices – such as the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, or the style of the home – are still on people’s minds. And these days, another popular topic for first-time homebuyers is a home’s ability to easily incorporate smart home products.
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For sellers, they too have choices about smart home products: they can either bring those smart home devices with them, or leave them in the home to increase the value of their home. Cheddar @ Home recently spoke with Lourdes Pena, a real estate agent with Redfin, about the latest home-buying trends. Pena advises her sellers to leave some of those smart devices in the home.
For example, if something is mounted to the wall or ceiling – like a flat-panel TV or a smart thermostat, or a sound system, the sellers will likely leave that. Home owners may want to bring their wireless cameras or appliances to their next home, so it’s best to check with your agent to be sure.
Pena also shared a few other home-buying tips, including:
1. Location. Consider where you want to buy. Should it be in a good school district? Do you want an easy commute? How about a nice “walking score?”
2. Finances. You’ll want to know what you can afford before you start your search. Pena also recommends to get pre-approved for a loan before you start searching so your dream home doesn’t get snatched up before you can put the money down.
3. Build the team. Get recommendations from family or friends about a good real estate agent and a mortgage lender.
For those sellers looking to upgrade before they list their home on the market, here are a few ways to connect and control your home and make it more comfortable and secure. And, best of luck to those new home buyers as the Spring market heats up!
Since a vacation might be something you enjoy only one or two times per year, it’s easy to get excited about what to pack and what you’ll see while you’re away. However, it’s important not to overlook home security during this time, especially since you won’t be around. To help increase your security and peace of mind, take into account the home protection tips below.
1. Plug Electronics Into Timers
Avoid a dark and empty looking home by installing timers on a few of your electronics, such as the TVs and lamps. The best type of timer is one that works at random intervals so the electronics don’t turn on at the same time every day.
2. Plan for Mail Collection
You can easily contact USPS to hold your mail while you’re on vacation. Alternatively, you can ask a trusted neighbor to pick up packages and mail for you and store them at their house.
3. Install a Security System
If you are away often, a home security system is one of the best investments you can make. This is especially true now that home automation and wifi video surveillance make it easy to see everything right from your phone. In fact, with many systems, you can log onto your app, look at videos, turn lights on, change your thermostat, and even lock/unlock doors.
4. Plan for Trash Collection
To make it look like you are home, ask a neighbor to take your bins out and put them away once trash has been collected.
5. Invite Someone Over
If you have a friend or family member who needs some extra cash (or time away from home), invite them to be a house sitter.
6. Keep Your Home Maintained
A home with a lawn that isn’t mowed is a clear signal that someone is unlikely to be home. Hire someone to come by and take care of your landscaping for you.
7. Don’t Post Online
Posting online that you’re leaving is a bad idea, especially if your accounts are public. Don’t let others know you’re going to be away from home. Instead, talk about your vacation when you’re back and are going to be home regularly.
8. Set Up Cameras
If you don’t want a full-on home security system, then consider using wifi video surveillance. With this, you can log onto an app and have a real-time view of the camera footage.
9. Use a Video Doorbell
One great investment you can make in home automation is a video doorbell. With this, you’ll be able to see and talk to who is at your door right when they ring the doorbell.
10. Keep Your Garage Door Opener
If you keep your garage door opener in your vehicle, take it out and place it somewhere safe. It’s also recommended to lock your garage door, even if this is something you don’t normally need to do.
By using the tips above, you can keep your home safe, even while you’re far away. More importantly, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home is fully protected at all times.
Have questions about home security? Call KMT Systems TODAY! (770) 284-3144
Home security is one of the most important gifts you can give your family. Knowing you are safe when you are home is priceless. Knowing your home is safe when you are not in it is equally priceless. If you are on the fence about a home security system, here are eight great reasons it’s time to invest today.
Burglars and criminals are less likely to target a home that has a security system. Home security is a powerful deterrent, which means your family is safer at home. Criminals look for these when they want to target a home, and most turn around when they notice a system.
Protect Your Family
If your family sleeps through a criminal breaking into your home, you may not be able to save them. However, you can protect your family by providing them the benefit of knowing that someone has opened a window or door any time of the day. This helps them prepare for what’s happening instead of ending up surprised when it’s too late.
Keep Your Kids Safe
Did you know a security system is about more than just criminals? You can protect your family from the dangers lurking outside even if they aren’t the kind that come inside. For example, if your system comes with a door chime, you will know anytime a door is opened. This might be the notification you need to keep a child inside rather than in the pool.
Save Money on Homeowners Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance premium might go down if you have a security system at home. Call them to find out if you have this option. If you don’t, you can shop around for a lower rate elsewhere by providing them with the name of your security system.
Provide Your Family with Peace of Mind
How often do you travel and wonder what’s going on at home? Now you don’t have to wonder. A security system allows you to know if your home is safe and sound even when you are not there to check on it.
Protect Your Home From Anywhere
With a security system, you can protect your home from anywhere in the world. You can use your app to turn on the lights, to set the alarm, and even the check on other things. Being remotely connected makes your life easier. It also helps you sleep better at night.
Control Your Home
Many security systems now come with smart thermostats and outlets you can control remotely. You can save money on utilities by changing the thermostat anywhere in the world. You can save on worry by turning off outlets if you’re not sure you unplugged something. You can even control the lights and other features in your home.
Check on the Kids
If you have kids, you worry about them. With a security system, you can check on them using cameras and other smart technology. You know when they get home from school in the afternoons. You know if they open a door or window. You know everything, and you can even keep track of who comes to your front door when you’re not home.
A security system is a great investment for the simple reason it makes you feel better about your own life. You are more relaxed, and that’s a priceless feeling. Your home and your family are your priority, and a security system helps you keep them safe.
Spring break is a great opportunity to get out of town, visit somewhere new and spend quality time with family. Unfortunately, it’s also a good opportunity for burglars and thieves to break into homes and steal electronics, jewelry and other expensive and sentimental items.
Does this mean that Atlanta families shouldn’t take spring break trips? Of course not! It just means that you’ll have to take a few extra steps to secure your home before heading out of town. We’ll share some spring break security tips below.
Make It Look Like You’re Home
Don’t make it obvious that you’re out of town. Set lights on a timer, or better yet, hook lights up to your smart home system and turn them on and off remotely. Ask a neighbor to take your mail and newspaper inside, and to put the trash cans out on garbage day. If you’re going to be gone for more than a week, make plans to have your grass cut.
Don’t Broadcast Your Travel Plans
In the age of social media, it’s tempting to post about your exciting spring break plans. But even with your privacy settings turned up, would-be burglars may still be able to see that you’ll be gone. Keep quiet about your trip until after you return.
Make Breaking In More Difficult
Install a deadbolt on your doors and windows, and use motion sensor lights outside of your home.
Monitor Your Home Remotely
A smart home system allows you to check in from wherever you are. Consider installing smart cameras, lights, door locks, temperature controls and more.
Install a Home Security System
By far, the best way to prevent a break-in from occurring while you’re out of town is to install and use a home security system. Not only will this protect your home, but it will also give you peace of mind, allowing you to truly relax and enjoy your long-awaited vacation.
Give KMT Systems a call before you head out on your spring break trip. We can install a home security system, help automate your home and much more. Trusted by more than 6,000 Atlanta-area homes and businesses, our award-winning security company is committed to your safety.
At a recent network meeting, I was talking to an insurance agent. In our conversation, she reminded me why insurance agents give discounts to home owners who have a home security system.
Insurance Is About Calculated Risks
Insurance companies calculated risks. Home owner’s insurance premiums are based on calculated risks. Based on FBI statistics, a US home is burglarized every 13 seconds. Using use same national statistics, homes with security system are 300% less likely to be burglarized.
Home Security Systems Reduce Insurance Premiums
With a home security system, your home is at a lesser risk. Most insurance companies provide discounts on your home insurance premiums. Depending upon your insurance company, you can get anywhere from 5%-20% discount on your homeowners insurance. There may be additional discounts for deadbolts and other home security options.
Call your insurance agent and explore the discounts that maybe available to you with a home security system. In you’re an existing Protection Concept customer, supply us with your insurance company information and we will send them the Certificate of Monitoring so you get your insurance discount. Want to learn more why insurance companies love home security systems, click here for more information.
A Home Burglary Every 15 Seconds…Let me share with you just one important statistic from the FBI. There is a home burglary every 15 seconds in the United States. The FBI defines a home burglary as “Unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft”. More than any other time in the year, summer is the time for home burglaries. With everyone enjoying the fresh air, windows and doors are left open. Summer habits become an open invitation to house thieves to commit a home burglary.
Did you know that with a home alarm monitoring system, you are three time less likely to experience a house break in’s. The prevention can be as simply as having a yard sign or window decal identifying your home alarm system. This may be your best defense for a home burglary.
In the coming weeks, I will share with you some tips on ways to make your summer more secure. If you do not have a home alarm monitoring system, give us a call so we can help bring peace of mind to you and your family for the upcoming summer season. You home alarm system is your best defense for summer home burglaries.