New Gadgets In Homes

Video Door Stations

So the other day I dropped off some “Boo baskets” for neighbors. I’m in a newer subdivision, just constructed over the last handful of years. There are loads of young tech people in the community. Well, I noticed that every household had a Ring-style doorbell.

If ever there was a new gadget sweeping into homes, it has to be the video door station or doorbell. These are becoming fairly ubiquitous around the Trails at Coal Creek. Primarily designed to allow owners to see who is at the door without getting up, the video door stations can also have an impact on criminal mischief. Several times on our neighborhood’s group Facebook page, I’ve seen a door bell video posted of porch pirates or pranksters. These videos can be helpful in dissuading this type of behavior or helping to capture an elusive suspect.

a keyless entry pad by yale although this particular lock offers both a touch pad not visible in the photo and a key option
Keyless Entry – one of the hot new gadgets appearing in homes.

Keyless Entry

This is one of my favorites. After seeing a number of variations while showing property, I selected a Yale lock system for my home. The system is simple. Rather than use a physical key to lock/unlock doors, you simply enter a unique code. Doors can be programmed to automatically lock and new single day use codes can be generated for house cleaning staff and visiting guests.

Wi-Fi

I know what you are thinking – someone would have to be living under a rock not to know about Wi-Fi. Still, there are lots of little improvements a home owner can make here. Consider creating a VPN – virtual personal network – to ensure privacy. Have a guest login so you needn’t give access to your administrator level modem settings. Transmitters can be added in and around your home to push your Wi-Fi signal to the backyard (think: home movies on a mid summers eve) or ensure universal signal on all floors of your house.

All manner of devices can connect via Wi-Fi including:

  • Sprinkler systems and rain sensing shut off switches
  • Automated blinds that open and close based upon sunshine
  • Lighting packages smart enough to turn on as you approach and off when not needed
  • Surround sound set ups to pipe music to every room of a home from your cell phone playlist
  • Kitchen appliances – read on for ideas!

Chef Grade Appliances

Are mechanical upgrades considered gadgets? I dunno. But one thing I do see in beautifully appointed homes that tends to be missing in day to day houses are incredible appliances. Sure, you can say a dishwasher is just that. But the higher grade models have better options on a third rack for washing silverware and operate faster and far more quietly.

Top quality Range/Ovens offer significantly stronger BTU burners. Your water will boil faster for pasta while the dual burners will keep sauces truly simmering without too much heat.

Some of the higher quality ovens offer all manner of cooking ease. One allows you to scroll through a series of pictures until you find your meal. Let’s say you are making a roast. Follow the directions in your cookbook, but then instead of running the oven as directed, scroll through your smart oven images until you see the roast option. Select that and know that your oven will expertly cook your roast for you.

Since starting in real estate, I’ve seen a lot of changes to the industry. In the kitchen a big change has been the refrigerator. Ice makers are not only common, now your ‘Fridge can disburse water, offer little doors to access frequently needed items such as milk and juice or even give you a video view while at the grocery store to ensure you have right ingredients.

Here’s my best tip on refrigeration. Opt for the new school black/grey interior. It is counter intuitive after a lifetime of white interior refrigerators. But having had this for a few months now, it is definitely one of my favorite kitchen appliances of all time.

boxed video door station by august with photo of door bell

Home Theaters

Yes, the home theater continues to evolve. There are the thirty thousand dollar rooms with big comfy seats on different levels. At the other extreme, sound bars allow for wireless home surround sound improvement to your flatscreen set. Then there are the folks like my brother and sister who have installed killer outdoor movie screens and wi-fi enabled projectors. This is a really great way to social distance and have friends over for a new movie in the time of Coronavirus.

Bread Box and Pull Out Shelving

Back in the late Nineties, a hot feature was a breadbox on the kitchen cabinets/counters. That seems to have been a fad. But, also appearing about the same time and a great feature are pull out shelves in your kitchen. These really expand your storage options as you can easily reach anything in the front or back.

This and That

Sliding glass doors and larger (usually non opening) windows with built-in blinds. On a sliding glass door this is just super convenient. But, it can be expensive and if the seal fails, you may need to replace your blinds and door – expensive.

Engineered wood flooring. There is also wood vinyl planking. Some great options abound to have that look of wood, without the massive expense of installation.

Security cameras inside and out. This one is a big change. Owners sometimes add to see what is happening during home showings. Around my neighborhood, I see younger neighors adding as security.

With everything being added to houses, there is a once upon a time ubiquitous item exiting homes. The home telephone seems to really be disappearing from houses. When I show Millennial home buyers houses with wall mounted phones, the buyers always find it to be a throwback to a long ago era.

What Tech Do You Recommend?

The technology we are seeing in houses is ever evolving. What’s missing in this list of new gadgets in homes that needs to be added? What’s your favorite bit of technology? I’ve been at this career a long time, and one thing I’ve learned is that readers like you always know the newest new thing I need to hear about!

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