3 Must-Have Home Amenities


modern kitchen

 

Some amenities that homebuyers once considered “nice-to-have” are moving into the “must-have” category. Below are three that experts say have grown in demand among home shoppers:

 

Smart Homes

More and more homes can be controlled via smart phone or tablet. Appliances and home systems can be turned on, off, or programmed via mobile devices. Some smart refrigerators have built-in apps that can create grocery shopping lists and smart ovens can be remotely controlled to start dinner or check on the status of what’s cooking.

 

Stainless-Steel Alternatives

Stainless-steel appliances have long dominated but some homebuyers are seeking alternatives. White ice and slate are increasingly growing as options to stainless-steel. Slate is being touted as an easy choice to blend in with other black, white or stainless-steel finishes. It can resist fingerprints and washes easily, too.

 

Energy Efficiency

Many homebuyers place a premium on finding a home with energy-efficient, cost-effective appliances. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy than their older counterparts. Also gaining popularity are smarter appliances, including dishwashers with sensors that can determine the appropriate cycle length and water temperature and washers that can extract more water from laundry during the spin cycle so the dryer has less drying to do.

7 Smart Homes Worth Studying


We live in a digital age, and many new homes now include different forms of automation. 

 

From thermostats and light switches to vacuums and speakers, enjoy a new level of comfortable living with simple devices and the tap of your smart phone. Here are some of our favorite smart homes on the market.

 

1_2104 WILLOW BEND

2104 Willow Bend Drive | Plano | $5,999,000

 

2_2021 GRANADA

2021 Granada Trail | Westlake | $2,799,950

 

3_4818 IRVIN SIMMONS

4818 Irvin Simmons Drive | North Dallas | $2,750,000

 

4_1271 SHELBY

1271 Shelby Lane | Celina | $2,100,000

 

5_6301 THERESA

6301 Theresa Lane | Colleyville | $1,899,000

 

6_455 TOSCANA

455 Toscana Circle | Gordonville | $1,100,000

 

7_3663 BRIAR TREE

3663 Briar Tree Lane | Frisco | $790,000

 

To view all the incredible smart homes available across North Texas, visit the mobile-friendly Ebby.com.

Love This Listing: Amazing Allen Abode


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Situated in the prestigious Reserve at Hamilton Hills, this stunning custom offers complete home automation technology for ease of living. The energy-efficient residence features hardwood flooring, abundant natural light and a spa-like master suite. Watch the video to learn more about why we love this listing.

Need-to-Know Numbers:

1315 Lincoln Court
• $899,000
• 5 bedrooms
• 5 baths, 1 half-bath
• 4,793 square feet

Love This Listing: Contemporary Estate


960x640_920 S Peytonville Avenue_Thumbnail

 

Situated on 4.4 acres in Southlake, this luxurious smart home is an interior designer’s dream with an open floor plan and attention to every detail. The backyard oasis features an infinity pool and spa, firepit, covered patio and an outdoor living center to enjoy with family and friends. This modern home includes a six-car garage and a fully functional four-stall horse barn. Impeccably maintained, this property is a must-see! Watch the video to learn more about why we love this listing.

Need-to-Know Numbers:

920 S. Peytonville Avenue
• $3,600,000
• 3 bedrooms
• 3 baths, 2 half-baths
• 5,175 square feet

Mother’s Day Gift Guide


Mother'sDayGiftGuideMother’s Day is around the corner and we’ve rounded up a few items perfect for giving to someone special in your life.

MothersDayGifts1. French Lavender Hand Soap & Lotion – $44.95
Pamper your mom with this delightfully-scented and ultra-soothing hand soap, dish soap, and lotion set perfect for any sink or bathroom.
2. Brown Sugar Body Polish – $67.00
This natural sugar exfoliant promises to leave skin soft, silky, and glowing. The warm brown sugar scent is reminiscent of freshly-baked cookies. Need we say more?
3. Japanese Plum Bloom Candle – $26.00
This 16-ounce candle offers the scent of plum bloom petals and leaves, ripe plum fruit, and crushed currants. The jar is beautiful enough to be reused, too!
4. Faux Fur Robe – $69.95
Give the gift of luxury with this soft, plush robe. It’s even machine washable!
5. S’well® Water Bottle – $45.00
This double-walled, vacuum-sealed stainless-steel water bottle will keep any beverage hot or cold for an extended period of time. (Pro tip: The 25-ounce size holds an entire bottle of wine too…)
6. KitchenAid Stand Mixer – $569.99
This durable stand mixer is the perfect gift for the serious foodie. It offers 10 speeds to mix, knead, and whip ingredients quickly and easily.
7. iRobot® Roomba – $799.99
Give the gift of a smarter home with this Roomba® 980. With just the push of a button, it can seamlessly navigate and vacuum any floor clean of pet hair, crumbs, or random Cheerios.
8. Walnut Cookbook Holder – $49.95
Following recipes is now even easier with this gorgeous cookbook holder. Prop up cookbooks, Grandma’s recipes, or a tablet for perfect visibility.

How to Make Your Home Smarter



We live in a digital age, and many new homes now include different forms of home automation. If you’re interested in automating certain aspects of your home, it’s easy to add these smart systems yourself. Simple devices you can find in stores come in the form of thermostats, light switches, vacuums, and speakers and will offer you a new level of comfortable living unlike anything you’ve experienced before.EchoDot
1. Amazon Echo Dot – $49.99
You’ve probably heard a lot of conversation about this Amazon device and its narrator Alexa. The Echo Dot is a smaller version of the Echo, a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker that allows you to play music, control volume, control smart home devices, ask questions, set alarms, follow recipes, and more.


WeMo

2. Belkin WeMo® Switch – $39.99
The WeMo Switch Smart Plug is perhaps one of the easiest ways to automate your home. All you need to do is plug the switch into an outlet, download the WeMo app, connect to your home Wi-Fi, and start controlling your devices from anywhere. This plug allows you to put your devices on a timer, sync lights with sunrise or sunset, and turn on or off randomly to ward off potential intruders. You can also use it to turn on or off small appliances like space heaters or coffee makers.

 


Roomba960

3. iRobot Roomba® 960 – $699.99
The Roomba® 960 is an automatic vacuum on the cutting-edge of smart home technology. The device can navigate an entire level of your home, keeping track of its progress and recharging as needed until the job is done. The 960 allows you to use the iRobot HOME App to clean and schedule on the go.
Braava
4. iRobot Braava 380t mopping robot – $299.99
Is mopping where your home cleaning falls short? The makers at iRobot have come up with a solution – the Braava mopping robot. This device has the ability to sweep up to 1,000 square feet or mop up to 350 square feet in a single cleaning cycle. And guess what? It’s even compatible with reusable cleaning cloths such as Swiffer® pads.

 

Petzi


5. Petzila Petzi Treat Cam – $169.95
Ever wonder what your pet does when you aren’t home? Well, now you can find out. With this device, you can see and speak to your pet, as well as launch a treat to keep your pet’s attention. Simply connect to the app to control the device remotely, and give your pet attention even when you’re not there.

 

Nest
6. Nest – $249
The Nest smart thermostat is the ultimate smart home device that makes living more comfortable and saves money long-term. Not only does Nest learn the temperatures you like and programs itself to follow suit, but it will also automatically turn itself down when nobody is home to save energy. And if you already own Amazon Alexa, you’re in luck. Nest works with the Echo or Echo dot to be voice-controlled.

Amazon Dash
7. Amazon Dash (exclusive for Prime members) – $4.99
These Amazon Dash buttons are perfect for those who are frequently on the go. If you notice you’re running low on a product, simply press the button to order a pre-set item to arrive in a few days. In addition, the Dash buttons come in a wide variety of products such as food, health, beauty, and pet items. This small button will save you an emergency trip to the store, and you’ll also get your $4.99 back when you place your first Dash order.

WeMo Crock Pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Crock-Pot® 6-Quart Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo® – $129.99
If you’re constantly on-the-go but prefer to eat home-cooked meals, a slow cooker can be a saving grace. Now, they’re becoming more and more high-tech and offer additional features making the process even easier. This slow cooker allows you to control the cook time and temperature from your smartphone. Arriving home later than expected? No problem. If your meal is done cooking, you can change the temperature to the warm setting until you get back.

3 Home Amenities in Demand


3 Home Amenities Growing in Demand

 

Some amenities that homebuyers now consider “nice-to-have” may soon move into the “must-have” category. Below are three that experts say are growing in demand among home shoppers:

 

Smart homes – More and more homes can be controlled via a smart phone or tablet. Appliances and home systems can be turned on, off, or programmed via mobile devices. Some smart refrigerators have built-in apps that can create grocery shopping lists and smart ovens can be remotely controlled to start dinner or check on the status of what’s cooking.

 

Stainless-steel alternatives – Stainless-steel appliances have long dominated but some homebuyers are seeking alternatives. White ice and slate are increasingly growing as options to stainless-steel. Slate is being touted as an easy choice to blend in with other black, white, or stainless-steel finishes. It can resist fingerprints and washes easily, too.

 

Energy efficiency – Many homebuyers place a premium on finding a home with energy-efficient, cost-effective appliances. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy than their older counterparts. Also gaining popularity are smarter appliances, including dishwashers with sensors that can determine the appropriate cycle length and water temperature and washers that can extract more water from laundry during the spin cycle so the dryer has less drying to do.

 

Green Updates that Add Value to Your Home


The green trend is growing across countless industries and sectors, and real estate is no exception. Energy efficiency and resource conservation features are attractive enough that many home buyers are willing to pay thousands more for an energy-optimized home.

 

If you’re looking to put your house on the market soon, you’re probably weighing your options and wondering which updates will help your case. The answer is: think green. Here are a few suggestions for increasing the numbers behind that dollar sign—and benefitting the environment in the meantime.

 

Install New Energy-Efficient Appliances

listing_26
3605 Indian Trail | Dalworthington Gardens | $995,000

According to Energy Star, a dishwasher that was manufactured before 1994 wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle and wastes $35 per year. A fridge that’s older than a decade could be costing you even more, too. If it’s time for you to replace a kitchen appliance, consider investing in an Energy Star-rated model, which uses less energy and decreases your negative impact on the environment. When you shop for a new model, look at the EnergyGuide label so that you can compare the yearly cost of operating the appliance. Be sure to properly recycle your old model so that your effort to save resources doesn’t go to waste.

 

Get Smart

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The earliest dream of the smart home was to simply make everything more convenient. But as the tech industry and consumers grow wiser to how our actions affect the environment, smart home technology has dovetailed into something more meaningful. Smart home applications and appliances allow you to closely manage your home, from adjusting the lighting to keeping close track of your energy use. But if you’re not ready to partake in a smart home overhaul, starting with a thermostat is a great way to cut down on your energy bill. Some smart thermostat models, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, pick up on your routine and adjust accordingly. The temperature will rise or decrease according to occupancy, so that you’re not wasting energy while everyone is away.

 

Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Windows

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3915 Purdue Avenue | University Park | $1,790,000

Caulk and weatherstrip are crucial for preventing air leaks and drafts. If your existing windows are fairly new and in good shape, consider retrofitting them with energy-efficient coatings and treatments. If your windows are old or inefficient, you may find that buying new windows entirely is a better investment than retrofitting. Make sure that you understand energy performance ratings before you purchase new windows so that you can get the best bang for your buck. Consider purchasing heavier window coverings or an outdoor awning to decrease heat transfer and keep your home comfortable.

 

Add Insulation

Technology is an amazing tool for reducing your energy costs, but energy optimization can be as simple as adding insulation. Air sealing and insulation techniques allow your HVAC system to perform more effectively. If your home is older, chances are it’s somewhat less efficient than it could be with increased insulation. One way to know whether your home has enough insulation and where it should be added is to hire an energy auditor to assess it. This way, you won’t waste time and effort installing insulation materials where they’re not needed.

Common culprits of heat loss include the attic, and the walls and floors surrounding an unheated space, like a garage. Energy.gov has more information on adding insulation in order to make your home more efficient.

 

Replace Regular Faucets with Low-Flow

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4915 Stanford Avenue | Dallas – Rector Place | $1,498,500

Standard faucets have an average flow of 2 gallons per minute (gpm). If that doesn’t mean much to you, a low-flow faucet has a comparative gpm of 0.5, which means conserving 75 percent of the water you use. Standard showerheads come in at 3 gpm, while low-flow showerheads have a 1.6 gpm. But your updates don’t have to stop there; you can also retrofit your toilets with low-flow flush valves. You can save money while conserving water, without experiencing a noticeable difference in your hygiene routine.

 

Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an editor and writer for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.