Smart-Home Technology – What Homeowners Want

Smart Phone Smart Home TechnologyIn today’s digital world we are connected to technology like never before. The day of using “the clapper(clap on, clap off) to turn lights off is over. Devices now allow us to control so many things in our homes – from thermostats to garage doors to slow cookers.

The convenience of a smart home is appealing to many home buyers. A recent survey reveals interesting insights about smart-home technology and what homeowners want.

Desired Smart-Home-Features
A survey published by the National Association of Realtors indicated while most homeowners (82 percent) are not asking real estate agents about smart homes, they are still very interested. Buyers want smart-home functions to provide them with these top benefits:

  • Security (81% deem this “very important” or “somewhat important”)
  • Privacy (75%)
  • Energy savings (78%)
  • Cost savings (77%)
  • Comfort (71%)

While homeowners are intrigued by the possibilities that smart products can provide, fewer than 50 percent could name even the most popular products such as Nest thermostats or tools offered by well-known brands like Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Products of Interest
While there are many smart products currently available and more coming to market each day. Here are some techie conveniences that are of interest:

Smart Locks
Smart locks do far more than let you in and out of your home. Today’s smart locks allow you to monitor who entering your home while you are away. Some models let you assign access privileges to friends, family members, contractors or others.

Many smart locks include a mobile or web app that lets you lock and unlock doors remotely a from a mobile device or computer. These apps allow you to set access privileges and some provide for voice activation or geofencing, which lets you set a perimeter that, when detected, locks or unlocks automatically.

Smart Lights
Homeowners can replace a basic incandescent light bulb with a smart, LED-equipped bulb controllable by smart phone, tablet or computer. These bulbs come in a standard white light or can change colors or brightness on the fly. Light beams can be dispersed broadly like a traditional bulb or narrowed to provide a focused beam. Bulbs can be scheduled to save on energy costs and brighten up the home when you arrive.

There are also devices that control your home’s outdoor lights. This would be very convenient during the holidays if you like to decorate with lights.

Smart Thermostats
One of the most popular early technologies, the smart thermostat, offers a lot of other good options for homeowners. Like smart lights, they help conserve energy by scheduling temperature changes for when homes are occupied. While some only control heating and cooling, modern models also manage ventilation and dehumidification systems. Others can analyze the habits of house usage and recommend settings to lower energy costs further.

Given that so many home buyers are still unaware of smart-home possibilities, giving them information is one of the most valuable things a real estate agent can do to help create even more value in their homes.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

 

 

Eight One Three Broadway Condominiums in Downtown Cincinnati are Ready for Preview

May 19-20, 2018 – Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend!

Sibcy Cline Super Open House WeekendThe weekend of May 19-20, 2018 is going to be a great one for home buyers: it’s a Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend. Look for may Sibcy Cline listed properties to be held open for preview. Mark your calendar now!

Look at homes for sale throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

How to Get Ready to Buy Your First Home

花火8When preparing to buy a home, it’s important for buyers to work with a real estate professional who can advise the best possible strategies for getting a mortgage and finding an affordable home. This partnership can make the real estate sales process go a lot more smoothly.

Perhaps the most important part of getting into the housing market for the first time is to do as much homework as possible before diving in. That means first determining what homes in a given area are selling for, and what that cost would mean in terms of monthly mortgage payments, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, property taxes and so on. Closing costs should also be considered.

A Strong Financial Profile
Buyers not only need to have savings available to make a sizable down payment, but  have the ability to afford the long-term cost of a home on an ongoing basis. Having a strong credit score will not only result in a good rating and unlock mortgage availability, but will also bring down mortgage rates (and thus the cost of a home.)

Additionally, larger down payments will reduce the principal of the loan. When buyers combine a high down payment (preferably in excess of 20 percent) along with good credit, they may position themselves to save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loans.

Keep in Mind
When trying to determine how much home buyers can afford, they should try to remember a few basic rules of thumb about housing costs. Generally speaking, experts advise that a mortgage payment should not cost more than one quarter of one’s monthly income. While there may be a little bit of wiggle room here, this is a good anchor point at which to set expectations for affordability.

Of course, some home buyers may have their sights set on properties that are more expensive than they can currently afford, especially with the way prices are rising in today’s market. This simply means they will need to put in more work to improve their credit score (to get a better rate) or put more into savings (to increase the size of a down payment).

Working with a real estate professional will help buyers truly understand what they should be looking for in the market and how they can best approach their home-buying efforts.

Interested in becoming pre-approved for a mortgage loan? Start with Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

First-Time Buyer? Tips to Follow to Get Pre-qualified for a Home

 花火8

It is important for first-time home buyers to know the best ways to navigate the mortgage market. Taking time to better understand the real estate sales process and how to qualify for the best possible mortgage terms will go a long way in reducing stress. Plus, getting the right type of home loan could save a buyer tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.

Get Pre-Approval
One of the smartest things inexperienced home buyers can do to make themselves eligible to buy a home as quickly as possible is to get pre-approval on a mortgage. Your loan officer will be looking for the best type of mortgage loan to meet your needs with the lowest rate possible. A pre-approval helps the first-time home buyers better understand the true cost of homeownership: beyond the mortgage payment there is the cost for mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. Plus, with pre-approval, an offer on a home is taken more seriously by the home seller. 

Down Payment
The larger the down payment buyers can put together, the better off they will be going forward. This will not only increase chances of qualifying for a mortgage in the first place – and in doing so, getting a better rate – but also reduce their payments going forward, making homeownership more affordable. In some cases, it will also eliminate the need to pay private mortgage insurance altogether.

Work on Your Credit Score
It is also important that potential buyers
make sure their credit is up to snuff before they even think about actually applying for a mortgage. The higher an applicant’s credit score, the more likely to get approved and lock in a low rate. However, that may mean months of work to improve the financial conditions that go into a credit score, including paying down outstanding credit card balances and keeping up with all payments. (When you are buying a home it is really important NOT to make large purchases such as furniture, appliances or a new car. These type of purchases are reported to credit bureaus and can add a blemish to your credit.)

Save Money
At the same time, it’s important for new home buyers to make sure they’ve put aside additional savings to help cover closing costs and other expenses that typically crop up after moving into a home such as additional furnishings and unexpected repairs. Keep in mind that property taxes can rise. 

Talk to a Loan Officer and Real Estate Agent
Be sure to meet with a loan officer and real estate professional for guidance and valuable advice on how to proceed in the market and get the best possible deal out for your home purchase.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. Learn more here.

 

 

It’s Time Again for a Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend April 21-22, 2018

FBAd_1200_628_April2018_SuperLooking to a buy a home? Plan on attending an open house or two during the Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend on April 21-22, 2018. There will be some great homes to see throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

Look at homes for sale.

Why buy and sell a home now?
Home values have risen. Mortgage interest rates are low. Now may be the best time for you to sell your old home and find a new one to meet your needs!

Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend – March 17-18, 2018

FBAd_1200_628_March2018_Super.jpgSibcy Cline agents are holding a Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend on March 17-18, 2018. There will be lots of great homes to see throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

Look at homes for sale.

It’s a great time to sell and buy a home! Mortgage interest rates remain low. Home values are rising. Now may be the right time for you to sell your old home and find a new one to meet your needs.