Get Smart: 5 Ways to Turn Your Home into a Smart Home

Smart homes are rapidly gaining popularity. Being able to control numerous features of your home even while you are away is not only convenient, but it can increase security. There are all kinds of ways to turn your home into a smart home. Some are a little more expensive than others. The following five home automation steps can help you get started.

  1. Control your appliances from your smartphone.

You can invest in new appliances that have this feature, or you can replace electrical devices, such as sockets or plugs, with a smart version. A smart power strip is another option. It is as simple as plugging it in and connecting your devices or appliances. Each plug in the power strip works independently. Android and Apple are supported by the power strip and you can control these devices from anywhere. You can turn any appliance on or off, get notifications when a television, computer, or other device is turned on, monitor carbon monoxide levels, and more.

  1. Know how to control the security system.

Although most people have security systems in place, it is very beneficial to be able to control them from anywhere. When automated access is used, you can limit access to certain areas of the home, such as your office. In addition, your phone can notify you in the event of a problem even when you are not home. Cameras can be used so that you can see every room in your home from your smartphone. Outdoor cameras will allow you to see who has been on your property when you are at work or elsewhere.

  1. Save energy by adding your heating and cooling to an automation system.

If you are gone all day and want to keep heating or cooling costs down, you simply lower or raise the temperature setting. Then you can put it on a comfortable level a half hour or so before you will arrive home. This gives the home time to warm up or cool down before you get home, so you are not heating or cooling an empty house. You can also control blinds with this system, allowing sunlight in for your plants and helping to warm the home during the winter.

  1. Learn how to communicate with your home.

You can control your home using technology similar to what is used when you talk to your smartphone to tell it to dial numbers or look up information. Microphones and a software program which is put on your computer is the simplest way to set up your home to respond to voice commands. The system is set up to recognize words or a phrase to perform virtually anything from turning on or dimming lights to opening drapes, turning on music, enabling or disabling alarms, and more. If you want to know what the weather is like before going out, simply ask. The systems can be set up to answer questions, as well. There are many systems to choose from and with advances in technology, they are doing more and becoming less expensive.

  1. Install a home theater system.

An automated home theater system will provide you with the feel of a movie theater in your home. Movies, videos, music, and more can be streamed throughout your home and even in outdoor areas used for entertaining. An app for your smartphone is simple to use to control all of this and more. Control the lighting for optimal viewing of movies. The sound can be adjusted, providing you with surround sound that is more like what is experienced in movie theaters.

These are just a few of the ways of making your home smart. Not only does an automated system in your home provide convenience and comfort, but it will also give you peace of mind.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Get Smart: 5 Ways to Turn Your Home into a Smart Home appeared first on RISMedia.

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The Second Rule of Home Staging: Keep It Fresh

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$235,000 :: 1922 Holland, Birmingham MI, 48009

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3 beds, 1 full bath
Home size: 1,062 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 01/25/17, Last Updated: 01/26/17
Property Type: 1 1/2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 31311423
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: Birmingham Gardens
Status: Active

This stylishly updated bungalow is the perfect place to call home! Walking in, you are greeted by beautiful hardwood flooring throughout the first floor. The upscale family room features a large window to the let the natural light and fresh air in. Completely updated, the eat-in kitchen showcases all stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, tile backsplash, and beautiful cabinetry. This one-of-a-kind property offers two sizable bedrooms on the first floor. The full bathroom is updated with new vanity, and tile in the tub all in neutral colors to compliment anyones taste. Relax upstairs in the spacious master bedroom featuring tons of windows and an additional space for a seating area. A kitchen doorwall leads you outside to the backyard where you can sit and relax or have friends over for a bonfire. This home sits on a quiet street close to parks, restaurants, and shopping. Included:dishwasher, microwave, range/oven, and refrigerator. Sellers to provide 1 year home warranty.

Listed with Realteam Real Estate


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$539,000 :: 876 HUMPHREY AVE, Birmingham MI, 48009

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Property Photo

3 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 2,356 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 11/15/16, Last Updated: 01/26/17
Property Type: 2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21237421
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: LEINBACH-HUMPHREY’S WOODWARD AVE SUB
Status: Sold

Pristine Hunter-Roberts built residence showcasing exceptional quality and attention to detail throughout. Excellent location! Highly desirable area – Walk to downtown Birmingham, parks, and schools. Stylish eat-in kitchen features an abundance of cabinetry and storage, large breakfast island, granite counters, and is open to the spacious family room with limestone fireplace. Luxurious private master suite with dual closets, dual sink vanity, and large glass enclosed Euro shower. One of the two guest bedrooms is generously oversized; 20′ x 13′. Flowing open concept floor plan, convenient main floor laundry facility, hardwood floors, solid core 6 panel doors, crown molding, recessed lighting, window treatments. Brick paver patio, covered front porch, and gorgeous curb appeal featuring professional landscaping.

Listed with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel-Bir


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$539,000 :: 876 HUMPHREY AVE, Birmingham MI, 48009

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Property Photo

3 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 2,356 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 11/15/16, Last Updated: 01/26/17
Property Type: 2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21237421
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: LEINBACH-HUMPHREY’S WOODWARD AVE SUB
Status: Sold

Pristine Hunter-Roberts built residence showcasing exceptional quality and attention to detail throughout. Excellent location! Highly desirable area – Walk to downtown Birmingham, parks, and schools. Stylish eat-in kitchen features an abundance of cabinetry and storage, large breakfast island, granite counters, and is open to the spacious family room with limestone fireplace. Luxurious private master suite with dual closets, dual sink vanity, and large glass enclosed Euro shower. One of the two guest bedrooms is generously oversized; 20′ x 13′. Flowing open concept floor plan, convenient main floor laundry facility, hardwood floors, solid core 6 panel doors, crown molding, recessed lighting, window treatments. Brick paver patio, covered front porch, and gorgeous curb appeal featuring professional landscaping.

Listed with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel-Bir


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$805,000 :: 2323 FAIRWAY, Birmingham MI, 48009

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Property Photo

4 beds, 3 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 3,983 sq ft
Lot Size: 14,810 sq ft
Added: 12/01/16, Last Updated: 01/26/17
Property Type: 2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21241799
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: GOLF VIEW HEIGHTS
Status: Sold

Custom built home in prime Birmingham location close to Birmingham Country Club. Dramatic 2 story entry. Cooks Kitchen with direct access to expansive side lot with courtyard. Spacious Master Suite with luxurious marble master bath, vaulted ceiling and fireplace. Dramatic Living Room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace. Immediate occupancy. Attached 3 car garage. Award winning Birmingham Schools.

Listed with Hall & Hunter-Birmingham


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$805,000 :: 2323 FAIRWAY, Birmingham MI, 48009

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Property Photo

4 beds, 3 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 3,983 sq ft
Lot Size: 14,810 sq ft
Added: 12/01/16, Last Updated: 01/26/17
Property Type: 2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21241799
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: GOLF VIEW HEIGHTS
Status: Sold

Custom built home in prime Birmingham location close to Birmingham Country Club. Dramatic 2 story entry. Cooks Kitchen with direct access to expansive side lot with courtyard. Spacious Master Suite with luxurious marble master bath, vaulted ceiling and fireplace. Dramatic Living Room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace. Immediate occupancy. Attached 3 car garage. Award winning Birmingham Schools.

Listed with Hall & Hunter-Birmingham


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$824,900 :: 2335 WINDEMERE RD, Birmingham MI, 48009

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Property Photo

4 beds, 3 full, 2 part baths
Home size: 3,123 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,405 sq ft
Added: 01/25/17, Last Updated: 01/26/17
Property Type: 2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21255364
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: PEMBROOK MANOR SUB – BIRMINGHAM
Status: Active

Newer built (2006) perfect beauty has 2 story foyer and 9? ceilings. Gourmet kitchen with granite, premium stainless steel appliances, island with seating, windowed breakfast nook and pantry adjoins bright family room with access to lovely 150 x 50 professionally landscaped, fenced yard. Mudroom with built-in cubbies and additional built-in storage. Library with built-ins could also be used as living room. Formal dining room with butler?s pantry. Exceptional master suite with versatile office (perfect nursery or exercise area) & walk-in, luxury bath with double sinks, commode room, jetted tub and shower. 2nd floor laundry. Jack & Jill bath with double sinks. Vaulted guest bedroom with private bath. Lower level with 9? ceilings, rec room with granite bar, bar fridge & lav. Quality woodwork includes 6 panel doors, crown moldings. Inviting covered front porch and brick patio & walkway.

Listed with Keller Williams Domain Birmingham


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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