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7 Updates to Make Your Home a Little Smarter

Every day it seems like there’s another electronic gadget finding its way into newly built homes. It might sometimes feel like you’re being left behind but adding some high-tech touches to your house is easier than you think. From customized security systems to lawn mowing robots here are some cutting edge upgrades you can use in every home!

Doorbell Camera

Doorbell camera/alert systems are perhaps the most popular tech upgrade on the market today. These devices answer the age old question of “who’s at the door?” by sending an alarm and video straight to your phone. Best of all, many of these systems provide two-way communication so you can talk to your visitors when you’re not even home. Whether it’s monitoring package deliveries, catching suspicious behavior, or keeping up with arriving guests these devices live up to the hype.

Multi-Location Dimmer

Adding a dimmer to your existing lights first became popular in the early 2000’s and offered homeowners a whole new level of customized control over their surroundings. Today’s trend is the multi location dimmer, which can link one or more lights together in an integrated grid. These lights can then be used singly or in tandem to create more elaborate and customized lighting displays. Best of all? You can manage the system remotely using either a controller or your own mobile device.

Automated Security System

For years subscription based services were the only options when it came to home monitoring and security. Modern technology has changed this by creating flexible systems with more customization options than ever before. Instead of rigid and expensive installations you can now choose how many cameras, motion sensors, zones you need and whether or not they need remote monitoring. Professional installs are still available or you can save some money by buying a kit and doing the work yourself.

Robotic Lawn Mower

Hopefully hand mowing will go the way of hand washing with the increasing popularity of robotic lawn mowers. A rechargeable onboard battery makes these cool machines much quieter than regular mowers and some of the optional features include weather detection, slope navigation and smart blade adjustment. Familiar in concept to a Roomba, robotic mowers rest in their charging bay until activated. Once turned on they navigate your lawn using the help of onboard sensors and a wire installed along the lawn perimeter.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats do more than just turn the air conditioning on and off. Many also control humidity, ventilation, and optimize timing with the use of internal learning algorithms. As with most new technologies these can be controlled via phone but you may not find that necessary- some smart thermostats make hearing and cooling decisions based on where people are actually located in the house. The precision of these machines usually end up generating big savings on heating and cooling bills.

Smart Locks

One of the most simple ideas resolves a huge number of problems. Misplaced your keys? Check! Friend needs to get into your house? Check! Forgot to lock the door because the kids are causing a ruckus? Check! Smart locks let you open and close your door remotely or create limited use authorization for visitors. Packages can be brought inside, contractors can stop for repairs, and your teenagers can get in even if they’ve lost their key.


One thing older homes are notorious for is poor WiFi coverage. Newer homes aren’t immune however, especially if the family computers are far away from the router. If you have an older home with heavily insulated walls or a new home with a spread out floor plan you should consider a repeater. These little pieces of tech are easy to install and use a variety of methods to better distribute your wireless signal throughout your home. Amazingly one of the big pains of modern life has a relatively simple solution that doesn’t involve drilling holes or running cable!

We hope you’re feeling inspired to give your home a fresh modern makeover this summer. Most of these upgrades are affordable but for those big projects give us a call at Service First Mortgage. We have renovation loan programs that can make your biggest and most high tech renovations possible!

If you’re ready to get started on your home buying journey, we can help!
Contact us today!

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