While you were searching for your perfect home you probably made a list of must-haves: natural light, hardwood floors, a huge yard, etc.. but now that you’ve found the right space, it’s time to start thinking about the culture of your perfect home. How do you want to feel when you’re home and how do you curate that feeling? With this shortlist of apps and gadgets, we can help you find ways to be more efficient, sustainable, and engaged with your new community from the get-go.
It’s easy to be disconnected from your neighborhood in this tech world, but Nextdoor cuts through the awkward get-to-know-you stage so you can get neighborly help right now. It’s a Friday night in your new area and you have no idea where the best restaurants are, but people on Nextdoor do! Hop onto the private social network for people in your neighborhood, and ask anything! What handymen have your neighbors worked with? Where can you take your dog for a run? What teachers are the best in the area? This app gives you a space to ask questions, get recommendations, and offer help. Best of all, everyone within your network is verified before they can participate.
On the days that you find yourself on the wrong side of a locked door, a smart lock is a breath of relief. Even if you’re not prone to forgetting your keys, a smart lock adds convenience and security to your home. They make it easier for your kids to get inside after school, help guests feel at home with temporary access codes, or ease the grocery haul with touch-less access.
If you’re not quite sure whether your new neighborhood is safe for deliveries, some smart locks allow you to set up a temporary code for a delivery person. However you use it, a smart lock keeps the wrong people out while making it easier to let the right people in.
Note: Since a smart lock gives your phone the ability to open your front door, it’s important to keep apps updated and choose secure passwords for anything on your phone. That said, your digital key is in no greater danger than anything else you keep on your phone.
Wi-fi dead spots are something we’ve all had our fill of, but you don’t have to take that frustration with you to your new home. When you opt for a mesh network, instead of one central point emitting a Wi-fi signal that gets weaker with distance, you get a network of “nodes” that act as a net to transmit an even connection throughout the house. That means no more strategizing where to put the TV so the router can reach it.
Not only are these systems easy to set up, but they are “self-healing” which means if a node goes down, the system automatically reroutes to the most efficient way to transfer data. For users, that means connection hiccups are hardly noticeable.
You might be settled in your new home, but don’t close the door on the Homie app just yet. Yes, Homie helps you easily list, search, and buy new properties, but it also helps you keep an eye on the real estate market in your new area. Look for investment properties or track the value of your home and how much neighbors list their homes for. By paying close attention, you’ll gain a sense of your property value and know if there’s a good time to cash in your equity and upgrade to a new home.
Make sustainable living into a game and get involved in your community with the JouleBug app. JouleBug awards you points every time you make a sustainable choice. Get rewarded for remembering your reusable bags, using compost, recycling, biking, or carpooling. Up the ante and take part in community challenges and get to know neighbors while you help keep the earth healthy.
JouleBug not only teaches you how to live more sustainably, it inspires lifestyle changes that make your funds more sustainable as well.
Maybe you took our advice, bought a fixer-upper, and are saving for renovations—or maybe you’re just waiting for your savings to recover. Whatever the case, a smart thermostat helps you cut costs in one of the most overlooked areas: energy consumption.
Schedule your days with your smart thermostat and guarantee that the room is exactly the temperature you want while you’re in it, while saving energy when you’re not. Set it to automatically adjust to an energy-conscious temperature while everyone is out, then warm to a comfortable temperature before they return. If done right, you won’t notice the change—except on your energy bill.
Start on the Right Foot
A new home is a fresh start. Now is the time to create a vision of the culture you want to live in and take the steps to get there. Even though we know things can’t buy happiness, these apps and smart tech offer convenience and give you the freedom to live consciously.
About the Author
Rosemary is a freelance writer with a passion for people, places, and alliteration. When she’s not writing, you can find her crafting the perfect playlist or volunteering in her community.