Buying a home is a big investment. You have lots of factors to consider: location, amenities, neighbors and schools, to name a few.
Once the mortgage papers are signed and the keys are in hand, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that even immaculate resale houses may come with a laundry list of things to do before the property really feels like home.
Here are six tasks to consider once you’ve purchased your home, along with ways that smart home technology can help make them even easier to complete.
1. Change your door locks
When it comes to securing your new property, it’s always a good idea to get new hardware and make sure you’re the only one holding the keys. You could rekey the locks or get a new lock set. Or, you could opt for digital locks, which open with a unique code and are tied directly to your home automation system. You get the ease of lock codes over keys, plus the ability to remotely lock or unlock your doors.
2. Install a water leak detector
As a responsible homeowner, you likely had a home inspection done before you bought your property. Even if everything came back clean, the risk that water leaks pose to your home is still a concern. With a set of water sensors linked to your smart home system, you’ll get real-time information if a water leak develops. Maybe it’s a pipe that bursts while you’re away from home, or a hard to detect leak under your sink. With water sensors installed, you’ll be notified if any problems arise.
3. Pick out the pests
If you have a pest problem, sometimes the trickiest part of getting it under control is discovering it in the first place. The previous homeowners may not have known about the issue, or maybe they simply forgot about the “friendly” raccoon or other pest that likes to share your space. To address a potential outdoor pest problem, start with night-vision-equipped video cameras that are wired to detect motion. With home automation, you can check in day or night to see if any creatures are stirring. If you suspect mice are getting in to certain areas, place smart home sensors near those spaces, and set up an alert to be sent to your mobile device when motion is detected. Armed with the knowledge of where the vermin are lurking, you can call a pest control company and lead the staff right to the source of the problem. Not to mention, this solution is far more pleasant than waking up to a mouse caught in a mousetrap.
4. Inspect your furnace / AC
New homeowners should become familiar with their new HVAC system as soon as possible. A home inspector should take a close look at the duct work around your furnace for broken or torn ducts and excessive taping or patching. Also, spend some time near the furnace while it’s running — air should be moving through the system, not out into the room.
You can also tie your furnace and AC unit into a digital thermostat that you can control with your smartphone or tablet. This lets you set the temperature when you’re away and also check in (like on extremely hot or cold days) to make sure these units are keeping your home at the temperature you’ve set.
5. Update your indoor lighting
Some homeowners prefer bright lights in every room, while others opt for minimal lighting and low-watt bulbs. Once you’ve lived in the house for a few weeks, you’ll get a sense of any areas where you want more or less light. To make lighting your home even easier, automate your lights using smart plugs, which will allow you to turn your lights on and off directly from your phone.
6. Learn your home’s routine
So you’ve just moved into a new home, and you’ve got furniture deliveries scheduled, landscapers on the way or maybe a giant new television en route. But if someone leaves the door locked, you’ve got to drive all the way home just to spend 10 seconds unlocking the door. Why not link all the doors in your house to your home automation system and control them remotely?
If you’ve just moved in, smart home systems can help make a home your new castle.