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What is a Smart Home?

It started with robot vacuum that automatically cleaned your floor. We watched in awe as the tiny droid navigated its way through your home, being mindful of staircases while terrorizing small pets. Now, homeowners are controlling everything from their lights to their thermostats with their smartphones, or in most cases, just their voice.

Home automation is a popular tech topic, and many homeowners are installing devices that not only make their lives easier, but also safer and more efficient. But what exactly is a smart home, and how does it work?

A smart home is home that is outfitted with devices that automate tasks that homeowners usually handle themselves. This could include vacuuming or mopping the floors, turning lights on and off, adjusting the volume on speakers, and monitoring home security systems. Newer homes are being constructed with AI in mind, as many homeowners are requesting these features on their “must-have” lists. However, if your home isn’t set up for automation, you can purchase devices that help with the conversion.

One example is a smart thermostat, such as Nest. A smart thermostat learns your heating and cooling preferences. If you’re away for most of the day, the thermostat keeps the temperature lower and then raises it when you’re on your way home. If you prefer the temperature to be cooler in the evenings, your smart thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature for you.

Another popular reason homeowners opt for smart technology is entertainment. Connected speakers (like Amazon Echo and Google Home) can play music, update you on current events, and help you find something to watch on TV. You can even use your smart home hubs to answer questions. This can be helpful in the kitchen if you’re looking for a recipe or need help converting measurements.

Having a smart home to automate tasks can help you enjoy more free time. And when you’re living at Smith Mountain Lake, having extra time for entertaining, water sports, fishing, or relaxing by the dock is a bonus.

Source: What is a Smart Home and Why Should You Want One?, www.androidauthority.com.

Lakefront, Lake View, and Lake Access: Which One Should You Choose?

If you’re interested in purchasing a home at Smith Mountain Lake, chances are that you want to be as close to the water as possible. When searching for property, you may come across terms such as lakefront, lake view, and lake access (or waterfront, water view, and water access.)

Lakefront (or waterfront) means that your property includes shoreline. Most buyers choose this option because they want a private piece of shoreline. It’s also convenient for those who choose to do a lot of boating or watersports. Most lakefront properties come with a dock so that homeowners can come and go as they please (and entertaining friends and family on your own private dock is also a perk!)

But what if you’re not into boating or watersports? Maybe you’ve fallen in love with the beauty of the lake, and seeing it from your home is all you need. If that’s the case, then a lake view (or water view) property might be right for you. You’re still enjoying the calming views of Smith Mountain Lake without any of the maintenance of having your own shoreline.

Maybe you want to split the difference and have a little bit of both. You want access to the lake, but you don’t necessarily need it to be private. Then a lake access (or water access) property could be your best bet. Lake access properties may not have a clear view of the lake, but they do have access to it. Depending on the location, you may be able to reach the lake via community dock or path.

Of course, the most important question to ask yourself is which property suits your desired lifestyle? That’s when working with an experienced Smith Mountain Lake real estate agent comes into play. After your initial consultation, your agent will be able to narrow down the list of available properties to ones that fit your criteria best.

I would love the opportunity to show you all that Smith Mountain Lake has to offer. Contact me to get started.

What is Mortgage Pre-Approval?

If buying a new home is on your holiday wish list, then adding a mortgage pre-approval is a must. A mortgage pre-approval, also known as a credit approval, is a loan that has been approved by the financial institution (bank, mortgage lender, or credit union, for example.) This means that all of the criteria that is needed for a loan (credit check, income verification, etc.) have been successfully submitted and the applicant has been approved for a specific amount of money.

 

Why is Getting Pre-Approved Important?

Getting a loan approval allows you to know how much home you can afford. It also shows the buyers that you’re serious about making the purchase. Plus, once you find a home that you’d like to place an offer on, you’re already ahead of the game by having that pre-approval.

 

How Do I Get Pre-Approved?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is easy. First you have to choose a financial institution for your home loan. This can be your bank, a mortgage lender, or a credit union. Once you’ve found a lender that you like, simply speak to a member of their team to get started. You’ll need to provide specific collateral, such as bank statements, proof of residence, and tax returns.

 

What if I Can’t Get Pre-Approved?

Getting turned down for a loan can be disappointing. But instead of throwing your hands up in the air in despair, take the time to work on repairing your credit score. For tips on how to improve your credit, read this.