3 Tools to Increase Your Home’s IQ

View of Wilmington North Carolina from across the river

A remote-controlled home is no longer the stuff of futuristic fantasy. New home automation devices controlled by a tablet, computer or smartphone allow you transform and tailor your home into a smart home. There are a wide variety of devices available in the market today, and they can be customized and tailored to transform your home.


Focused on creating a more “thoughtful” home, Nest offers products like thermostats, smoke alarms, and indoor/outdoor cameras. And yes, there is an app for that! Nest puts your home in the palm of your hand to control all your devices and sends you alerts if something seems wrong. It doesn’t just respond to your command, it also collects data to help you make the best decisions for your home. For example, the thermostat learns your habits and adjusts to your lifestyle so it can conserve energy and reduce utility bills. Nest can also generate a home energy report to show when you use the most energy in your home and offers solutions on how to use less. All of Nest’s products are easy to install, and they won’t break the bank.

Iris by Lowe’s

Your local home improvement retailer Lowe’s has come out with its own smart home technology called Iris. Iris streamlines home management by connecting Iris compatible devices through…yes, you guessed it…an app! The Iris Smart Hub is the heart of the Iris network, connecting all devices such as light/dimmer switches, smart plugs, contact/motion sensors, door locks, climate controls, leak sensors, and garage door controllers. Along with the broad range of devices, Iris also offers smart plans – a Basic Plan with all of the essentials to control and monitor your home and a Premium Plan that is more advanced – from creating rules across devices to automating events.


Just like Iris, Smart Things starts with a SmartThings hub that connects to an internet router. Users can add smart devices, and then simply download the free app. With easy-to-install sensors, wide product compatibility, and no monthly fees, Smart Things makes home automation simple. The possibilities are endless with close to 200 products such as thermostats, lighting, door locks, dimmer switches, video cameras, garage door openers, audio devices, and smoke detectors. With SmartThings, homeowners have the flexibility to select the items that best fit their needs and budget to monitor their home easily.

There are plenty of other smart home technology brands available to research and explore in this ever-growing market. Home automation is proving to simplify life and save money the smart way!

3 Tips To Tackle Your Spring Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning, a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. Here are three handy tips to get started!

4 Maintenance Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

A change of seasons always necessitates a few home maintenance chores, and spring marks a great time to tackle some tasks outside in the fresh air. From roof repair to foundation drainage, these chores will get your home in shape from top to bottom!

The Down-Low on Down Payments

While a 20 percent down payment is considered ideal, it’s not actually as common as you might think, nor is it a necessity to buying a home.

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Equal Housing Lender LogoALCOVA Mortgage LLC | NMLS#40508 | (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Licensed in AL, CO, DC, FL, GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV |
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Equal Housing Lender LogoALCOVA Mortgage LLC | NMLS#40508 | (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
Licensed in AL, CO, DC, FL, GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV |
308 Market St SE, Roanoke, VA 24011