While looking for the perfect present for loved ones this holiday season, why not buy something that adds to the enjoyment, comfort and, in some cases, major value to your home. We’ve included a range of price points to suit any budget, from under $50 to major splurge … in case you’re feeling extra generous for yourself this year.
Approximate Price Ranges:
$ – under $50
$$ – $51 to $200
$$$ – $201 to $500
$$$$ – Splurge
- Tabletop Fireplace – $
On cold nights, nothing beats the comfort and glow of a fire. Whether you’re looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book or enjoy a relaxing night in the backyard with family and friends, a tabletop fireplace is an easy way to light up your evening. The BRIAN & DANY Tabletop Portable Ethanol Fireplace can be used indoors or outdoors, no vent required. It runs on ethanol, which can be mixed with citronella to double as a mosquito repellent for outdoor use.
- Towel Warmer – $$
Who wouldn’t love to wrap themselves in a warm towel when they step out of the shower on a cold morning? While heated towel racks are available in a variety of styles and price points, the LiveFine Towel Warmer is a bucket-style towel warmer that gets rave reviews. Modern and elegant, this model plugs into a nearby outlet for easy installation. Turn your daily shower into a spa-like experience!
- Smart Device Hub- $
If you have remote-controlled appliances at home, SwitchBot Hub Mini is a must-have. It is a remote controller that can connect to any device in your house and make them smart. For example, you have a TV from two decades ago which uses IR (infrared) based remote. With Smart Learning mode, SwitchBot Hub Mini can learn and mimic signals from your existing remote control in just 5 seconds. Since SwitchBot hub is connected to your Wifi, it can be controlled with your phone. This means you can control any TV with your phone.
- Radiant Floor Heating – $$$$
Radiant heating has been a popular alternative in new construction to traditional forced-air heating systems. And new technology has made it easier and less expensive to retrofit existing homes with radiant heating. According to BobVila.com, “radiant floors are heated either with electric resistance cables or hot water flowing inside tubing” beneath the floor. It’s energy-efficient, effective, and doesn’t blow dust and allergens around the way forced-air systems do. Not only will you love stepping onto a heated floor on a cool morning, you’ll be adding value to your home, as this is an appealing upgrade to buyers when it comes time to sell.
- Waterproof Speaker – $
Whether you enjoy singing in the shower, or listening to your favorite podcast, the JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Speaker syncs with any Bluetooth-enabled device so you can stream your favorite music or other audio directly into the shower. The waterproof speaker easily detaches from the showerhead so you can bring it with you from room to room while you get dressed.
- Voice Controlled Smart Speaker – $$
Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Nest Speaker not only stream music on demand via voice control, they can also serve as a central hub for numerous other smart-home devices. Now you can stream YouTube videos, listen to Spotify, hear news and control smart plugs.
- High-End Wireless Speaker – $$$
If you prefer a premium speaker, the Sonos One speaker is the mid-range option in the brand’s line of wireless speakers. It delivers rich and robust sound with a sleek design that can fit almost any space. Sonos speakers sync with Amazon Echo and Alexa, which enable you to control the speaker with voice commands. And you can easily add additional speakers from the Sonos line for an enhanced, surround-sound experience.
- Whole Home Audio System – $$$$
The sky’s the limit when it comes to whole-home audio systems, and for a premium sound system you can expect to make a significant investment. Companies like Yamaha offer a wide variety of components, all designed to work in conjunction to give you a customized whole-home audio and home theater system to suit your needs.
- Electric Smoker – $$$
If you love to barbecue, the Cuisinart COS-330 Vertical Electric Smoker gives you the tenderness and flavor of smoking meat, without the hassle. The spacious 548 square inch interior means there is plenty of room to smoke a variety of meats and vegetables. The vertical footprint makes it a perfect size for patios and barbecue kitchens.
- Smart Sous-Vide Machine – $$
Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath to cook at a precise temperature. The Joule Sous Vide promises to make sous vide as easy and foolproof as a slow cooker. Its built-in cooling system keeps your food cold until it’s ready to be cooked … so you can stick a piece of salmon in before you leave for work, choose the time you want it to be ready, and dinner will be done when you get home.
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaner – $$
Robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for years, but new technology has made them more effective and lowered the cost significantly. The iRobot Roomba i3 EVO provides a good mix of features and value. It offers several cleaning modes and moves easily from rugs to tile to carpet. You can also control it with your smartphone using an app.
- Smart Light Bulbs – $
The Philips Hue White Smart Bulb Starter Kit is a good entry-level investment in smart lighting technology. Now you can automate your lighting and control your lights from your smartphone using the Philips Hue App. Deter burglars by making it look like someone’s home when you turn your lights on remotely. And stay safer by never entering a dark house again. Plus, it has several options to enhance the look and ambiance of your home lighting.
- Video Doorbell – $$
Watch over your home and greet visitors from your computer or smartphone with a video-enabled doorbell, like the Ring Video Doorbell 3. Adjustable motion sensors alert you when someone is approaching your door, and live video and audio allow you to see and talk to visitors without opening the door, even if you’re away from home. The best part is, they’ll never know you’re not home if you don’t tell them.
- Smart Lock – $$$
Control and monitor your locks from anywhere with a smart lock like the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Now there’s no need to leave a key under the doormat or give a copy to the housekeeper. You can activate keyless access remotely, and even lock up when they leave, all from your computer or smartphone. And no more fumbling around for your keys in the dark. Similar to keyless entry for your car, Smart Lock Pro automatically unlocks your door when you approach.
- Security System – $$$$
An in-home security system is still one of the best ways to protect your home and family from intruders and alert you to the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide. Some companies, like Vivint, can integrate your security system with video monitoring, a doorbell camera, smart locks, garage doors and even your thermostat. Prices vary depending on the options you select, and a monthly monitoring service is required, but a home security system can bring peace of mind knowing your family and home are protected.
- Smart Sprinkler Controller – $$
If you like the idea of hassle-free watering or you’re a conservative water user, the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is an excellent smart home tool. This 8-zone sprinkler connects to the solenoids in your home so that you can water different zones as per your liking. Easy to set up and control, this smart device makes sure that your lawn or garden gets just the right amount of water it needs – no more, no less. You can set manual watering schedules or use the “Skip Watering” feature so that the Rachio 3 knows when it should and shouldn’t water. For instance, if the amount of rain is more than 0.125 inches, the sprinkler will automatically skip the watering cycle. Since this high-tech home gadget connects to your Wi-Fi, you can monitor and control it from anywhere. The mobile app is user-friendly and straightforward. You can also buy the Wireless Flow Meter that comes separately if you want to detect water leaks before they cause any damage….
- Smart Curtain Controls – $$
SwitchBot is a cool gadget that can make any curtain smart… Using this smart home accessory is very simple. Just clamp it onto your curtain rod, pair it with your smartphone and Switchbot will take care of the rest. Since not every curtain is the same, Switchbot comes with a set of add-ons that you can use. This gadget connects to your smartphone through which you can control your curtain. You can set schedules so the bot will automatically open or close the curtain at the specified time. It is also equipped with a light sensor so that Switchbot can automatically close or open the curtains depending upon the sunlight. SwitchBot also integrates with google home, Alexa and even Siri.
- Whole Home Wifi System – $$
Today, wifi routers are so widely available that it could be difficult to choose the right one for your house. One of the most important features most routers miss is meshing. Mesh routers are the most convenient wifi routers for residential homes. They not only cover the entire home but also extremely easy to install and operate. MeshForce M3 is one such router that is inexpensive and easy to use.
- Smart Thermostat – $$
A smart thermostat is a must-have if you want to have better control of your home’s heating and cooling system. Not only are these smart home gadgets budget-friendly, but they’re also easy to install and use. You can get these devices with or without the C-wire adapter, which is quite handy if you don’t have a C-wire. Check out the Amazon Smart Thermostat or Google Nest.
- Motorized Window Coverings – $$
The Graywind motorized shades are the perfect blend of style and function. With these shades, you can finally get rid of those pesky cords that always seem to be in the way. Not to mention the energy-saving benefits as a result of thermal insulation. You can also schedule shade open/close hours and the gadget do the job for you. Installing these shades is also a very simple process. And once they are up, you can control them from the comfort of your couch or bed. This motorized shades system is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
As real estate professionals, we get to visit people’s homes every day and talk to buyers and sellers about their favorite features. So we have a unique insight into the elements that truly make a house special, bring joy to homeowners and add value to a home. If you do decide to “splurge” on a home upgrade, contact us for recommendations on the best options for your particular home. Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, style of home and neighborhood. We can run a comparative market analysis to find out how the upgrade you’re considering will impact the value of your home before you make the investment.