My Favorite “Smart Home” Tech + More

Ryan Heenan
Ryan Heenan
Published on November 26, 2018

For anybody that’s purchased a home from me, this list might look familiar. I made this list for recent homebuyers, especially first time buyers, who are looking for a guide of what to purchase. Just like a plunger, many of these items are best to purchase before you need them. Some will even pay for themselves over time. And others, well…they’re just plain fun!

Thermostats

One of the best upgrades you can enjoy right away is installing a smart WiFi thermostat. Most of these will pay for themselves pretty quickly by reducing energy consumption, so it’s an easy one to justify. The ability to adjust temperature from your phone, even while away from home, is a huge convenience. Here are my favorites:


Tools

  • Cordless Drill – Do yourself a favor and buy a quality cordless drill. My Milwaukee drill is now 10 years old and has no signs of quitting. Avoid Black and Decker.
  • Drill Bit Set – Buying this upfront will save you about 18,000 trips to Home Depot.
  • Starter Tool Kit – This comes with the essentials (hammer, screwdriver, tape measure), but also the other things you’ll find useful. A small level for hanging pictures, allen keys, and a box knife will always come in handy around the house.
  • Loppers and Shears– While most yard tools can be found very inexpensively from yard sales, I’d recommend a nice set of loppers and shears. They will always come in handy for pruning back trees and hedges in the Spring and Fall.

Security

  • Ring doorbell – Wifi enabled doorbell with camera and 2-way audio capabilities.
  • Nest indoor camera – Great for keeping an eye on things while you’re at work or out of town.
  • Nest outdoor camera – Super easy to install, waterproof, and syncs with the same app as the indoor version.
  • Combination deadbolt – I could not live without this. Make every door keyless entry, and rid your pockets of prodding and poking.

Practical

  • Pocket Hose – You’ll never want to own another hose again. These roll up and store away so easily.
  • No-spill gas can – You’ll never spill gas on yourself, your clothes, or your equipment ever again.
  • LED bulbs – Another one that pays for itself rather quickly. You can get these in any shape/size to fit your lamps or recessed lighting. Fair warning – LEDs are much brighter and require a new switch to be dimmable. LEDs range from 2700K which give a warm tone, up to 6000K which will look bright white like a dentist’s office.

Just for Fun

  • Heated towel bar – What could be better than stepping out of the shower and grabbing a nice warm towel?
  • Amazon Echo – It’s way more than a speaker. It can connect to TV, music, thermostat, camera, etc.
  • Smart bulbs – If you want to take it a step beyond simple LEDs, these bulbs are all wifi connected so that you can create “zones” and “moods” within your house. Imagine putting it into “Movie” mode and it dims your family room, and turns off your living room and hallway all at once.
  • Roomba – Keep up with dust and dirt throughout the house easily, even under couches and chairs.
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