Tag Archives: Realtor

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place | The Daily Oklahoman

*You might have to press pause on the video just below if you want to read everything before you watch it, it seems to be playing automatically.

A quick note before the video/article:

Early in 2017 I found myself in the middle of a transaction that had a very strong thread for all parties involved, aging family members. My sellers were helping their mother sell their childhood home, which needless to say had to be emotionally impactful. Not long after the house went on the market I was approached by a lady saying that her daughter lived a few doors down from the house, and they thought it would be nice to live closer to one another. I later discovered that this very witty and charming person was in the earlier stages of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Long story short they purchased the home after a few bumps in the road, and she and her daughter renovated the home – and it is immaculate…

I’m currently writing this with tears in my eyes next to my grandfather who is on his deathbed. In the last few years I lived for a while with my grandparents as they were getting settled into their final residence. We’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time, and in the middle of taking care of him for his final stage of life I saw this article pop up in The Daily Oklahoman, telling the wonderful story of some of my newfound friends, Deb and Amy on one side and Larry and Sue on the other. I’m so grateful for everyone involved. Being a part of their story makes me appreciate my own even more, and I’m pretty much bursting at the seems already with love and appreciation for my own family.

-Grady

Remodeled Space For Aging In Place

By Dyrinda Tyson For The Oklahoman dyrinda@gmail.com  


NORMAN — Amy Brewer wanted her mother closer, especially when memory issues began to surface. But it took several years and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for things to come to a head.

“In April, she got lost for five hours,” she said. “That’s when I decided that she needed to move.”

Her mother, Deborah Brewer, raised a finger.

“Now I have a different story,” she interjected. She offered her explanation, mostly off the record, possibly tongue-in-cheek. “So I knew where I was,” she concluded with a nod.

Still, her daughter saw it as a call to action. Interstate 35 and major chunk of Norman lay between them. And as unpredictable as Alzheimer’s disease can be, the one thing for sure is it doesn’t retreat.

“I decided I’d put this off long enough,” Amy Brewer said. “For five years, I knew we needed to do something. And I’d been floating the idea and floating the idea.”

Her mother, though, was reluctant, at least until Amy played her trump card: “I finally said, ‘There’s going to come a time when I’m going to have to take your car away, and you’re still going to want to see your grandkids. So you need to be right by us. And, she said, ‘I understand.’ ”

The perfect bungalow came on the market that weekend, just two doors down from Amy’s house in central Norman. Things bogged down, however, as she grappled with the logistics of selling one house while buying another.

The bungalow was still on the market when they finally laid a plan in place. They gave the go-ahead to their Realtor, Grady Carter, of Metro Brokers in Norman. But they worried about trust issues on the seller’s side.

“He must have done some magic on his end, though,” Amy Brewer recalled. “I was in San Francisco about to board a flight to New Zealand.”

That meant many hours in the air cut off from communications, so she laid it out in a phone call to Carter. “I said ‘I’m going to land in 13 hours, Grady. Whatever they need us to pay, we’ll pay. Whatever earnest money, we’ll do cash.’ ”

That did the trick. By the time Amy Brewer came home from her extended trip, the deal was done. Friends had pitched in during her absence to ensure Deborah Brewer made it to closing, then helped her move out of her old home and into her daughter’s house to await remodeling on her new digs.

Oh, yes, the remodeling.

“I was really focused on securing this house, which took a long time,” Amy Brewer said. “And after we purchased the house, I realized I had plans to do a complete remodel and no plans to do a complete remodel. I guess someone who knew what they were doing would’ve had that lined up before they closed. A week or two went by, and I realized I had no idea what I was doing.”

Smooth transition

So she did what almost everyone does in this day and age, namely take her plight to social media. And social media gave back, leading her to Kendra Orcutt and her Home Mods By Therapists team. Orcutt channels her experience as an occupational therapist into designing spaces to accommodate people’s physical challenges.

Orcutt and her team opened up the space inside by getting rid of hallways, allowing the bedrooms and bathrooms to open directly up into the main part of the house.

They widened hallways, repurposed space lost to a heater closet to enlarge the laundry room and installed a sliding barn door on the master bathroom, adding not only a trendy touch but one that saves space and is easier for a person on a walker or cane to open.

Even the color scheme in the kitchen was designed with a purpose. The gray-and-black floor tiles are low-contrast, which is easier to navigate with impaired vision or balance.

“By making this house accessible to memory loss, she doesn’t ever have to move,” Orcutt said. “She won’t have to relearn another space. She knows her daughter is down the street. All of those things are important. So what I did was I made things easier to live in.”

Easier to live in, but not institutional. It’s often just a matter of style. What appears to be a towel rack by the bathtub, for example, is actually a grab bar. Its brushed silver surface matches the faucet and, frankly, it could function just fine as a towel rack.

And that’s the point, Orcutt said. “Everything we did in the house, someone else could live in.”

That was a major consideration as Amy Brewer worked to persuade her mother to trade her four-bedroom home for the bungalow.

“She had a great big house, and I didn’t want her to feel like she was having to give up anything,” she said.

Deborah Brewer finally moved into her revamped home in late November. She gave up two bedrooms and a lot of square feet in the move, but may have gained so much more in return.

Amy Brewer smiled as her tween daughter, Harper Sterr, wrapped her arms around her grandmother. “These two are best friends,” she said.

Deborah Brewer held out a hand to compare their heights. “And she’s almost as tall as me.”

Source: Remodeled space for aging in place | NewsOK.com

NEW LISTING ALERT!!! – Walk Through Video Tour, 837 Carol Ann Place

Well, here is a new listing in Moore, Oklahoma that I really love!

837 Carol Ann Place – Walk Through Tour

NEW LISTING ALERT!!! – Walk Through Video Tour
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

*837 Carol Ann Place, Moore, OK 73160*
This awesome home has: 4 Beds, 2 Baths, a 3 Car Garage, an Office and a whole lot more! I'm happy to tell you more about this house, but you can just come on in for yourself by watching our walk through tour. Do you know anyone who might be looking for a house like this? Be their buddy and send them this video, or tag them in the comments. This home is looking for another great group to take care of it next! 🙂

For More Info See The Full Listing:
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of OK
Lic. #160723
(405)474-2905
www.HomeBoyOK.com

Norman Board of Realtors, Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, National Association of REALTORS®

Posted by Grady Carter – Home Boy Real Estate on Thursday, March 2, 2017

For More Info See The Full Listing:
https://goo.gl/r43j0B

Buying a House First Time Buyer Guide | Financegirl

I love hearing personal stories and explanations about the home buying experience from people who aren’t really real estate professionals, but who have a very valid story to tell. Another example of a “layman’s story” that I posted previously from the website “The Art of Manliness” had some similar themes, and some different ideas as well as this article below. I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

 

“Buying a house seems like something you’re just supposed to do once you reach a certain age. I’m frequently asked why I don’t own a house yet at 29 years old. My reply is always the same: “my student loans are my mortgage”. But that may not be the case for you…”

Buying a House for Beginners: An Overview of the Process and 22 Terms You Need to Know

Buying a house first time buyer guide

Buying a house seems like something you’re just supposed to do once you reach a certain age. I’m frequently asked why I don’t own a house yet at 29 years old. My reply is always the same: “my student loans are my mortgage”.

But that may not be the case for you – you may be ready to buy a house. Whether you’re ready to buy a home is a personal question that should be answered based on your finances (and other things, like commitment to the area and life choices).

I’m a big proponent of the Dave Ramsey line of thinking when it comes to home ownership – buying a house costs you money in the short term but is an asset in the long term. What does this mean? It means that you need to have money to buy a house. Comparing rent to a mortgage payment is not how you decide whether you should buy a home. In fact, most pros suggest that you have an emergency fund of at least 3-6 months in place and put between 10-20% down when you buy a home.

If you are ready to buy a home, then there are certain things that you need to know. Even if you don’t care to know about this stuff — guess what? You still need to learn about it if you’re buying a home (the same applies if your spouse knows the ins and outs — you still personally need to learn it).

To help you, I’ve included the following below:

  1. an overview of the home-buying process
  2. a flow chart of the home-buying process
  3. 22 terms that you ought to know if you are buying a home.
An Overview of Buying a Home: The Story of a Seller, a Buyer, and a Lender

Seller wants to sell his house and Buyer wants to buy Seller’s house. Buyer isn’t a millionaire, so Buyer needs to get help from the Lender (bank) to finance this big purchase. Lender agrees to give Buyer a loan under certain conditions (these terms are always advantageous to the Lender so the Buyer must read carefully). Seller and Buyer go through negotiations until they reach the most important substantive terms of their agreement (usually this is the price and a few other things). After Seller and Buyer have an agreement in writing, the closing process begins. The Seller and Buyer need to do their own due diligence to make sure that this deal is a good idea for each of them. Additionally, the Lender has to make sure the property is valued as it should be and that the Buyer will most likely keep its promise to pay the mortgage. After all parties involved – the Seller, Buyer, and the Lender – do their due diligence, they can begin to sign papers and transfer the property. However, if there are any hiccups with any of the parties, the deal may be called off. Otherwise, at closing, title to the property is transferred and the deal is complete.

This illustration may be too basic and unnecessary for you, but I believe it’s always good to understand the bigger picture (side note: this is basically how all deals work, including business deals).

Buying a House for Beginners: An Overview of the Process and 22 Terms You Need to Know
JULY 20, 2015 BY NATALIE BACON

Buying a house seems like something you’re just supposed to do once you reach a certain age. I’m frequently asked why I don’t own a house yet at 29 years old. My reply is always the same: “my student loans are my mortgage”.

But that may not be the case for you – you may be ready to buy a house. Whether you’re ready to buy a home is a personal question that should be answered based on your finances (and other things, like commitment to the area and life choices).

I’m a big proponent of the Dave Ramsey line of thinking when it comes to home ownership – buying a house costs you money in the short term but is an asset in the long term. What does this mean? It means that you need to have money to buy a house. Comparing rent to a mortgage payment is not how you decide whether you should buy a home. In fact, most pros suggest that you have an emergency fund of at least 3-6 months in place and put between 10-20% down when you buy a home.

If you are ready to buy a home, then there are certain things that you need to know. Even if you don’t care to know about this stuff — guess what? You still need to learn about it if you’re buying a home (the same applies if your spouse knows the ins and outs — you still personally need to learn it).
To help you, I’ve included the following below:

an overview of the home-buying process
a flow chart of the home-buying process
22 terms that you ought to know if you are buying a home.
An Overview of Buying a Home: The Story of a Seller, a Buyer, and a Lender

Seller wants to sell his house and Buyer wants to buy Seller’s house. Buyer isn’t a millionaire, so Buyer needs to get help from the Lender (bank) to finance this big purchase. Lender agrees to give Buyer a loan under certain conditions (these terms are always advantageous to the Lender so the Buyer must read carefully). Seller and Buyer go through negotiations until they reach the most important substantive terms of their agreement (usually this is the price and a few other things). After Seller and Buyer have an agreement in writing, the closing process begins. The Seller and Buyer need to do their own due diligence to make sure that this deal is a good idea for each of them. Additionally, the Lender has to make sure the property is valued as it should be and that the Buyer will most likely keep its promise to pay the mortgage. After all parties involved – the Seller, Buyer, and the Lender – do their due diligence, they can begin to sign papers and transfer the property. However, if there are any hiccups with any of the parties, the deal may be called off. Otherwise, at closing, title to the property is transferred and the deal is complete.

This illustration may be too basic and unnecessary for you, but I believe it’s always good to understand the bigger picture (side note: this is basically how all deals work, including business deals).
Home Buying Process Flow Chart

Here is a chart that I created to demonstrate what a typical home-buying process might look like in a little bit more detail.

Home Buying Flow Chart

 

Real Estate Jargon: 22 Home Buying Terms

Now to the good stuff. Here is a list of 22 terms you need to know before you buy a house (when I originally started writing this post, I thought I could do it in 10 items – turns out there is a ton of stuff you need to need to know).

Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps the buyer or seller in the house-purchasing process. Most agents work for a real estate broker or realtor. As a buyer, you want to hire a good real estate agent when you are buying a house.

Pre-qualified and Pre-approval
Getting pre-qualified is the first step in the mortgage process (it’s usually pretty simple). You give your lender your overall financial picture, the lender evaluates your information, and then the lender gives you an idea of the mortgage amount that you will qualify for. Note, that – is not a done deal – you may not in fact qualify for the loan for which you are pre-approved (it’s a general idea).

Pre-approval is the second step in the mortgage process. You complete a mortgage application and provide detailed information to the lender (although you will not yet have a house picked out most likely, so the property information can be left blank). The lender will approve you for a specific amount and you will get a better idea of your interest rate. This puts you at an advantage with a seller because the seller will know you’re one step closer to getting a mortgage.

If you get pre-qualified and pre-approved before you pick out a home, then you can move quicker on purchasing a house (you won’t have to make your offer contingent on obtaining financing, which is especially valuable in a competitive market).

Proof of Employment and Income
You will have to provide proof of employment and proof of income to qualify for your mortgage. This shows the lender that you are creditworthy. It’s usually not great to quit your job during the home-buying process for this reason. Some lenders may ask for employment verification later in the home-buying process, so your approval could actually change if you take a lesser paying job during the home-buying process.

3 Types of Loans: Conventional, FHA, and VA
A conventional loan is a loan that is not backed by the government (meaning that the government doesn’t make any guarantee that you will pay the mortgage), and therefore, carries private mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down. Conventional loans adhere to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and are available to everyone, but are more difficult to qualify for than VA or FHA loans (you need better credit and a steady income, for example).

An FHA loan is a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (this means that if you default, the FHA will repay the note to the bank). Because the loan is insured, the lender typically offers a low down payment required (3.5%, for example) and low closing costs. Anyone can apply for an FHA loan and an FHA loan is easier to qualify for than a conventional loan. Instead of PMI on your FHA loan, you will have MIP (mortgage insurance premium), which stays with the life of the loan. That means that unlike a conventional loan where you can remove the PMI, on an FHA loan, you cannot remove the insurance without refinancing the entire loan (which you have to qualify for in order to do).

A VA loan is guaranteed by the Veterans Administration and is available only to certain borrowers through VA-approved lenders. Usually, you need to be in the military or a veteran to qualify. VA loans do not carry PMI and there is no money down required.

Adjustable rate vs. Fixed rate
An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) offers homebuyers with a low interest rate on their loan for an initial period, after which time, the interest rate increases or fluctuates for the remainder of the loan. This loan transfers the risk of rising interest rates to the buyer.

A fixed rate mortgage means that the interest rate on the mortgage is fixed at a specific rate for the entire life of the loan. For example, if you have a 15 year fixed mortgage at 4%, this means that your loan is for 15 years and your interest rate will be 4% for the full 15 years, regardless of the market.

PM (and MIP)
PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. As part of qualifying for a conventional loan, you will have to get PMI if you put down less than 20%. Once your equity in your home reaches 20%, you can get the PMI removed (lowering your monthly mortgage payment). However, with an FHA loan, the insurance stays on the loan for the life of the loan, regardless of the equity in the loan. The private insurance on an FHA loan is called mortgage insurance premium (MIP). There is no way to avoid MIP on an FHA loan.

15 year and 30 year loan
Lenders issue mortgages on 30 year or 15 year terms. You will be hard pressed to find a lender issuing a mortgage for a term other than 15 years or 30 years. The advantage of a 15 year mortgage is that you pay significantly less money in interest over the life of the loan than you would under a 15 year mortgage.

Co-signer
Like any other loan, a co-signer on a mortgage means that the person is binding himself to be legally obligated to make the debt payments should you default. So, if you have your mom co-sign on your mortgage and you default, she’s on the hook legally and will have to make payments. Similarly, if she wants to get off your mortgage, she can’t do so without you refinancing. If a co-signer is required, the lender is effectively saying that your financial history isn’t good enough and they want someone else to be on the hook, too.

Amortization Schedule
An amortization schedule is a complete table showing your payments, principal, and interest over the course of the loan.

Prepayment penalty
A prepayment penalty is a clause that will be in your loan documents (if it exists at all). A prepayment clause says that you will pay a penalty for repaying your debt early.

Offers and Counter Offers
When you buy a house, you will make an “offer”, which is an offer to buy the house. The seller may accept your offer or reply with a counter offer, which will state different conditions than what you offered.

Inspection
A home inspection is an examination of a home done by a home inspector to determine the condition of the home at the time of inspection. You will need to pay for a home inspection if you’re buying a house.

Appraisal
A home appraisal is an examination of the value of the property done by a real estate appraiser. An appraiser determines the monetary value of the property. You will need to pay for a home appraisal in order to provide your lender with the value of the property for which you are trying to purchase in order to get financing.

Transfer Documents
“Transfer documents” refers to the documents relating to the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. Most documents will be signed by the seller and delivered to the buyer for your review. Documents include: 1) deed, 2) bill of sale, 3) affidavit of title (or seller’s affidavit), 4) transfer tax declaration, 5) transfer tax declaration, and 6) buyer / seller settlement statement. It’s important that you do your due diligence and read through the transfer documents to make sure everything says what it should say.

Home Loan Documents
“Home loan documents” refers to the documents relating to the mortgage issued by the lender to you, the buyer. These documents include: 1) note, 2) mortgage, 3) loan application, and 3) Truth-In-Lending Disclosure (TILA). There may be other documents included. It’s always a good idea to read the documents yourself and consider having an attorney read them for you, too.

Real Estate Title Documents
The title company and escrow company will also send you documents to review. The title company will send you the title insurance commitment showing that the party who has title is in fact the seller, in addition to any liens on the title. You should review this document and so should your attorney if you have one. The escrow company will also review it to make sure it says what it should say.

Title Insurance
Title insurance protects you and the lender from the possibility that the seller didn’t have free and clear title when the seller sold you the property. Getting title insurance is a standard step in the home-buying process. Your escrow or closing agent will typically help you get title insurance after the purchase agreement is signed.

Home Warranty
A home warranty includes basic coverage over certain things that may go wrong, such as plumbing, electrical, heating, and major appliances. The warranty is for a certain amount of time (like one year) and you have to pay for it up front if you want it.

Closing costs
Closing costs are fees paid at the closing of the transaction. Closing costs can be paid by the buyer or seller and they can be part of the negotiation process. Closing costs can be thousands of dollars, so don’t forget about them!

Escrow (and Monthly Payment)
When you get a mortgage, your lender may require you to set up an escrow account. A monthly escrow amount is added to your mortgage payment. The escrow payments goes toward real property taxes and insurance that you would otherwise have to pay once or twice a year. Instead, you generally will pay a monthly payment and the money sits in escrow to be paid by your lender when it’s due. This escrow payment is above the principal and interest portion of the mortgage payment and is required.

Homeowners Insurance
Most lenders require you to have homeowners insurance in place in order to obtain a mortgage; however, it is not required by law.

Property Tax
Property tax is the amount of money that you are required to pay based on the property’s assessed value. Property tax can be very costly, depending on where you live. This is something you’ll want to consider when calculating how much you plan on spending on your overall homeownership expenses. Property tax payments are usually due annually, but more often than not, they are divided into and included in your monthly escrow payment.

A Final Note!

In a perfect world, I would love to get a 15 year fixed rate mortgage using a conventional loan where I put down 20% (avoiding PMI altogether) in a great neighborhood close to the city (but not too close) with a white picket fence, red door, and black shutters with a boatload of money in the bank to go with it. But here I am, writing about the process and not buying any homes – I’m just trying to pay off my student loans. What’s my point? Take all of this with a grain of salt. My experiences are based off my friends and their experiences as recent homebuyers. I will say that many of my friends wish they knew more about the process before getting into it. There is power in knowing!

Do what’s best for you given your past experiences, current circumstances, and future hopes and dreams. Make good decisions. Buy a house when it’s right for you – and be smart about it. No one said this stuff was sexy – it’s just part of the process and part of being an adult.

Source: Buying a House First Time Buyer Guide | Financegirl

Planner Shares System For Managing Money – Business Insider

Being a real estate agent is often a lot like being a party planner. There are several people and issues that need to be kept up with, and consistently held to account. Part of making sure that the party goes off without a hitch when working with a homebuyer is making sure that they have a financial plan to execute the purchase. Most people like to keep their finances rather private, so it’s important that people know that making that plan can be done in private. I often recommend that people use a few different free services to monitor their finances and credit: Mint.com, and Credit Karma. They both run ads, but if you can just ignore those you can be a step ahead. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about either one of those services. Now, read this article and if you don’t have these basic financial tools in place start setting them up. You can do it – now let’s make a plan and throw that party!

If you are seriously wanting to get your financial house in order you might reach out to an accountant/cpa and maybe even a financial planner to look at how you can use your money to best fit you life and goals. And you might also talk to an estate planner in case you are worried about what will happen to your assets in the case of you passing away. My sister Claire is actually an estate planner and you are more than welcome to call her to ask about what that looks like, just tell her that I sent you. 🙂

Claire Bailey,  Bailey and Poarch: (405) 329-6600

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

 

“A few years ago, I put in place a ‘Money Flow’ system to help my family track our spending.”

A Financial Planner Shares Her Personal System For Managing Money

family walking beach winter

The author’s family is not pictured.Flickr / James Brown

Part of the reason we accumulate debt is that there are so many distractions in our lives – things we want to buy but don’t need.

But we also ring up debt because we simply don’t understand the flow of our income and expenses, so we can’t accurately estimate how much money we have available to spend.

I’ve struggled with this myself. A few years ago, I put in place a “Money Flow” system to help my family track our spending.

You may have heard of a system like this before, but follow along on this tour, because it really works.

Putting the pieces in place

1. Set up two free checking accounts:

  • One to pay fixed expenses (such as the mortgage, car payments and utility bills).
  • One to pay variable expenses (groceries, gas, clothing and so on).

2. Set up a high-yield online savings account.

We call this our “curveball” account. It’s an emergency fund for use when life throws us curveballs – large medical bills, a job loss or reduction in income, major home repairs, that kind of thing.

3. Make a plan for big-ticket items.

My husband and I agreed that we would use one family credit card for large purchases, such as airline tickets and hotel stays. We still have our separate credit cards – it’s wise to keep your own credit cards to maintain your credit score and credit history. Using them once or twice a year should be sufficient. And don’t close those cards because it will affect your overall credit score.

Implementing the system

1. Draw up a budget for fixed and variable expenses.

Add up how much you need in each category. This will be your guideline for how much should be in each of your checking accounts.

Fixed expenses might include:

  • Rent or mortgage payment
  • Property taxes
  • Utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.)
  • Home, auto and umbrella insurance
  • Life, disability and long-term-care insurance premiums
  • Health insurance premiums (if not taken out of your paycheck)
  • Cable TV, Internet, phone and cellphone
  • Gym or yoga memberships
  • Debt payments (credit cards, student loans, car loans, personal loans, etc.)
  • Savings (yes, this is an expense – pay yourself first!)

Variable expenses might include:

  • Groceries
  • Eating out
  • Gas
  • Clothing/shoes
  • Personal services (haircuts, doctor visit copays, etc.)
  • Entertainment

2. Distribute money to the accounts.

When your paycheck comes in, allocate the designated amounts into each checking account based on the budget you created. The sum earmarked for the curveball account can go there directly.

3. Pay fixed costs directly.

All bills are paid automatically from our fixed-expenses account. We do not have to write any checks, and no debit card is necessary. This account has a cushion of a few hundred extra dollars in case a bill shows up unexpectedly or before we have a chance to replenish the account.

4. Pay variable expenses from the second account.

This account should have a debit card, which you can use for purchases.

5. Link the curveball account to either checking account.

If an emergency arises, you can transfer funds within 24 to 48 hours. You can then access the money with a check or debit card.

Realizing the benefits

Once I implemented this system, the process of tracking expenses wasn’t so cumbersome anymore. Separating expenses into fixed and variable categories meant I didn’t have to worry constantly about checking account balances. Having fewer transactions in each account also made it easier to see the bigger picture of our spending.

The chart below depicts the flow of money.

Money Flow Chart2

* After taxes and pre-tax retirement plan contributions.Chart courtesy of MainStreet Financial Planning

Every family’s finances are different, of course. Feel free to customize my system as necessary. The point is to get – and keep – a grasp on the flow of your money. If you know exactly what’s coming in and going out, you can’t be surprised by debt.

Source: Planner shares system for managing money – Business Insider

‘Empowered’ Appliances Link Home, Internet | Realtor Magazine

What new home technologies have you heard of that people may enjoy? I thought that when the Roomba Vacuum came out that we officially lived in the space age.

 

‘Empowered’ Appliances Link Home, Internet

Get a good look at the smart-home tools making waves at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

 

Washer, dryer, and water heater, get ready to meet smartphone, tablet, and app.

Hooking up time-honored home equipment to the Internet is the latest trend being touted by some of the biggest names in the appliance industry at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

This spring, Whirlpool Corp. will roll out Wi-Fi-equipped laundry machines that can download custom cycles, alert you if a load is unbalanced, and spot mechanical problems before they get out of hand. The new appliances, on display at Whirlpool’s CES booth, communicate wirelessly with a dedicated app that will also let you start them remotely, offer instructional YouTube videos, and even make a charitable donation when you begin a new load.

The new appliances represent “a really exciting opportunity for Whirlpool … to do what we do best, which is helping families care for one another,” said Ben Artis, senior category manager of connected homes for Whirlpool. “You can empower the appliances to offer new benefits that weren’t possible before.”

Whirlpool plans eventually to expand the app-based technology to other categories of appliances, such as ranges, ovens, and refrigerators. The company’s booth at CES features an exhibit that displays its vision for the kitchen of the future, a concept that closely integrates appliance operation with the cooking requirements of specific recipes.

Another appliance maker exhibiting at CES, Robert Bosch GmbH, is also close to bringing wireless connectivity to its products. The German company has developed an app, dubbed Home Connect, that will control and monitor devices such as water heaters, thermostats, and refrigerators. It will be released in Europe later this year. Bosch expects to introduce the technology in the United States as well, but hasn’t said when.

The drive toward linking devices to one another — an accelerating trend known as the Internet of Things — is spawning innovation across the electronics industry and playing a prominent role at CES.

In a packed keynote address at the start of the show, Boo-Keun Yoon, president and CEO of Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., declared that 2015 will be the year when many of the futuristic promises companies have made about getting devices to work together will finally become real.

“These are not pipe dreams anymore,” Yoon said, adding that by 2017, 90 percent of the products Samsung produces — including TVs, mobile phones, and home appliances — will be linked to the Internet of Things, or IoT.

Yoon also said companies must take steps to ensure that the IoT-based products they manufacture adhere to open standards, so equipment from one company is able to work with software and hardware from another.

Yoon was joined onstage by other leaders of the IoT movement who laid out their vision for a world where machines go beyond communicating with each other to responding to — and even anticipating — people’s needs. For example, working in tandem, a user’s smartphone, heating system, and other Internet-linked equipment could learn when that person tends to go to sleep and under what conditions. Then it can adjust the temperature of the user’s bedroom to promote a good night’s sleep.

Many companies exhibiting at CES are developing products that aim to take advantage of the ability of individual devices to communicate.

Engineers at Baintex, a startup based in Valencia, Spain, showed off its unreleased mobile app and an array of related devices that control and monitor a host of home functions. The Sentio system’s capabilities include remotely turning lights on and off; opening, closing, and securing doors; and tracking how much energy is being consumed in various parts of a home, said Alberto Sendra, lead mobile applications engineer for the company.

Meanwhile, California-based Savant unveiled an app by the same name that aims to enable disparate connected-home systems to communicate with one another as well as with the company’s own hardware for linking entertainment, climate control, lighting, and security devices.

‘Empowered’ Appliances Link Home, Internet | Realtor Magazine.