Happy New Year Everyone!
I hope you are feeling the same enthusiasm as I am for the 2013 real estate market. I’ve seen an abundance of reports where financial experts and gurus are displaying an upbeat and optimistic outlook on the improvement of the real estate market. They are predicting, based on the current rising home prices, decrease in foreclosures and still historic low mortgage interest rates that an upswing is not unrealistic. Furthermore, experts believe that a push of people, who had moved back in with their families to save money, will reenter the market to either rent or purchase a home. Current renters are likely to be converted into first time homebuyers this year.
As many of you know Geo Properties was born during the peak of the market meltdown in 2008, when most people had lost faith in the real estate market’s ability to recover. However, as the Providence Journal indicated the Geo Team were the savvy and broader minded “stubborn realtors who went against the tide.” Although, we succeeded to hold on strong through the turbulent times, it is a breather and very comforting to finally witness signs of betterment. The general assumption and predictions are positive overall, whether these signs are credible or not only time will unveil. However, what we can predict with certainty are the latest trends in household products that are anticipated to become the new norm.
According to a recent report by ConsumerReports.com, the National Home Builders’ show held in Las Vegas in January 2013 showcased a vibrant ambiance with several thousand enthusiastic vendors and suppliers displaying upcoming gadgets. It was evident at the show that the trends creating excitement all seemed to share some common features, high tech being one on the top. Technologically advanced products allowing interaction, connectivity with LCD displays and touchscreen technology was seen in washing machines to thermostats, allowing consumers to control and interact with the products like never before by monitoring through a smart phone or computer. Refrigerators with LCD displays that allow recipe sharing and photos online. Smart appliances that are not only efficient but also offer electronic based connectivity, for example, water heaters communicating directly with the utility company to monitor the rates to help obtain optimum price to help reduce overall cost. Other buzz words loudly echoed at the show was local, domestically produced products with a “Made In USA” label. The show also exhibited the comeback of luxury items that consumers have been avoiding in the recent tough years such as Saunas and elevators.
Here are a few products that Consumer Reports highlighted in their report:
Kohler Moxie Shower Head
Now you don’t have to sing alone in the shower or invest large amount of money on a fancy surround sound system. Kohler’s Moxie Shower head comes with a portable speaker that can stream music from 32 feet away from a smart phone, laptop, tablet or any Bluetooth enabled device. You can listen to music or news for only $199. The battery can last up to 7 hours and re-chargeable.
Space saving Gerber Viper Toilet
The Gerber Viper toilet not only promises to help save water but also with its high-efficiency design save space without sacrificing performance. This toilet has a footprint 2 to 2 1/2 inches smaller than the standard elongated toilets and can be squeezed into tighter spots where otherwise only a round-bowl toilet may fit. The high performance only uses 1.28-gallon water, which is 20% less than the standard 1.6 gallon. The toilet meets EPA’s water sense as well as ADA requirements. Retail price: $300.00-$350.00.
Schlage Touch Screen Door lock
Schlage’s new touchscreen, battery powered deadbolt allows keyless entry to your home while guaranteeing highest standards of security. The lock uses a simple 4 digit access code to open and to lock the door, and can hold up to 30 different codes for other users such as guests, contractors, babysitter etc. The lock and/or code overrides can be controlled remotely with a smart phone or computer. Highly sophisticated technology and shield protects against tampering, a built in alarm alerts homeowners to potential security threats such as significant pressure detected from kicks.
The lock can replace your existing deadbolt without much modification, and does allow standard key override in key override. Available for $199 at Home Depot or Amazon.
Latest Power Generator
In the aftermath of more frequent, bigger storms such Hurricane Sandy and Nemo the demand and sale of generators have increased drastically. The latest generators, such as GE 8KW and GE 1OKW come equipped with power management systems that inform you whether the equipment is working properly, how long they ran and if it’s time for maintenance remotely, right on your smart phone or computer. These generators can offer you peace of mind as well as power to most household items from washers to ovens. Price $2200-3000
GE Cafe French-Door Refrigerator
We are all accustomed to cold filtered water from the refrigerator. However, GE’s new Cafe French door refrigerator is an industry first offering hot water for your morning tea.
The water and ice dispenser can heat up to 10 ounces of water in minutes allowing you to choose from 4 different pre-programmed temperature settings ranging from lukewarm for a baby’s bottle to very hot if not quite boiling for a cup of tea or oatmeal. The oversized and extra tall dispenser is specifically designed to accommodate the filling of tall pitchers and oversized containers. The advanced filtration also claims to remove certain contaminants and lead. The refrigerator offers many other design features and is available for $3200 at National retailers.
Easy to install flooring Tranquility Click
Although vinyl flooring may be inexpensive and simple to install, you still need to glue it down. However, Lumber Liquidator’s “Tranquility Click LVT” panels do not require any glue, the interlocking edges simply snap together and are laid down, floating over old flooring just like plastic laminate and engineered wood floors. It offers the same toughness and flexibility as vinyl hence can go over uneven surfaces without cracking and can also resist water damage. Tranquility LVT resembles real wood and stone and is available in 12 different varieties. And, since the panels are not glued to the floor you can simply pick them and take them with you in case you move. $249-$279 per sq. ft. at Lumber Liquidators.
By: Shamila Ahmed