Paying for college is expensive, leaving students scrambling to gather the funds to pay for this cost or taking out student loans. But if you own a home in WA, you may be able to tap into equity to pay for your tuition. This article will explain the advantages and disadvantages of accessing funds this way for this purpose.
If you were to compare two homes, one in 2010 and one in 2019, you’d notice some remarkable shifts have taken place. The American home is changing: technology and automation are playing an increasingly larger role in how homeowners manage, maintain, and live in their homes. This article will go over home features that will be popular going forward.
This decade is guaranteed to bring even more changes.
Here are 4 of the home features that will be incredibly popular in 2020 and beyond and why you can expect your friends and neighbors to embrace them:
- Making the home smarter
- Whole-home water filtration
- Energy-saving upgrades
- Flexible Space
#1. Making the Home Smarter
As more and more U.S. homeowners bring smart technology and devices into their homes, it’s no longer feasible for them to be spread physically throughout the home or digitally across several mobile apps. Hand-in-hand with recent trends toward the home organization and removing clutter, homeowners are looking for ways to simplify the smart home experience down to the lowest common denominator.
This means routing more commands through home speakers instead of apps and grouping together similar commands, such as the trigger phrase “I’m leaving” turning off the lights, setting the thermostat lower, and enabling the security system.
Interestingly, some of these may involve physical hardware and upgrades. Smart thermostats have already found a place in many homes, while smart, IOT-enabled light switches allow homeowners to turn on and off the lights through either voice or touch. For those looking to upgrade their home, building inconvenience and ease-of-use through smart technology is a great long-term play.
#2. Whole-Home Water Filtration
Many homeowners remain concerned about the quality or taste of their tap water, yet now realize that disposable plastic water bottles are incredibly unsustainable and expensive. Whole-home water filtration is a natural compromise. These systems use advanced filters to remove any contaminants from water, resulting in great-tasting fresh water at the tap.
As opposed to single-faucet, under-sink, or fridge filters, these systems filter all the potable water used in the home. This has several benefits: first, homeowners can know they’re showering in and drinking clean water. Second, since these systems also soften water, they can limit the long-term damage hard water calcification causes to the home’s pipes, fixtures, and appliances.
Whole-home water filtration systems have been on the market for several years, but it’s a home upgrade that will really come into its own as disposable plastic water bottle use winds down in this and coming years. The long-term savings and benefits to the environment make switching to filtration a win-win for homeowners.
#3. Energy-Saving Upgrades
If you’re looking to stretch your household dollar further, you probably have an eye on reducing your heating and cooling costs. Most U.S. homeowners spend thousands cooling and heating their home every year, so even relatively small upgrades to efficiency can have a pronounced impact on your total costs. Here are just a few of the ways you can make your home more efficient this year:
- Installing a smart thermostat: We mentioned these devices before, and they really can save you money. By automating temperature changes, smart thermostats can lower your cooling and heating costs by up to 10%. Be sure to check with your local utility company—many offer either rebates or energy conservation programs to help you save even more.
- Adding attic insulation: A poorly insulated attic can be costing you serious money throughout the year. As your air conditioner and furnace cool and heat your home, that cooled and heated air is lost through the ducts, into the attic, and out the roof. Additional insulation can help trap more of it in your home, which saves you on energy costs.
- Tankless Water Heaters: If you have an older water heater that is nearing the date it needs to be replaced, you should consider upgrading to a tankless water heater. Also known as demand-type water heaters, these systems are an increasingly popular alternative to the “tanked” standard models long used in the homes. Tankless units are more efficient, can provide endless hot water, and often last longer.
#4. Flexible Spaces
Does your home have a guest room or an office? If you’re being honest with yourself, how often do you find yourself using those rooms for their intended purposes? In more and more homes, homeowners are opting instead for flexible space in certain rooms.
To accomplish this, they’re installing fold-away beds that can be stowed quickly to clear floor space, allowing a guest bedroom to turn into a yoga studio. Traditional “offices”—especially as more and more information becomes digital and people ditch home desktop computers—are being turned into places to relax, entertain, or even workout with a home gym. After all, with a mobile phone, netbook, or laptop, the “desk” can now be a coffee table or kitchen counter.
This year, look for more homeowners to redesign their homes with this kind of flexibility in mind. This may mean a shift away from heavier, immovable furniture toward lighter desks, beds, and storage that can be shuffled around as needed.
What Does the Decade Ahead Hold For Homes?
In general, these popular home features reflect a changing home for many people. Many homeowners are looking to tighten the belt on expenses and waste while simultaneously remaking their homes to fit the flexibility and straightforward simplicity they seek. Making and upgrading living spaces to match the needs of everyday life is nothing new, and this new decade will continue to see major changes in the way homeowners live at home.
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