When it comes to upgrading your home with the latest technology, your garage is likely to be the last thing on your radar. But as electric vehicles and even self-driving cars are hitting the road across the country, real estate listings are touting smart garages in high-tech cities like Palo Alto, California and Austin, Texas. Not to mention the simple fact that garage tech can boost security and convenience for your home, no matter what kind of car you drive. Here, we outline four of the simplest things you can do to make your garage smarter.
1. Learn about internet-connected devices you can install in your garage.
There are all kinds of benefits to installing internet-connected systems in and around your garage — from opening and closing your garage door remotely, to using cameras to monitor your garage, to checking up on your car from anywhere in the world. How’s that for convenience?
These internet-connected devices don’t have to be complicated, either. In fact, they’re designed for your ease of use. You can find smart add-ons for your existing garage door opener, or if you want to go all out (and potentially obtain additional security and other features), you can purchase a brand new, high-tech garage door system with all the bells and whistles.
2. Install motion-sensor lights and security cameras near your garage and other entryways.
Since most thieves like to do their dirty work in the dark, motion-sensor lights can be an effective deterrent to a garage break-in. And if you have security cameras installed too, the police may be able to better identify the perps — if anything ever does happen.
Plus, these easy upgrades can add major market value to your home if you’re looking to put it on the market in the future.
3. Think about the future.
You may still be driving a gas-powered car, but plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly attractive and affordable to modern car-buyers — especially as states like Texas are offering rebate programs for vehicle replacements to EVs. If you think there’s a chance that you could make the switch in the near future, it’s a good idea to get your garage ready by installing an appropriate outlet or 240-volt battery charger. Many cities and states (including Texas) also offer assistance to help drivers purchase and install a charging station at home. You could also enjoy reduced utility charges, depending on where you live.
Keep in mind that driverless cars will be a common sight in American garages too, as lawmakers are clearing the way for the new technology in Austin and Arlington. Experts have suggested that this shift will transform the real estate market, including the size and functionality of garages.
4. Make sure your homeowners’ insurance is up to snuff.
It’s pretty obvious that your garage door is one of the more exposed areas of your home —when it comes to potential intruders, but also when it comes to bad weather. If a covered incident like a windstorm, fire, break-in, or vandalism occurs, standard homeowners insurance has your back.
Just be sure to purchase enough insurance coverage to completely rebuild your home from the ground up in case catastrophe happens, since your policy will only pay out the maximum limits you choose. The last thing you want after a disaster strikes is extra bills to pay just to get your home back in working order.
Return on Investment
Going all out with brand new, high-tech garage devices is admittedly an investment up front. But when it comes to peace of mind knowing your home and your family are safe, a smart garage could be worth every dime — not to mention the fact that it could boost your resale value in an increasingly connected world.
Haden Kirkpatrick is the director of marketing strategy and innovation at Esurance, where he is responsible for initiatives related to product and service innovation. He is constantly thinking about technology changes impacting the insurance industry, and following innovation taking place in high-tech hot spots such as Palo Alto, California and Austin, Texas.
Brand New Bellevue Neighborhood: The Spring District
Yesterday some of our brokers went to a tour to learn more about Lake Bellevue Spring District. Our broker Michael Link, the President of the Lake Bellevue Alliance with The Spring District, was the tour guide. They previewed some of the apartment homes, experienced one of the best views in Bellevue from the rooftop, and received valuable information about The Spring District and details about different developments in that area.
More about The Spring District
The Spring District is a transit-oriented development and neighborhood that is under construction in Bellevue, Washington. The 16-block, 36-acre development is centered around the Spring District/120th station on the East Link Extension, a light rail line scheduled to open in 2023.
The Spring District is being developed by Wright Runstad & Company in a joint venture with the Shorenstein Company.
THE SPARC Security Properties was selected by Wright Runstad & Company and Shorenstein Properties to help kick off Phase One of The Spring District. Security Properties purchased a 2.5-acre parcel at The Spring District’s southwest corner and opened 309 residential units in late 2016. Aptly named Sparc, this project includes best in class amenities, spacious floor plans, a Bright Horizon’s childcare center, and convenient access to pedestrian friendly transit.
PHASE 2 MULTIFAMILY In addition to the 309 residential units already open at The Spring District, Security Properties is currently under construction for an additional 279 apartments located directly to the east.
PHASE 3 MULTIFAMILY AMLI Residential Properties will develop nearly 1.5 acres of land in the southwest corner of The Spring District with a multifamily project containing approximately 204 units. Construction is underway with completion by late 2019.
A fun activity during the Holidays
The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship™ Festival is a ship-to-shore holiday celebration that has been a Northwest tradition since 1949. The Spirit of Seattle, the Official Christmas Ship™ is decorated with hundreds of shimmery white lights and sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities – around 65 in all. Choirs on board the Christmas Ship™ perform to guests aboard as well as to our Follow Boats and to those communities gathered on shore. Select your preferred way to experience the Christmas Ship and prepare for the holiday event of the season!
Buy your tickets Here!
And here is the 2017 schedule…
Meydenbauer Bay Park construction
The City of Bellevue has started the construction of Meydenbauer Bay Park. We’re excited to see how it would improve the connection between Bellevue’s bustling downtown and its scenic Lake Washington waterfront.
With a quarter mile of waterfront, the 10-acre park considerably expands the current Meydenbauer Bay Beach Park. A large public swimming beach, pedestrian pier, historic whaling building and new beach house will make the park a destination for residents and visitors.
“We are one step closer to fulfilling a 30-year council vision,” said Mayor John Stokes. “This project is a testament to the patience and tenacity of city leaders who wouldn’t give up on their dream of increasing waterfront access and connections to the heart of our city.”
Key elements of the project include:
- Relocation and expansion of the public swimming beach
- Construction of a new beach house with restrooms and showers
- A curvilinear pedestrian pier and hand-carry boat launch
- Pedestrian, pathways and picnic areas
- Remodeling the historic Whaling Building to include accessible restrooms, a small meeting room and boat rentals
- Shoreline restoration to improve ecological functions
- Parking and overlooks
Meydenbauer Bay, the site of a small village in the early 1900s, has a rich history. From 1914 to 1952, the inlet was the off-season home to a whaling fleet that plied Puget Sound.
The new park responds to the community’s long-held interest in additional public water access. Despite Bellevue’s 14 miles of shoreline along Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, total shoreline in public ownership is limited to approximately 1.6 miles, or 12 percent, with the majority along Lake Washington.
IMCO General Construction will work primarily west and northwest of 99th Avenue Northeast to connect with and expand the existing park between Lake Washington Boulevard and the Meydenbauer Bay shoreline. Meydenbauer Beach Park will be closed during the project, and the Bellevue Marina will remain open.
Construction is expected to be completed in late fall 2018.
This article was first released by City of Bellevue.