Ring, the video doorbell
The doorbell rings: Is it just a package drop off? A friendly neighbor? Or the dreaded solicitor? Now you can find out without getting off the couch. With the Ring Wi-Fi enabled doorbell, you can see a video feed of who is at your door from your phone, and even speak to visitors. Plus, it’s triggered by motion detection, so you can see what’s going on even if the doorbell doesn’t ring. For a small optional fee, you can record what you missed and store it in the cloud.

Click & Grow seed starter kits
Everyone loves having fresh herbs when they cook, but not everyone loves growing those herbs. Click & Grow’s Smart Herb Garden takes all the guesswork out of gardening and allows anyone to grow fresh herbs, fruits and flowers year-round from anywhere in their home. The kit comes with basil seeds ready to go, and all the owner needs to do is plug it in, fill the tank and the garden takes care of itself.

Lucy, the sunlight bender
Nothing beats natural sunlight, especially during the short days of winter. Lucy is a robotic, mirrored ball that you place inside your home, and it reflects natural sunlight into the room. A self-adjusting smart motor inside follows the sun as it moves throughout the sky, so you don’t have to worry about resetting the device throughout the day. The new device, offered by Italian-based company Solenica, is available on Indiegogo.

Drop Scale, for the precision baker
Every baker knows that measuring ingredients by volume is the way to go if you want the perfect bake. But many standard recipes include measurements by cups and spoons, so you have to convert them to weight. What easier way to measure those ingredients than with the Drop Scale? Connected to an iPhone app (sorry, Android users), you simply dump the ingredients into a bowl on the scale and the app tells you when you have enough.


There are a lot of people who provide our homes with service year-round, and it’s always nice to show them thanks around the holidays. We turned to the renowned manner experts at The Emily Post Institute for a few clues on how to handle holiday tipping. Remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules here, so let your budget, your spirit and your relationship with the service provider be your guide.

  • Housekeeper/cleaner: Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a small gift
  • Garage attendants: $10 to $30
  • Newspaper delivery person: $10 to $30
  • Mail carrier: Small gift only (they may not accept cash, checks or gift cards, according to USPS regulation)
  • Doorman: $15 to $80
  • Handyman: $15 to $40
  • Trash/recycling collectors: Check municipal regulations first; $10 to $30 each
  • Yard/garden worker: $20 to $50 each

smart MOVES

Today’s buyers want move-in-ready homes, and a new survey points to exactly what that means.

More than 70 percent of buyers want a move-in-ready home, and that ultimately breaks down to a home that has updated heating and cooling and an updated kitchen and bathroom (more than 80 percent expect those features to qualify as move-in ready) and they want new appliances (74 percent). To a lesser but still notable degree, buyers feel a move-in-ready home has smart-home technology installed (44 percent).

Additionally, 57 percent of those buyers that want a move-in-ready home would consider an older home updated with smart-home technology. Apparently, survey respondents want the technology, but they really don’t want to sift through the options and install it themselves. Thirty-six percent of all respondents believe that having smart technology is a major selling point when buying a home, but 32 percent feel they are too intimidated to install it themselves.

And while the millennial generation certainly leans hardest toward this technology with 61 percent interested in it, 52 percent of Gen Xers and 50 percent of baby boomers do as well.

Taking that first leap and making the investment in smart home technology may wind up being an investment in your home’s value.

HOME SEARCH Did you know you could search for homes on our website? Simply click on the “Home Search” button at the top of the page, or use the “Property Search” window along the left-hand side panel. You can search by zip code, price range, area, MLS #, etc. 

REMEMBER, if you are considering buying a home, either new construction or resale, we can help you as your Buyers Agent. As your agents, we will protect and defend your interest and advise you throughout the entire process. The agents that sit in the model homes represent the builder/seller, they do not represent you. And, the builder pays the commission! There’s no cost to you! Give us a call to find out how we can work for you!

If I can be of help to you in either buying or selling real estate in the Charlotte Metropolitan area, please contact me, Debbie Arriero. In the meantime, please check out these resources:

Have a GREAT day!


Arriero Realty – “Treating You like Family.”

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Debbie Arriero, Office (704) 451-3895



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