The GreenvilleSCRealEstateToday Blog Page

Feb. 2, 2023

Home Improvement Projects

Looking for ways to improve you home? Here are 7 home improvement projects to consider first. 


1. Kitchen makeover

Updates to the kitchen pay off. Many prospective homebuyers are looking for modern, updated kitchens.

This is one of the best returns on investment (ROI) you can expect when considering home improvements. The average return from a kitchen remodel can be as high as 80%. Take into consideration though that you also don't want to build out of your neighborhood. If the homes in your neighborhood range from $200,000-$300,000, you don't want to have $400,000 invested in your home. 

When remodeling a kitchen, start small at first. Replace the kitchen faucet, add new cabinet hardware, and replace old light fixtures with modern, energy-efficient options.

Rather than replacing cabinets, paint the cabinets a new color or hire a refacing company to refinish the cabinet boxes and install new cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware. These small updates will improve the overall look of your kitchen.

2. Time for an appliance upgrade

One thing to consider if your appliances don’t match is ordering new doors and face panels from the manufacturer. This will give your kitchen a more uniform look without the expense of replacing the appliances.

3. Bathrooms

Next to kitchen remodels, bathrooms are also one of the biggest returns on investment. Also like the kitchen, don’t go overboard. Install new fixtures, brighten the room with paint, and re-grout the bathtub/shower. A new mirror, vanity upgrade, and light fixtures can easily transform the look of a bathroom. 

4. Open up your floor plan

Many older homes have more traditional floor plans that can best be described as all chopped up. Consider removing a wall between the kitchen and the family space or dining room. Most people end up spending more time in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home, so making it larger can add appeal and value. This is something you definitely want to hire a licensed professional to complete. 

5. Outdoor space

A high return on investment makes adding outdoor space worthwhile. One reason for this is decks increase the living area but cost less to build per square foot.

Most homes will have either a patio of deck already, but if not, consider that outdoor spaces that can be used for recreation or entertaining will typically add more to a home's value than they actually cost...and you get to enjoy them until the time comes to sell. 

6. Improve your curb appeal

First impressions count. Enhancing your home’s curb appeal can be as simple as power washing your siding or painting your front door. The cost is typically not high, and the outcome can be enormous. 

Installing a new front door is a fast, inexpensive way to instantly improve your home’s appearance. A new front door is one of the top ranking home improvements on the Cost vs. Value Report.

Trim the shrubs and add new mulch or pine straw to your flower beds and around trees. Consider some potted plants to add color as well. 

If your trim needs to be freshened or has peeling paint, that should be addressed. 

Again, don't overdo it. Cleaning up the yard and maintaining it are right behind cleaning and decluttering when it comes to selling your home. They may not add a lot of value to your asking price, but they will help your home sell faster and time is money!


A home inspector will note if your home lacks solid insulation or has drafty doors and windows. All of this leads to higher energy use, which costs the homeowner. You can start with small updates, such as adding extra insulation to your attic. Seal cracks around doors, windows, light switches and electrical sockets to prevent energy losses.

If you don't already have double paned windows, consider replacing them with energy efficient thermal windows. The ROI may take a few years, but your home will sell better with this step already having been completed. 

Since buyers expect windows to be in good condition before they buy, replacing them might not significantly add to your asking price. But not replacing them could decrease it.

Feb. 2, 2023

Source For You Home's Value

Are You Relying on the Right Source for Your Home’s Value?

With the ease of use and accessibility these days in finding information on the internet, it is not hard to understand why so many folks might want to rely on this information to satisfy their daily questions. When you can literally just ask “Alexa” or “Siri” a question and get a response, society has become very trusting as to whether these responses might be accurate.

This brings me to the topic of home values. I hear folks all the time say “can you believe this home is just like mine and the Zestimate is three times higher?” In this situation, it comes down to the adage that real estate is about location, location, location. But, if you dig a little deeper, there is a lot more to what you might find on these types of real estate platforms.

I am continually trying to emphasize the fact that not only is real estate about location, it is also LOCAL. What is going on in Charleston is certainly not comparable to what happens here when it comes to home values, much less in a totally different region of the country. That isn’t to say that we don’t have a good thing going here, but Charleston does have that tiny little added benefit of being on the coastline. So, when you read about housing statistics, many times what is happening throughout the country, or even the Southeast region, might not be what is happening in the upstate of South Carolina.

But let’s get back to the real estate web sites that tend to be most popular. When you see a home value on these sites, do you trust that value? I find that many times when I first meet with my clients to discuss pricing a home, they already have the value in their mind that they are hoping to get. That might come from keeping an eye out on the homes that have sold in the neighborhood, but more times than not I have found that they found their value from a web site that readily gives them this information for free. Depending on the level of trust they have with this preconceived estimate, it can make showing them a true appraised value from a competent comparable market analysis very difficult, especially when the actual value is lower. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes their value and the one I have established through thorough research and 25+ years of experience can actually be very close. But most of the time it is not.

How does this happen? The main reason is the use of inaccurate information, such as county tax records, to find “comparable” homes. If the square footage in the county tax database is not accurate, which happens to be the case many times in our area, that can make the list of comparable homes inaccurate. Also, because the online site takes a radius of homes around the subject property, if you live across the street from either far more expensive or far less expensive homes, the use of those homes to compare to yours would also render an inaccurate estimate.  

The bottom line here is to trust the pros and call a local Realtor®. That way you can get the knowledge and experience of someone who can give you the best information to use in helping to find an accurate home value. It can make the difference in thousands of dollars when you sell your home. Check back here later for a lengthy list of other good reasons why you should use a Realtor!

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 3,700 members in all aspects of the real estate industry.  Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”


Written By: J. J. Bowers – Agent with RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Greenville, SC and 2019 President of The Greater Greenville Association of Realtors®

Feb. 2, 2023

What A Realtor Can Do For You

What a REALTOR® Can Do For You!

As an association of more than 3700 licensed agents in the Greater Greenville area, we talk all the time about why you should use a REALTOR® to help you, whether you are looking to purchase or sell a new or existing home. A REALTOR® doesn’t just put a sign out in the yard and wait for the home to sell itself. There are so many facets of the process that one might not think can be enhanced by using an experienced real estate agent.

Let’s start by naming some of the basic professional standards that a licensed REALTOR® is expected to uphold. It may or may not be obvious, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention these crucial ideals. Every agent is required to make a diligent effort to carry out their fiduciary duties to their clients. These duties include the follow:

-          Care – a reasonable amount of attentiveness

-          Loyalty – acting in the best interest of their client

-          Obedience – abiding, in a lawful way, by the wishes of the client

-          Accounting – full disclosure of all financial manners

-          Confidentiality – in all manners relevant to the client

Aside from these duties though, it is also important to remind folks some of the other things that the common buyer or seller might not consider. These include choosing relevant resources that can be either required or pertinent to the process. An experienced agent can give you important advice throughout the process, but also provide a list of contacts to help you before, during, and after the final papers are signed at the closing table and the keys to your home are in hand. 

When purchasing a home, especially if it will be your first home, the list of action items might include any or all events listed below. Your REALTOR® can be an invaluable resource in helping you choose competent professionals and make sure these events are scheduled in a timely manner that adheres to your contractual agreement.

-          Finding a lender and getting pre-qualified

-          Sources related to the home inspection process that include, but are not limited to home inspectors, termite inspectors, radon testing, and surveyors

-          Closing attorneys

-          Moving companies

-          Incidental after close resources like locksmiths, painters, renovation specialists, contractors, etc.

Preparing your home for sale can be even more important because prior to letting the first prospective buyer through the front door, there are many factors that should be completed which can help to get you top dollar. Your REALTOR® can also be there to help the process run smoothly from contract to closing.

-          Pre-listing issues relating to prep work such as carpet cleaners, painters, contractors, pressure washers, etc.

-          Professional staging assistance to help with décor, decluttering, furniture staging, and minor updates

-          Professional photographers to help your home show it’s best in all marketing materials

-          Contractors that might be needed to handle repairs discovered during inspections

-          Other important factors related to the transaction including, but not limited to ordering home warranties, arranging for showings/obtaining feedback afterwards, obtaining relevant comparable properties to justify the home’s value

-          Much more!

The main thing to remember is that using a REALTOR® gives you assurance that you are working with an educated, licensed professional, tasked to uphold a strict code of ethics that will help to guide you every step of the way.


The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 3,700 members in all aspects of the real estate industry.  Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”


Feb. 2, 2023

Existing Home Sales National Update

NAR's Lawrence Yun Predicts US Home Prices Won't Experience Major Decline, Could Possibly Rise Slightly in 2023 if Mortgage Rates Remain at 7%

ORLANDO (November 11, 2022) – Amid the backdrop of high inflation, elevated mortgage rates and slowing sales activity, severely limited housing inventory will prevent large home price drops for most of the country next year, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Yun analyzed the current state of the residential real estate market and shared his 2023 outlook today at 2022 NAR NXT, The Realtor® Experience(link is external), in Orlando, Florida.

"For most parts of the country, home prices are holding steady since available inventory is extremely low," Yun said. "Some places are experiencing price gains, while some places, most notably in California, are seeing prices pull back."

However, Yun noted that today's market conditions are fundamentally different than those experienced during the Great Recession.

"Housing inventory is about a quarter of what it was in 2008," Yun said. "Distressed property sales are almost non-existent, at just 2%, and nowhere near the 30% mark seen during the housing crash. Short sales are almost impossible because of the significant price appreciation of the last two years."

Driven by the unprecedented rate at which mortgage rates climbed in 2022 – from 3% in January to around 7% today – the downturn in the housing market has had an outsized impact on the nation's overall economic performance, Yun explained.

"The slide in sales and home building has [brought] down GDP," Yun said. "If the housing market was stabilizing and not declining, GDP would be positive."

Yun added that signs point to mortgage rates topping out, particularly as October's consumer price index showed inflation rising less than expected. He did, however, express concern about the spread between mortgage rates and the federal funds rate.

"The gap between the 30-year fixed mortgage rate and the government borrowing rate is much higher today than it has been historically," Yun said. "If we didn't have this large gap, mortgage rates wouldn't be 7%, they would be 5.8%. A normal spread would revive the economy. If inflation disappears, then we'd see less anxiety within the financial markets and lower interest rates, which would allow owners to refinance."

In 2023, Yun expects home sales to decline by 7%, while the national median home price will increase by 1%, with some markets experiencing price gains and others price declines.

He also projects a strong rebound for housing in 2024, with a 10% jump in home sales and a 5% increase in the national median home price.

The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 3,700 members in all aspects of the real estate industry. Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”

Feb. 2, 2023

What to expect when buying a home

Today's housing market has been a wild ride over the past two to three years with most markets experiencing major increases in prices due to very low inventories and outrageous demand. Until recently, the interest rates have hovered around 2-4% for the past decade it seems. That has all changed almost overnight (actually over the past 6 months), but it seems that have happened that quickly. We are still seeing low inventory, with some minor uptick, but demand hasn't really diminished either. There are certainly less buyers actively searching, and the ones that are, have had to completely change their expectation level on what they can afford. That being said, I don't expect a huge decrease in home prices in the Greenville market unless interest rates remain or go even higher. Many home sellers are not that excited about losing their low interest rate, so it will be mostly sellers that don't have a mortgage that might want to move...paying cash for the next house. 

Interest rates have come back down from their highs, and we will certainly start seeing variable rates come back into popularity. These are adjustable-rate mortgages that can have 5, 7, and 10 years attached to them with lower rates before they start adjusting, giving you a fair amount of time to refinance into a fixed rate if and when the interest rates do come back down to lower levels. 


- Decide where it is you would like to live. Remember the three key aspects of value in real estate…location, location, location.

- Choose a competent professional REALTOR for guidance along the way.

- Choose a competent professional Mortgage Lending Consultant and get pre-approved for a mortgage.

- If you currently own a home, and you need to sell before you can purchase, that would be an important step to tackle prior to beginning your search. See “Choose a competent professional REALTOR for guidance” in step 2 above.

- Determine the price range with which you are comfortable. This should be established in conjunction with your lender. It is important to remember that a comfortable monthly house payment and one with which you are qualified can be completely different.

- Find that house!

- Make an offer based on a well informed market analysis of comparable homes that have sold.

- Unless you have enough available cash, you will need to provide proof of qualification with the offer in the form of a pre-approval letter from your lender as well as proof of funds for the down payment.

- Decide what concessions you want to include in your offer. Note that the cleaner the offer the better, especially if you are in a multiple offer situation where you are competing with other buyers. 

- Negotiate the terms of the sale.

- Most offers will be contingent on finance, appraisal, and various inspections, but that won't necessarily be the case in a multiple offer situation. The more uncommon contingency might be the sale of a home that is not currently under contract as well.

- Prior to closing, you will need to obtain homeowner’s coverage from an insurance company of your choice.

- Choose a closing attorney to handle the settlement on the negotiated close date. Typically, you would want to take the advice of your Realtor for choosing someone that they are comfortable with.

- Satisfy the inspection and appraisal contingencies, if applicable.

- Listen to advice from your lender, especially the part about not making other expensive purchases that might affect your ability to close.

- Cruise to close! This step involves the final minor details such as setting up utilities to go into your name, scheduling the movers (please note that college buddies working for beer and pizza only apply to first time home buyers...:), getting the certified funds required for closing, and preparing for your first housewarming party! (Optional, but always fun)

Let’s delve a little deeper into a couple of these steps as it relates to today’s market. Finding possible homes of interest and making offers can sometimes be more difficult in a seller’s market. The inventory of new and existing homes is currently low, and many times homes can have multiple buyers making offers. This can lead to losing out on a house or two before you have success. It cannot be stressed enough to be prepared as a “ready buyer” prior to beginning your search. Talk with your lender and get pre-qualified. Do your best to save up so that you have the funds available for a down payment and/or closing costs. If you need to sell your current home in order to purchase, accomplish that part first. In today’s competitive market, most sellers are not going to consider the contingency of you having to sell your home first.

Some of the steps I listed above require the services of others such as inspections, closing attorneys, mortgage lenders, movers, contractors, and insurance agents. Knowing who to call that you can trust to give you the quality service can certainly ease some of the stress along the way. An experienced and competent agent can help by referring you to reliable professionals to contact in this regard.

Buying a home can be exciting and rewarding, but also a little frustrating. One can certainly increase the chances of ensuring a smooth and successful outcome by working with a licensed REALTOR to guide you in the process.

For more information, check out my Buyer's guide.

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 3,700 members in all aspects of the real estate industry.  Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”



Feb. 2, 2023

What to expect when selling your home

Congratulations! You own your own home! Actually, if you are like most people, the bank owns most of your home. But you can now sell it, hopefully take advantage of your equity, and then put it into your next home. This is my site, my name is J. J. Bowers, I have been in the business for over two decades, and I am here to help you! Get to know me more here

In a perfect world, you might put a sign out and a cash buyer will show up on your doorstep with a briefcase full of money to pay you well over your asking price. No picky home inspectors to worry about, no financing issues, and certainly no low appraisal concerns. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and for most of us, our “perfect” scenario won’t play out quite as we would like it to. The good news is that help is right around the corner in the form of your friendly REALTOR, who is licensed and educated to guide you every step of the way.

As a homeowner, the average person will fall into habits you get used to while living in your home. Typically, concerns about keeping everything so neat or leaving clutter here or there is no big deal. With a family, those things become even more magnified when concerns of the children’s activities tend to take priority over the everyday mundane chores of keeping the house up to par. For this reason, when you get ready to put your home up for sale, the focus will shift. If you want your home to show its best while on the market, two of the more important tasks to accomplish prior to letting the first buyer through the front door are a thorough cleaning and decluttering of that comfortable palace you call home. Sometimes it can help to have a third party’s perspective. I also like to encourage my sellers to put on their buyer’s cap and take a walk through their home with a different perspective in mind. What features do you see that the average buyer might be concerned about? Having a fresh set of eyes can always help point out problem areas in a constructive way. 

Cleaning your home is fairly obvious but decluttering your home can mean something different for everyone. Some homes require very little attention while others require much more. The average person tends to accumulate things over time and those things end up as random clutter in our homes. Unfortunately, when it comes time to put the house up for sale, many of those things need to be either moved away, given away, or stored in a separate location until you reach your next destination. Once you have taken this step, it will make a huge difference in how your home shows.

Another factor to consider is deferred maintenance on your home. If you have been putting off making some of those minor repairs and, especially exterior, upkeep around the house, addressing those issues prior to marketing your home for sale is certainly a good idea. Items of concern can be anything from freshening the flower beds with mulch to repairing wood rot on the front door surround, but almost anything you work on up front can make a difference in the monetary returns when you sell.

Once your home is under contract, one of the first steps will be that home inspection I referred to earlier. This is the purchaser’s responsibility and, while not mandatory, will almost always be the first step in proceeding towards closing. Discoveries from inspections can include such things as elevated moisture, termite damage, or items related to the systems and structure of the home, including heating and air conditioning, roofing, and appliances to be conveyed with the sale. While some homeowners might prefer their home be inspected prior to going on the market so that they might uncover and remedy any necessary repairs, it is more common to wait until the buyer is secured and the inspection period (known more commonly as the "Due Diligence period") begins. 

The other main contingencies that will come into play, unless a cash sale is obtained, include the financial aspects of a home purchase. This will also include the lender ordered appraisal of the property. The lender will also order a title search be performed by the closing attorney (required in South Carolina)/title company (more common in other states). Providing a clear title to the purchaser will be necessary for the transaction to proceed to close. These final steps can take anywhere from as little as ten days to as many as 60 or more depending on the lender, but the average number of days from contract to closing will typically run around 30-45 days.

All of that being said, the one point I cannot emphasize more is to speak with a licensed professional before you start to do anything. A REALTOR can give you the guidance you need to tackle the more important tasks and avoid spending time and energy on those items that might not make a difference. Imagine spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars getting your home updated or in top selling condition only to find out that what you chose to do was not what appeals to today’s average buyer. Also, something to consider is whether you want to do very little prep work at all and try to sell the home in “as is” condition. All of these decisions will affect the length of time it will take your home to sell and the potential sales price as a result.     

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 3,700 members in all aspects of the real estate industry.  Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”

Feb. 1, 2023

Greenville Market Trend Chart for 2022

Greenville Market Trend Chart 2022

Jan. 28, 2019

Homeownership Part of the American Dream

Homeownership Part of “American Dream”; Housing Costs Deterrent for Non-Owners


Homeowners and non-homeowners both strongly consider homeownership part of the American Dream.

That is according to new consumer survey data from the National Association of Realtors®, which revealed that among those polled, approximately 75 percent of non-homeowners believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, while nine in 10 current homeowners said the same.

NAR’s Aspiring Home Buyers Profile analyzed 2018 quarterly consumer insights from its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey to capture the housing expectations and sentiments of non-homeowners – both renters and those living with a family member.

When non-homeowners were asked for the chief reason why they currently do not own a home, most respondents said it was because they were currently unable to afford a mortgage. Over the last quarter of 2018, 43 percent of non-owners said they did not own a home because they were not in a position to purchase, which was down from the third quarter of 2018, when 49 percent of non-homeowners answered the same. Also in the 4th quarter, 33 percent of non-homeowners said they do not own because current life circumstances are not suitable for ownership, while 16 percent said they need the flexibility of renting.

In addition, the survey looked at the main reason why non-homeowners would buy a home in the future. Throughout 2018, 28 to 31 percent of non-owners each quarter said an improvement in their financial situation would be the top reason that would encourage them to buy a home in the future. In each quarter, 26 to 30 percent of non-owners said a change in lifestyle – such as getting married, starting a family or retiring – would be the primary reason they would make a future home purchase.

J.J. Bowers, 2019 President of the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors® and agent with RE/MAX Realty Professionals in Greenville, SC, says unaffordable housing has caused a number of potential buyers to hold off on purchasing a new home. “The lack of affordable and moderately priced homes has forced non-homeowners to delay achieving that part of the American Dream. However, as the survey confirms, significant lifestyle changes like marriage or starting a family often spur non-owners to pursue home-ownership.”

For this year’s survey, homeowners and non-owners were also asked about adult family or friends moving into their homes, the span of time this individual(s) lived within the household, and if they thought about moving to a new home because of the change.

According to the survey, 11 percent of homeowners had an adult child move into their residence, while 5 percent of non-owners had an adult move into their home.

Of those who had someone move into their home, 44 percent said that the individual intended to live with them for over one year or to stay permanently. Forty-four percent of non-owners reported that the individual planned on living with them for between six months to one year.

Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed who had someone move into their home reported that their living situation remained acceptable and therefore did not warrant consideration of moving into a different home. Twelve percent said they did consider moving or ultimately did move due to their home situation changing.

“While home sales were slightly down in 2018, there is still a sizable pent-up housing demand. Economic growth, interest rates, and the supply of moderately priced-homes will dictate how well the real estate industry will do this year,” said Bowers.”

About NAR’s HOME survey

In each quarter of 2018, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including half via cell phones and the other half via landlines. The survey was conducted by established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. A total of 8,140 household responses are represented.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® represents over 2,900 members in all aspects of the real estate industry.  Please visit the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® web site at for real estate and consumer information.

“Every market is different, call a REALTOR® today.”



Jan. 18, 2019

Greenville Market Stats Update

The real estate market in Greenville continues to be encouraging by many industry standards, as shown in the year over year cumulative statistics below. As you can see from the update as of January 11th, 2019 below, the current active listings for sale year over year are up slightly by slightly over 2%, but are still fairly low. This is a typical seasonal statistic and always picks back up after the holiday season. Inventory has been lower than in past years as more people are moving to Greenville every day, creating a seller's market for many homeowners. 

That being said, I always want to reiterate not to be fooled as a seller into thinking there are going to be a line of buyers for every home. It appears that there are a fair number of homes that are taking much longer to sell while the homes that have more appeal still sell almost immediately. NOTE THE AVERAGE DAYS ON THE MARKET FOR CURRENT ACTIVE LISTINGS AT 113 AS COMPARED TO THE AVERAGE FOR SOLD PROPERTIES AT 66. It would be wise to have a good, experienced agent who can guide you through the process of preparing your home to show it's best prior to hitting the market. I always like to have a strong conversation with my sellers so that they can know how to get their home "show ready" before the first prospective buyer walks through the front door. 

The average price for a home THAT IS CURRENTLY ACTIVE is DOWN SLIGHTLY YEAR OVER YEAR TO $345,100.  Comparing to actual sold properties, the AVERAGE IS ACTUALLY $243,219. The average sold price at the end of 2015 was $194,102, so home prices have certainly done well over the past few years. 

Overall though, we are living in a great area and it is hard to not be thankful for that fact!

MLS stats 10-17

Nov. 16, 2018

Smart Homes Simplified

Want to know more about smart home devices, but don’t know where to start? These one-sheet introductions to the major smart home device categories can help!