Owning a home in modern times is vastly different from homeownership in the era of your parents and grandparents. With new technologies, products, and methods, there are now advanced and often less expensive methods of approaches to homeownership.

Are you an innovative homeowner?

Here are leading traits that are signs that a homeowner is innovative, outlining characteristics that are derived from a wide range of topics that we have covered over the past few years.

Though there are many ways to be innovative, the single most important trait is having a proactive approach of always learning about your home. Smart, responsive homeowners diligently stay abreast of the who, what, where, when, why and most importantly how of their homes, so that their living experiences are optimized, while the risks of encountering unexpected setbacks are minimized.

Innovative homeowners also keep an open mind to new approaches of solving the usual home issues, as well as doing their due diligence upfront to understand the long-term impact of their decisions, such as:

  • How decisions will impact the value of your home
  • How choices will affect the cost and complexity of maintenance
  • What risks come with installing and using new technologies
  • How short-term trade-offs may impact their homes in the long-term

No matter how you may perceive yourself as a homeowner, it is never too late to become more knowledgeable and empowered, as learning opportunities abound. We hope this article inspires you to become more innovative and accepting of newer methods to solve your homeowner issues.

The 10 Traits of Innovative Homeowners

  1. Takes a Proactive Approach to Home Maintenance
  2. Researches Latest Technologies Before Making Decisions
  3. Knows How to Hire Quality & Trustworthy Contractors
  4. Maintains Detailed Records and Documents of their Homes
  5. Takes Measures to Protect Their Homes, Family and Assets
  6. Leverages Virtual Tools & Services
  7. Weighs All Options Before Buying or Selling a Home
  8. Views Their Homes as a Source of Multiple Streams of Revenue
  9. Knows How to Enjoy Their Homes
  10. Learns Continually About Their Homes & Communities

Also see:


Take a Proactive Approach to Home Maintenance

The dirty little secret about homeownership, for first time homebuyers, is that it can cost a lot more to care properly for one’s home than originally expected. The worst, and most painful, kind of home maintenance is reactive maintenance. This means fixing something after it has failed, often involving peripheral damage, such as a broken water pipe.

Innovative homeowners are acutely aware of how important it is to learn and conduct recurring routine maintenance tasks for critical appliances and systems of their home. Staying on top of these systems are vital for identifying when to call in a professional before a serious breakdown occurs.

New technologies are incorporating Prescriptive Maintenance features that monitor smart appliances remotely to provide proactive customer care. Homeowners that need to rely on outside help for recurring maintenance tasks are also signing up for recurring subscription plans from companies like TruBlue Total Home Care.

Examples of innovation related to maintenance include:


Research Latest Technologies Before Making Decisions

As advances in technology impacts all walks of life and all types of industries, smart homeowners are keenly aware that there may be new methods, products or materials for an impending project, big or small.

Some innovations may become well-known cultural phenomena overnight, like air fryers, whereas other types of innovations, like CIPP for plumbing repairs, may be in practice for years before becoming more widely known.

It is important to keep in mind that many contractors may not be investing in new technologies, which often requires extensive training and large capital investments in equipment. In fact, trade professionals who have been resistant to change, may at times need to subcontract those vendors that have invested in newer capabilities, unbeknownst to the homeowner.

Here are examples of lesser known technologies that are available for the home, with CIPP serving as a dramatically different, and convenient, approach to replacing plumbing lines:

Technology savvy homeowners are also adept at recognizing when a technology solution may not be a good fit for their needs, or may be too risky, such as when encountering:

  • Uncertainty around long-term reliability, durability and maintenance
  • Uncertainty around the financial stability of a startup and long-term support of a product
  • Security weaknesses that could open up your home to threats, such as cyber-attacks & identity theft
  • Incompatibility with existing systems
  • Risk of quick obsolescence when a product is too young and lacking in features


Know How to Hire Quality & Trustworthy Contractors

Another dirty secret of homeownership is that many renovation and maintenance projects turn out to be horrible experiences for the homeowner. It’s a fairly well-known rule of thumb that there is a 50-50 chance that you will be grossly disappointed by your general contractor.

Innovative homeowners know how to find and hire the best contractors and how to work with them in a mutually beneficial way. Having written extensively on the topic of hiring contractors, we can summarize the following methods that will significantly increase your chances of landing a top flight contractor:

  • Be patient and have flexible timing
  • Be willing to pay premium rates
  • Submit, in writing, your detailed requirements and expectations
  • Require a detailed proposal that answers any and all questions and concerns you may have
  • Know your consumer protection rights upfront (e.g. 10% max down payment; 3-day right of refusal)
  • Research any contractor you are considering hiring to insure he/she is licensed, bonded and has workmans compensation insurance
  • Be willing to walk away if you encounter any red flags during the vetting of a contractor
  • Verify contractor via third-party industry endorsements, certifications and professional memberships

For more detailed advice be sure to read the following articles:


Maintain Detailed Records and Documents of their Homes

This trait is closely related to keeping your home well-maintained, as well as keeping your home safe for your family. In our current home, we have benefited from having meticulously kept documents, not just from the prior owner, but from the second previous owner. Having manuals, warranties, drawings, contracts, contractor information, purchase receipts and maintenance records have all been invaluable for us to learn about our home and to understand how to take care of it responsibly.

Thorough record keeping also pertains to being vigilent against Check Payments (e.g. tax payments, credit check, etc.)

We are disappointed that maintaining accurate records of one’s home is not touted as a more important selling feature in the real estate industry. Thorough recordkeeping will become increasingly important for older homes, as the housing inventory continues to age in the United States.

Fun Fact: The average age of homes in the United States is 40 plus years.

Here are additional articles to help you improve your recording keeping for your home:


Take Measures to Protect Their Homes, Family and Assets

We have covered a wide range of topics that pertain to the risks of homeownership. Some of these risks are contractual, financial, legal and physical. Smart homeowners diligently do their homework and are thoroughly prepared and informed, prior to inviting strangers into their homes, signing contracts, making payments, and starting projects.

Vigilant homeowners also avail themselves of technology (e.g. secure online payments and credit score monitoring) that can thwart malicious attempts of financial theft, such as check washing of stolen property tax payments and identity theft.



Insurance & Safety



Leverage Virtual Tools & Services

The lockdown over the past couple of years, spurred awareness and adoption of a wide-range of virtual services, with work-from-home Zoom conference calls leading the way. Sometimes newer technology just needs a pressing situation for it to get into the hands of new users to propel adoption.

Three key benefits that virtual tools and services are providing homeowners and buyers can be summarized as:

  • Convenient remote viewing of real estate properties
  • Improved renderings of design proposals that help homeowners visually conceptualizes design concepts
  • Quick on-site visually augmented customer service (e.g. virtual repairs)

Virtual Services for the home continue to proliferate. Here are just a few examples:


Weigh All Options Before Buying or Selling a Home

Innovative homeowners and buyers are aware of new real estate services that are helping consumers purchase and sell in the quickest, most-efficient, most-competitive methods possible. Disruptors in the real estate space are addressing challenges such as the timing of selling one’s home in order to buy a new home, and financing a deal with all cash offers when competing in a hot market.

Opportunistic home sellers are leveraging low-risk, high-reward services such as “pay when you sell” pre-sale renovations, as well as virtual staging design services, when real staging and renovations are cost-prohibited or unfeasible.

The financial needs across a wide range of prospective home buyers are also being met, including financially challenged renters, who now have options to achieve homeownership through partial-homeownership programs.

On the other end of the homebuyer spectrum, more affluent, equity-rich homeowners have more opportunities to use their equity without taking on more debt. They are now able to invest in second homes and vacation properties, as well as invest in a new generation of REITs, which offer flexible investment requirements.


View Their Homes as a Source of Multiple Streams of Revenue

The least known facet of homeownership is known as Monetization. Though most homeowners, who have accrued equity in their homes, know that a home equity loan is the easiest and most common method of extracting money from their home, there are many emerging programs to turn one’s home into a revenue generator, outside of equity.

We expect to see both younger and older generations of entrepreneurs and homeowners expand monetization opportunities, while concurrently influencing local laws that will be more conducive to a future rife with flexibility. We have been living during an extended period where homes have become a natural extension of the “Gig/Side-Hustle/Sharing Economy”.

As the average life expectancy increases, we envision a larger percentage of retirees will monetize their properties with rental programs, such as detached ADUs and homesharing.

Here are several current examples of how homeowners are monetizing their homes:


Know How to Enjoy Their Homes

Proactive management of one’s home will certainly make it easier for owners to enjoy living in it. However, the most important key to enjoying one’s home, in our opinion, is making a wise purchase up front. In other words, make sure that your most important needs can be met by either the existing condition of the house and its location, or by plausible future modifications.

A hypothetical example of a home that would likely never be “enjoyable” for its owners, is a family who purchased a house on a loud, busy street, with the expectations of having a quiet setting that is safe for their children to play outdoors. Adding double-paned windows could reduce interior noise, but the owners could be restricted by building codes on how they could make the perimeter of their property “child-friendly safe”.

Increasing the odds of finding the “right house to enjoy”, largely comes down to having well-rounded experience living in different types of structures and layouts, as well as different types of neighborhoods and streets.

When trying to increase the enjoyment of your existing home, many design techniques exist that can help transform your home to meet your current needs. When recruiting assistance from a professional designer, you should choose someone who has proven skills delivering on “functional improvements”, as opposed to “aesthetic enhancements”.

Here are examples of design techniques and products that innovative homeowners are leveraging to make their homes more enjoyable:


Learn Continually About Their Homes & Communities

As we stated at the beginning of this article, consistently learning about one’s home is critical for being an innovative homeowner. Not surprising to us, our most popular article published in 2021 was a collection of YouTube channels that help homeowners learn.

Here are a few additional tips to help you become a better learner about your home:

  • Always ask questions and try to understand what on-site contractors are doing. Quality contractors will be glad to share their expertise, especially if it can help build trust and make for a happier customer.
  • When possible, give yourself ample time before making major decisions, so that you can thoroughly educate yourself and understand key options and choices.
  • Always receive at least three proposals for major projects, and thoroughly vet them, while asking for modifications and clarifications, as necessary. Though cost is a critical variable in any proposal, contractors will often take different approaches to a given project.
  • Take advantage of information provided by vendors and contractors in their areas of expertise (e.g. websites, blogs, YouTube, and social media). Many quality vendors and companies do an excellent job explaining their methods, materials and technologies used within their practice area.

Knowledge of your home also extends to your state, city, town, community and immediate neighborhood, as it is virtually impossible to be a homeowner in a vacuum. The changing outside world will inevitably have an impact your home, and we strongly recommend getting into a position to help influence these changes towards your key needs and priorities.

The future characteristics of many neighborhoods are destined to change for many years to come due to the following long-term trends:

  • Increasing life expectancy of homeowners
  • Re-zoning of residential districts to increase housing supply
  • Increasing usage of ADUs on residential properties for multigenerational households, on-site 24/7 caregivers, home businesses and rental units
  • Increasing usage of homes for supplemental rental income, such as Airbnb overnight rentals, storage units, parking spaces, recreational usage (e.g. swimming pools; exercise facilities; pet exercise; event rentals; etc.)
  • Changing security needs (e.g. postal delivery & storage; cyber-security; drone-security; car security; etc.)
  • Increasing needs for homes to transform flexibly over time to meet the evolving needs of their homeowners (e.g. aging-in-place, multigenerational households)

Being aware of local laws, building codes, and HOA bylaws is important to keep your home in compliance and in good standing. However it is also helpful for you to understand current limitations and how you can influence policy changes to your advantage going forward.


Further Reading


Purgula is reader-supported. When you click on links to other sites from our website, we may earn affiliate commissions, at no cost to you. If you find our content to be helpful, this is an easy way for you to support our mission. Thanks! Learn more.