Living Smarter


Like many others, Armando Castro used to consider smart homes to be a luxury — until he started seeing the value in incorporating such features into his own life.

“It makes me more efficient in my day,” he said, describing how he can ask a voice assistant to open the door for him when his arms are full of grocery bags, or to painlessly adjust the lights and television output for movie night. “I don’t have to spend time remembering to do this or to do that. It’s already done. I have a lot more time.”

Recognizing the comfort and control he was enjoying in his home, Castro, partner and engineer at Caza Group, decided that it was time to offer smart home options for other homeowners.

Caza Group is a custom homebuilding company making its mark with memorable, functional, and beautiful homes well suited to modern needs and connectivity in the Rio Grande Valley. In Caza Group’s top tier home line, smart home features come standard. This includes a video doorbell and lock, a smart garage door controller, interior and exterior smart light switches, and a smart thermostat.

With proper setup, a smart thermostat can save families as much as $180 per year in energy costs, the government-backed ENERGY STAR organization finds. Those savings mean a smart thermostat can pay for itself — and then some — over time.

Other smart home features pay for themselves in different ways.

Programmable routines for smart light switches for interior and exterior lights can turn the lights on when the sun goes down — and back off at sunrise. Gone is the guesswork on whether a porch light was turned on before bed or off before commuting to work. Even without a routine in place, control of your home is just a couple of taps away on your smartphone. Getting home unexpectedly after dark? A quick command from something you always carry in your pocket or bag boosts your home security to make it look like someone is at home — and lights the way to welcome you home when you do pull in to the driveway.

Another smart home feature with an added security benefit is a video doorbell. With products like Google Nest and Ring, homeowners can see who approaches their front door without even opening it first. Most video doorbells send an alert to your smartphone when someone comes knocking, often including a live feed and audio. Some devices even record encounters and store them for a certain period of time — an invaluable tool in the case somebody breaks into your home or vandalizes it.

Smartphone app-controlled smart home functions also mean that you can be stuck late at work but able to remotely unlock your front door for a loved one. You can avoid rushing home in traffic while refusing to compromise on your privacy. Since you can control who goes in your home and when, smart locks eliminate the need to distribute copies of your key — or give out your security passcode to others.

If you’re interested about how you can incorporate smart home features into your home, Caza Group can help. In all three home lines, the Caza team is happy to sit with clients to identify what needs they might have that smart home features can address. Clients can rest assured that they have expert input on the options and price points that work best for them — from individuals with relevant smart home experience. Using Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant as a hub, you can have voice and smartphone app control over everything from how bright your lights are to what genre of music is playing on your sound system.

In an ever more connected world full of busy schedules, smart homes are much more than a luxury. These types of features help streamline lives, save money, and offer unparalleled security and comfort.

Read more about Caza Group’s homebuilding vision at

What smart features do you use in your home? #JoinTheConversation at