Thursday, August 9, 2018

Getting to Know You


One of the often overlooked benefits of buying a new home is the sense of community built in to a new neighborhood. Everyone moving in is new. There is no awkward “new kid” feelings as all homeowners are new to the neighborhood.  This newness creates a shared goal of building a community together.
So what are some ways you can help encourage this sense of community? Try hosting a neighborhood drop in at your new home.  If weather permits this can be an outdoor event to make it feel even less formal.  Host a BBQ or simply share some of your favorite desserts.
Simply spending time outdoors working on your yard or outdoor living space encourages conversation from neighbors who are also working on making their new home their own.
Take advantage of upcoming holidays by hosting themed parties. Halloween is a great time to be home as your neighbors will actually come to you!  Be sure to have lots of candy and make the most of this opportunity to make new friends.
When you see someone move in, try and stop by with a small housewarming gift or homemade treat to welcome them to the neighborhood. Share some helpful information you may have learned that will make their transition easier.
Getting to know your neighbors provides social benefits as well as added security.  It helps to have a friendly eye looking out for your home when you’re not around
What are ways you try to build community in your neighborhood?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Selling in Summer


Need to sell your current home so you can move into that brand new home you have your eye on? Selling a home in summer presents a unique set of circumstances and one that you  can prepare for to make your home more appealing.
Here are a few tips!
-        No matter what the season, curb appeal is essential. In the summer months be sure to keep your lawn watered and mowed. Pull weeds and keep bushes trim.

-        Keep your home cool and comfortable. This is especially true in the blazing heat of the South. Your home should be a welcome oasis to those out driving around and looking at real estate.


-        Take advantage of summer colors to accent your home. Add bright flowers to the table, update your front door color in a fun hue or buy new accent rugs that catch the eye.

-        If your home offers outdoor entertaining areas highlight these as much as possible! Pressure wash the deck or patio. Add some small furniture pieces to create and outdoor room.

-        As always be sure to declutter and depersonalize your home. This removes distractions so potential buyers can focus on the home itself.
-        Consider putting out some refreshments such as lemonade or cookies.

Every season has it’s selling advantages and disadvantages. If you take care of your home and price it right you can overcome seasonal obstacles and get into the new home of your dreams!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Financing Your Home


Once you’ve found the new home of your dreams it’s time to work on your financing so you can make a strong offer and get the process moving along!
While you are looking for homes, begin getting your financial documents in order so you don’t have to wait!  The mortgage process doesn’t have to be daunting – especially if you can do a little at a time to prepare.
So what do you need to apply?  Here are some documents you can gather and have ready:
-        The W-2 form from the last two year’s taxes
-        Most recent pay stub
-        Tax returns from the previous year
-        A complete list of debts such as credit cards, student loans, car payments, etc.
-        A list of your assets including bank statements and investment records
-        Documents of retirement accounts
Other information you’ll need is:
-        Social security number
-        Residence history for at least two years
-        Employment history for at least two years
-        Information on any gifts that may be used toward down payment or loan
As the mortgage process progresses there may be a need for more information or details on the information you provide. Don’t be discouraged! Remind yourself that once this process is complete you’ll have a brand new home!
http://candcbuilders.com/

Friday, July 6, 2018

How to reduce home allergies


Allergies are a real problem for millions of Americans.  Popular allergens can be found outdoors such as pollen or indoors such as dust.
The top indoor allergens are dust mites, pet dander, mold spores and cockroach particles. Symptoms can include a stuffy or runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and in some cases asthma.
Here are a few ways you can cut back on indoor allergens and make your home an easier place to breathe.
-        Control dust as much as possible. Keep surfaces uncluttered and dust frequently. Use cleaning tools such as microfiber that catch dust instead of just dispersing it back into the air.
-        Vacuum once or twice a week. Make sure that your vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter for optimal results.
-        During peak pollen season keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.
-        Regularly wash bed linens and towels and use hot water to do so.
-        Reduce moisture build up by running ventilation fans in bathrooms and kitchen.
-        Keep pests like cockroaches and mice out of the home with regular treatments or traps.
-        Maintain an overall cool temperature in the home (between 68-72 degrees) and humidity no higher than 50 percent.
-        Have pets? Bathe them once a week to cut down on pet dander.
How do you maintain an allergen free home?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Understanding Home Styles


If you’re a fan of home television shows you’ve most likely heard the following terms used to describe a home’s style – Craftsman, Contemporary, Colonial, or Mid-Century Modern.  But do you know what they mean? Which style is the one for you? Before you start shopping for your new home, brush up on these terms and determine what type of home fits your personality.
Craftsman
Craftsman style homes are typically identified as having the following characteristics:
-        Wood or stone siding
-        Wide overhanging eaves
-        Decorative beams or gables
-        Dormer windows
-        Full or partial porches accented with columns
Contemporary
Contemporary homes can be identified by the following:
-        Stone, brick or wood exteriors
-        Steep roofs or hip roofs
-        Large windows
-        Irregular sometimes asymmetrical shape
-        Eco-friendly and natural materials
-        Open floor plans with lots of natural light
Colonial
Colonial style homes have been around since the 1800’s and often incorporate:
-        Brick or wood exteriors
-        Two windows on each side of the entry and five windows on the second floor
-        One window above the entry door
-        Simple, symmetrical style
-        Front door as a focal point for the exterior
Mid-Century Modern
These homes often share the following style points:
-        Exteriors of stone or brick
-        Flat or gabled roofs
-        Oversized windows and sliding glass doors
-        Lots of open space

Friday, June 22, 2018

What is Home Equity?

There are so many benefits to owning a home. From tax deductions to the pride of ownership, you can find lots of reasons to take the plunge and buy.  Today we’ll talk about another aspect of home ownership – home equity.
Home equity is the amount your home is worth minus the amount owed on your mortgage.  For example if your home is worth $250,000 and your mortgage is $150,000 then you have $100,000 equity in your home.
If the value of your home remains relatively stable over time, your equity will increase as your mortgage continues to decrease.
Your home’s value will fluctuate over time as the market rises and falls.  To keep up the value of your home ensure you keep up with your home’s maintenance and make improvements as necessary.
Home equity allows you to do several things:
-        Receive more cash for your home if you choose to sell in the future
-        Invest the money from the equity in your home toward a new home purchase
-        Receive a loan based on the equity you have in your home
With a brand new home, your home value is high due to the demand for new homes in the area and the newness of your home’s construction and materials.  To increase your equity in this situation, consider decreasing the debt on your home by making extra payments or refinancing to a shorter mortgage term.
If you are in the process of buying a new home, making a larger down payment will also quickly increase the equity you have in your home.
How do you keep up the value of your largest investment – your home?

http://candcbuilders.com/

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hot Weather Home Maintenance Tips


The heat is tough on everyone – scorching sun and high temperatures can take their toll not only on you and your family but also your home.  Here are a few ways to protect your home from the effects of summer.
-        Your air conditioner is working over time during the summer so do what you can to help it out. Keep landscaping from encroaching onto your outdoor unit. Also keep inside filters clean and replaced regularly.
-        Clean around windowsills to remove debris and ensure a tighter seal keeping warm air out and cool air in.
-        If your area is prone to summer storms check trees for loose or dead limbs that may be thrown during high winds.
-        Inspect your yard regularly for standing water and fill in as necessary to prevent mosquito habitats.
-        Keep your cool inside by utilizing ceiling fans and curtains.
-        Now is a good time to ensure all of your home ventilations is working properly and efficiently. Be sure to clean the fan over your range to remove grease and dust.  Use a vacuum hose to clean refrigerator coils and keep it running effectively.
-        Remove the lid on the outdoor dryer vent and clean out any lint to prevent fires and keep your dryer running smoothly.
-        Summer heat and moisture can cause mildew to build up on the exterior of your home. Pressure wash or clean regularly to keep it at bay.
What summer maintenance tips do you have to protect your home and keep it in peak condition during those long hot days?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Natural Remedies to Keep Away Pests This Summer


Enjoying time outdoors is one of the hallmarks of summer vacation. Picnics, pool parties, BBQ’s or just blowing bubbles in the front yard.  Unfortunately the presence of unwanted insects can put a real damper on these occasions.  This year, forgo the chemical-laden options and try some of these natural alternatives to keep bugs away from your summer get together.
Landscape with natural repellant.  Some plants are natural insect repellants and may be worth planting around the areas you spend the most time in.  For example, to keep mosquitoes at bay try planting Marigolds, Peppermint, Lavender or Basil.
To keep wasps from building nests around your home hang a paper bag in overhangs or corners.  This will make the wasps think the area is already occupied.
Spread Epsom salts around your garden plants to deter slugs and snails.
Mix equal portions of baking soda and powdered sugar and place them in shallow dishes outside when you want to get rid of ants.
Slice a fresh cucumber and put the pieces around your party area to keep bees from joining the group. 
Fill plastic bags with water and add in a few pennies. Hang them around outside to scare flies away.
What tried and true bug remedies do you use to enjoy your summer outdoors?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Choosing the Right Front Door


Gone are the days when a boring black door welcomed friends and family into your home. There are so many new styles and options available to choose from.  Don’t wait till you get inside to let your personal decorating style shine.
Here are a few of the more popular choices.
Wood doors are a popular option and can be customized with glass panels or designs.  Note that overtime wood doors can warp and may need to be replaced more frequently than other man-made materials.
Fiberglass doors can be made to look like wood but will hold up better against the elements. Their insulated core also lends to better energy savings in the long run.
Steel doors are expensive but the safest option available in terms of preventing break-ins.  Take care to prevent dents as they may not be able to be repaired and will require the whole door being replaced.
Glass doors are admired for their atheistic appeal as well as the natural light they let into the home.  If you have privacy concerns choose a film or textured glass to distort the view.
Other front door options include:
-        Color.  Choose an inviting or bold color that really pops and brings attention to the entrance of the home.
-        Add sidelites or transoms for more natural light.
-        Consider adding a storm door for more flexibility and weather protection.
What do you look for in a front door? What statement are you trying to make?
http://candcbuilders.com/

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What Size Home is Right for Me?


When choosing a new home there are so many things to consider.  Location, price, style and size are just a few of the decisions that need to be made.
How do you decide on the size of your home?
Ask yourself several questions:
First – determine your budget before hand. Be sure to include the mortgage, interest, insurance and down payment amounts.   Your budget should be the most pressing factor in your decision process. No house is worth putting your family at risk financially.
Then, think about how your family uses the space.  Do you entertain a lot? Do you need guest rooms for out-of-town family? Is your family going to be growing in the future?
Do you need space for hobbies? An outdoor workshop or craft room?
Also consider the upkeep of your home. A larger home means more maintenance – interior and exterior.  Be aware of the extra time a larger home may require.
If you’re concerned about not having enough space – think about flexibility. Can rooms be used for multiple purposes? Is there opportunity to change a room’s function in the future?  You may not need more space just more versatility.
What are you looking for in a new home? What rooms are most important to you?