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?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Meet The Builder

Stanley J. O'Brien Jr. - President and CEO

http://paradimeconstruction.com/builder-profile.html


Stan O'Brien, president, was raised in Charleston, South Carolina where the antebellum style homes first inspired his love of architecture. That love took him to Clemson University where he studied architecture formally. He received a Bachelors in Architecture and a Bachelors in Construction Science.

After working for a homebuilder in North Carolina, Stan returned to South Carolina and now resides in Columbia. He started Paradime Construction in 1999. His company goal is to design and build custom homes for clients who enjoy personal attention in every aspect of the homebuilding process while providing an affordable, quality home.

Paradime Construction incorporates green building techniques into their construction process creating energy efficient homes in Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina. Paradime Construction is a CHiP (Certified High Performance) home builder of the Green Building Council of Greater Columbia.

Paradime Construction incorporates Universal Design in their building process as well. The Certified Universal Living Home is a new certification offered by the Building Industry Association of Central SC. Homes that qualify under this certification are inspected by a third party to ensure they meet certain standards for homeowners with limited mobility.

http://paradimeconstruction.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 repellent.  Some plants are natural insect repellents 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?

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?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kitchen Countertop Options


A new home is a great opportunity to personalize for both style and function.  Let’s start in the kitchen! Here are a few options for kitchen counters!
Quartz
Quartz is a great low maintenance option. Countertops are stain, scratch and heat resistant. They are available in a range of colors and don’t require sealing like many natural stone countertops.
Granite
Granite has been a traditional stand by for most new homes.  It offers an upscale look and durable workspace. It’s important to clean up spills quickly and maintain a sealing routine about once a year.
Laminate
Laminate countertops are the most affordable option and now come in a wide variety of patterns that look more like natural stone. 
Wood
Butcher block countertops offer a farmhouse chic alternative to traditional stone.  They are highly heat resistant but need to be properly sealed before using for prep work.
Marble
Marble countertops are an up and coming option in the design world. The cost is similar to granite and their look is clean and timeless. Marble is porous though so be careful about stains.
Which look or option is your favorite? What factors do you need to consider before making a decision?