Friday, November 9, 2018

Some Perspective on Mortgage Rates

Interest rates are rising and economists predict they will continue through the end of the year. While this can intimidate buyers it is important to keep these increases in perspective. Even if mortgage rates reach 5 percent as predicted this is historically low. Mortgage rates between 1979 and 1990 consistently averaged above 10 percent.
So what does this mean for today’s home buyers?  There are ways you can counter the increase in mortgage rates. If you have the ability, put more money down which will decrease the amount borrowed.
Work on ways to improve your credit where possible. With a credit score above 760 it is possible to get the lowest available interest rate on your home loan.
Already on the market for a new home? Act quickly! With interest rates expected to rise through the end of the year the faster you can lock in your loan and save yourself some money!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Keep Your Home Germ Free

I’m sure you’ve seen the signs out everywhere – Get Your Flu Shot Here! Flu Shots Available Now!  Flu season officially runs from October to May and while it’s not time to panic, there are things you can do around the house to make your home less hospitable to cold weather germs. Here are a few ideas:
-        Pay special attention to germ hot spots and clean them regularly – this includes the sink, children’s toys, cell phones and door knobs.  Don’t forget the remote contol!
-        Use fans in high humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.
-        Wash your sheets, towels and other bedding on high temp every week.
-        Don’t forget to clean ceiling fans, air filters and vacuum to keep the air fresh and free of dust.
-        Be sure to clean your cleaning tools so you aren’t pushing germs around – this includes dust rags, mop heads and sponges.
-        Put the toilet seat down when you flush to keep germs from coming out and landing on other bathroom surfaces. Mop your bathroom floor once a week.
-        Clean the kitchen sink with bleach or vinegar and don’t forget to wipe down the faucet handle.
What tips do you have for keeping your home free of unwanted germs?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Building a Custom Home is an adventure. But as with any great adventure, you need a guide.

Paradime Construction is your guide to navigating the custom home building process from design to build to move-in..
Since 1999, Paradime Construction has been helping homeowners fulfill their dream of homeownership. Stan O'Brien, President, takes great pride in providing personal attention to all Paradime customers. His success is evident by the number of satisfied customers and repeat business that Paradime has in new home construction in Chapin, Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Prosperity and the Lake Murray area of South Carolina. O'Brien's level of education and experience combine to give him the expertise to build custom homes that are both functional and stylish. Building the homes with Universal Design so that your home can grow with you. Also, incorporating High Performance Home techniques makes the home environmentally friendly, comfortable, healthy, and affordable. Paradime Construction will build the custom home that best fits your family's needs.


Friday, October 12, 2018

College Football Viewing Party Tips

You may have noticed that along with a slight coolness in the air something else has arrived – college football season! Whether you consider yourself a diehard fan or just enjoy an opportunity to get together with friends this is a great time of year to open up your new home to guests.
Here are a few tips to help you host the ultimate football get together!
1.     Make sure you get the game! Some TV packages carry different schools and some cable companies charge extra if you want to watch something out of the ordinary. You don’t want to get caught without the channel you need!
2.     Think finger foods. People tend to gather in the kitchen and in the living room where the game is playing. Think of foods that are easy to eat while standing up and holding a drink in one hand. Some examples include: chips and dip, pigs in a blanket, sausage balls, pizza bites, veggies and dip, brownies and cookies.
3.     Prioritize comfort! Have lots of pillows for lounging. Move chairs into the room with the television and clear clutter off of end tables or coffee tables.
4.     Think about the bathroom. Have plenty of toilet paper and hand soap. Add a scented candle for an extra touch.
5.     Don’t forget the music. Commercial breaks, half time, there might be opportunities when music is needed for the background.
How do you host a football gameday party?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Make Your Home Smell Like Fall

Finally Fall is in the air! Want to bring some of that Autumn smell inside? Smell is one of the most poignant ways to usher in the season – hence the everything Pumpkin Spice craze!  But you don’t have to go down to your local coffee shop to enjoy the smells of the season.  Here are a few ways to enjoy the smells of Fall right at home!
-        Create a simmer pot and leave it on the stove while you’re home during the day.  Fill a saucepan with water and add in some of your favorite scents. Bring it to a boil and then allow it to simmer, filling with water as needed. Some favorite fall combinations are sliced oranges, cranberries and cloves or apple peels, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

-        Diffuse essential oils for a light and natural Fall fragrance. Popular Fall oils include cedarwood, cinnamon, ginger, sage and vanilla.

-        Look for Fall scented candles or aromatic plug-ins – plentiful this time of year!

-        Make your own potpourri with treasures found on an invigorating Fall nature walk! Look for pine cones, acorns or twigs and then combine with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves.

-        Create your own scented pine cones by rinsing off pine cones you find around your home and let them soak for an hour. Bake the cones on a foil-lined baking pan for 30 minutes at 200 degrees. Place the pine cones in a gallon Ziploc bag and sprinkle in 30 drops of your favorite fall essential oils. Seal the bag and shake till all the pine cones are coated.  Let the pine cones sit in the bag for a week to really absorb the smell.

-        Maybe the simplest way is to let the Fall air in! Open the windows to get stale air out and fresh air in. Just a few minutes can make a huge difference in how your house feels and smells!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Understanding Building Codes

If you’re looking into purchasing new construction you may have heard the term “building code” come up in your search.  What does this really mean and how does it apply to you?  Building codes are requirements builders must follow in order to protect public health, safety and general welfare.  This includes construction categories such as building materials, design, fire safety, heating and cooling and energy conservation as examples.
The federal government does not mandate building codes across the country, rather local governments oversee building codes. Codes may vary by location depending on weather, land type and state regulation.
Codes are developed or adopted at the local level and enforced by local authorities.  Multiple parties are involved in code development including public and private sectors of the construction industry, government, consumers and professional trade organizations.
If you have questions about building codes in your area contact your local home building association or code enforcement arm of your local government.
More information can also be found at:

Friday, September 21, 2018

Overlooked Home Maintenance Items

Owning a home is an investment of money and time.  Even new homes require regular maintenance in order to keep up them looking and functioning at their best.  Staying on top of home maintenance now will prevent costly repairs in the future.
Here are a few often overlooked home maintenance items that will prolong the health of your new home.
-        Every three to four months clean the aerator at the end of your faucet

-        Clean out the dryer vent that leads to the outside of the home regularly. Lint can build up and lead to safety hazards as well as problems with the dryer.

-        Change your air filters every month to three months as the filters specify

-        Check under sinks to ensure there are no small leaks

-        Dust fan blades and window blinds

-        Clean refrigerator coils to keep this major appliance working properly

Leading up to fall home maintenance items are important to keep in mind as the weather will be turning cooler. Prepare your home by checking the weather stripping around doors and windows, trim any tree limbs that may be too close to the house and have your fireplace checked before first use.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Hurricane and Storm Preparedness

Hurricane season is underway and it’s important to make sure your home and family are prepared for times of inclement weather.
Keep your family safe by having a storm kit including:
-        A list of contacts – family, public safety, hospitals, utilities and insurance
-        Bottled water – one gallon per person per day
-        A three day supply of non-perishable food
-        Flashlight
-        First aid kit
-        Batteries
-        Garbage bags
-        Moist towelettes
-        Manual can opener
-        Cell phone chargers
-        Cash
-        Matches and candles
Develop a plan by asking yourself the following questions:
-        Where should family go in case of an emergency?
-        What will you do if utilities are shut off?
-        What are the local evacuation routes?
Sample plans can be downloaded by visiting
Protect your home by taking the following steps:
-        If necessary protect windows with plywood boards.
-        Trim back any tree branches that may be too close to your home
-        Confirm your insurance policies
-        Understand how to manually shut off water and gas
It’s important to always heed the warnings of those in the public safety and weather departments. Prevention can go a long way to avoiding disaster.  It’s better to be over prepared then caught off guard when bad weather strikes.
How do you prepare for hurricane season?

Friday, August 31, 2018

Understanding Home Settling

Over the course of your home’s first year you may notice small cracks or gaps where seemingly perfect walls and floors were before. What causes this change and should you be concerned?
A lot changes in your home over the first year. The materials used to build your home will begin to dry out which can account for minor changes in appearance.
The weight of the home itself will cause it to settle onto the ground it sits on. This can cause small hairline cracks especially over doors and windows.  Nails may pop out of the walls a bit and door frames may shift.
All of this is normal part of the process of owning a home and not a cause of concern about the quality of the home.  However if you have questions be sure to talk with your builder and they can identify any potential issues.
There are a few things you as a homeowner can do to prevent some of the cosmetic changes in your home during the first year.  Try to keep your home at a consistent temperature.  Use fans in the bathroom and kitchen. Invest in a humidifier if you feel the humidity level in your home is leading to additional issues.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Talking to Your Builder

When buying a new home there are so many things to think about – what style do I want, how big is big enough, what’s my budget?
It’s important to think through all of the aspects of buying a home before you take the plunge.  Your builder is a great resource and can help guide you through the process.
Here are some questions to ask before you get started. Understanding your builder’s process will help you set your expectations for the construction of your new home.
About the Builder
-        How long have you been building new homes?
-        Do you have any references of past homebuyers we can talk to?
-        What is the average build time?
-        Does the sales process go through you or an outside real estate team?
About the Home
-        Can I bring my own floorplan or choose from one of yours?
-        Can changes be made to the floorplan?
-        What options or upgrades can be added?
-        Is there a warranty program?
-        Is landscaping included in the price of the home?
About the Neighborhood
-        Are there HOA fees and what do they cover?
-        Are there any restrictive covenants about what can be in the neighborhood?
-        What are the estimated taxes for this area?
What are some other questions that come to mind when talking with your builder about the new home building process?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Choosing a Moving Company

Once you’ve found your dream home and you are ready to make the move the last thing you want to worry about is trouble with your moving company. By doing some research upfront you can save yourself a lot of heartache.  Choose a reputable company and know your moving rights.
Here are a few things to look for when choosing a moving company.
-    Choose a company directly, not through a brokerage website or a “Find A Mover” website.
-    Check the background online by looking at the Better Business Bureau, and review websites like Yelp.
-    Have at least 3 or 4 companies that you want to talk with before making a decision. Don’t rely on an estimate over the phone. Have them come to your home and do a walk through so your estimate will be complete.
-    Ensure the company is licensed and has a physical address.
-    Receive all estimates and agreements in writing. Carefully review the details including the policies about pickup and delivery, stairs and if packing services are included.
-    Other things to check for are:
o    Will they be moving you or is a third party involved?
o    Are the trucks they use permanently marked?
o    Will you be sharing a truck with other customers?
o    Do they provide references?
-    Be sure not to sign any blank paperwork or documents you don’t understand.
-    If you feel there are any red flags that come up during the process it’s okay to move on and choose someone else. Your peace of mind and possessions are too important to leave in the hands of someone who seems untrustworthy.

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!