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!