Benefits of Buying New Construction Homes

homebuyingWhen purchasing a home, one of the first decisions a buyer makes is whether to buy a pre-existing home or a new construction home. One mistake buyers often make, is assuming an older pre-existing home is less expensive than new construction.  A pre-existing home may have hidden repairs or require renovation or updates; all of which can be expensive and cause homeowners headaches. A newly constructed home is walk-in ready and may actually be on par or cost less than a pre-existing home.

Great Incentives When Purchasing a New Construction Home

Home buyers are wise to investigate incentives and deals before closing on their new home. It is important to remember that builders do not want homes to sit on the market. Builders are more than willing to help you find a home that will work for you. They are also willing to offer incentives to move the deal along.

  • National builders that are part of publicly traded companies are responsible for reaching quarterly sales goals. At quarter end, to close more deals on available homes, these builders will often tack on additional buying incentives.
  • The builder may offer incentives during the December holiday season
  • The builder may provide design center incentives
  • The builder may pay closing costs

Building a new home allows you to create a space that reflects your character and lifestyle. New construction home owners can select from a wide range of modern and unique options. When you close on a newly constructed home, it will have the look and functionality to suit your personality and way of life.

One of the biggest challenges of buyers of new construction homes is staying within budget. Builders often recommend that buyers choose a home with a base price below their total home buying budget.  The lower base price will allow buyers the flexibility to add upgrades that will add future resale value to the home.

Potential Tax Savings on New Construction

Homeowners of new construction may pocket extra money in the first one to two years of homeownership through reduced taxes. A home’s value from the previous year is used to determine the home’s current year property assessment. So, the lot value is initially used to determine the property assessment of a newly constructed home. Purchasing a new home, soon after completion of construction, may reduce property taxes in the first year or two of ownership.

Avoid Expensive Repairs and Upgrades with New Construction Homes
Pre-existing homes often require costly and time-consuming repairs and upgrades necessary to the smooth operations of daily living. In pre-existing homes, which are over ten years old, the water heaters, garage door cables and rollers and other components often need replacement.  Additionally, new construction homeowners won’t have to worry about unpermitted repair work done by previous owners that will likely need to be redone.

New construction homes typically avoid repair issues. When problems occur, the warranty department will usually take care of the issues. Owners of newly constructed homes experience minimal repairs and replacements of mechanicals and appliances.

Homeowners Love New Construction

Homeowners love new construction because of its many benefits: added value over time and minimal repair costs. Home buyers who want to save money and limit the stress of home repair and updating should consider a new construction home.

Learn more by contacting 21st Century Builders today to discuss your new construction options.

April Inside and Outside Home Checklist

It’s April. Sunlight warms your winter-weary yard and shines through your home’s windows; spring is here.  Soon, this welcome sunshine will beckon you to declutter, clean and maintain your home so that it is ready for a carefree summer.   A good first step is to organize and upgrade your cleaning tools: buy a new broom, and a fresh bottle of cleaner, new gloves. Next, to help with the decluttering process, set aside two large boxes; labeled donate and sell.  Below is an April home checklist, to assist you in the task of preparing your home for warmer weather.

Your April Home Outside Checklist

  1. Clean out your garage and organize your outdoor supplies.  
  • Inspect, organize and upgrade your tools and lawn care equipment.
  • Discard hazardous items such as unused paint, motor oil at your local recycling center.
  • Tune up your lawn mower.  Clean the grass clipping and dirt from the mower.  Check and replace, if needed, the spark plugs, fuel filters, and oil.  The tank should be drained and filled with new gas because over-time, ethanol-based fuel turns to varnish, which clogs the fuel line and carburetor.  Inspect the mower blades and replace those that are dull.  Grease the wheels and every fitting. Clean the inside and outside of your gas grill with a nylon brush, wooden scraper or grill-cleaning cloth and soapy water. If there is rust, gently remove with steel wool.  To prevent rust, consider painting your grill with a rustproof metal paint.  Clean out the grease traps, which may catch on fire if left unattended.  Finally, stock up on fuel and keep you grill covered for long-term protection.
  • Set up outdoor rooms – patios, deck chairs, etc.

2. Outside Cleaning

  • Clean and repair your home’s gutters and downspouts because clogged gutters will cause water to pool, potentially damaging the roof and siding.
  • Wash the winter grunge and road salt from your home’s siding with a regular garden hose or power washer and an attachment to dispense soapy water.
  • Clean the dirt, water spots, and bird droppings from your windows and sill with window cleaning solution.
  1.  Outside Inspections

  • Check sprinklers and irrigation system for leaks and pressure problems and clean the nozzles and sprinkler heads.
  • Inspect your wood decks and fences for damage that may have occurred over the long winter.  Once repaired, maintain the quality of your wood structures by staining and resealing each spring.
  • Inspect asphalt and concrete paths and driveway for cracks and other damage that may have occurred due to repeated freezing and thawing and then schedule repairs.

Your April Home Inside Checklist

  • To keep your cooling system at peak performance, prevent future problems, and avoid unwanted costs, schedule a cooling-system maintenance.  If you use window air conditioning units, change the filters.
  • Before installing window screens and doors, wash with the garden hose and inspect for holes and rips, which a simple screen patch kit can repair.  
  • Clean Windows and consider new window treatments for a fresh look.

How to Create the Perfect Home Theater

 

Home theaters are all the rage. And today, 5-star home theaters can be found in the basements of 1960s ranch homes or showcased in the elaborate wings of luxurious mansions. In all cases, if done right, these custom entertainment spaces add to a home’s enjoyment and resale value. Successful planning and designing of the perfect home theater involve a few considerations: location, the number of viewers and their audio-visual and design wish list, and the desired ambiance of the theater.

Choosing the Space for a Home Theater

The location of your home theater is dependent on the size of the viewing screen and thhte number of people you want to sit in the room. Also, it is important to choose a space where you can control the light and sound quality. Ideally, a rectangular, windowless room is best for a home theater. Once you decide on the room and your budget, you can create a layout that diagrams the room with its equipment and features. All home theaters will need hidden wiring and connections, speakers, theater-style seating, dimmable lighting, heating/air conditioning, a concession stand, and either a large screen TV or projector and screen.

Choosing the Right Audio and Visual Features for Your Theater

A home theater blends a large-screen video with surround-sound audio. It can be as simple as a big-screhometheateren television with basic surround sound or as extravagant as a drop down screen and booming speakers throughout the room. Once you’ve determined your design plan and budget, visit a home technology and home theater showrooms. The expert advice on the state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment available for today’s home theaters, along with pricing, can be well worth your time.

Creating the Perfect Home Theater Interior Design

Whether your home theater is a high end, custom design with top-of-the- line video and audio options or a budget version in your spare bedroom, all home theaters should include the following features:

  • Walls painted with a flat, neutral brown or tan color, which limits the room’s reflective surfaces.
  • Installed wall to wall carpet for soundproofing and comfort.
  • Windows covered with room darkening drapes or blinds.
  • Installed adjustable or dimmable lighting.
  • Sound proofed walls with drywall.
  • Comfortable reclining seats which can adjust to view the screen from different angles and distances. Also, the seating should have built-in drink holders and be easy to clean.
  • A TV or projector and screen suitable to the size of the room and placed so that viewers look directly at the screen.
  • Create a concession stand for easy access to snacks and drinks.

 

Creating a perfect home theater is dependent on good planning, the right equipment, comfortable seating and ambiance, quality installation and proper lighting. To ensure a successful home theater project, a professional’s help with the design and materials is very beneficial.

Creating the Perfect Children’s Study Space

 

A special, personalized study space will encourage your child to do their homework and to stay organized. The ideal study space should be well lit, clutter free, and have minimal distractions. But the area should also reflect your child’s style and be a comfort zone to learn, discover, work, and grow.  Consider these five ideas for the perfect children’s study space.

Set a Quiet Mood in Study Space by Decorating in Calming Colors

Design-for-study-room-pale-green-wallsA study area should be a calm and comfortable place for your child to do homework and read. The choice of color for the study is critical to creating a relaxed mood and atmosphere. Neutral shades such as whites, creams, and pale yellows have been shown to lower stress, improve concentration, reduce fatigue, and foster a peaceful study environment.

Furnishings for Study Space Should be Functional, Comfortable, and Homey

tanstudyroomA pleasant study space should include comfortable furnishings that encourage your child to sit, study, and read. Essential items include a desk, chair, shelving, computer, and lighting.  The desk should be large enough to accommodate your students needs: computer, papers, books, printer, etc. A long table where your student can spread their materials out is also a good option for a desk. Or, if your child’s study space is in their bedroom, building a loft for the bed and creating a study area below it is an excellent way to create more space. The desk chair must be size appropriate and ergonomic. For lighting, consider several floor lamps placed in the corners for ambiance and a desk lamp for direct lighting. Then create a cozy nook for your child to relax by putting a bean bag chair next to a floor to ceiling bookshelf.  Incorporate your child’s style into this cozy spot by letting them pick out a fun area rug.

Help Your Child Stay Organized by Hanging Cork Boards and Whiteboards on the Walls of the Study Space.

storagestudyThe wall of a study space is ideal for hanging a cork board where your child can display a calendar, agendas, and reminders of due dates for important tasks. A whiteboard or chalkboard hung next to the cork board is helpful for writing down quick notes or practicing math problems. Personalize the study by hanging your child’s artwork or their favorite inspirational poster viewable from their desk.

 

Reduce Distractions in the Study Space by Keeping it Clutter Free

 

corkboardIn order for a student to devote all their attention to homework, a study space must be void of all items not essential to studying: toys, TVs, unnecessary decor or clutter. Adequate storage is essential for staying clutter free and organized. Storage ideas include wall-mounted shelving for storing books, stage cubbies or cabinets for storing extra paper and infrequently used items, and canisters for storing pens and pencils.

 

Study Spaces Must be Designed to Accommodate Technology Today and in the Future as Your Child Grows.

Today’s student needs a study space that will accommodate the ever changing range of loftcomputer equipment. The study area must include enough room and electric outlets for the computer, printer, backup storage unit, surge protector, and more.

Ideas for Children’s Rooms that Will Make You Want to be a Kid Again

A child’s room is their sanctuary; a place to rest, dream of their futures, entertain their friends and grow into adulthood. Why not make your child’s room a unique space that reflects their personality and brings out their creativity.  An interesting space in which your child will learn, thrive and play. Here are six creative children’s room ideas that will make you want to be a kid again.

Inspire Adventure and Excitement with a Pirate Ship Bedroom

piratebedroom

Your adventurous child will live out their imaginations in a pirate inspired room. The ideas for a pirate theme are endless.

  • A built-in bridge leading to a pirate ship installed at the upper corner of the room.
  • Ladders or a rope hanging from the pirate ship.
  • A boat-shaped bed with a canvas sail in place of a headboard.
  • A porthole-style sconce in place of a bedside lamp.
  • A treasure chest for storage.

A Secret Chronicles of Narnia Room Will Inspire Future Authors to Create Their Own Stories

Secret-Chronicles-Of-Narnia-RoomYour child’s imagination will soar as they step through their own magic wardrobe into a secret Narnia of talking animals and mythical creature. Here are a few great ideas for creating a Secret Chronicles of Narnia Room.

  • Create a secret passage into your child’s room by placing a cabinet with the back taken out in front of the bedroom door.
  • Paint a map of Narnia on the bedroom ceiling.
  • Paint Aslan the Lion and other characters or scenes from the book/movie on the wall/.
  • Install a lamp-post in the secret room and paint a wintry forest mural on the wall.
  • Set up a special reading area, complete with the Chronicles of Narnia.

 A Secret, Adventurous Treehouse Play Room is a Perfect Choice for the Child that Loves to Climb

treemuel

A secret, adventurous treehouse in your child’s bedroom will satisfy your child’s need to climb and also create a secret private space for them to read, whisper to friends, or just have a quiet space to dream. There are many great ideas for a bedroom treehouse.

  • Install a climbing wall that leads up to the treehouse.
  • Hang a climbing rope from the treehouse.
  • Install a secret slide passage to exit treehouse.
  • Paint a mural of a tree around the walls and ceiling of the treehouse.

Create a Sport’s Lovers Perfect Space to Play and Entertain their Teammates.

bbbedroomA sports theme bedroom can be specific to your child’s sport or a collection of various activities, but either way, your child will love a mini gym of their own to play and work on their athletic skills.

  • Hang a punching bag from the ceiling.
  • Line the room with beanbags shaped as soccer balls, baseballs, and basketballs.
  • Install wood floors with painted free throw lines leading up to a basketball hoop.
  • Make a headboard of old hockey sticks.
  • Build a climbing wall up to your child’s bunk bed.

Your Little Girl is Sure to Love a Fairy Dreamland Bedroom  

For girls who dream of a Fairytale world, a magical bedroom, filled with fairies and twinkling lights may be just the thing to make her happy.

  • fairybedroomHang gorgeous shimmering lights around the parameter of the bedroom.
  • Place an artificial tree and decorate with whimsical fairies, birds, and white string lights.
  • Install a wicker hanging chair.
  • Create a canopy around your little girl’s bed by hanging a purple, pink or green sheer materials.
  • Paint a whimsical mural of fairies, flowers, and gardens.
  • Add glow in the dark stars to your daughters ceiling.

 A Forest Wonderland Bedroom is Perfect for the Nature Loving Kid

A nature themed bedroom will encourage your future naturalist’s interest in wildlife and the outdoors.animalworld

  • Set up a bookshelf stocked with books on animals, plants, and fish.
  • Create a cozy reading area.
  • Consider purchasing a fish tank.
  • Create a secret room in the ceiling, accessible by climbing a ladder that leans against a tree painted on the wall and ceiling.
  • Decorate a wall with a large mural of the world.

Spruce Up the Decor in Your Home with These Five Inexpensive Tips

Just like families grow and change over time, so should the decor of their homes. Tackling these ongoing updates as your family evolves will keep your home fresh and new. Here are five inexpensive ways to spruce up your decor and ensure your home remains stylish and welcoming.

Spruce up a Room’s Decor With New Lighting

Adding or changing the lighting in a room is a wonderful way to breath new life into the ambientlightspace. Fortunately, there are several easy, inexpensive ways to add new lighting to a room.

  • Find a fun new vintage lamp or a stylish lampshade to add character and personality to your decor.
  • Enhance the ambiance of your kitchen by installing strip lighting along cabinets
  • Highlight a focal point in the room with direct lighting.
  • Switch to lower-wattage bulbs to create a restful mood.

Painting a Room is One of the Least Expensive Ways to Spruce up a Room

girlpaintingPainting will freshen and spruce up any room, all without a lot of money. It is also an excellent way to get creative: paint an accent wall or add border colors. And consider how different colors can affect the mood of the room.

  • Neutrals (black, gray, white and brown). All-neutral schemes create a peaceful mood but can be easily livened up with the addition of accent pieces in your favorite colors.
  • Red raises a room’s energy level.
  • Yellow evokes happiness.
  • Blue may bring blood pressure down and slow respiration and heart rate.
  • Green is a restful color for the eye.
  • Purple is rich, dramatic and sophisticated.
  • Orange creates excitement and enthusiasm.

Live Flowers or Potted Plants will Freshen Any Room

Fresh greenery in a home brings the outdoors, inside. And while fresh flowers smell nice greeneryinbathand are beautiful, a live plant last longer and can be an attractive focal point. A few hardy indoor house plants that anyone can keep alive include aloe, spider plants, english ivy, jade, dieffenbachia, peace lily and snake plant. And for the kitchen, a herb garden will add warmth and character.  

Spruce Up Your Floors with a Lovely Area Rug

modern area rug in family roomAn inexpensive way to spruce up the overall decor of your room is to dress up the floor with an Oriental rug or modern design rug. And because of so many options, adding an area rug is a wonderful way to add your personal style and color to any space.  An area rug is also an excellent way to cover up worn floors you are not ready to repair or replace.

Dress Up a Room and Open the Space with a Striking Accent Piece

mirrorinroomCreate a beautiful focal point with a unique accent piece, such as a gallery of family photos, a favorite piece of artwork, a modern geometric arrangement, or a reflective surface. A simple way to open up a space and make it appear larger is by hanging a large mirror on a wall facing a large window. The reflection in the mirror will bring the beautiful outdoors, inside.

Sprucing up your home’s decor can be fun and rewarding and does not have to break your bank.  It just takes a little backbone and planning.

Gwenyth Laird Pernie, marketing writer

Carefully Choosing a Mortgage will Save Homeowners Thousands of Dollars.  Here are Five Things to Consider Before Choosing a Mortgage.

Buying a new home is an exciting and wonderful time. But once the process starts, future homeowners quickly find out that a lot of hard work and planning must come first before the highly anticipated move-in date: saving for the down payment, the exhausting process of finding the perfect home, and obtaining the best mortgage to fit your financial situation. Unfortunately, in the rush to move into their perfect new home, some future homeowners neglect to investigate the best options for a mortgage and instead take the first one that comes along. A mortgage, however, is a long-term commitment and should be entered into carefully. Otherwise, a homeowner could end up with the wrong loan and potential financial problems. Here are five things to consider before choosing a mortgage.

Obtain a Copy of Your Current Credit Report

A credit score is a rating system based on an individual’s credit history that indicates the personcouplelookingatcreditreport’s creditworthiness. Your current credit report will let you know where you financially stand so you can demand the bests terms for your new loan. Typically a good credit score is above 680; a score of less than 600 indicates a riskier borrower.  People with higher scores usually are granted better interest rates and terms.

Consider Both the Interest Rate and Annual Percentage Rate When Choosing a Mortgage

Both the interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) are expressed as percentages homebuyingand are important numbers to evaluate when choosing a mortgage.  The interest rate is the cost of borrowing the principal loan amount, or the total sum of money borrowed.  The APR includes the interest rate, and other costs such as broker fees, discount points, and some closing costs.  The interest rate calculates what your actual monthly payment will be, and the APR calculates the total cost of the loan.  Consider both these rates when choosing a mortgage.

Compare Down Payment Requirements Between Lenders

A down payment is almost always required when obtaining a mortgage, and conventional loans require twenty percent down.Home Mortgage Down Payment A gray house brown card and calculator on stone background with text Down Payment  However, many lenders offer insured mortgages with as little as five percent down payment; but this low down payment comes at a price. In Canada, mortgage default insurance is required for down payments between 5% and 19.99%. The cost of the insurance is a one-time charge and may be paid at the time of closing or added to your mortgage balance. And as of February, 2016 new federal rules mandate that home buyers in Canada will need larger down payments for properties over $500,000.

Compare all Closing Costs Before Choosing a Mortgage

Closing costs are one-time fees lenders charge for a variety of administrative expenses.  Typically closings costs represent bankerandcoupleabout 3 to 4 percent of your home’s total sale price.  Many of these fees are arbitrary and should be compared between lenders before choosing a mortgage.

 

  • Points, which will reduce your interest rate
  • Loan application fees
  • Loan processing fees
  • Credit report fee
  • Documentation
  • Underwriting
  • Appraisal fees for your home and title insurance and points.
  • Title search
  • Title Insurance
  • Escrow fee
  • Prepayment penalty if you pay loan off early
  • Possibly more

Obtain a Good Faith Estimate from the Lenders

A good faith estimate is a document that lists of all the fees and other costs associated with a home mortgage. The good faith estimate is an estimate of expenses; the actual expenses or the closing costs may be different.  Nevertheless, it is an essential document to have in hand when choosing a mortgage.

Choosing a mortgage is one of the most important financial decisions that you will make in your lifetime, and the right mortgage might save you tens of thousands of dollars in wealth over the lifetime of the loan.

Gwenyth Laird Pernie, marketing writer