New Homes

Preparing For A Long Distance Move

Preparing For A Long Distance Move

Moving involves so much planning, from buying boxes and masking tape to changing utilities. Whether you have several months or mere weeks, even a crosstown move takes preparation. Long distance moves can be especially challenging, but taking certain steps will lessen stresses and ensure that your new home feels like your real home. Keep a timeline in mind As soon as you know you are moving, try to keep a timeline in mind. If you are selling your current home and buying a new home concurrently, timing is very important. Make sure you keep up with dates, from offers to counteroffers to appraisals to inspections to closing dates, make sure that you plan for every important event. Moving long distance requires even more planning, from finding a cross-country moving company to allotting time for driving or travelling to your new home. Research and choose movers There are countless cross-country moving companies, but make sure you do your homework before you pick a company to move your belongings. Check company credentials, both online and with an organization like the Better Business Bureau. Ask for a written estimate, and reserve a truck as soon as possible. Read the fine print- you don’t want to expect your belongings on Day One at your new home and find out that the company is waiting 3 weeks for a full truck before they drive across the country. Decide if you are packing, and plan accordingly Once you have narrowed down what moving company you are utilizing, you should know whether or not they will be packing your belongings or you will be responsible for...
Home Decor Trends for 2016

Home Decor Trends for 2016

The beginning of the year is a great time to look at your home with fresh eyes. All of the holiday decorations have come down, and your home probably feels a little barren. 2016 has some amazing home decor trends that will breathe fresh life into your home, while working well with your existing pieces.   Global Mix Global pieces promise to liven up your home. South American influences are huge, whether you want tablecloths, pillows, or sculptures. Guatemalan textiles tend to be saturated with primary colors, so a casual throw or an embroidered tablecloth will bring energy into your living area. Otomi fabrics are also gaining in popularity. The Otomi people live in the plateau region of Mexico, and create beautiful embroidered fabrics overflowing with birds and other natural elements. Whether you choose one of the popular textiles or some rustic South American pottery, thinking global is a wonderful way to brighten your home in January. Vintage Have fun scouring your local antique stores for fun pieces to incorporate into your current design. Antique stores often have fun vintage signs, stained glass, or architectural salvage pieces. Use a salvaged corbel as a bookend, or hang an old stained glass window above your fireplace as art. When you browse through local antique stores, look at how different pieces can be used in unusual ways. If something catches your eye because of a beautiful or unique feature, find a way to incorporate it into your everyday world. Metals Metals are huge in home decor this year. Chrome, stainless steel, copper, gold, and silver are cropping up everywhere in interior design....
Understanding the Total Cost of Home Ownership

Understanding the Total Cost of Home Ownership

You’ve diligently completed the recommended steps of the home-buying process. You are pre-approved for a mortgage loan and are starting to look at homes in your price range. You may even be thinking about making an offer on a home that fits your needs and wants. This is the exciting part of the process where home ownership gets real. While you are in this stage of the home buying process, take some time to calculate the TCO, total cost of ownership. Definition of TCO Total Cost of Ownership is so much more than simply your mortgage amount. No doubt, the mortgage amount is an important one, and comprises the bulk of your monthly budget for home ownership. But, several other amounts come into play when figuring out the TCO. Taxes, insurance, utilities, regular maintenance, and HOA dues should all be part of what you look at when figuring out the true total cost of ownership. Taxes Property taxes are an important part of the TCO equation, as they can vary greatly from area to area. Property taxes typically include taxes for the school district, any improvements in the area, and any mill levies for the area. Previous amounts paid by prior owners of a property are often available online or upon request. Homeowners Insurance Insurance for your home is another substantial and important expense. Homeowner’s insurance covers your home’s replacement value if it is damaged or destroyed by a covered loss, such as fire. The cost of your insurance can vary greatly, depending on what deductibles you choose, the home’s details, and the area you are buying in. Quotes...
What To Expect During Your Home Closing

What To Expect During Your Home Closing

You’ve gone through the entire process of choosing a home. You’ve scoured the internet, toured countless homes, gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, and made it through inspections and appraisals. Closing is coming up, and you might feel like you have run a long race, with the finish line in sight. Knowing what to expect during your closing will make the finish line a sweet victory.   Mortgage Lender First of all, many of the steps towards closing will happen with your lender and the title company. Your lending officer will work with you to make sure that you have everything in place as far as papers and requirements by the mortgage company. In  the days leading up to your closing, your lending officer will contact you to ensure that everything is in order. Final Walkthrough Typically, the day before closing, you will be permitted to do a walkthrough of the home. This is to verify that the sellers have fully vacated the home and left it in the condition agreed upon in the contract. This also allows you, the buyer, to make sure that any repairs or changes stipulated or required after inspection have been done to your satisfaction. If you are purchasing a new home expect to have a final walkthrough with the builder. Insurance You should have purchased insurance for the home before closing. The insurance needs to either cover your loan amount or your full replacement cost, in order to satisfy your mortgage company. The start date of the insurance legally needs to be the day of closing, even if you will need a few days...
Resources and Tips for House Hunting Online

Resources and Tips for House Hunting Online

You’ve decided to take the leap, concluding that owning your own home, and paying a mortgage instead of rent, is the best choice for you and your family. Like most others in this situation, the first place you will likely turn to begin your home-buying research will be the Internet. With so many websites competing for your attention, it can be a bit overwhelming determining which will be most useful in your home search and home buying process. Read on to learn more about a few of the most popular websites, and discover valuable tips for getting the most out of online resources. First, the money… Before you start perusing real estate sites, take a look at mortgage calculators and get an idea of what you can afford on your budget. Mortgagecalculator.org is a great place to start. Though there are a blue million online calculators out there, this one comes with extra features including a handy mortgage repayment summary and monthly vs. bi-weekly payment comparisons. Simply input the amount of the home, the amount that you are planning to use as a down payment, and the term of your loan, and the calculator will forecast your monthly payment amount. The calculator will also factor in property tax and current interest rates. And, if you are putting less than 20% down, the calculator will also calculate PMI (Property Mortgage Insurance). Then, getting the money… Most lender websites have ample information to get potential home buyers started on their paths to ownership. Many feature online applications for pre-approval. Though pre-approval is generally considered an important part of the mortgage process,...
Should I Hire a Professional Interior Designer?

Should I Hire a Professional Interior Designer?

Do you love those home makeover shows? Of course you do. Who doesn’t love a good Pygmalion? Whether it’s the girl in overalls and glasses being crowned homecoming queen at the end of the movie or the old fixer-upper making it’s owners weep as they exclaim “wow” at the end of the 30-minute flip, there’s something innately satisfying about seeing potential and beauty realized. So, why haven’t you transformed your space yet? It probably has all the potential of the homes on TV. Most of us don’t have the vision or the inspiration or the time or the money to make our own spaces realize all their potential. That’s why hiring a professional interior designer can be a big win. Of course, it can also be a big expense. So, here are some guidelines to help you decide whether you should hire a pro or not. Think seriously about doing it yourself Look at your space and think about how it could be better. What would you do to it? If you can’t envision it transformed into something you would love, try doing some research. Look through Pinterest photos and visit model homes in new construction communities. If you still can’t imagine your space, consider hiring a professional designer. At least call a couple and have them look at your space and give you ideas. See how you feel about them. If your own research helps you realize what you want in your space, it’s time for the next step. Think about how you could do it on your own Once you have a vision, think about the work....
5 Easy Kitchen Upgrades You Can Do In a Weekend

5 Easy Kitchen Upgrades You Can Do In a Weekend

Time for a change in your kitchen? You don’t have to tear the whole thing out and spend thousands on a complete remodel to freshen the space up. We have five great ideas that will make your kitchen feel new and exciting again without sending you to fast food restaurants for weeks and without breaking the bank. If you’re ambitious, you could feasibly do it all in a weekend and start the new week with fresh new culinary headquarters! Including the kitchen sink The kitchen sink can have a big impact on the look and feel of what is arguably the most important room in your home. The fun thing is that it’s not that hard to replace it, especially if it’s mounted on top of your counters. Disconnect the plumbing, pry the old, beat up sink out and put a shiny new one in. Go ahead and indulge in that deep country home double sink you’ve been wanting. As long as the sink fits in the counter space, it can be as deep as you want. You might just have to adjust your plumbing a little. If you don’t want to tear out the whole sink, the faucet is even easier to change and can make an equally big impact. Painting the cabinets This is a bigger undertaking than the sink. But if you have old wood or even laminate cabinetry, painting it a bright white or even modern black is probably the quickest, easiest and most affordable way to give your kitchen the feel of a full makeover. Use 100% latex paint or oil-based paint. This is...
Landscaping Tips for Your Brand New Colorado Home

Landscaping Tips for Your Brand New Colorado Home

When you build a new home in Colorado Springs, odds are there won’t be a lot of mature trees or natural landscaping at your doorstep. That makes choosing your landscaping particularly important both to your enjoyment of your new home and to your resale value. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started when it’s time to landscape. Talk with your builder Every new housing development in Colorado Springs is different. Some have strict controls on how the landscaping is completed and the builders will coordinate. In others, such as Cordera, homebuyers have choices. If you want a grassy yard, you can have one. Want low-maintenance, no problem. The developers at Cordera offer buyers vouchers they can use with a number of approved landscape designers. This gives buyers the ability to select the landscapers they like and the visions they want for their yards. Think about your setting Colorado Springs is pretty arid, which makes big grassy lawns a little difficult to maintain. Fortunately, xeriscaping has evolved over the years. It’s not just about filling the yard with rocks and gravel anymore. Good xeriscaping is appealing and includes plants that require very little watering – if any – and thrive in our local climate. Talk with your landscaper about how your home’s exterior can be a bridge between the stunning scenery at your doorstep and the comfortable interior of your home. Consider your use While xeriscaping is a popular and an aesthetically pleasing way to fit your home into the environment while saving water and money, it’s not for everyone. Do you have children? Do you just...
2015 US Housing Outlook

2015 US Housing Outlook

The year is off to a good start, and it looks like 2015 will continue to see US home sales prices climb while new home construction maintains its highest level since its peak in 2006. CoreLogic, a real estate data company, broadcast very strong predictions in its 2015 US Housing Outlook at the beginning of this year. Crediting strong economic growth and those young millennials coming of home-buying age, CoreLogic predicts that home sales will increase by 9 percent in 2015 and that new home construction will go up by a staggering 14 percent. Millennials While employment increased 2 percent nationally in 2014, the employment rate for millennials, who were born between 1980 and 2000, climbed 3 percent. That means more of the young generation are coming of employment age, but also that recent college grads, who struggled entering the job market during the recession, are finding careers and moving out of their parents’ basements. Since the millennials are an even larger generation than the Baby Boomers, household formation is likely to continue with some gusto as long as the economy continues growing. New home construction More households mean there is a need for more housing. However, that’s not the only factor driving growth of new construction. Styles and tastes have changed over the decades and the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home of the 1980s and earlier isn’t acceptable anymore. New homes have big closets, tall ceilings, nice natural light and functional floor plans designed to make life at home as convenient and comfortable as possible. That’s desirable, especially to the younger generations that largely grew up with a little more...