Financial checklist for new home buyers

Buying a home is the American dream, and the goal of many people who are ready to put down some roots. In some circumstances, buying a home can also be a great investment. For first time homeowners, however, the process alone can be quite intimidating. If you’re not prepared financially, it can also be a significant drain on your resources.

 

The following tips can help first time homeowners prepare for the financial aspects of home ownership so that the entire experience is more rewarding, and less stressful.

 

Reduce your debt

Debt can derail your financial stability, especially when you’re considering a mortgage. When possible, try to reduce your debt so that you’re juggling fewer bills. This can potentially also improve your credit score and make financing your home a bit easier.

 

Create a budget

 

Budgeting is always helpful, but it’s critical when it comes to buying a home. You’ll need to know how much of a mortgage you qualify for before you really start shopping around. An easy way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage and use that as your home buying budget. Keep in mind, it’s okay to set your home budget lower than your pre approved amount. 

 

Have a savings

The home buying process is costly and being a homeowner comes with additional expenses you don’t have as a renter. For this reason, it is important to have savings that are not used for the purchase of your home. This is a buffer that you can use for emergencies should life throw you a curveball.

Educate yourself

The home buying process has many steps and can be a bit overwhelming. For those that are new to the process, it can also be intimidating and stressful. You can reduce your stress, and empower your decision making, by learning about the home buying process. There are plenty of sources available online, like this guide to home buying from Investopedia.

 

Consider your options

You can shop for homes already on the market, but that isn’t your only option. You can have a home built for you too. This gives you the ability to more closely match your home with your needs, including lot location, floor plans and other options. 

 

Remember, buying a home is more of a marathon than a sprint. Be patient as you work through the process and try to enjoy the adventure. This will help reduce the frustration that can come with trying to work through all the steps it takes to go from day dreaming about a home to getting the keys and moving in!

 

Looking for inspiration? Visit our gallery!

Spring Home Trends

Spring Home Trends

There’s no doubt about it, trends are just as big in the world of homes and home décor as they are in fashion. While home trends tend to stick around a few years at a time, they definitely shift every three to five years. All you have to do is see a fifties style kitchen or an entryway from a classic 70’s home to see home trends in action.

 

Architectural trends are a bit harder to follow, but when it comes to home décor most people enjoy switching things up with the season. Spring is especially popular because it’s the first chance after the long, cold winter to invite some color and life back into your home.

 

Here are some of the newest trends for 2021 that you may want to try in your own home.

 

Rustic modern: Sure, it seems like these are opposite, but when you combine them in your home you’ll achieve a distinctive look. Sometimes called “modern cottage” this look features farmhouse style interiors with bare wood, reclaimed wood pieces and modern touches. You can make this look your own, by mixing and matching old and new elements, like reclaimed end tables and modern table lamps.

Contemporary country: You don’t want to resurrect the cow prints just yet, but you can easily achieve this look with country-style decorations lightly mixed into a modern space. This could be the addition of meadow prints, embroidered pieces and calm lighting to soften up a contemporary room. If you already have a more rustic, country space, simply add contemporary elements, like a modern centerpiece, painting or furniture accent piece.

Bright and muted pastels: Spring home décor is not complete with a conversation on pastels. Few things say spring as much as pastels, and that isn’t a trend that will go away anytime soon. This year, however, mixing bright and muted pastels throughout the home is popular. This could include throw pillows and blankets, area rugs, candles, and wall art that showcases this color palette.

Global themes: Infusing living spaces with globally inspired looks is a fun trend this spring. From using color themes and centerpieces inspired by nature from around the globe to cultural décor items, global themes can reflect your personal travel stories or dream trips you want to one day take.

Surf and turf: Sure, the beach is always in, but right now bringing a bit of the ocean to your home is in. From cool ocean hues to decorations inspired by a day at the beach, people are getting creative with their living spaces this spring. There really is no wrong way to do it, from ocean blue accent pieces and shell centerpieces to sea breeze incense.

What spring home décor trends do you plan on following this year? We’d love to hear all about it on social, so feel free to share tips and pics!

How To Separate Needs & Wants When Buying A Home

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a custom home or shopping existing homes, the process can be a bit overwhelming. Looking at all the possibilities, considering your options and learning about features can be stressful. When you try and weigh it all against your family’s needs and your budget, well it’s easy to see why the home buying process feels so intimidating.

 

In reality, building or buying a home should be an exciting journey that marks the beginning of a new adventure for your family. To take some of the stress out of the equation, we have a few tips to help you separate needs and wants. This will make it easier for you to make decisions and narrow down you options.

 

1. Ask yourself “What will my family look like five years down the road?”


Just about every decision you need to make when building or buying a home comes down to your family. Do you need to be in a great school district? Do you want a neighborhood with lots of school aged children? Is your family going to grow or will your kids be leaving the nest? Your answers to these questions determine location, size, floor plan and features, so it is a great starting point in the home buying process.

 

2. Consider what your work situation will be in the next five years.


Of course there is no way of knowing what will happen in the future, especially when it comes to work. Jobs come and go and career paths change, but it’s still something to consider. Your location impacts your daily commute to work, and if you have kids you can add the drive to school to your day as well. You may need extra space for a home office as well, which will effect the number of rooms you need as well as the floorplan.


3.Consider how you spend your free time now and how you want to in the future.

Are you someone that enjoys entertaining or family gatherings? If so, you may want to focus on features that will make your home an easy and fun place for dinner parties. Do you like spending time outdoors? If so, you’ll want to look at outdoor living spaces. And if you have hobbies, your new home will need to accommodate them as well.

 

4. Think about your long term plans.


Will this be the home you retire in or do you plan on owning a few homes in the next 5,10 or 20 years? If you’re buying the home you plan on retiring in, you can pay less attention to things that impact resale value. In this situation, simply focus on comfort features and things you enjoy from your living space. If you plan on selling the home at some point, you will want to think more carefully about how features and floor plan options impact resale value.

 

These questions just help you clarify what you really want and need from your next house, but they aren’t all inclusive. Use them as a jumping off point to figure out exactly what you’re looking for as you shop around. At the end of the day, your home is just that – yours! Be sure that you select flooring you love, appliances you look forward to using and an area that you’ll be proud to call home.

How To Separate Needs and Wants When Buying A Home

How To Separate Needs and Wants When Buying A Home

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a custom home or shopping existing homes, the process can be a bit overwhelming. Looking at all the possibilities, considering your options and learning about features can be stressful. When you try and weigh it all against your family’s needs and your budget, well it’s easy to see why the home buying process feels so intimidating.

 

In reality, building or buying a home should be an exciting journey that marks the beginning of a new adventure for your family. To take some of the stress out of the equation, we have a few tips to help you separate needs and wants. This will make it easier for you to make decisions and narrow down your options.

 

1.Ask yourself “What will my family look like five years down the road?”


Just about every decision you need to make when building or buying a home comes down to your family. Do you need to be in a great school district? Do you want a neighborhood with lots of school aged children? Is your family going to grow or will your kids be leaving the nest? Your answers to these questions determine location, size, floor plan and features, so it is a great starting point in the home buying process.

 

2. Consider what your work situation will be in the next five years.


Of course there is no way of knowing what will happen in the future, especially when it comes to work. Jobs come and go and career paths change, but it’s still something to consider. Your location impacts your daily commute to work, and if you have kids you can add the drive to school to your day as well. You may need extra space for a home office as well, which will affect the number of rooms you need as well as the floor plan.


3.Consider how you spend your free time now and how you want to in the future.

Are you someone that enjoys entertaining or family gatherings? If so, you may want to focus on features that will make your home an easy and fun place for dinner parties. Do you like spending time outdoors? If so, you’ll want to look at outdoor living spaces. And if you have hobbies, your new home will need to accommodate them as well.

 

4. Think about your long term plans.


Will this be the home you retire in or do you plan on owning a few homes in the next 5,10 or 20 years? If you’re buying the home you plan on retiring in, you can pay less attention to things that impact resale value. In this situation, simply focus on comfort features and things you enjoy from your living space. If you plan on selling the home at some point, you will want to think more carefully about how features and floor plan options impact resale value.

 

These questions just help you clarify what you really want and need from your next house, but they aren’t all inclusive. Use them as a jumping off point to figure out exactly what you’re looking for as you shop around. At the end of the day, your home is just that – yours! Be sure that you select flooring you love, appliances you look forward to using and an area that you’ll be proud to call home.

 

Simple & Budget Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips For New Homeowners

From creating memories and new traditions to the simple joy of decorating your home for the season, home ownership can feel extra special during the holidays. For new homeowners, this is especially true, but it might also come with a few extra stressors due to the initial cost of getting into a home. Fortunately, you can decorate for the season on a budget with a little thought and planning. 

 

The following tips can help new homeowners enjoy their first Christmas with simple, budget friendly and versatile decorating ideas. 

 

Adopt a new color scheme

You don’t have to buy a lot of Christmas decorations to have a holiday-themed home. By incorporating the colors of the season into your general decor, you can create a strong holiday aesthetic. Green and red throw pillows, winter-themed wreaths and centerpieces all give off holiday vibes without being overtly Christmas themed. And while poinsettias, holly and the Christmas cactus are traditional house plants for this time of year, you don’t have to switch out your current plants for the holidays. You can simply tie red and green ribbons around your house plants, or use holiday-colored foil to wrap their pots. 

 

Embrace mood lighting

Lighting can be a powerful tool for creating atmosphere in your home. It can also be an affordable way to change up the look and feel of your home for the holidays. From green and red Christmas lights, to twinkling white lights that you can use any time of the year, lighting is a quick and easy decorating option. Since you can use some colors year around, it can also be a versatile way to decorate multiple occasions. You can keep your utility costs in control by using lighting only after dark. 

 

Candle accents

Everyone loves candles, so it makes sense to play them up during the holiday season. It’s more budget friendly to opt for seasonal scents over seasonal colors so that you can display your candles for a longer period of time. You can also use battery powered candles around the home. These are completely safe options that allow you to light up areas where a real candle might be not optimal. Many of these twinkle and create a very warm, life-like glow. 

 

Use gifts as decorations

You’re used to gifts piling up under your tree, but why not let your gifts do double duty this year as decorations! By using beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons, you can create display worthy presents that make your entire home feel more holiday-like. Place them in small groups around your home, perhaps with a small figurine or other more traditional decoration. This is a budget friendly way of transforming your home for the holidays. 

 

There you have it, simple and affordable ways to make your first Christmas even more special in your new home. You can also find some visual inspiration if you’re looking for some extra holiday-themed decorating ideas.

 

And if you’re dreaming of your very own custom home in the upcoming year, we have some additional inspiration for in our gallery!