The Homeowner’s Summer To-Do List

The Homeowner’s Summer To-Do List

Can you believe summer is less than one month away? It seems like we posted our spring homeowner’s checklist just a few days ago, not MONTHS ago! Now that we are so far into spring that it is almost over, it is now time to get your home ready for the upcoming season. Take a look at our summer to-do list for all homeowners. 

Clean that grill

Although you can grill during any time of year, summer is definitely the season of grilling. Since many of you probably have not used your grill since probably Labor Day, then you must clean it before using it anytime soon. Not only may it have rusted in the last year, but there may be carbon deposits on it that are havens for bacteria. A good cleaning is necessary, and then you’ll be able to enjoy a healthier and tastier barbecue! 

Inspect your patio

While you are out there cleaning your barbecue grill, go ahead and inspect the patio it sits on too. If it is wooden, then some of the wood may have rotted in the intervening year. Some nails might also show, so you may want to get out that hammer. Painted decks might also need a touch-up if anything peeled. 

Take a look at your gardens

By now, your flowers and bushes have probably bloomed and are already beautiful. However you might also notice some irritating weeds too. Since wind and rain may have blown or washed away some mulch in the last year, that gave weeds a bigger chance to sprout. Buy and lay down some more mulch. Mulch also helps the ground retain more moisture, so you should see even bigger and more beautiful plants soon afterward. 

With summer still a few weeks away, this weekend is the perfect time to get cracking on our homeowner’s summer to-do list. It may be Memorial Day Weekend and you just want to relax, but look at it another way. If you get enough accomplished, then you may finish your summer to-do list early and be able to enjoy the outdoors sooner and with even less stress & mess!

Planning Your Future Yard

Planning Your Future Yard

When you see an empty lot of land, then the first thing that pops into your head is what your house will look like once it is built there. While this is definitely important, do not neglect another major part of your home – your yard! The size of your yard helps determine how big a house you want. To help you determine how sizable you want your future yard to be, consider these questions. 

Is your family going to grow?

Yards can be especially important when it comes to children. If you already have children, then they may be of the age where they want to spend more time outside. Should this be the case, then you may want plenty of room for swing sets, basketball courts, or even a swimming pool. If you do not yet have children, then you should think about whether you plan on having any in the future. For those who want children, a bigger yard could come in handy. If you do not wish to expand your family, then you might not need that extra space. 

What are your outdoor plans? 

When people move into a new house, they often plan on adding to their property. Some people enjoy having a gazebo for dining and aesthetics, while others want a bigger porch. You may even want a storage shed for a lawnmower or other gardening tools. Plus if this is not your forever home and you plan to move at some point, these outdoor features can increase your resale value. For whatever reasons additions like these are part of your long-term plans, then you absolutely should not skimp on yard size when planning your future home. After all, yards that are too small cannot handle such supplementary features later on!

Do you want to spend much time working on your yard? 

As gorgeous and grand as any yard may be, all yards require upkeep to remain stunning. Mowing is a dreaded part of homeownership, but it is something that must be done. Are you prepared to spend a significant amount of your time tending to your yard? Obviously, the bigger the yard, the more work you need to spend taking care of it. Even if you plan on having someone else mow your yard, that is still an extra expense you should consider. Some mowers may charge more to take care of a very big yard.

Once you answer these crucial questions about your future yard, then you are ready to pick out a home lot! Hawthorne Creek Homes is more than happy to help you find the right acreage or subdivision for your new home. Reach out to us here, and let’s get started on your perfect yard and even more perfect home!

How to Decide Between Custom Homes and Resale Homes

How to Decide Between Custom Homes and Resale Homes

Your home represents a large investment for your family. In fact, for most people it’s the single largest transaction they make, adding to the weight of the decision to buy. When you’re considering your options, you may struggle between finding a home on the market or building your own custom home. After all, you have to live with your decision for years. 

We’ve put together these tips to help you think through the decision and find the right path for you and your family. 

Weighing your needs and wants 

When you look for homes on the market, you typically have to make some type of concessions. After all, resale homes were built to meet someone else’s needs, not yours. This means you’re getting fixtures, flooring, and a floor plan that may not really be right for you. So while resale homes may be convenient, they also may not fit your unique needs. This is where the custom home has the advantage. You get to decide what stays and what goes, ensuring that you’re happy with your living space.

Floor plans that fit your life

Have you seen a home from the seventies? How about the forties? The look and feel of space in these times is far different than it is today. This illustrates the fact that floor plans actually age, which means a resale home might be using space in an outdated way. By getting a custom home, you can find a modern floor plan that matches how you plan on living in your home. Since most people spend more than a few years in their new home, it makes sense to try to match your needs to your space. 

Energy efficiency 

You probably wouldn’t be thrilled to use a refrigerator from the eighties. The same goes for most appliances in your home. Older appliances, including things like HVAC systems, are far less energy efficient than they are these days. This means they cost more to operate and over time, this really can add up. Unless a resale home has been updated significantly, it’s probably full of energy inefficient equipment that acts as a slow drain on your budget. Buying a home and upgrading everything may be an option, but it’s a very expensive route to take. This makes a custom-built home a better choice for overall energy efficiency. 

Last but not least, you’ll want to think about repairs. No matter how detailed an inspection you get, a resale home comes with many blind spots. Will the roof start to leak? Was that water leak fixed correctly? Since you can never really be sure, a resale home carries more risk than most custom-built homes. Custom homes have new appliances, new equipment, and most of the time come with a warranty. This can reduce the risk and lead to a more satisfying and less stressful homeownership experience.

Spring Checklist for Homeowners

Spring Checklist for Homeowners

We make it easy to build your dream home, but it’s up to you to maintain it and keep it in great shape for years to come. With spring just around the corner, it’s a good idea to get your home ready for the warmer weather and rain to come. Since spring can be a stormy season in many areas, a little maintenance can be especially important. 

Your home has unique needs, but this list of common spring maintenance tasks can get you off to a good start. 

Foundation check

You’ll want to check your foundation after the last freeze of the season. Walk around your home and look for cracks and changes in your foundation. Small cracks become big cracks, so if you notice something, keep a close eye on it. Any significant change warrants the attention of a professional. The sooner you intervene, the more affordable the repair will be.  

Clear debris

Fall and winter can be messy when it comes to debris around your home. This includes dead leaves and branches on the ground and unhealthy branches near your home. You’ll want to remove fallen items so that they don’t trap moisture near your foundation. Unhealthy branches should be removed before a spring storm brings them down on your house. 

Clean gutters

Gutters help to usher water away from your home, where it can do a great amount of damage. To work properly, they must be clean and in good shape. You’ll want to check the downspouts as well to make sure they take all water away from your foundation. 

Roof check

Roofs have it pretty hard in the winter, especially if there has been snow and ice. You’ll want to make sure there is no damage before spring rains come. Look for signs of loose tiles and leaks to keep all those showers on the outside, where they can’t damage your property.

Wood check

Inspect all outside wood trim, posts, shutters, and any other wood element, such as decks. You’re looking for cracks, weak spots that indicate rot, or unsealed areas. It’s also a good time to look for bug infestations that can become a large problem when warmer weather hits. If you see any problems, then call a professional as soon as possible.

Your home may have additional areas to inspect and maintain, like a fireplace that needs a little post-heating care. Just make sure you’re keeping track of issues you find, and that you call a professional to handle anything you can’t do yourself. This can not only save you money, but it can also help protect your home so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Things That Change When You Own Versus Rent

Things That Change When You Own Versus Rent

For many people, owning a home is a lifelong dream. If you’re a renter who’s considering making the leap, then you may be curious about how it’s different from renting. The following list helps you prepare for some of the changes so you know what to expect and can make the right decision for you and your family.

Maintenance becomes a priority

When you rent a home, your responsibilities regarding home maintenance is fairly low. You have to change the HVAC filters and take care of the lawn. Essentially, your goal is to take care of the home by making sure you don’t do any damage. When you are a homeowner, however, you have to do much more than change filters and mow. In the winter you have to get things ready for harsh conditions, and any damage that may occur during severe weather. In the spring you have to make sure you’re ready for rains and the potential damage that water can cause roofs and foundations.

Renovating becomes a possibility

As a renter, you have to live with your home exactly the way it is, for good and bad. You can’t do anything other than move if you need more room, more cabinet space, or want carpet instead of tile. If you’re a homeowner, then you suddenly have options. You can change just about anything you want about your home, from adding more room to remodeling your entire interior completely. Of course, you also have to consider resale value resulting from any changes you make.

Insurance needs change

Most renters carry basic renter’s insurance to cover their possessions in case of theft, fire, or other covered loss. Sometimes renters may carry liability insurance as well. As a homeowner, however, you have to consider all sorts of issues related to loss, from floods and fires to burglaries and tornadoes. Additionally, many homeowners carry liability insurance to cover them in case someone injures themselves on their property. To make sure you have enough coverage, it is smart to talk to an insurance professional.

Rebates, tax credits, and more

Homeowners have tools available to them that can help them improve and update their home. There are rebate programs that help people install solar panels and home improvements. There are also some tax credits that homeowners can use to reduce their tax liability. These are only available to homeowners, making owning a home an attractive option.

While owning a home does come with more responsibilities, it’s a worthwhile endeavor, especially if you’re prepared for it. This list isn’t all inclusive, but it can help you see what you’re getting into when you take on the American dream of home ownership.

Things to Do Before Building Your Custom Home

Things to Do Before Building Your Custom Home

Building your dream home is an amazing achievement and something to be proud of, truly! But before you get to throw a housewarming party, there’s much work to do and decisions to be made. The decision-making process alone can be overwhelming, so we put together a list of things you may want to start thinking about to help you prepare for the decisions ahead.

Location 

This is an obvious initial decision that deserves plenty of attention. Since you’ll live in your home for years, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in a convenient location. But you should also consider choosing a desirable location that will improve your resale value as well. 

Orientation

Do you want to see the sunset from your dinner table? Would you like to spend mornings on your deck enjoying the sunrise? You’ll want to consider the orientation of your home based on how you like to live, so think a bit about how you like to use your space. It’s the small things that make a house a home! 

Size and flexibility

Your home should meet your needs today as well as years from today. To ensure this you should think about your life in the upcoming years. If you plan on growing your family, you’ll want room to accommodate that. If your kids will be leaving the nest soon, then make sure the space will not be overwhelming.

Space and use

Do you need a large garage? Is it important for you to have space for hobbies or a kid’s playroom? Your home should reflect how you plan to live, giving you options to express yourself and live the way you want. Thinking about this before you build will help you be even happier in your home.

Building a home is a lifelong dream for many people, but it can be stressful. By considering how you use your home, and what your life will look like years down the road, you’ll be happier with the decisions you make. And of course, if you need guidance, your home builder will be able to provide a wealth of information and help you make the best decisions for your unique situation.