4 Reasons New Construction is More Affordable Than You Think

If you’re thinking about the possibility of a new home for 2015, it can be hard to focus on anything but the cost. You want something that better suits your family’s needs, but what can you afford? Many assume that pre-existing homes are the cheapest way to go, you might be surprised at just how super-affordable a new construction home can be.

1. The Square Foot Price Can be Lower

Always take the time to calculate how much you’re paying for a home based on square foot. Appearances can be deceiving and a pre-built home might end up costing you more per square foot, even if the overall price is cheaper.

2. Everything is Already Updated

Think you could love a home if only the kitchen were updated? That’s gonna cost you. One of the best things about building a new construction home is that everything is already updated, so you don’t need to spend more money to get all of the items on your home wish list.

3. No Repairs

While a re-built home will definitely have an inspection as part of the selling process, there can still be some nasty surprise in store. A leaky roof or a dysfunctional furnace could have you reaching in your wallet for repairs again and again. Brand-new homes won’t need repairs.

4. Energy Efficiency

Older homes can have drafty windows and doors, as well as older appliances which don’t meet energy efficiency guidelines. New construction adheres to strict energy efficient standards, so you save money on not only the price of the home, but the cost of utilities as well.

When you run the numbers, it’s clear that new construction homes may be the better value in the long run. If you think you can’t afford to build your own, a little research can show you that a new home is definitely in the cards for 2015.

What Your Favorite Home Style Says About You

One of the coolest parts of the home building process is getting to see homeowners put their own personal stamp on whatever plan they choose. We offer a number of different plans and styles, but it’s the family that really makes the home unique.

This got us thinking: What does a home style say about the family within? More than just a personal preference, your home style might give a little insight as to what goes on behind that front door.

Check out some of the most popular styles and what they could be saying about you!

Rambler

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Homeowners who choose rambler-style homes are probably casual and low-key. They aren’t looking to be the biggest or most impressive home on the block, because the family inside is more important than impressing the neighbors.

Traditional

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If the idea of the white picket fence appeals to you, you’re probably pretty sensible and classic. You prefer things in their places, but don’t mind when a noisy family kicks up a little dust.

Craftsman

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A popular choice, if the craftsman style appeals to you, you’re probably the kind of person who keeps up on trends. People might describe you as “hip” and you definitely have a creative streak.

Timber/Rustic

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Hunting, anyone? When you love timber-framed or rustic homes, you probably love nature and the outdoors. Best for an active family, you want a house that can stand up to some rough edges at times.

Contemporary

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You love clean lines, beautiful furnishings and bright, airy colors. You’re probably less traditional and are always paging through interior design mags. Your home is your castle, so you love sprucing it up and showing off, so it’s lucky that you’re social and open-minded.

So, what do you think? Accurate or not? Choosing the plan that fits your family and lifestyle means you’ll end up with one that is beautiful, functional and above all: Home.

How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood for Your Family

Okay, so you’ve made the decision: You’re going to build a home. But before you buckle down on the details, you need to find the perfect place. Looking for the ideal neighborhood is about more than just the location of your house: It’s where you’ll make your home. Follow these tips and choose wisely.

1. Visit at Different Times of Day

You’d be surprised at how different a neighborhood looks, depending on the time of day. A sleepy 2 p.m. neighborhood might become more alive at 4 p.m. If you love a community, come back and see what it’s like throughout the day to make a more educated decision.

2. Check Out the Schools

If you have children, the schools might make a big difference as to what neighborhood works best. Make an appointment to tour the available schools in the area to make sure you’re moving into a school district that will nurture your children and help them to grow.

3. Find the Amenities

Time to take a drive around town: What do you see? Check for proximity to stuff like firehouses, city offices, parks, running trails and libraries. You can also get a better idea of the convenience of your chosen location. How long does it take to get to the nearest grocery store, for instance?

4. Ask Around

Your final step is to spend a little time getting to know your would-be neighbors. You’ll probably find that residents are more than happy to “sell” you on why their community is the best. After all, who knows the neighborhood better than those who live, play and work there?

Choosing a neighborhood may seem like a game of residential roulette, but if you do your homework, you’ll know which one is right for you and your family.

Best Bath Upgrades for Your Buck

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but we find that it’s bathrooms that top homeowners’ wish lists. When choosing a floor plan and customizing your home, you might be confused as to which bath upgrades are worth it, and which you can do without. Here are some of the best bath upgrades to increase your home value and make it more family-friendly.

Master Bath

Did you know that a master bath is one of the biggest influences on a home buyer’s decision to purchase a place? That’s because master baths are highly convenient and make a huge difference when it comes to quality of life. While it may seem unnecessary, a master bath is a must-have for resale value.

Separate Shower and Tub

While putting in a standard shower/tub combo might save a little money, a separate shower and tub won’t cost much more in the long run and seriously increases resale value. As far as investment goes, this is one area in your bathroom that you won’t want to ignore.

Jack and Jill Sinks

Putting “jack and jill” or separate sinks in your master bathroom makes sense, especially if you get ready for the day at the same time as your spouse. But don’t neglect the kids’ bathroom: Separate sinks there will reduce before-school fights and give your kids the space they desperately need as they grow.

Some of the stuff that’s not as important might include:

  • Heated flooring
  • Jetted tubs
  • Steam showers
  • TVs
  • Fireplaces

Of course, it’s your home – your way! The beauty of building a new construction home is getting to choose your own priorities and the stuff you can live without. Happy building!

5 Resolutions Homeowners Should Make this Year

While you’re planning to get fit, eat more greens or go on a trip, don’t neglect your home when making your New Year’s Resolutions. After all, your abode has a pretty hefty bearing on everything from your lifestyle to your financial status. Include your home in your goal-making this year, and you’ll finish out 2015 in a better place overall.

1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

In a state like Utah, you never know what you’re gonna get. From blazing hot summers to frigid winters, your home has to be comfortable. Your thermostat is like the remote for your home’s comfort level, but a programmable model does all the work for you. By setting it to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, you can actually save money by creating a constant temp.

2. Get Organized

That junk drawer? Get rid of it once and for all. This year, make an effort to de-clutter by getting rid of the stuff you don’t use and finding places for all of the stuff you keep. Investing in smart storage solutions, like shelving and closet dividers, can pay you back in organization and stress-reduction over time.

3. Make Extra Mortgage Payments

Consider this: Say you have a 30-year mortgage of $150K at 5.5 percent. By paying just a twelfth extra on your mortgage each month (less than $100), you slash five years and over $30K in interest from your mortgage over all. Take a look at your budget and see if paying a little more is feasible.

4. Budget for Improvements

Whether you want to renovate or you’re just maintaining your home, improvements have to happen throughout the year. And, if you budget properly for maintenance and improvements, you won’t get caught with empty pockets when you need to purchase paint or replace an old furnace. Set aside cash each month specifically for caring for your home to make it work.

5. Build a Home

Finally fed up with your old home? Why not make 2015 the year you finally build your dream home? Working with a qualified builder means a stress-free process, while the latest design trends and classic touches make your home truly one of a kind.

Who knows? You could be ringing in next New Year in your new home.