Thursday, April 24, 2014

Update your Bathroom in a Single Weekend

Does your bathroom need a quick fix-up? Transform your dull, dated bathroom into a stylish, spa-like retreat with these Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects that you can tackle in a weekend.

Recolor your scheme

Freshen up your color scheme by adding a fresh coat of paint or liven up the walls with a bold, striking wallpaper. Don’t forget the 60-30-10 color rule which says; roughly 60 percent of the given space in the room should be the dominant color. In interior design terms, this color is for walls. Neutrals are the good choice for painting walls. The next 30 percent should represent a secondary color and this color is for the trim. The remaining 10 percent of the color scheme is for accent color. Accent colors should be attractive. Warm vivid colors are good accent colors.

Contain the clutter

Add functional storage to help contain the bathroom mess that makes your space appear cramped and cluttered. A stackable mesh shelving unit above the commode can be an example of how you can store the guest towels and extra soap and shampoo that you’ll need when visitors stay over on the next holiday weekend. Use a covered basket or mini-chest to store magazines and other reading material that can often look messy.

Add texture and charm

A good way to create uniqueness and update material in your bathroom is to use a bead board painted in a neutral color to add texture and charm to your bathroom. You can also use objects like whisk brooms, combs, and sponges to create a textured look when repainting the walls. Wallpaper or textured wallpaper is another good option.

Fix your fixtures

Replace dated light fixtures with new, modern ones. If your style is more diverse, try contrasting your modern fixtures with a vintage chandelier. Change your incandescent bulbs to fluorescent ones. Fluorescent lighting not only distributes light more evenly, it produces brighter light which can make the room look bigger and brighter. Design styles have changed for the better with fluorescent bulbs so no need to worry that uncovered fluorescent bulbs will not be attractive.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate New Homes Month

RMS Companies celebrates newly built homes every time it launches a new community development, but in April we really like to show our customers just what our new homes and communities are made of!
April is New Homes Month, as proclaimed by the National Association of Home Builders and other industry associations, and we’d like to share with our customers what the big news is. Thousands of home shoppers in dozens of cities across the nation were interviewed by N.A.H.B., including buyers considering both new and used homes.
Here’s what they had to say… today's new homes have five main features and benefits that make them so attractive:
1.    Low cost of ownership — with all-new products (and typically the home itself) under warranty, there's much less chance for unexpected, potentially costly repairs.
2.    Quality construction — today's new homes are highly engineered, comprised of state-of-the-art building materials, and constructed to meet the latest building codes.
3.    Designed for living — with open floor plans with kitchens that merge seamlessly into great rooms, higher ceilings, larger owner's suites and closets, built-in storage and larger master baths.
4.    Energy efficiency — newly built homes, on average, are 30 percent more energy efficient than homes built just 5 to 7 years ago, saving you money as well as energy.
5.    Save money, get more value – home buyers can save 15% on their homeowner’s insurance with a new home and afford to pay 23% more for a new home while achieving the same operating costs as an older home.

Home buyers also told the industry how much they enjoyed personalizing their new home by selecting their favorite colors, styles and products in categories such as appliances, cabinets, counter tops, faucets, flooring, lighting and more.
Here are some more reasons buyers prefer new homes;
New home communities offer resort-style community centers that may include a clubhouse, community room, fitness center, cafe, pool, outdoor bar, fireplace, movie screen, rooftop deck, walking, hiking, and biking trails, and much more.
Safety features include security systems, fire-resistant building materials and new materials that use fewer volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.’s) like formaldehyde, scents, and toxicities.
Today’s new homes are made with cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance than older homes.
Advanced technology and design; just like a car, the options here are many.

So, what are you waiting for? Celebrate New Homes Month with us by visiting RMS Companies newest model homes and communities!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Home Sweet Home

A house is defined as a building in which people live. A home is defined as a place in which people live.
What one person may see as four walls, you may see as a place, a community, a neighborhood, or a world of memories. It’s those memories that can sometimes make it hard for you to move to a new set of four walls but the place, community, neighborhood and anticipation of new memories often make it easier.

So, while you’re planning for a big (or small) move, instead of dreading the process ahead of you, think of it as a trip down memory lane. Get your family and/or friends together and use it as an opportunity to reflect on all of the good times that you’ve had in that home. Bringing them to see the new neighborhood may generate the excitement you need to deal with it all. Sometimes, the mere fact of moving into a brand new house in a brand new community can ease your trepidation.

Consider leaving some of your memories behind. Perhaps its little Johnny’s carvings on the basement pole that you leave behind or the time capsule that the kid’s buried a decade ago in the backyard. There’s something exciting about the possibility of someone else finding your story and discovering the joys you had at your old home.

Whatever it is that helps you move forward into the house that will become your new home think of it as more than just a house with four walls but as a place that’s near and dear, home sweet home.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Top 10 New Homebuyer Tips

Top 10 Things New Home Buyers Should Know

It’s still a tougher economy these days but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider purchasing a new home if you don’t own one already. There are many homes for sale that are being offered at very competitive prices, even new construction. If you’re in the market for a new home, now just may be the perfect time to make your purchase!

1. Understand the responsibilities

This primarily applies to first time home-owners but if you are looking to move to a larger home you need to understand that the responsibilities often increase with size. If you are a first timer, purchasing a new home is not always cut and dry. There are many factors that come into play and much to be considered. Do your homework as research is an important role in buying a new home. Also, enlist the help of a mortgage counselor, lawyer, real estate agent or home builder. Complicated issues often arise when you own your home and the smartest buyers are those who have a thorough understanding of all that goes into a home, as well as your rights as a buyer.

2. Get pre-approved for a loan

The pre-approval process is a more thorough qualification than the pre-qualification.  A pre-qualification simply tells your agent that you are serious about purchasing a new home. It’s not a very detailed process. A pre-approval tells all parties involved that you are financially ready to purchase a new home.

This will give you, the buyer, more purchase power as the seller will be confident that you are financially fit to make such a purchase. This process means that the bank or mortgage lender will be granted access to all your finances – your assets as well as your liabilities and debt, if any. This process will also inform you as to what financing options are available to you in today’s market.

3. Location, Location, Location

Know where you want to be. Think about your lifestyle – will you be in your element in your new environment? What is your lifestyle now and what might it be in 5 10 years? Will you need to commute to a nearby large city? Do you or will you have school aged children? Do you want to live in a neighborhood or in town? Would you prefer to have a smaller home in a more expensive town or a larger home a bit further away from a nearby large city? Do you want to be in a 55 and over community?

These are all important factors you should take into consideration. If you are new to an area you may want to think about renting first for 6 months to a year in order to familiarize yourself with your new location and all that it has to offer. You wouldn’t want to end up with buyer’s remorse after having purchased a home that was not quite right for you. Take the time to really get to know your surroundings. You will be very happy you did in the long run.

4. The man cave

Once you’ve narrowed down where you want to live, you then need to figure out what it is that you want in a new home. Do you want a newly constructed home with all the latest amenities or an older historical one that you can work on and renovate over the years? Do you want a large yard for children and pets, or would you prefer something requiring less maintenance so you won’t have to go out and spend your summer weekends landscaping?

Do you want a porch or a fireplace? How many bathrooms must you have? Do you have young children? Is the house child-friendly? Do you like to entertain? Does the house have a good flow and a guest room? Make a list of all your Must Haves. Most likely you won’t find all of them in one home, but as you look at your potential homes you can start to prioritize which of these Must Haves are truly necessary and which ones you can do without. Be open to suggestions from the professionals.

5. Get off the internet

Once you’ve searched the internet and found some homes that meet your criteria it’s time to get off the internet and see them in person. As with looks, photos can be deceiving.  Many builders and listing agents hire talented photographers who can create images that can make rooms in a home appear larger than in real life.  Often stagers and stylists are brought in to make a home look more inviting. On the flip side, photos may have been taken of the home that just don’t do it justice. The only way to know if a house is right for you is to go out and see it for yourself.

Either go directly to a new home builder or enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent to show you homes that meet your criteria and suit your needs. Professionals will have suggestions that you might not ordinarily have taken into consideration.  Public open houses are a great resource to take advantage of.

6. Don’t judge a house by its cover

Look beyond the staged furnishings or the purple siding.  New home builders often stage their new construction before putting it on the market, but this does not always happen. While staging a home can make a home look fantastic, it is important to look beyond the decor. Look at the structure and the flow of the home. Is it well built? Imagine how your belongings will fit. Will there be enough room? Are the rooms large enough? Are the ceilings tall enough?

Some builders give you the option of choosing your appliances, fixtures, and flooring. Often with new construction, you can add your own personal touches and customizations.

7. Have a back-up plan

It’s important to have a back-up home.  There are a number of things that can happen in new construction or a previously owned home. New home builders make every effort to complete construction on time but unforeseen circumstances may come up during the final stages that may delay the timetable.  It is a good idea to be emotionally leveraged so that if your dream home move in date is not timely, you have a plan B to fall back on.

8. Get as much information on your desired home as you can

If you are not building a new construction, then have a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) done on the home of your choice through a real estate agent. There are many websites that will give you an estimate on the value of a home, but the comparable information is not always up to date and may not always be accurate. These sites do not know the local market like your builder or agent does.

9. Get to know your neighborhood

If you are relocating from out of town or moving to an unfamiliar area of a large city, it might be worthwhile to visit town hall to find out more.  In the case of an older home, take some time to talk with the building and zoning departments to see what work has been done to the house, and that permits were pulled and a certificate of occupancy was granted.  Building and zoning may also have a survey on file for you.  If a survey has not been created you may want to consider getting your own done. In light of recent weather-related events be sure to check if you are in a flood zone or area frequently hit with hurricanes.

You should find out that the home is in a flood zone, ask whether or not you need an elevation certificate for your insurance company.   If you are planning to do work to the home, you will be able to find out what the town and FEMA require you to do before any additional work is done to the home.  A visit to the tax assessor will also let you know if there are any liens on the property.

10. Keep your cool during the building inspection

Be prepared. Inspectors need to find everything wrong with the house – that is their job.  Many of these issues are small, insignificant things. Others may not be quite so small or insignificant and yet others could potentially be quite grave. After the inspection, make a list of your priorities so that you can decide for yourself what a non-issue is and what could potentially be a large problem. You can always discuss these matters with professionals to give you more information, as well as an estimate of any additional work that may be required.

Happy house hunting and Good Luck!