Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 Things You Need to Know about Buying New Construction

5 Things You Need to Know about Buying New Construction

It seems everybody wants new construction homes now and with the developers scrambling to keep up with demand, prices are starting to go through the roof. So many subdivisions and developments were halted for 2 to 3 years during the housing bubble bust that they haven’t kept up with the demand and now are finding themselves scrambling to build houses quickly.

If you’re interested in buying a new home there are a lot of perks and conveniences that come along with new construction but there are also several drawbacks and frustrations that can go a long as well. Here are some of the things you need to know about buying new construction homes.

Make sure you have a buyer’s agent before you even think about buying a home.


This goes for new construction, pre-construction, or resale of an existing home and even land. If you already have an agent that’s working solely on your behalf and for your interests then you won’t be pressured or intimidated by any listing agent. Once you inform the listing agent that you have a buyer’s agent they need to back off and let you do all of the communication and negotiations through your buyer’s agent. This helps when you’re touring model homes in showrooms and takes the pressure off feeling obligated to purchase upgrades or custom items that you may not really need.
Learn more about Buyer Representation

Make sure you’re working with the builder and the developer as well as the listing agent and on-site manager if applicable. 


Being in close communication with the builder and developer means any issues can get resolved quickly especially if it has to do with the wrong finish, tile, countertop or flooring that’s put in incorrectly. You can quickly communicate any issues rather than going through numerous channels to make yourself heard.

It may not always go as you planned. (And that’s okay)


Building a home from the ground up is a lot more complicated than an existing property. You will have a lot more say-so as to finishes and details within the home but other issues may be very frustrating such as the time it takes to install a certain product or ordering custom items. Take a breath, calm down, and remember that it will soon be over and you will finally be in the home of your dreams.

Your emotions can tend to be all over the place.


Buying a new construction home where you have a lot of input as to the materials and quality of the construction can be very frustrating but it also can be very emotional. You can go from being really excited one day to being really frustrated with the listing agent another. Knowing the range of emotions you may experience can help put you in the right mindset to get through this process and actually enjoy your home once completed.

Still have a home inspection performed.


Many homebuyers feel that buying a new home means they don’t need a home inspection; that a simple walk through upon completion will do. But this is not always the case. We only stress that buyers for any type of property have a professional home inspection completed. A home inspector will go through the process of examining the quality of construction and any errors or hazardous material that may have been used incorrectly. Remember, this is one of the most important investments your point to make and knowing as much as you can about it now can save you time, headaches and money in the future.

Read more: 3 (REAL) Keys to Buying Michigan Real Estate


Buying new construction can be fun and exciting but knowing what you’re up against ahead of time and these five keys can put you in a well-prepared place to fill confident about your home purchase.

More construction resources for contract jobs: Davis

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Creating depth in your landscape

Creating depth in your landscape
Creating depth in your landscaping is appealing to the eye.  Making sure to also create ease of maintenance to your landscaping with ease your workload.

Upon purchasing our home a number of years ago, we were faced with the daunting task of cleaning up our back yard.  It had a nice large deck off the back door with steps down to grass of sorts, mainly weeds, in two different directions.  The grass area that had full sun needed a lot of TLC and it was extremely boring to look at.  

Make a Plan - Walkways, Patios, and Flowerbeds.
We decided to create a walkway from the front of the house to the back with brick pavers placed in a herringbone pattern.  It leads to a small paver area for the garbage, recycling, and yard waste cans so we would not have to move the cans for every mowing of the lawn.  We set up a 3-foot wide flowerbed with bricks to edge it.  The flowerbeds parallel the house except where the fireplace sticks out.  At the fireplace, we bumped out the bed in a curved semicircle allowing for larger a larger planting area all edged with bricks.  These bricks help ease the maintenance workload wither you mow or let someone else do it for you.  When mowing the back lawn the mower can go over the brick and keep the grass out of the flowerbeds and the mower can keep the “flowers” out of the grass. 
Know your soil!
Then we continued the flowerbeds around the deck.  As the ground around the deck stared to drop away from the deck, we decided to build up the beds with wall bricks to create a deeper planting area.  This also helped the soil as we have a lot of clay in our area.  Plants do not grow well through this layer.  We added good top soil, steer manure, and peat moss to help our soil. We also built up a flowerbed around a large maple tree for more planting areas.

Planting for seasonal color and varying height and depth.
 Once the beds were in place and soil additives were added the flowerbeds were ready to be planted.  We wanted to have a variety of plants that had seasonal color and different depth and heights.  We planted plants that like shade in the areas of the flowerbeds that get very little sun due to being in the shadow of the house and deck.  We made sure the plants that we planted would grow in our area.  

Adding Plants as you go.
It is an ongoing process to find what works well for our beds.  Each year we try to add something to the beds.  Two years ago, we added spring bulbs that were on sale at the store.  They were in bloom so we could see what the height and size of the plant would be and how it would look with the rest of the plants.  We moved some plants that did not do as well as we thought they could.  We added colorful pots the the deck with some of the same plants in the flowerbeds.  Planting might be your thing or letting someone else plant for you.  Having a beautiful back yard is a joy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why "Best Place to Live" is Such a Great Key Phrase

Finding more knowing the best of something is always in people’s minds whether it’s the best place to eat in a particular town or the best place to find something etc. and for the majority of us we know that only type in the search box the best of whatever were going to get a variety of different opinions because the best is all relative.

But nevertheless, we still type this phrase in hoping to find people’s opinions on what they feel is the best of something. I have found that writing articles and blog posts about the best place to live in a certain city is showing up more and more on search engines because that’s what people are looking for. They understand that the best place is all relative but they might find the best place for singles in Portland or perhaps Savannah Georgia is best neighborhoods for foodies and get some great suggestions on neighborhoods, where to look and places to go. When you’re doing real estate related blog posts and people are relocating to areas or cities they’ve never lived in they may want to know what the best place or best neighborhood for certain schools, families etc. You can get really detailed on the blog post for a lot of different search criteria is or you can simply do a blanket page on your website stating the best place to live in [your city]. 

If you’re going to go about doing a blog post like this or a static page on your website you need to add a disclaimer right off the bat that it’s all relative and this is your opinion. Finding the best of anything is all subjective to how you feel about it and your opinion so by offering information and stating this is your opinion or simply stating where you’re getting the information from put you in a better light with people and they won’t hold you to one opinion over another.

To build information on the “best place to live in…” check out certain city reviews, school reviews, Yahoo reviews and even Yelp. Many of these places will offer actual reviews from people that will give you a good idea of what they feel the best neighborhood or community in a particular city us. If you know your city well enough you can certainly add your own opinion as long as you state it as such. This is all opinion based and using a combination of several reviews from people that have lived in particular neighborhoods you can get a good idea of how to tailor your post for the right reader. Perhaps they just want to know where to live in a certain area such as this post by Greater NW Realty:  Where to Live in Snohomish County - it’s a large County with a lot of different types of cities and towns and people moving here from out-of-state or even in other parts of Washington may have no clue as to where to start.

Example: Where to live on Oahu

Remember, you want to create blog post that people are actually searching for. Put yourself in the mind of someone that may be moving to your area or needing a real estate agent and how would you search? Title your blog posts and create content around those searches and you should get a lot of views and hopefully leads.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

3 Examples of Real Estate Blogging

What Type of Searches Benefit Real Estate Websites?