Thursday, November 16, 2017

10 Fast and Easy Budget-Friendly Home Improvements!

Your home should be just that - a home! Home design is a matter of taste and everyone's is unique. It takes a lot of vision to look past the plain or outdated finishes. But with a little creativity and elbow-grease, you can transform your space, even on a low budget! Whether you're trying to add your own touches to your new home or trying to make your current home more appealing to sell, you've come to the right place. Here are 10 easy and cost effective DIY tricks to make your house a home!

1. Faux Thick Baseboard - Molding and trim go a long way in making your home look and feel more expensive. But it IS expensive. Get this expensive look without the added cost! Simply add a slim piece of trim above your baseboards and then paint in between!

“40 Home Improvement Ideas for Those On A Serious Budget.” DIY Joy, 2017, diyjoy.com/diy-home-improvement-ideas-budget/7.

2. Update a Faucet - You can make a big splash in your kitchen or bathroom by swapping out an ugly faucet for something nicer on the eyes. This is one improvement that can be done in less than an hour!

Anderson, Kim. “Re-Styling Your Older Home Without Remodeling.” Thrify Little Mom, 24 June 2013, thriftylittlemom.com/2013/06/24/re-styling-your-older-home-without-remodeling/.

3. Paint Outdated Finishes - Anything is prettier than contractor's brass! Simply remove the hardware and clean it, then spray paint! You can use this trick with faucets and light fixtures, too!

Sarah. “How to Spray Paint Brass Door Knobs.” Thrifty Decor Chick, 29 Oct. 2013, www.thriftydecorchick.com/2013/10/spray-painting-door-knobs.html.

4. Add Framed Mirrors to Flat Doors - As basic as it sounds, this quick and easy project not only serves a purpose, but looks much nicer than the boring flat closet or bathroom doors. Be sure to paint the frame the same color as the door and caulk around the edges if you want it to look built in.

“26 Inexpensive DIY Upgrades That Will Add A Touch Of Class To Your Home.” Lighter Side of Real Estate, 8 Aug. 2017, lightersideofrealestate.com/around-the-home/home-improvement/26-inexpensive-diy-upgrades-that-will-add-a-touch-of-class-to-your-home?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=The%2BLighter%2BSide%2Bof%2BReal%2BEstate&utm_content=26%2BInexpensive%2BDIY%2BUpgrades%2BThat%2BWill%2BAdd%2BA%2BTouch%2BOf%2BClass%2BTo%2BYour%2BHome.

5. Make a Chalkboard Wall - Chalkboards are helpful in kitchens for making lists or leaving notes, in kids' rooms for playing, or in your entryway to decorate for a holiday party. You can purchase chalk paint at any home improvement store and in no time you'll have a fun accent wall for family and friends to make lists, leave messages, or just play around.

Duke, Kristen. “Kids Chalkboard Art Wall~How to Turn a Textured Wall into a Smooth Wall.”Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke, 10 Aug. 2013, www.kristendukephotography.com/kids-chalkboard-art-wall/.

6. Add Color to the Ceiling - Don't forget about the fifth wall - the ceiling! This is a fun way to add a pop of color. Throw in some decor to compliment your color of choice. Using an ultra flat paint is best to eliminate glares.

Erin. “Seek Interior Design.” House of Turquoise, Erin, 2 Oct. 2013, houseofturquoise.com/2013/10/seek-interior-design.html.

7. Add Trim to Your Windows - Adding trim and molding to anything can make it look upscale. Framing your plain windows quickly boosts your home decor. Even just adding a piece of molding to the top of the window can transform the room and hide the hardware.

“27 Easy DIY Remodeling Ideas On A Budget (before and after Photos).” Listotic, www.listotic.com/easy-remodeling-projects-that-will-completely-transform-your-home/7/.

8. Accent Wall - Think beyond just a different color paint. You can showcase a wall by using recycled wood, or even pallets. Finish off the wood with some stain, or leave it natural, and you have a beautiful rustic feeling accent wall.


“30 Inspiring Accent Wall Ideas To Change An Area.” ThefischerHouse, 8 Sept. 2017, thefischerhouse.net/accent-wall-ideas/.

9. DIY Wainscoting - Wainscoting is a terrific way to add character to your walls and it really is easier than it looks with this DIY trick. All you need are some boards and batten, prime and paint. It will add character and dimension to your plain walls.

“40 Home Improvement Ideas for Those On A Serious Budget.” DIY Joy, 2017, diyjoy.com/diy-home-improvement-ideas-budget/7.

10. Cabinet Top Makeover - Like we said before - adding trim and molding to anything can make it look upscale. If your kitchen cabinets don't reach the ceiling, this DIY is for you. Give your kitchen a face lift with this easy and cost effective trick.

“26 Inexpensive DIY Upgrades That Will Add A Touch Of Class To Your Home.” Lighter Side of Real Estate, 8 Aug. 2017, lightersideofrealestate.com/around-the-home/home-improvement/26-inexpensive-diy-upgrades-that-will-add-a-touch-of-class-to-your-home?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=The%2BLighter%2BSide%2Bof%2BReal%2BEstate&utm_content=26%2BInexpensive%2BDIY%2BUpgrades%2BThat%2BWill%2BAdd%2BA%2BTouch%2BOf%2BClass%2BTo%2BYour%2BHome.

With these 10 fast, easy AND budget-friendly improvements, your home will look upscale at the right price! Stay tuned for even more DIY projects to make your house a HOME.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Why Millennials Shouldn't Push Off Home Ownership



Most Americans have the notion that affordable housing isn’t readily available in the US. The reality is that over the past two decades, the availability of affordable housing has decreased, and the crisis continues to grow. Financial hurdles have prevented this generation from making a full impact on the market. The population of people born from the mid- ‘80s through the late ‘90s generally has higher student debt, as well as higher costs associated with the new standard of living.

Culturally, many of us want our own space, our tree-lined streets and our beautiful communities. But how will we ever get there? With all the obstacles, many millennials would rather push off buying a home and deal with rising rent costs, meaning the ability to purchase a home in the future drops. Rent costs continue to rise and the availability of affordable rent options continues to drop. Money that could go toward a home project continues to get invested in apartments that you can never call your own. Nearly half of home buyers cite student loans as their largest barrier to buying a home. On top of all the other barriers to home ownership, there’s a national shortage of housing options.

It’s not just about home ownership anymore. It’s about having a home that was built efficiently in an ISO 14001 registered building facility where environmental management systems are in place to help preserve energy resources. It’s about having energy efficient features in your new home that help save energy and even more money. It’s about the opportunity to have monthly costs that won’t change with the demand for the apartment or room you rent.

We are a generation of home buyers raised during the housing crisis. Millennials are understandably slow to enter the housing market. However, as many newcomers explore prefab home options, more and more are coming around to the idea. More than a third of the American workforce is made of millennials.

If you’re in this generation and want to buy a home, you already may have encountered frustration. The journey may be difficult but it’s not impossible. We specialize in giving alternatives to rising rent costs. Here are six reasons why manufactured housing is the best investment to make RIGHT NOW as a millennial.

1. DURABILITY. A prefabricated home is just as, if not more, durable than the traditional site built home. As a home is transported from a manufacturing facility to its destination, it must withstand rigors like strong winds. A modular home model is sent down the highway as well, with each module eventually joined on its foundation. As the sections are joined together, the marrying wall they share is a strong point that helps the home resist environmental stresses. By nature, a manufactured home is built for a lifetime of comfortable living.

2. CUSTOMIZATION. While every model is built based on an existing floor plan, many have the ability to include customized features. When aspects of another floor plan really stand out, a home building facility can incorporate those features into other models. Different colors, layouts, design schemes and features can make up the home of your dreams!

3. VARITEY. There is something for everyone. As student loans hinder many from finding their own home, millennials are looking for a home that can pull double duty. Home offices, gyms and theaters are just a handful of examples people create using flex space offerings. You can get a breakfast nook or a full utility room that is large enough for a washer and dryer, even a closet and sink. You also choose where you want to place your home, whether you put it on your dream property or in a community. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

4. INCENTIVES. There's never a bad time to come out and visit us in Whitney Point! We run promotions throughout the year and we always strive to customize our projects to fit every budget. Don’t hesitate to visit us and to check out the latest deal that will help you save!

5. RISING RENT. Crazy rent costs are getting ridiculous. Landlords are placing increasingly stringent restrictions on their properties, and the penny pincher millennial understands that building equity is an important part of establishing both strong credit and a presence in your community. Building with us lets you put your dollars towards something that counts for your future.

6. SATISFACTION. There is nothing like walking around in your own home. Apartments are crammed into smaller spaces and the millennial home buyer is looking to get some elbow room.  When you have a space to call your own, you can focus on attaining your own American dream.

Life is too short to throw away your hard-earned money on something that makes you unhappy. Visit us today to discover your manufactured home options!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How Can We Help You?


Meet Our Team!
 
What comes to mind when thinking about purchasing a new home? A sense of nervous excitement? Frustration or stress? Fear of the unknown? Uncertainty about where to start your journey? Purchasing a home is a major milestone in your life. Choosing the right guidance for this major purchase can be difficult. With some professionals, you will typically end up paying for large commission fees and get left with little guidance. If you are looking for a place where you will clearly understand the entire home buying process and have a family of professionals to “welcome you home,” look no further!

Every journey to homeownership is different. We are here to guide your unique path and help you create your dream home. Buying a home comes with many decisions, forms, deadlines and agreements. Here at G&I, we will be with you every step of the way to ensure you feel confident about your new home purchase and help you get more home for your money! Our team has great patience, as we truly understand how complex this process can be. We provide clarity throughout the entire process, from the first day you walk through our door, to the day you move in and even beyond, as a new homeowner.

Integrity and reputation are extremely important to us and we strive to provide our customers with consistent, clear guidance, as well as a positive experience. We try to be transparent, offer fair prices, answer all your questions about home buying and home building, and give you our trusted recommendations.

Finding a home that will suit all your wants and needs is our primary goal! Our team knows the benefits of homeownership and specialize in determining which features are ideal for your specific needs and preferences. You will be partnered with a knowledgeable home consultant, who will assess what you are looking for and serve as a home “match maker.” When working with us, you have the ability to see firsthand the quality and large array of customizable features manufactured and modular homes have to offer. Imagine the possibility of visiting multiple open houses in one convenient location! From helping you choose a floorplan, to finding the perfect land, and from site work and improvements, to a strong relationship, warranty, and insurance after the build. We truly are a one-stop shop!

Purchasing a home at G&I means more than getting a deal during a seasonal sale. It is more than the exterior paint and flooring choice. It’s about finding a comfortable and safe place for your family to call home. By entering our front door, you are entering our family. Our home consultants are not here to simply sell you a house—they are here to walk with you through the exciting journey to homeownership. You will receive post-purchase support and guidance on maintaining your beautiful, new home. We strive to make homeownership as easy and stress-free as possible. We are here to sell you a home, much more than a house!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Starting to hunt for the perfect land to build on? Make sure you do your research before falling in love!


Finding a Place to Build
 
We know that a home without land to place it on isn’t going to do you much good. Finding suitable land is an essential step that you don’t have to take alone! We’re experienced in working with local realtors to find land that suits your wants and needs. Here are some tips to get you started on finding your dream land for your dream home!

Make a list! Every great plan starts with a list. First things first…location, location, location. Be sure to research the area to determine if you can see your family living there. You might be moving from the city to the country for a life change, however positives and negatives should be considered. Some examples include…What is the travel time to and from work? How far is the nearest hospital? How long will it take you to “run to the store”, etc.? If you have a family or will be starting your own in the future, consider the school district, as well as going to after school events, classes, practices, or even just making new friends.

What are the local regulations and is what you want to build allowed? There will be setbacks from fence lines that need to be considered for both town planning and building codes. These may vary, so make sure you are aware of them both. With a simple phone call to the local planning and zoning department, most offices can give you the answer to this question in a matter of minutes.

Some other things to research are services such as power, water, and septic or sewer. How far away is the power supply? Contact the power distributor to find out how much it may cost to provide power to the property and they will give you a budget estimate. Connection fees have a very wide range, so it’s essential to know what the site requires. Do you have access to town water? Is the water main close or under the road? Does the soil percolate (aka “Perk”) or have access to a nearby sewer system? If a property doesn't have easy access to the local sewer system, a perc test is required to determine whether a septic system can be installed on the property. Be sure to give the county health department a call and ask what is required to install a septic system or connect to the local sewer in your area.

Something else to consider is the slope of property. While the property isn’t likely to be completely flat, there can sometimes be extra costs associated with building on a slope. Extra site work could be required, as well as design elements. Although this will add interest and character to your new home, accounting for extra expenses will be required when working with a sloped site.

Back to your list…start to write down your dream piece of land. Take other factors into consideration. How much land? 1 acre or more? Do you have animals? Is a pasture a must-have? Do you want a big backyard or woods? A garden? A playground or pool? How big do you want your garage and driveway?

The hardest part of your project is to decide what you can afford. Your budget is crucial throughout every step of building your dream home! It’s important to be realistic on how much you can afford before falling in love with a property. It’s easy to get lost in beautiful views or the perfect location, but you’ll need to take the time to research other essential characteristics of the property. Each property has its own unique challenges and there will be things that you will discover along the way requiring extra cost or consideration. Keep in mind the more areas that require spending on the site, the bigger the impact will be on the money you have left for the building of your home! The best way to avoid expensive surprises is to know what to look for and asking, “What extra costs could be associated with this property?”

How you intend on paying for your project is huge when building a home. Many people purchase land and slowly pay it off before starting the project. Others live in an RV on the land while they pay it off. Some save up and pay cash outright for their land. However, did you know that land loans, home and construction loans can be combined into one? Well we’re here to tell you, they can! You’ll be happy to know that getting prequalified is quick and easy, letting you begin the process right away with this option. Whichever route you choose, figure out what you can afford and try hard to stick to it!

It isn’t about finding land that is 100% perfect, with no risk.  It’s about being completely informed, and knowing what the risks are and being okay with them. But just like any home-buying venture, if you put the time and effort into the project, you will be rewarded for it! Last thoughts: Make a good investment. Know what you are getting into. Prepare so that there are no surprises along the way. Get exactly what you want for your dream home! Happy land-hunting!