Tag: new homes

If you are searching for an amazing deal on a home in Sweetwater, then don’t miss the Perry Homes model located in the Stonecreek neighborhood.  Perry Homes is a Houston-based company who has been in business for 49 years and who won Builder of the Year award recently in 2015.  In Sweetwater, Perry Homes offers smaller sized houses ranging from 1653 sq. ft. to 3190 sq. ft. Current prices start at $336,900 and go to up $436,900.

Although the floor plans are smaller than other homes in Sweetwater, they are smartly designed to make the best use of space.  Single story homes come standard with high ceilings and oversized windows to allow more natural light into the rooms.  It is surprising how spacious the rooms feel!

Perry Homes living room

The baseline floor plans also include many high-end features that other builders typically consider “upgrades.”  For example, French doors are standard on an office, mud set tile is standard in the shower, and beautiful wood tile floors are one of many standard flooring options.

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The entire model home only has about $25,000 in upgrades!  This means that as a buyer, you can expect to spend less than 10% at the design center to have a beautifully upgraded home!

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If you haven’t stopped by Perry Homes in Sweetwater, ask me for a tour! Click here to search for available homes within Sweetwater.

In this blog series, I’ve shared my tips on what to do before signing a contract on a new home and what to do after signing your contract.  Here are my tips for right after you close on your new home.Tips for Home Buyers (part 3)

  1. Test everything.  Once you move into your home, test out all of its features to make sure everything works properly.  Plug something into the electrical outlets, try out all of the appliances, flush all of the toilets, take a shower in all of the showers… you get the idea.  In case there are any issues, it’s easier to get them fixed if you report them to the builder as soon as possible, rather than months later.
  2. Save your manuals. Make sure you keep all manuals that come with your home, including all appliance manuals, home warranties, or homeowners association guidelines. It’s easy to misplace these important documents when you move, so keep them in a set place because you will definitely need them at a later time. Make sure you fully understand the warranties the builder has provided for your new home and who to contact in case a problem arises in the future.
  3. Beware of bugs.  All the time your new home is being built, the homes of hundreds of insects and rodents are being unearthed and destroyed.  You’ll soon find that they’re invading your home for shelter. After finding several scorpions in my first home, I was ready to move. So the second time we built, we sprayed the inside and outside perimeter of the house with insect repellent.  I suggest doing this right before you move in so you don’t spray around your furniture, pets, or children.  Otherwise, I highly suggest investing in a pest control service the first year.
  4. Try a DIY project.  Showroom Garage FloorsWhen we bought our last home, we closed mid-week, but waited a few days to move on the weekend. We used one of those days to tackle a do-it-yourself project while the house was empty.  We painted showroom floors in our garage, which was surprisingly easy to do.  This task was also much easier since the garage had never been used!
  5. Stick to a decorating budget.  Anytime you move into a new home, it is tempting to start decorating every room and filling it with new furniture.  Create a budget for home decorating and determine which areas of the house are priorities.  This can help you avoid going far into debt.  Take your time filling up your new space and enjoy it!

What other tips do you have for anyone buying a new home?  I’d love to hear them!

Last week, I shared Part 1 of my blog series on tips for new home buyers.   I’m continuing this week with tips on what to do after you’ve signed your new home contract.Tips for New Home Buyers

  1. Be Patient. People love instant gratification, whether it’s getting a custom-made latte in a drive through or watching commercial free shows on Netflix.  Buying a new home is the complete opposite experience.  You’ve just put money down on something that you can’t fully enjoy for at least six months.  So mentally prepare yourself for the wait and look at it in a positive light.  Use this time to save up extra money on a down payment or new furniture.  Also, add a few weeks to whatever timeframe the builder estimated to complete your home.  Inevitably something can go wrong, such as bad weather, shortage of supplies, or shortage of labor. So just prepare yourself for a slightly longer wait, and if your home is built sooner, then great!
  2. Communicate Regularly.  From the beginning, find out who is involved in the construction of your home and get their contact information.  This can include the sales person in the community, the builder, and sales person at the design center.  A good-quality builder will usually call or email you once a week to update you on the progress of your home.  My husband and I would jot down questions or concerns we had so that we could ask them all at once in our weekly phone call.  This kept everyone on the same page and made us feel like we were in good hands.
  3. Visit Regularly.  As our last home was being built, my husband and I would visit once a week on the weekends to see the progress.  Once the framing went up, it was exciting to see new features added every week.  Along the way, we also caught a few mistakes, which we were able to share with the builder.  For instance, our living room was supposed to have a coffered ceiling covered with wood.  On the building plans, however, the air-conditioning ducts and speakers were placed in the middle of the wood ceiling.  This would have been an eyesore in something that was supposed to be a focal-point of the room.  Fortunately, we noticed this before the sheetrock was installed, making it easy to move the ducts to another location.
  4. Take Photos.  Each week, take a few photos of the progress of your house. This will help you to see how much has been accomplished when you compare current photos with photos a month ago.  You can also put all of your photos into an album or slideshow at the end as a keepsake.
  5. Save Leftover Materials. Ask the builder to save any leftover materials from your house, such as bricks, tiles, or other materials.  This will come in handy later on if you want to take a sample to match paint colors, curtains, or other decor.  We also used extra bricks to line the edge of a garden in our backyard.  Usually, the builder is happy to place excess materials in the attic or garage.

Stay tuned next week for part 3 of this series:  tips for after you’ve closed on your new home.  

There’s nothing quite like choosing and designing the elements of your future home and slowly seeing it transform from a paper blueprint into a reality. There’s also something special about having a space that is entirely yours, never owned by another person.  I’ve bought two new homes in my lifetime, and along the way I learned a few lessons that I’ll share in this blog series.  Here are my 6 tips to follow before you sign a new home contract:Tips for New Home Buyers - www.askshan.com #askshan

  1. Do Your Research.  As you explore new home communities, you might settle on one or two that seem to be your favorites.  Before signing any contract, research the builders to determine whether or not they have a good reputation.  Also, ask questions about what else might be developed in the area.  Before I bought my first home, I thought I had found the perfect new community and the perfect lot!  There was a beautiful greenbelt behind it and acres of empty land beyond that.  I happened to ask the builder if there would be houses built over there in the future, and he said, “No, that’s a commercial space.” I soon found out that my “dream home site” would eventually back up to a Target parking lot. Good to know! Fortunately, I chose to build elsewhere.
  2. Hire a Realtor.  If you’re considering buying any home, you should hire a Realtor.  Buyers do not pay for Realtor fees, so there is no reason to not use one.  A good Realtor will give you objective details about different homes in a variety of communities and from a variety of builders.  A Realtor’s main job is to help you sort through your options and make the best decisions possible. Since they do not work solely for one builder, they can provide you with a more neutral opinion of the homes in an area.
  3. Don’t be Fooled by the Model Home.  Model homes usually do not reflect what comes in a standard home at base price.  In one model home I visited, there were over $150,000 in upgrades! So the true price tag for that house did not match the price on the floor plan at all. Ask the builder how much the upgrades for the model home cost and what features come in a standard home.
  4. Ask about Incentives not Price Cuts.  Most builders only make about 5 to 7% profit on a new home, unlike individual home owners who might have a large amount of equity in a home. Therefore, do not expect to negotiate the price of the home.  Instead, ask about what incentives they are willing to offer.  Most builders offer a certain amount of money to use at the design center for flooring, countertops, and other finishing touches.  Some builders also partner with a lender or title company who might be willing to pay part of your closing costs if you use them.
  5. Budget for the Design Center.  If you have not recently bought faucets or knobs for your cabinets, you will be shocked at what these things will cost.  Make sure that you save room in your budget for design options.  If you know that the maximum amount you can spend on a house is $200,000, then choose a floorplan that is closer to 180,000.  If you plan to spend $500,000, then aim for a house that is closer to $450,000.  This is just my personal opinion – hold back about 10% of your total budget for upgrades.

Stay tuned for my next post on what to do once you’ve signed your new home contract.

Terra Colinas is a beautiful new home community in Bee Cave, TX.  It is conveniently located off Hwy 71, just a few miles away from the Hill Country Galleria.  Upon completion, this neighborhood will have about 150 homes along with a community center and pool.

Terra Colinas currently has three home builders with prices to meet everyone’s needs.  Grand Haven Homes and David Weekley Homes are building houses on 50′ lots with prices starting in the low 300’s.

Terra Colinas - www.askshan.com

Even the smallest floor plans are smartly designed to give every room an open spacious feel. Both builders offer some of the lowest prices for new homes in this area!

Terra Colinas - www.askshan.com

If you are looking for more space, M/I Homes is building on 70′ lots.  Prices start in the upper 400’s to mid 500’s.  When you tour the model home, you will see that it is loaded with high-quality finishing touches, many of which are standard.  This means that buyers do not need to spend an extraordinary amount of money in the design center.  The basic floor plans come well-equipped!

Terra Colinas, M/I Homes - www.askshan.com

Another unique feature of the Terra Colinas community is its abundance of full grown trees, which are rare in new construction areas.  Also, this community has natural gas instead of community propane tanks.  This will mean a great deal of savings each month on gas bills, especially when gasoline prices are high!  If you haven’t had a chance to tour Terra Colinas, you should definitely stop by each model home and see what the builders have to offer.

Ask me for a personal tour below.


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West Cypress Hills is a master planned community off Hwy 71 that has the best of both worlds!  Families can enjoy secluded hill country views on greenbelt lots, while having the convenience of nearby shopping and restaurants.  After touring this community, it is obvious why so many families with young children choose to call this place home.  Here are the top 5 reasons to move to West Cypress Hills:

  1. Nature!  This community spans over hundreds of acres, much of which will remain undeveloped.  The houses do not appear overcrowded, but instead your eye focuses on the beautiful oak trees and rolling hills.  Almost 90% of the homes adjoin a greenbelt area in the backyard!
    Nature at West Cypress Hills
  2. Great values!  West Cypress Hills features homes from Highland Homes and Milestone Community Builders.  Prices start in the low 300’s, which makes this community one of the more affordable in the area.  The homes have beautiful features inside and out.  Just take a look at these rooms!
    West Cypress Hills - Homes
  3. Award winning schools!  Young children can safely walk or ride bikes to West Cypress Hills elementary, which is located within the community.  It is newly built and part of the award-winning Lake Travis ISD.
    West Cypress Hills Elementary
  4. Amenities!  Families can enjoy the community center with a swimming pool, pavilion, soccer fields and playground area.  There are also plenty of hike and bike trails throughout the neighborhood.
  5. Location!  Although the neighborhood feels like it is out in the countryside, it is only about 10 minutes from the shopping area at the Hill Country Galleria.
    West Cypress Hills - Builders

If you would like a personal tour of homes in West Cypress Hills, please contact me in the form below.

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If you are considering buying a home, you might wonder whether or not you should buy an existing home or consider new home construction.  Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

New or Used
Advantages of Existing Homes 

  • Seeing the finished product.  With an existing home, you know exactly what you are getting.  You can actually experience the home and see the size of the rooms and quality of construction, unlike buying a new home where you might just be looking at a drawing of a floor plan.
  • Well-developed neighborhoods.  When purchasing an older home, you can easily research the history of the area to see how well the homes have maintained their value. You can also explore the surrounding businesses, schools, parks, and other amenities to see if they are what you like.
  • Mature trees and landscaping.  There is nothing like beautiful oak trees in your yard!
    Highland_Park,_Texas
  • Uniqueness and character.  Older homes can have more unique characteristics that give them charm.  You can also choose homes in central areas, closer to downtown.

Disadvantages of Existing Homes

  • Possibility of repairs. Depending on how well the home was maintained, you might need to do a considerable amount of repairs or updates.  Be sure to budget for updates that you want, such as new carpeting or new appliances.  Will you be able to afford these after closing?
  • Less energy efficient.  Older homes are usually less energy efficient, which could could mean larger utility bills each month.
  • Outdated floor plans.  An older home might lack some features that modern homes include, such as a multi-car garage or walk in closets.  Although you might be able to do some remodeling, altering the floor plan can be extremely expensive.  Make sure you can live with the space you purchase.

Tip:  Before buying any existing home, always get an inspection to make sure that there are no hidden problems, such as a leaky roof, termites, or structural damage.

Advantages of New Construction Homes

  • Designing your own space.  Do you want a media room or an large covered patio? Not only can you pick your floor plan, you can also choose your flooring, wall color, tiles, brick, stone, cabinets, etc.  The home you design will have everything you like – no remodeling necessary.
    kitchens
  • Energy savings.  New homes come with more energy-efficient materials that reduce your utility bills each month.  Look for builders that are Energy Star certified.
  • Less maintenance.  With a brand new home and appliances, you shouldn’t have to do any major repairs for a long time.  New homes also come with a warranty, which can give you peace of mind.  Check with each builder to make sure you understand what is covered and for how long.
  • It’s new!  There’s just something satisfying about owning a brand new space that has never been used by anyone else!

Disadvantages of New Construction Homes

  • Unsure of the future community.  If a new community has just started being built, you might risk not knowing what the area will look like when finished. Always make sure you ask what else will be built in the surrounding area, and also research the builder to make sure that they have plenty of good reviews from customers.  Possibly tour another community designed by the same builder to see if you are happy with the overall look and quality.
  • The “cookie cutter” look.  In some new home communities, the houses look very similar.  If this bothers you, look for master-planned communities in which there are multiple builders and a variety of home styles.
  • Undeveloped trees and landscaping.  Those skinny trees will be amazing… in about 10 years.  It’s rare to find new homes with well-developed landscaping, and if there are mature trees on a lot, they will cost you extra.
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  • Less room to negotiate price.  Builders have a small profit margin on homes, so you will rarely negotiate the sales price of a floor plan, unlike existing homes in which the owner might have considerable equity and be willing to bargain.  Most builders will offer some incentives towards design options or closing costs rather than lowering the price of the home.
  • Location.  Typically new home communities are on the outskirts of town, which can mean a longer commute depending on where you work.

Tip:  You have a better chance of getting a discount on a new home when a neighborhood is close to being complete.  Builders are often eager to close out the remaining inventory homes.  If a neighborhood is near completion, you also have a much better idea of the overall look and feel of the area.

Whether or not a home will appreciate over time really depends on its location. Both existing homes and new homes can be good investments if they are in the right area.  It’s up to you to decide which type of home appeals to you more.

Are you considering buying this summer?  Ask me for help below!  I’d love to discuss your goals.

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I recently had the pleasure of touring Vistancia, a new community located off Hamilton Pool Rd. featuring homes by Ashton Woods and Vintage Estates Home.  Every home is built on a one acre lot, giving homeowners a beautiful living space and a lot of privacy.  From the outside, the Ashton Woods model home is attractive, but you haven’t seen anything until you step inside.  It has a surprisingly modern twist with stunning details.

Vistancia model home, Austin, TX - www.askshan.com #askshan #Vistancia

One of the things that makes this home stand out is its modern design elements, such as this floating staircase.Modern floating staircase. www.askshan.com #askshan #vistancia

Every room has high-end luxury details, but the base prices for floor plans only start in the upper-400’s.

Modern kitchen - www.askshan.com #askshan #vistancia

The master suite features an award-winning and highly-photographed luxury spa retreat.
spa

The house is designed for entertaining guests both inside and out.  The backyard patio and swimming pool are a hill country oasis!

entertainment spaces - www.askshan.com #askshan #vistancia

Buyers also have the option to add a casita to their home, which is a rare feature in new homes.  This small living space adds tremendous resale value!  It features a living area with kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom.  This is ideal for anyone who has an elderly relative, an adult son or daughter living at home, or out-of-town relatives who need a space when visiting.  It can also be used as a home office or studio where clients can visit without entering your private home.Casita - www.askshan.com #askshan

If you are looking to upgrade your current home, I highly recommend you tour Vistancia! Please call me at 512-897-4349 or email me below for a personal guided tour.

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