Tips For New Home Owners

soldBuying a new home is an exciting thing. If this is your first home, it is even more exciting. It can also be a confusing time. Homeowners need to do things that renters don’t and trying to figure out what things are necessary can be over-whelming at times. The following tips for new homeowners should help relieve some of that initial stress.

Reassess Homeowner’s Insurance

In the excitement of filing paperwork and doing taking care of the hundreds of other details of buying a new home, you may have purchased too much or too little home insurance. Now that things are less hectic, re-evaluated your needs and adjust the amount accordingly. While you are at it, place the payment in your budget so that you are prepared each month.

Take Care of Utilities

If you haven’t already, make sure all the utilities are turned on and in your name. Check that the billing address is correct and, if possible, discuss a budget-billing plan with as many utility companies as you can. This will make monthly budgeting easier. Don’t forget water, sewer and trash, items you may not have had to consider as a renter.

Find and Label Utilities

One of the most important tips for new homeowners is to locate your breaker box and all water shut-off valves. Take time now to label what each one is and prepare a list for your personal files to locate them easily should an emergency arise. Taking the time now will help save both time and frustration later. Final Words

Now that the majority of the details are out of the way, it is time to move in. The following tips for new homeowners will help you feel safe and at home. almost immediately:

*Send out change of address cards so friends and family can find you easily.

*Install a security system

*Tour the neighborhood, on foot if possible, to get familiar with the lay of the land and possibly meet a few neighbors.

*Move in and congratulate yourself on a job well done. You deserve a rest!

How to Keep Your Energy Bills Low as the Weather Cools Down

blog-img-how-to-save-on-energy-costsEnergy costs tend to become major expenses as the weather becomes colder. While there is no way to keep them from increasing some, there are a few things you can do to help keep the cost from rising too high. Read on to find out how to keep you energy bills low as the weather cools down.

Dress Your Windows

Drapes do more than add to the look and feel of a room. By installing thermal drapes, you help keep your home warmer in the cold months and cooler in the warm ones. Thermal drapes come in so many colors and styles, you are sure to find ones you feel enhances the look of your rooms.

Air Seal Your Home

Windows, doors and even electrical outlets can allow cold air to seep quietly into your home. Examine the seals around doors and windows and make sure they are air-tight. Check any areas that have cables entering your home and any electrical outlets and make sure to apply paintable caulking around any that are leaking.

Clothe Your Pipes

No, you don’t make little coats for them. Insulate all your water pipes and invest in an insulated cover for your hot water tank. While you are working on the hot water tank, lower the water temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans aren’t only to keep things cool in the summer. By using them in conjunction with your furnace, you will help circulate the air more quickly, enabling you to keep the temperature lower and still feel its benefits.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

When learning how to keep your energy bills low as the weather cools down, a programmable thermostat can be one of your greatest assets. By learning how to adjust the timer, you can keep the temperature in your home lower when nobody is home and have it raise to livable temperature in time for your arrival. More advanced programmable thermostats can make it so the rooms you don’t use all the time can be kept cooler, saving you from having to heat a room that nobody will be using.

Install LED or CFL light bulbs

These bulbs may cost more initially, but it costs less to run them and they last longer than other light bulbs. By switching all your lights now, you could save quite a bit on energy costs by the end of a year.

Let the Air do Your Drying

Hang a clothing rack or clothes line across your laundry room and hang up a portion of your clothes to air dry. Instead of using your dryer for everything, you can cut drying costs considerably by air-drying even twenty percent of your laundry.

Final Words

These are just a few tips on how to keep your energy bills low as the weather cools down. The more of them you put into action, the greater your savings will be. You don’t have to forgo comfort in order to save money. A few adjustments and you will be warm and happy as you decide where you can spend all the money you are saving on energy bills.

Four Bad Ways to Get Out of Debt

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When it comes to getting out of debt, doing it by “any means necessary” may seem like the best approach. However, there are some great ways and horrible ways to go about getting out of debt. What we hope to do here is to give you some of the horrible ways to pay off debt so that you will avoid them. Knowing what not to do has its way of leaving you with options that are more likely to be your best course of action. Take a look at the bad ways to get out of debt here.

1. Leveraging your home

This is a very risky thing to do when it comes to trying to get out of debt. Losing your home if things go badly will just make already bad matters much worse for sure.

2. Increasing your credit limit

So many people go this route that it’s understandable how so many have made this option make sense to them. However, adding more debt to pay off debt can really just bury you in more debt than anything else.

3. Using your 401(k)

This one also seems to be a frequent option people in debt reach for. While this one may actually pay off debt, it can just be better to allow the funds there to sit and gain interest.

4. Getting Payday loans

These options are actually for emergencies, not paying off debt. Remember a statement we made earlier about adding more debt in reason number two.

One last thing, don’t go the route of bankruptcy unless you have seriously exhausted all other possible options to pay down your debt without increasing it. Claiming bankrupt will cause you not to be able to get loans for a while so be sure you are able to handle not being able to add any new debt for a while.

Are You Ready for Homeownership?

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When you get out and start actively searching for your new home, you may feel it is a very exciting experience. Most people who are looking for their new home actually love seeing all the options out there and then narrowing it down to the one they desire most. However, there are actually some people who never quite feel they are ready for actually owning a home.

Have you spent years preparing to be a homeowner and never feeling completely ready? In some ways, you could argue that nobody is every “completely” ready for anything, but they can be better prepared than they are. We want you to continue to read along here and see some of the suggestions to help you realize if you are already prepared for owning your own home.

Stabilize your finances

Making sure you are prepared for things you will pay for as a homeowner is something you definitely must do. Being ready for insurance costs and future home projects and repairs you may want to do in the future will certainly be a huge benefit. Having an idea of the costs of commuting from your new place, utilities and other things you will take on as a homeowner will help you to better brace yourself financially.

Choose a great group of professionals

DeNova Homes is proud to offer a professional team to assist with the entire process. Everything from design to financing is discussed with future home buyers so that they can be included in the entire process.

Realize what you “must have”

A lot of things you may want in your home may turn out to be things you can actually live without. Sometimes, people have realized that some things they wanted in their homes are actually not practical or simply don’t work for their family as well as they have hoped.

You could spend many years trying to convince yourself you are ready for homeownership, or you could actually get out and speak with some professionals about the matter. Whenever you do decide to be a homeowner, make sure to reap every benefit that it has to offer.

Top 3 Things NOT to Do When Hiring A Mover

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Is moving one of those things that you simply despise? Do you love being able to live in a new place, but hate the process of getting there? If so, you have probably already decided when you move you will hire a crew to do all the manual work. The ability to sit back and allow the movers handle everything from packing to moving things to your new place is really a godsend to say the least. However, there are some things you definitely do NOT want to do when looking to hire a mover. Take a look here at our top 3 things not to do when hiring a mover and be sure to avoid doing any of these tasks.

1. Pick the cheapest bidder.

Picking the cheapest bidder may be a great way to save money, but tends to be more costly in the end for most people. The cheapest bidder may not necessarily be the most professional, nor the most knowledgeable and caring for your valuables.

2. Looking at only one or two moving companies.

If your items in your home are of any value to you, take more time and care in who will handle those items. Keep a wide net of options going and narrow them down at least from around 5 different companies if possible.

3. Choosing a mover without them seeing your home.

Movers should require that they see your home you’re moving from at least before they place their final bid. Also, you should definitely be willing to allow them in to see what they may be handling if you choose to hire them. You may have items that require special handling and you will need to know how they will handle those things at the time of their final bid.

These have been the top 3 things people should NOT do if they are looking to hire an effective moving crew. Hopefully, you have never done any of these things and had to suffer the consequences of those actions. We hope that this article causes you to make sure to consider the importance of having everything you care about moved to the new place safely.

Increase Your Chances of Getting Approved for a Home Loan

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After you have spent many hours online searching for your dream home, you may have finally come to a decision on what home you want. Checking out all kinds of sites can present you with plenty of options, but until you actually have some idea of what you want, you just aren’t ready, right? Well, there are some other steps you should definitely consider before even taking a look at homes. What would hurt possibly more than anything could be deciding you want a home that you simply cannot afford.

Your budget has a lot to do with whether you will be approved for the home loan that you desire. Therefore, making sure that you can secure a home loan should be your first task. What does it take to make you look better to home financing companies? Take a look at the following suggestions and see for yourself what you may need to work on to increase your chances of getting the loan you want.

A stable income

This is surely the most obvious factor, but it does need to be mentioned. Bankers really do look at you in a better light if you have a solid work history. The longer you have been on your job, the better you are going to look.

Your credit history

This is definitely very important as it shows your ability to repay companies that you owe. You may want to order a copy of your credit report to check it out before applying for anything. You want to make sure that everything reflected on your credit report is correct and dispute the inaccuracies.

Your debt-to-income ratio

Even when you have the job and great credit history, banks will look at what your income looks like in light of how much debt you have. They want to be sure that the loan they will give you will not go neglected due to being more than you can handle.

You should never want to bite off more than you can chew. Understanding the financial process and loan product you are applying for can also really help you to feel more comfortable with the loan product you actually accept.

Heat & Cool Your Home Efficiently

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Did you know that at least half of the energy consumed in your home is usually spent on just heating and cooling? The homes that we offer are very energy-efficient. However, there are always things you should do to keep your utility bills low and still stay comfortable in your home. No matter how energy-efficient your home is, there’s always going to be things you need to be mindful of to keep things on the up and up. If you are looking for ways to make sure that your beautiful, energy-efficient home stays that way, take a look at the following suggestions that will help you out:

Keep your air filters clean

One way to do this is to make sure to check them each month. The winter and summer months are usually times of year you should check the most. The aim is to remove air filters that have become dirty or have been in use for 3 months. Dirty filters make your units work harder to warm or cool your home and that’s what you DON’T want.

Have you HVAC units tuned yearly

This is pretty much the same theory as you would use with tuning your car when you want to improve the gas mileage.

Use only ENERGY STAR equipment

If you ever decide to change your equipment, make sure that you go with ENERGY STAR items.

Your homes from DeNova Homes already come equipped with the best products that are also energy-efficient. However, as we mentioned before, you must make sure to keep an eye on things and maintain what you have to continue getting the best results. Since your home already comes equipped with new products from us, these steps should be the best advice you need to continue heating and cooling your home efficiently.

Other Features to Love About Your Home Aside From Location

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Everyone knows that the location of your dream home is likely the biggest thing right along with the price you are willing to pay for it. There are a lot of things that are part of the decision-making process before you choose your home. It’s not usual for someone to fall in love with a home purely because of the location alone. Here are some other things we have noticed people fall in love with when it comes to their homes and communities.

Unobstructed Views and Light

When you have a home that easily lets in light, you would be surprised at how much it can actually affect your mood. It doesn’t always matter what you see when looking out the windows, but the more you love what you see, the better your mood will be, of course.

Ceiling Height

There’s a reason most luxury places have higher ceilings. Higher ceilings will give you added cubic feet with your square footage.

Architectural Uniqueness

The more unique and high quality your architectural work is on the property, the longer it will hold its value.

Practical Layout

Making sure that the place is actually laid out in a way that will benefit you whether you are there alone or if all your friends drop by is the key. Being able to have clear boundaries, will keep people from roaming through your bedroom and other personal areas and help you stay at peace.

Storage Space

Even if you aren’t someone who has tons of extra things to store away, you need some storage space. Having storage space will at least come in handy for those times you have overnight bags from visitors, coats and things of that nature.

The Gym

If you are someone who loves working out to stay healthy, you will likely agree very quickly that having a gym included in the community is a great amenity.

These are just some of the other things we know most people are falling for when it comes to their dream home and community. What are some of the things you could think of? As we mentioned earlier, we know there’s a lot more to consider when choosing than location and price. So, aside from the excellent environment and cost your place, what else helped you to decide that it would be the perfect one for you?

3 Things to Consider Before Deciding On A Home

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Trying to decide on the home of your dreams usually proves to be a bit more difficult than people expect it to. After all the homes you see, there’s a decision that has to be made. This brings us to the topic of this article. How do you decide on a home when there are possible two or more that seem to really suit your need? Take a look at these three things to consider and hopefully you will have your answer or be closer to it.

1. Revisit the crime stats for the community.

This can be a hard one sometimes especially if all the neighborhoods you have looked at are in exceptional areas. However, taking a look at the information anyway can at least inform you and make you more confident with your decision.

2. Definitely take another look at the schools in the area.

If all the schools in the areas of your chosen homes are great, take a look at the distance your children will travel to get there as well as any new transportation costs.

3. Test your commute.

This is something a lot of people tend to leave out and regret later. Sure, the home of your choosing may be wonderful, but how does it stack up when it’s time to commute and get to work and things of that nature. Testing out the route from the home you want at the time of day you would be travelling is a great way to understand the traffic flow in possibly your new neighborhood.

As we mentioned before, trying to make a decision can be really difficult sometimes. When you have gone through the three things we have mentioned here, you are more likely to think of some other things along the way to help you get to the decision you have searched for. The problem with making decisions after seeing so many properties is sometimes just getting the thought process rebooted again to be ready to make a decision. Hopefully, we have helped get you to the point that you are now thinking of ways to get things narrowed down so you can quickly get into the home of your dreams.

5 Common Color Mistakes

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Whether you are painting or repainting an area in or around your home, the decision on color has to be made at some point. The decision of what color to choose from tends to be one of the biggest problems people face during the entire project of painting. Some people even change the color scheme many times just because they never can fully commit to one color scheme without fearing it doesn’t look right. Whatever you do, just don’t make any of the 5 mistakes we have here and you should be fine.

1. Being scared. Your will either be courageous and go with whatever you feel works for the room or you will be a coward and keep putting off the project.

2. Putting way too much paint on the wall. Use a certain piece of furniture that will be the focal point of the room. If the walls are outshining the furniture, you probably have too much happening on your wall.

3. Putting way too little paint on the wall. White walls are okay, but don’t be afraid to add some spice to those walls even if it has to begin with a different color border in the room.

4. Doing a rush job on the painting. Just grabbing any color you see in the store and running with it to save time can be very adventurous to say the least. The problem with that is you need to make sure to at least ponder whether you actually can live with that color everyday on your walls.

5. Forgetting to use primer. If you want to make sure that you get the color you picked out on your wall with no interference from the previous color, you need some primer.

Hopefully you will make sure to miss these mistakes and get everything right on the first try. Having to make multiple trips back to the store due to issues with color and indecision will just cost you so much more than you bargained for. Therefore, take your time and make sure you have everything you want and need before the first brush of paint hits the wall.