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The benefits of buying a luxury home that's under new construction include customizing it to fit your life and your family, and choosing your own finishes is a perfect way to achieve this goal. But which finishes will still maintain their beauty under the stress of busy families on the go? Which ones require the least maintenance and will wear well under heavy traffic? Our experts have put together the perfect primer for homebuyers who want to customize their new construction from the ground up, so that the surfaces look great, last long and require minimal upkeep. Here's what we recommend:
Cast Concrete Countertops
Concrete tops the list for designing versatile-yet-gorgeous countertops. Completely customizable right down to the color, concrete is an upscale, elegant material for countertops in both kitchen and bath, and it has benefits that make it worth the effort, including:
When you choose cast concrete as your choice of countertop, you can customize it to fit any shape and any space. You can even choose to have materials such as decorative river rock embedded. You can have your concrete countertops dyed, stamped or polished to ensure that they're custom to your luxury home and your home only.
Even if you're drawn to exotic hardwoods such as jatoba (Brazilian cherry), resist the urge to install them in your new luxury home because they contribute to harmful deforestation of the world's rainforests. Opt for eco-friendly, sustainable woods instead. There are plenty from which to choose, including:
Reclaimed wood is a viable alternative to non-sustainable wood, as well. Old barn timbers and salvaged pine logs make beautiful, luxurious flooring options that add history and architectural appeal to every home without harming the planet.
Wood is, far and away, the most popular choice for luxury kitchen cabinetry. And it's not just the type of wood used, but the style and design of the cabinets, as well. For upscale, luxurious wooden cabinets in your kitchen, pantry or bath, consider American hardwoods such as cherry, maple, alder or ash. The growth and harvesting of these trees are monitored by the American Hardwood Export Council and strict best management practices ensure that no species is stressed or over-harvested. Additionally, they're exceptionally hard to withstand all the dings and scratches that come with family use. Lastly, they look exquisite when installed in your kitchen as paneled ends on upper cabinetry, decorative legs on islands, and as the frames for elegant, glass-paned doors.
Your new luxury home is only made better by customization. Talk with your builder today about which finishes you'd like to see incorporated, and you'll love the end result even more.
Moving into a new house takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can take months to feel like you’re truly “moved in” once you’ve finally gotten the keys to your new home. As a result, many people rush to purchase and set up their houses as quickly as possible.
If--like most people--you’re on a budget, it isn’t always realistic to expect your home to be completely furnished set up in just a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of your priorities when moving into a new home.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the “need now” and “it can wait” items for your home. In creating this list for your home you can make your move a smoother process and help yourself feel at home sooner without having to spend every waking hour (and every cent of your bank account) furnishing your new home immediately.
Read on for a list of the items you need at move-in, the things you should prioritize within the first weeks, and those that can wait.
What you need now
If you’re moving from an apartment or a former house, chances are you have a lot of the items you’ll need to get started in your new home. These are essentials like mops, vacuum cleaners, and your kitchen and bathroom essentials.
Next, you’ll want to determine the things that will make your life in your new home easier. We’re talking daily-use items that you might need for your morning routine. If you’re the type of person who frequently loses keys, it might be a good idea to prioritise a key hook. If you struggle to put on makeup in a dimly lit bathroom, installing new lights should be at the top of your list.
Setting your priorities for the first month
A good way to budget furnishing your new home is to give yourself a specific number of items to buy in the first month, then the second, and so on. Get together with your family, or significant other if applicable, and together determine what’s most important.
It may be that energy efficient windows need to be prioritized over new curtains and blinds. Or, you could have to find a paint color that matches your living room set before repainting your bedroom. Regardless, be sure to budget all of your purchases so that you feel comfortable and ready to take on the first month in your new home.
What can wait
There are a number of items in most homes that are purely cosmetic or decorative. However, the cost of all of the decorations in your home can add up. If you’re planning on starting from scratch with decorations, it’s a good idea to hold off until you have the essentials. This is a good opportunity for you to find the right paint colors and decorations that match your furniture and appliances.
Now that you have a three lists for your home, you should be prepared to furnish it at a pace that works for you.
Let's face it – the homebuying journey may prove to be an expensive experience. If you're not careful, you risk overspending to acquire your dream house. On the other hand, if you purchase a home without identifying underlying structural problems, you risk costly home repairs down the line.
Ultimately, it helps to establish a budget for the homebuying journey. If you have a budget in place, you can increase the likelihood of having the necessary funds on hand to overcome many potential homebuying hurdles.
You should have no trouble creating a homebuying budget, either. In fact, here are three tips to help you put together a budget for the homebuying journey.
1. Assess Your Financial Situation
If you intend to purchase a house in the foreseeable future, you'll want to take a close look at your finances. By doing so, you may be able to reduce your monthly spending and use your savings to accelerate the homebuying journey.
It often helps to assess your daily, weekly and monthly expenses. Then, you may discover bills that you can cut from your everyday budget.
For example, you may enjoy dining out regularly, but cooking at home may prove to be more cost-effective. And as you reduce your dining expenses, you can save money that you can use toward the down payment on a new house.
2. Obtain Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, your credit score can make a world of difference in your quest to acquire a house. If you check your credit score, you may be able to find ways to improve your credit score prior to kicking off a house search.
You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Take advantage of this perk, and you can learn your credit score in no time at all.
Remember, your credit score may have a major impact on your ability to land a favorable mortgage. And if you find that you have a below-average credit score, you then can pay off outstanding debt to improve it before you start your search for a new home.
3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval for a mortgage is ideal. With a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a budget for buying a house.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can offer insights into a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage selection.
Lastly, as you prepare a homebuying budget, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you hone your home search to residences that fall within your price range. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to avoid spending too much to acquire your dream house.
Get ready to buy a house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish a successful homebuying budget.
Buying a house is arguably the most expensive purchase most people will make in their lives. With real estate prices steadily rising year after year, many Americans are finding ways to save on housing.
At the same time, rent prices too are increasing, especially around metro areas where many young Americans are entering the workforce. With costs rising and wages stagnating, it can be hard to find an affordable place to live while still building equity that can be used later on down the road.
One option that many Americans are considering is the fixer-upper route. However, it takes know-how and a lot of hard work to make this method a good choice to save you money. In this article, we’ll tell you how to make certain buying a fixer upper is a good idea and what costs you can expect along the way.
Adding up the costs
Buying a house that needs work means you’ll need to spend a good amount of time calculating costs and getting quotes from professionals. Even if you’re familiar with several home maintenance tasks, there are some jobs that are safer if left to the pros. This isn’t only a matter of physical safety, however. If you start a job that you aren’t qualified to finish you could end up paying much more than if you had just hired a licensed professional to do the job in the first place.
When estimating costs for reparations and renovations, aim high. It’s better to plan for it to be more expensive and have more left over than to underestimate your projects and go over budget.
Get an inspection report
If you aren’t sure whether or not you want to go through with a deal, make sure you have an inspection contingency clause in your contract. This will enable you to back out if the home inspector makes you aware of any costs that you weren’t told about by the seller.
Don’t forget added costs
There are several closing costs you’ll be responsible for as a buyer. Make sure you keep tabs on how much you can expect to spend closing on the home. If you’re going through a mortgage lender, they are required to give you an estimate of closing costs.
Once you know the purchase price of the home and the closing costs, make sure you account for other aspects of your renovations, such as getting required permits.
If you do plan on taking out a loan to cover the cost of renovations, be smart with how you get and pay back that money. One option is the FHA 203(k) loan or renovation loan.
Renovation loans help you save on closing costs and simplify the lending process by giving you one loan that accounts for the cost of the renovations and of the home itself.