Resale vs. New Home

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Top Reasons why a New Home is a Better Choice than a Resale

When shopping for a new house, there are many things that need to be considered before you buy. One of the biggest decisions you will make on that adventure is whether you’d like to build a new home, or purchase a resale home. The buying process can be time consuming whether you are trying to find a resale home that is perfect for you, or whether you are working with builders to make your brand new home exactly the way you want it. Why spend all that time looking for something to settle on, when you could have a home specifically designed for you?

front of house

1. Customizability

When you decide to have your home built, you have many choices available to you. You get to choose everything from the layout to the shade of carpet. If you want vaulted ceilings, they can be built in. A jacuzzi in the master bath? No problem. When looking at resale houses, what you see is what you get. Many things cannot be changed about a resale house, for instance, there is no way to rebuild a resale to have vaulted ceilings.

2. Energy Efficiency

Standards for building homes are revised on a regular basis, and become more stringent for builders. Homes built today are required to have a much more sound structure, better insulation, and higher quality windows than homes built several years ago. As these requirements become more strict, the energy efficiency of a house increases. A house built ten years ago will have higher utility bills than a house of the exact same size built today.

3.Warranties

When you purchase a resale home items such as your appliances, the roof, the siding, and the air conditioning system are used. This means that they most likely no longer are under warranty. All of these things, and sometimes more, come with warranties when they are brand new. When you buy a new house, everything comes with a warranty that will most likely last several years, and usually extended warranties are available. This gives you the peace of mind that the first few years of owning your new house, you will have virtually no repair or replacement costs.

4. Low Maintenance

Every house has some maintenance associated with it. Mowing the grass, cleaning the gutters and windows, washing the floors and vacuuming the carpet are things that all homeowners are responsible for. However, older homes can come with additional repairs to more critical aspects of the house such as plumbing or heating and cooling. With a new house, those warranties that are mentioned above should cover any major repairs you may need. No need to worry about any kind of massive do-it-yourself projects, that is, of course, unless you want to embark on that adventure.

Purchasing a house is a major decision, and it is important that you look at all of your options. A new house may very well save you time and money in the long run, not to mention you’ll get that “New House Feeling” in your own personal home that you had a hand in making.

Best Tips for Preparing & Organizing Your Home for 2014

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The worst way to begin the New Year is with a messy home, particularly when you have recently moved into a luxurious LGI home. For those who are struggling to regain or maintain order, especially with the addition of the most recent installment of Christmas gifts, here are some tips to help you prepare your home for 2014.

The Kitchen

Modern Kitchen Design

Getting organized in the kitchen starts by throwing away expired products and giving away unused culinary equipment.

With all of the leftovers crammed inside the fridge, now is a great time to begin to organize the kitchen and refrigerator shelves. As these items are eaten or expire, toss a few extra items out, which you are either no longer eating or drinking and are past their expiration date. As the space becomes cleared out, consider purchasing either some bins specifically designed for refrigerator organization or to save money, perhaps some small inexpensive bins, such as shoe storage boxes from the local dollar store.

Along the same path as the fridge, begin weeding through the cabinets and cupboards, tossing out anything opened more than a few weeks, as well as anything out of date. If you do not already have them, consider purchasing some additional dollar store bins for organizing snacks, small canned goods, chips, and other pantry items. Large items and those used infrequently can be placed in containers near the bottom or top of your pantry areas.


The Bathroom

Organizational Bathroom Basket

When organizing the bathroom, never underestimate the utility of decorative baskets for storing lotions, shampoos, and soaps!

It is easy to become overwhelmed with beauty and bath products, especially after the holidays when many people are organizing recent perfume, soap, or lotion gifts. Everything from glass jars to wicker baskets are excellent organizational options for the bathroom. Stuff cotton swaps, toilet tissue, soaps, and other items into decorative containers to display, or if you choose, place into containers to store under the sink, in the medicine cabinet, or in a linen closet.


Bedrooms

Well Organized Kid's Bedroom

When it comes to organizing your bedrooms, especially children’s rooms, the first step is to find a place for clutter items.

Perhaps your bedroom or your children’s bedrooms are in total disarray, littered with loads of Christmas gifts no one knows where to store. If you, your spouse, or child received baseball caps to add to a collection, pick up an inexpensive package of shower hooks and a wooden coat hanger to put all of those hats out of sight. If you would rather display them all, purchase an inexpensive shelf and line them up for everyone to see.

For random clutter, cover some of the strongest of your leftover gift boxes with some decorative wrapping paper or fabric and store in closets or under beds.

In order to get your home organized quickly, make a New Year’s resolution to chip away at your clutter a little bit each day of January. This way, you and your family can enjoy the rest of the year in a clutter-free, mostly stress-free zone.

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

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Fall is in the air, and chances are, you may have already seen the first signs of the season appearing around your neighborhood. The leaves are changing, the weather is starting to cool down, and pretty soon, the sounds of Trick-or-Treaters will be filling your street and the smells of Thanksgiving will be filling your kitchen. At LGI Homes, we strive to build superior quality homes that will endure over the years, but keeping up with routine home maintenance will ensure your home stays in top shape for decades to come. Here are our top home maintenance tips for Fall.

Fallen Leaves During Fall Season

Fall is a great time of year to start preparing your home for the harshness of winter.

Give Your Systems a Tune Up – Fall is the perfect time to give all of your home heating and cooling systems a quick tune up. Change out your air filters, make sure your heater is in working order and check your hot water heater for potential rust damage. Routine upkeep will maximize the lifespan of your systems – and help you avoid costly breakdowns and repairs.

Check Out Your Roof and Gutters – Depending on where you live, your roof could take a beating through the fall and winter due to rain or snow. Before the season has a chance to hit in full swing, give your roof a thourough once-over to ensure that all of your shingles are in top shape – and replace any shingles that are cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged. Clear out your gutter and try to keep them cleared so they don’t get blocked – preventing water from effectively running off your roof.

Turn Off Exterior Water – After you’ve watered your lawn for the final time, roll up your hoses and turn off your external water faucets. Shutting off the exterior water will ensure your pipes don’t get frozen once the weather cools down, and will make sure you’re protected if early freezes hit during the autumn.

Turn Your Leaves into Mulch – If you’re passionate about keeping your lawn looking lush during the warmer months of the year, mulch your leaves instead of raking, bagging and throwing them away. Simply run over the fallen leaves with your mower to chop them into smaller pieces. These pieces will settle into your lawn and nourish it throughout the fall and winter, providing you with a lawn worthy of showing off to the neighborhood when spring rolls around.

Clean and Store Seasonal Items – Give your lawnmower and other lawncare appliaces a thorough cleaning before storing them in a dry place for the fall and winter. Clean off your seasonal furniture and decorations and store them as well. This way, they’ll look as good as new when it’s time to put them out again next year.

We strive to help our residents stay on top of seasonal home maintenance, and have created helpful checklists for each season of the year. Check out our lists for more home maintenance tips, and be sure to print them out for your own reference each time the seasons change and you’re ready to give your home a little TLC.

Organizing Your Dedicated Laundry Room

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Organized and clean new home laundry room

For many who make the move into one of our beautiful, brand-new homes, the dedicated laundry room can be a source of immeasurable happiness and pride. Gone are the days of washing laundry in the dusty garage or the dark basement—a set-up so typical in older homes. And gone are the days of schlepping armloads of dirty laundry, laundry soap, dryer sheets, fabric softener and rolls of quarters to the laundromat or apartment laundry room. Indeed, having a private, indoor laundry is one of the biggest attractions of owning a modern, functional home, such as those built by LGI Homes. Who wouldn’t want a quiet, brightly-lit room where your family’s laundry can be done in comfort and with convenience—and no one ever heaps your wet clothes on top of the dryer out of impatience?

To make the best of an already great thing, here are some tips on how to organize and beautify your laundry room, elevating this simple luxury to the best of efficiency and ease:

1. Keep it simple. Clutter can turn even the largest laundry areas into a tangled nightmare of half-empty bottles, broken clothes pins, and lost socks. The less you store in your laundry area, the better, so trim down to the basics, and don’t use the laundry room as your home’s biggest junk drawer.

2. Stay organized. A small investment in organizational items like storage bins, baskets, and shelving can keep your laundry room tidy, attractive, and functional. Additional helpful items include hanging racks for drying and hanging ironed clothing, ironing stations with wall-mounted ironing boards, and a pin board for hanging stain removal and washing tips in plain sight.

3. Get personal. An easy way to streamline laundry day is to have baskets assigned for each member of the family. Cleaned clothing goes into a designated basket, which makes delivering clean laundry back to each family members’ room easier, and keeps finished laundry from hanging around the laundry room for too long! Look for baskets that are large enough to handle the amount of clean clothes you generate per person. Also, baskets that stack when not in use are ideal for saving space.

4. Go smaller. Many of us shop at large warehouse stores, and come home with army-sized containers of laundry detergent, fabric softener, etc. Instead of lugging out these larger containers every time you do laundry, consider opting for smaller, decorative containers that can be left within easy reach, while beautifying your laundry space at the same time. See-through glass containers are a great choice for powders and liquids, and can be purchased cheaply (in a wide variety of colors and shapes) at home decorating shops as well as thrift stores. Simply refill when needed, and laundry instantly becomes more elegant!

5. Avoid sock soup. Finally, a tip for everyone who has ever mourned the loss of a sock: when folding laundry, keep a bin nearby for the inevitable stray socks that remain at the bottom of the basket. Once every month or so, go through the sock bin and match up pairs—an easy task that even preschoolers in the family can do, and the thrill of reuniting these kindred souls can be very satisfying. You’ll save frustration, save time, and save your favorite pair of socks!

Top Three Home Projects for (Almost) Spring

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While the true beginning of Spring remains a ways off, many parts of the country have enjoyed a mild and warm winter that is already easing into the fairer weather of the year’s most joyful season. The sun is shining, trees are budding, and the urge to dive into some springtime home projects may already be strong. Even for those still locked in rain, ice or snow, the drear may be wearing thin, and a spring-themed project may not only lighten the look of the house, but your mood as well. To that end, we present the top three springtime home projects, and how to go about accomplishing them!

Top Three Home Projects for Spring

It's that time of year again when spring cleaning, gardening, and home improvement projects come to life.

1. Get the Garden Going. If you live in one of the country’s warmer climates, such as the Sunbelt, Texas, or California, your growing season for spring is just about to commence. If the soil isn’t too moist or too hard, begin by weeding your planting areas and then tilling in soil amendments such as compost or fertilizers. Remove dead or frost-damaged plants, and trim your perennials. Once the threat of frost has passed, you can begin setting in new plants and flowers, including summer-bloomers. For those still stuck indoors, March is an excellent time to begin seedlings indoors that can be transplanted to the outside once the weather warms.

2. Prepare for Spring Cleaning. The annual festival of dusting and deep-cleaning may be a few months away, but you can get a headstart by tackling some of your home’s storage areas—spending some time now sorting, organizing and reducing your “stuff” can help immeasurable when it comes time to clean. Go through closets and remove for donation items that are no longer worn. Damaged clothing can be relegated to rags, or simply thrown away. If your closet is chaotic, now is a great time to invest in some simple closet organizing tools (like belt hangers, shoe boxes, etc.) that keep your wardrobe in order. Apply the same principles to the attic, basement or storage areas in the garage. Your home will feel lighter and more efficient as you clear out the mess, and this pre-work will make your spring cleaning much easier to tackle when it comes time.

3. Address the details. Whether you’re throwing open the doors to springtime weather, or snuggled in the house away from a storm outside, now is the perfect time to take a second look at some of the details of your home that seem to get overlooked in the busier times of the year. Small things can drag down the appearance of your home—nicked paint, cracked electrical plates, broken blinds, for example—yet they’re so minor in nature that they never seem to get addressed. This wedge of time between the hectic holidays and the beginning of summer offers a great opportunity to tackle some of the smaller home maintenance and improvement projects on your list. Most are easily accomplished in a few hours, but you’ll be amazed at the difference these details make in the happiness, comfort and pride you feel in your home!

7 Gardening Tips for a Homeowner’s Perfect February Garden Start

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Depending upon where you live, the weather outside in February may be frightful—but that doesn’t mean that the enjoyable tasks of gardening are completely out of reach. On the contrary, February is an excellent month for gardeners across the country, serving as the perfect time to research, plan and begin laying the groundwork for the gardening that will take place in the spring. Here are some ideas of how you can indulge your green thumb, even as winter plods on for a few more months:

Gardening Tips for Homeowners

February is an excellent month for gardeners across the country to research, plan, and begin laying the groundwork.

1. Seed catalogs begin arriving at homes across the country in February, giving cabin-fevered gardeners the chance to dream of the heady bounty of their spring and summer vegetable gardens. Peruse the catalogs, plan your garden, and place your orders before popular varieties begin selling out—by the end of February is best.

2. February is also when bare-root plants (such as roses) begin appearing in gardening stores. Buying bareroot plants is an affordable way to purchase mature (but dormant) plants for your garden. By later in the winter, only leafed-out and blooming plants will be available (at a higher cost), so snag your plants early on for the best savings.

3. Weeding is best done early and often, and even February is an ideal time to go out into the garden and combat unwelcome garden interlopers. Remember: pulling one weed before it seeds is much easier than pulling the twenty that sprout up afterwards.

4. Towards the end of this month, start seedlings indoors for spring plantings. The extra weeks you gain by starting seedlings indoors will give your spring garden a boost, and increase production before the substantial heat of summer sets in.

5. Don’t forget to water if rainfall falls short. Cold weather can be harshly dry for plants, lawns and trees, so a consistent watering is important, even when it isn’t hot out.

6. Take the time to sharpen, repair or purchase necessary gardening tools. This is also a good month to organize your potting station, gardening shed, or planting box, making a list of needed items and replacing outdated or exhausted supplies of fertilizers, soil amendments, and herbal or traditional pesticides.

7. Finally, don’t forget to lay the groundwork for the coming busy gardening season. Build or tend to the composting bin, enrich the soil in your vegetable beds, fertilize winter bloomers, and test your soil to see if it needs to be amended. Getting these tasks done in February means that when the blooms of Spring start to arrive, you’ll be ready to get your spring garden rolling, without a moment’s delay!

Safe Holiday Decorating Tips

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With the turn of the season and winter coming on fast, many LGI Homes homeowners are getting ready to spend their very first holiday season in their brand-new home. Anticipating the first of many years of family memories, they can’t wait to get a jumpstart on decorating. Starting early gives these homeowners the time to ensure that they start out their holiday season safely, and avoid any impromptu trips to the emergency room. Make the most of the weeks before decorating time by reviewing these safe holiday decorating tips, and prepare your home for the holidays in the safest way possible.

Safe Holiday Decorating Tips

For most the holiday season is a joyous event, so be sure to prevent and accidents or mishaps.

Check your tools. Having an organized and stocked tool box makes decorating your home easier, safer and less time-consuming. Check over your tools to make sure that each is in operating order; replace or repair any that are worn or prone to malfunction. This is particularly true for electrical handheld tools. If you’ll be decorating outdoors and along your roofline, make sure that you have a ladder tall enough to allow you to safely reach all necessary points.

Check your lights. Strands of holiday lights can become worn or frayed over the years, presenting electrocution and fire risks. When unpacking new or used lights, check over each strand carefully, looking for bared wires, cracked or broken sockets, and loose connections. Should any of these problems be discovered, throw the strand of lights away. Also check that all lights have been safety-tested—typically marked by “UL” or “ETL/ITSNA.” Finally, make sure that any lights used outside are rated for outdoor use, and can withstand possible inclement weather.

Child- and pet-proof your decorations. Check all decorations for possible breakage or damage, particularly if you share your home with small children or pets who could be injured by or swallow small pieces. Remove glass items and glass ornaments to higher locations in the home where they’ll be sufficiently out-of-reach from paws and small hands. Likewise, make sure that cords for any indoor decorative lights are out-of-reach or sufficiently out-of-sight to avoid having them tugged or chewed upon. Low-hanging decorative elements and fabrics should also be avoided, particularly if attached to (or laying underneath) heavy items. Any heavy items placed above eye level should be firmly secured.

Check your walkways. Both indoors and outdoors, ensure that your decorations leave ample room for guests and household members to navigate pathways, hallways and stairwells. Be aware of potential tripping hazards, and keep all lawn ornaments and decorations set off of the sidewalk to permit safe passage in front of your home.

Check your tree. Finally, if your holiday decoration plans include a Christmas tree, be sure to follow common sense safety rules. Artificial trees should be labelled “fire resistant” to mitigate potential fire danger. Live trees should be purchased as freshly as possible, and should be watered regularly to keep the tree from drying out. Remember that the tree should be set back from walkways in the home, and should never block doorways. For homes with young children and pets, keep lights off of the bottom third of the tree, and only use soft ornaments on this section. Alternatively, block access to the tree using an expandable gate. All trees should be weight-anchored to prevent them falling or being pulled over.

Fall Home Maintenance

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As the warm weather of summer transitions into those crisp days of fall, you may find your mind focused on another season of football, the joys of the coming holidays, and the return of kids to school. But before you yourself get caught up in the throes of autumn’s changes, remember that your home and garden both need to be readied for the upcoming changes, too! To that end, we’ve compiled for you this list of fall home maintenance tasks that will ready your home and landscape for Fall’s quixotic weather.

Preparing for the Winter: Home Maintenance Tips

As a homeowner you will want to regularly perform maintenance checks and address any issues as soon as they occur.

  • Heating. Fall’s downshift in temperature means that you’ll soon be transitioning from the A/C to the heater. Inspect your furnace for any signs of wear or tear, and clean out the filter. You can also hire an HVAC professional to come out and run a tune-up on your system and identify any problems that aren’t immediately obvious. Also, have your chimney cleaned and inspected, to ensure that it is free of debris and venting correctly
  • Gutters. In many areas of the country, Fall means the return of rain or snow, so ensuring that your gutters are clear is a high priority. Gutters clogged with leaves, dirt or animal nests prevent precipitation from running out, and can cause water to pool against the home, damaging your roof or the home’s siding. Clogged gutters can also cause water to spill down and pool against your home, which can cause problems for the foundation.
  • Landscape. Prepare your landscape for the fall by creating a clean and tidy yard that can withstand the rigors of fall and winter weather. Fall is an ideal time to de-thatch and fertilize your lawn, and all perennials (except for roses) should be deadheaded and trimmed back. Remove expiring annuals, amend tired soils, and mulch for cool-weather soil protection.
  • Pipes. For homes in freezing areas, take care that you drain all exterior pipes of water, before the colder weather sets in. Pipes with remnant water, whether a faucet or your irrigation system, can freeze during the winter, causing ruptures in your water lines that may not become apparent until you use the lines again in the spring.
  • Winterize. Finally, cold weather seeping into your home from outside can dramatically raise your heating bills, and leave your household unnecessarily drafty. Winterize your home by checking and replacing worn exterior caulking on windows, and adding weatherstripping to the bottom of exterior doors. In some areas, you may need to rehang storm windows or replace screens with glass. Take time to examine each room for holes, cracks, gaps or drafts; it’s well worth the time, and can save you money and discomfort in the months to come!

Keeping these few steps in mind will help keep your home, whether a new home or a pre-existing home, up to par.

Summer Maintenance Tips from LGI Homes

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Now that the first day of summer has nearly arrived, the lazy days of summer have truly begun. But before you get into a vacation mind frame, take the time to do some vital summer cleaning. Summer is the time of backyard barbecues, pool parties (if you are lucky enough to have a pool), or impromptu backyard picnics. So keep the outside of your home company ready with a few important maintenance projects.

Summer Maintenance: Time to clean the gutters

This past winter and spring brought unusually turbulent weather and moisture is not a homeowner’s friend. Check for any problems by carefully inspecting your home’s foundation, both inside and out. Repair any cracks you may find using caulk or cement. If you come across any areas where the ground has eroded away from the wall, fill them in with fresh dirt. Just make sure to slope the dirt away from the foundation, to prevent water from pooling up next to the foundation during the next storm.

Next, clean out the gutters and downspouts, and if you spot any places where winter snow has soaked through boards, replace them to prevent future rotting. Replace damaged siding that can’t be fixed and any broken roof shingles. If you have a deck or porch, check the integrity of the planks, replacing any that have warped or are damaged. Inspect your patio and use a quick drying cement to repair any cracks.

Once that is done, give your house a refreshing power wash to remove accumulated dirt and debris. A power wash can also eliminate mildew and help prevent mold from gaining a foothold. If you are feeling ambitious, and have owned your home for a number of years, you may want to add a fresh coat of paint to the exterior.

By taking a couple of weekends to perform regular maintenance and refresh your house now, you’ll save time and money down the road—and have a picture perfect house inside and out.

Homeowner Spring Checklist from LGI Homes

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LGI-Homes

 

Take these steps on the Spring Checklist provided by LGI Homes to keep your new home in tiptop shape and to freshen it up each Spring:

 

SPRING CHECKLIST

  • Change Furnace Filter (Monthly)
  • Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Clean Aerators on Faucets and Shower Heads
  • Inspect Air-Conditioning Unit for Proper Operation
  • Inspect Backsplash Caulking and Re-Caulk as Needed
  • Inspect Shower and Tub Caulking and Re-Caulk as Needed
  • Test GFCI receptacles
  • Inspect Exterior Paint, Stain or Siding, Putty & Caulking
  • Clean Fins on Outside AC Condensing Unit
  • Check Drainage Swales for Proper Rain Water Flow
  • Check for Evidence of Termites
  • Inspect the Roof and Roof Vents
  • Re-Seal Wood Fences