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.


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.

What Your Decorating Choices Say About You

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Design Choices

Many people do not realize that the furniture and accessories they choose for their homes tell more about the person they are than almost anything else. From observing these choices, outsiders can learn if a person is somewhat eclectic and creative or if he or she prefers simple, minimally decorated environments, as well as a generally drama-free lifestyle. Some people choose glamorous, high-end pieces to give the impression they are successful and worthy of the admiration of friends and family, while others prefer clean, sophisticated décor to create a truly comfortable retreat.

Craving Intimacy

People with highly stressful jobs often crave an intimate space at home where they are able to relax and regroup before putting their nose to the grindstone again. Oftentimes, and usually subconsciously, these people will select yellows and oranges for their living spaces. These colors not only welcome them home but can also quickly make them feel more cheerful, all the while nurturing their emotional wellbeing. Even though experts say these colors make rooms feel less spacious, they only add to a fuller feeling of intimacy.

Another form of solace in the midst of a busy, chaotic world comes through soft pastel hues from pale greens and blues to lavenders and medium blues. These colors reflect tranquility and make any room a restful haven from the pressures of daily life. Because these colors are truly easier for the eyes to bear, they can be instantly calming. Psychologists and other experts believe people who prefer soft blue hues tend to be introverted and prefer spending time alone rather than hanging out in a crowd.

Stimulation Central

Creative extroverts who tend to thrive in highly stimulating environments are often attracted to jewel tones such as amethyst, topaz, ruby, emerald, or sapphire. These sharp, brilliant colors are known to spark interest and inspiration, particularly for the outgoing, artsy types such as artists or writers. Some people choose these colors only for coordinating accessories, and even limited amounts of these pleasurable pops of color still present an element of inspiration.

Neutral and Neat

People who are described as practical or responsible are often those whose homes are based in neutral grays, tans, and beiges. These people prefer not only an even-keeled lifestyle but a smart, sensible home environment. They will often select specific brightly-colored objects as accessories rather than splashing their walls with unexpected color.

The psychological relationship between colors and the brain is so crucial that advertisers and marketers routinely select colors that elicit desired responses from potential customers. For example, a marketer may choose blues to dominate a commercial designed to make the customer feel their company is the smartest, most trustworthy choice. This is why many insurance and health care companies often choose blue hues for the backdrops of their commercials.

Remember, the next time you head to the store for a gallon or two of paint or to purchase a new sofa, keep in mind that the colors you select will likely tell the world more about you than you thought you were revealing.

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.


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.

8 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Cooler Temperatures

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A big house during the winter

Winter is among us and the coldest months are yet to come, so be sure your home is prepared for the cooler temperatures!

Winter is upon us and even if your home is in a more tropical climate, the months ahead still hold some cool nights. Some places are already being affected by winter storms Cleon and Dion. Even with a new home, there are important preparations to ensure your family’s winter is the best it can be. Here are some tips for prepping your home for whatever this winter may hold for you.

  • Winter is the perfect time to rearrange your furniture, even if you have only been in your home a few months. The change will help your home and life feel fresh and bright, even if the sky is filled with dark, grey snow clouds. Consider implementing some cozier seating arrangements, with chairs pushed a bit closer together for more intimate moments and conversations.
  • It is important to regularly test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries can run down and systems can malfunction without warning. Therefore, it is crucial to your family’s safety that you take a moment before the stress of the holidays to make sure your home is ready in the event of a fire or gas leak.
  • Make an appointment with a heating professional to have dust and debris blown out of your heating system. Also, make sure you have plenty of air filters for the months ahead. Even a newer furnace cannot run efficiently if the filter is clogged.
  • Keep your thermostat on 68 degrees or even lower to cut the costs of energy bills. Particularly in areas with warmer climates, there is no need to overrun the furnace and run up costs. Simply throw an extra blanket or two in your bedroom closet for more chilly nights. You can also consider switching to flannel or fleece sheets for the season.
  • If temperatures drop below freezing where you live, make sure you have all garden hoses disconnected and put away for the season. This will protect water from freezing inside the hose and cracking. Also, place a cover over the hose to prevent freezing and breakage in your pipes.
  • If you are finished with your landscaping tools for the season, coat each piece with some lubricant to make sure they are ready when you go to use them in the spring.
  • If you live in an area where it snows, be certain any snow removal equipment is working properly. Test snow pushers and blowers and make sure shovels are not rusty, bent, or broken.
  • To keep your lawn looking lush and healthy, a winter fertilizer application is a great idea. These fertilizers help strengthen the roots of your grass, and will make your spring lawn green and gorgeous.

The Best Christmas Gifts for Your New Home

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Couple Exchanging Gifts at Christmas

If you’re shopping for decorative items for your new home this Christmas, take a moment to read over our suggestions separated by room below!

Whether this is the first Christmas in your new home or not, the holiday is the perfect time and excuse to splurge a little for yourself and your home. Below you will find some great gift ideas for both inside and out of your new home.

For the Kitchen
  • Why go out when you have the perfect place to enjoy the company of others? Invite over family and friends for a little beer tasting in your new home with a Beer Tasting Glass Set from This features 8 different glasses and is on sale now for only $39.95. – Buy it here
  • Spice up any meal with an Italian Spice Stack from Dean & Deluca, priced just right at only $16. – Buy it here
For Any Room
  • Light up 2014 with the gift of these Year of Wishes candles, featured at for the sale price of $71.96. You will receive 12 different candles, all wrapped in their own box and placed in their own glass votive cups, with an encouraging word silkscreened across each one. – Buy it here
  • also offers Polygon Glass Terrariums to allow you to momentarily escape to another world of lush gardens and landscaping on a small scale. These popular gifts are on sale now for only $79.95. – Buy it here
  • Show off your favorite photos to family and friends with a Photo Clip Mobile, available from The Guggenheim Store online for only $15. – Buy it here
For the Living Room/Family Room
  • Wrap up on the chilly nights ahead in a Luxury Plush Throw from, available in 7 different colors, and starting at only $39 each. – Buy it here
  • Celebrate the passing of time in your new home with a set of Four Seasons Glass Globes, beautifully designed with trees in each season, from for only $45. – Buy it here
For the Bathroom
  • Prepare your bathroom for holiday guests with a 4-piece Tree Bath Coordinate Set from This set features a lotion pump, soap dish, tumbler, and toothbrush holder, all with a rich brown tree painted on the side. This set is on sale for Christmas for only $34.99. – Buy it here
  • Hang up the matching Tree Shower Curtain, also from, for $34.99 (Chocolate curtain) or $39.99 (White and Brown set) with shower hooks. – Buy it here or Buy it here
For the Front Porch/Patio/Yard
  • Warm your hands around a River Rock Tabletop Fire Bowl from for only $59. – Buy it here
  • If baseball is your passion, slide in to home plate as you cross the threshold of your home with a Home Plate Welcome Mat from for only $22. – Buy it here
For the Garage
  • Every new homeowner needs some basic tools and Home Depot has the perfect gift for you! Their HDX Homeowner’s 22-piece Tool Set is on sale now for only $9.88. – Buy it here
  • If you need a place to store your new tools, check out the Husky 16-inch Tool Box with metal latch for only $6.97, also from Home Depot. – Buy it here

5 Mortgage Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make

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As a first-time home buyer, it’s natural to be confused, and perhaps even overwhelmed, by the home buying process. While finding your first home can be a daunting task in itself, finding the perfect mortgage to finance your purchase can be even harder. Some lenders try to take advantage of the naiveté of first-time buyers, and many new homeowners end up falling into predatory lending traps with sky-high interest rates and payments to match. At LGI Homes, we firmly believe that homebuying should be attainable for everyone, and our home prices clearly reflect our commitment to affordability. However, our prices aren’t the only way we try to save our buyers money – we also make it a priority to educate our customers about the homebuying process to ensure they obtain the best deal possible. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the most common mortgage mistakes made by first-time homebuyers so you can avoid making them yourself.

Not Understanding Mortgage Types and Terms – While mortgages are similar to auto loans, student loans and other types of loans, they shouldn’t be treated the same. Your mortgage is probably the largest chunk of debt you will ever acquire in your lifetime, and it’s essential that you fully understand what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line. Spend time browsing real estate websites (including ours!) and learn as much as you possibly can about common real estate terminology and mortgage terms. Learn the difference between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages and figure out which type is best for you. Research how the length of your mortgage can affect your monthly payments and calculate how much you can realistically afford to pay. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to meet with potential lenders and the better you’ll understand the terms they offer you on a loan. Being well-versed in terms and types will also prevent you from getting scammed or taken advantage of by a predatory lender.

Home owners figuring out how to bring down their mortgage costs

It is important for first time home-buyers to understand the terms of their mortgage.

Overlooking or Ignoring Interest Rate Changes – Many first-time buyers make the mistake of thinking that today’s mortgage rates are guaranteed to be the same tomorrow. Unfortunately, interest rates often fluctuate throughout the week – and sometimes even throughout a single day. To avoid missing the mark and getting stuck with a higher rate, U.S. News recommends that buyers watch the market closely and pay attention to when rates change each day. According to U.S. News, rates tend to change at the same time every day, and knowing the right moment to start negotiating with lenders is imperative for obtaining a great rate.

Not Shopping Around – You may be tempted to give your bank or credit union a call and immediately apply for a mortgage through them because you have experience working together. However, your bank isn’t guaranteed to offer the best rates available. Spend plenty of time shopping for and comparing lenders to see how they stack up against your financial institution of choice – and against each other. You may find that another bank can save you big in the interest department over financing through the same institution you save your money with.

Failing to Negotiate – According to U.S. News, 34% of home buyers don’t realize that mortgage rates aren’t necessarily set in stone and that they have the ability to negotiate with potential lenders. Instead of whipping out your pen and immediately agreeing to whatever interest rate your lender offers, see if you can talk them down. If you’ve done your homework and shopped around, tell the lender you’ve looked at other companies and have been offered a better deal elsewhere that you’re tempted to take. The lender might not budge, but you may be pleasantly surprised and receive a great counteroffer from potential lenders to help you save.

Misunderstanding How Mortgage Points Work – According to U.S. News, nearly 50% of homebuyers don’t understand how mortgage points work. 45% of buyers polled in a survey by Zillow believed that mortgage points should always be purchased with a mortgage so a lower interest rate can be obtained later. However, this isn’t always best for everyone. If you plan to settle down in your new home until your mortgage is paid off, it’s certainly a good idea, but if you only plan to stick around for a few years, it can actually cost more to purchase discount points than you’ll save.

Why LGI Homes: Superior Customer Satisfaction

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Happy Couple Moving Into New Home

At LGI Homes, customer satisfaction is and has always been our number one priority. We strive to offer our buyers the most affordable and superior quality homes around – homes they will truly be happy with for years to come. But it isn’t just the quality of our homes that make our customers so happy – it’s the entire experience of purchasing a home with us. We offer home buyers a variety of resources to make the home buying process as easy and seamless as possible for them, and we’ve found they’re extremely satisfied as a result. Today we’re going to look at what some of our satisfied customers have to say about us, as well as what’s making them so happy to live in an LGI Homes’ home.

Making Dreams Come True – While other builders often just want to make a fast dollar, we focus on making our customers’ dreams become reality. Our entire business model is focused on the first-time home buyer, and we’ve designed our model to make home buying as easy as possible for our customers. Our customers enjoy knowing that we see them as people rather than dollar signs – and they love knowing that their happiness is always our bottom line.

“I am writing to say thank you for all that you did for me. You made my biggest dream come true. When I first walked in your office, I didn’t know what to expect. I told you that I wanted to buy a home before I turned forty. Joe you made it happen for me with three years to go. When people come into your office, each and every person employee makes them feel welcome and comfortable. That means a lot to a person.

It also made me feel good when I told you my children’s names. You didn’t refer to them as my children you called them by their names.” – Drusilla Woodson, LGI Homes’ resident.

Superior Customer Service – From the moment our buyers meet us, they can rest assured they’re in good hands. We work hard to learn as much as we can about our buyers’ unique situations – and offer them specialized resources to suit their individual needs. For example, we have a no-money-down buying option to remove the obstacle of a down payment from our buyers’ paths. We’re diligent in our follow up and make sure our customers know how important they are to us.

“We would like to thank you for assisting us in finding our new home. We appreciate the time and attention you gave us on Saturday. We would also like to thank you for the follow-up phone call on Sunday. We have been told so many times before that we would receive a phone call and never did. You have truly exceeded our expectations and renewed our faith in the home buying process. We will remain hopeful that this process will turn out in our favor.” – Mr. and Mrs. Bryant, LGI Homes’ residents.

Why Buying Beats Renting

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At LGI Homes, our goal is to help aspiring home owners make educated decisions throughout the home buying experience; and that starts with helping people make the decision to buy a home in the first place. First-time home buyers are often confused by the homebuying process and unsure if buying a home is truly a better option than continuing to rent. The truth is, homeownership is often less expensive than renting, and it offers a wide variety of benefits that renting does not. Take a look at these facts and figures to help you determine if buying is a better choice for you.

You might like: Why Buying Beats Renting an infographic highlighting the benefits of buying versus renting

Family Unpacking in New Home

When comparing the costs and benefits associated with buying a home over renting a home, it makes more sense for most to buy.

Buying Costs Less Over Time– It’s a fact that rent rates are on the rise, and on average, are growing by about 5% per year. With rent increasing steadily, what you pay in rent today will be significantly less than what you’ll pay in just a few short years if you stay in the same rental property. It’s estimated that most homeowners pay less to own their own homes in as little as three years of owning compared to what they would pay after three years of renting.

Buying Offers Equity – Every time you send out a mortgage payment, you build equity. Every time you sign a rent check, you help your landlord build equity while acquiring nothing for yourself. Equity determines how much money you get to keep in the event you decide to sell your home, and can help contribute to a huge profit if you ever sell your home. In contrast, most renters owe money when they move out of rental properties between lost deposits and cleaning fees.

Buying Offers More Benefits – It’s undeniable that buying offers many benefits that renting simply does not. This includes complete aesthetic control of your home, better energy-efficiency, total privacy, increased health and safety and more advanced technology. You’ll never have to get permission to paint the walls or change out the fixtures when you own your own home. You’ll never have to deal with the obnoxious sounds of neighbors overhead. You’ll enjoy living in a more updated building that’s free of asbestos, lead and other hazards, and you’ll enjoy seeing a lower energy bill every month without old, outdated appliances and systems consuming an excessive amount of energy in your home.

Buying Offers Tax Benefits – You can’t write your rent off when you file taxes each April, but you can write off certain expenses associated with owning your own home. For example, you get to deduct interest paid on your mortgage, as well as your private mortgage insurance.

Buying Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune Upfront – Many inexperienced buyers have been misled to think that 20% is always the required downpayment needed to purchase a home. This simply isn’t true, and many first-time buyers can qualify for a downpayment as low as 3.5% – or no downpayment at all. Meanwhile, moving into a rental property is becoming increasingly more expensive, with landlords raising deposit requirements each year.

Understanding Insurance: What’s Covered in My Homeowner’s Policy?

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At LGI Homes, we strive to help our residents make smart decisions regarding their homes – afterall, your house is your largest investment! Homeowner’s insurance is essential for protecting your investment, and is often required when purchasing a house using a loan. When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, no two policies are created equal. Even “standard” policies tend to vary it what they cover. Today, we’re here to help you break down and understand your homeowner’s insurance policy so you know what’s covered – and what isn’t.

Understanding Homeowner's Insurance

Get to know how homeowner’s insurance works and what’s covered in your policy before signing the dotted line.

Standard Coverage – Standard homeowner’s coverage, also known as HO-3, protects your home against various perils, damage and provides a specified amount of personal liability coverage. Generally speaking, lenders require that your policy is enough to cover at least 80% of your home’s entire value. You can opt for less expensive policies such as an HO-1 or HO-2 policy, but these policies cover even fewer risks than an HO-3 policy.

Hazards and Damages – Hazards and damages typically covered in a standard HO-3 policy include fires, lightning strikes, tornadoes and hurricanes. HO-3 also protects you in the event you experience a loss due to theft, riots or vandalism, as well as damage caused by frozen plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems. In addition to covering the structure of your home, homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect your assets within your house. This includes jewelry, clothing, furnishings and other valuables. Most policies cover the actual cash value of the items, minus the depreciation. Other policies cover the replacement cost for the items. When signing up for a homeowner’s insurance policy, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with how the company plans to reimburse or cover the cost of your assets and not just the structure of your house. After all, it’s the things you fill your house with that turn it into a home.

Personal Liability – In addition to protecting the structure and assets of your home, homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you in the event a lawsuit arises. If someone is injured on your property or you damage someone elses, your homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs fix it. For example, your policy will cover the medical expenses if someone falls down your stairs or trips on your patio and requires treatment. However, this does not include auto or business-related exclusions.

Common Exclusions – The two most common disasters that aren’t covered by standard homeowner’s insurance are floods and earthquakes. Sadly, these are two of the disasters that have the most potential to wipe out your entire home. If you’re worried about incurring losses as the result of a flood or an earthquake, you’ll need to take out a second, supplementary policy. Known as an “umbrella policy,” this will ensure your home is fully covered and you’re prepared for anything. Additionally, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover routine maintenance costs or repairs. If your sink breaks or your refrigerator stops working, you won’t be able to file a claim for reimbursement with your company, and will have to tackle the replacement or repair costs on your own and out of pocket.

5 Helpful Smartphone & Device Apps for Homeowners

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As a new homeowner, it can be confusing navigating the world of homeownership for the first time. Fortunately, technology is more capable than ever of assisting you in your journey as you embark on this new chapter in your life. Surprisingly, your phone can be the perfect tool for sorting out everything from who pays which bill to what color you should paint your new kitchen. Check out these helpful smartphone apps for homeowners, and take full advantage of all of the help technology can provide as you adjust to the transition.

Smartphone Apps for Homeowners

Smartphones have an array of apps for homeowners, so take a moment to help your life become a bit easier and check some out!

#1 Houzz Interior Design Ideas – Houzz is an app available on the iPhone that sets out to help homeowners feel inspired when it comes to decorating their new places. CNN called the app “the Wikipedia of interior design” and upon opening for the first time, you’ll quickly see why! The app allows you to browse thousands of interior design ideas by room, style or location, and you can easily save your favorites to a virtual idea book to browse at your leisure. Whether you’re unsure of what color to paint your accent wall or how to incorporate your favorite DIY projects into your home décor, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and ideas with Houzz.

#2 HomeAdvisor Mobile – Available on both the iPhone and Android devices, HomeAdvisor Mobile makes it easy to figure out who to call to fix your sink or renovate your patio. The app contains a directory of over 85,000 prescreened service professionals to ensure that any company you work with is reputable. You can browse for professionals in over 500 home project types, so no matter what you’re trying to tackle, you’ll find the right person to get the job done.

#3 Divyit – Are you struggling to figure out who pays the electrical or how to split up your mortgage payments? Divyit takes the guess work out of splitting your bills by allowing you to input your monthly expenses and it calculates how much everyone needs to pay. It includes filters for common payments associated with home ownership, including mortgage, Internet, gas, water and supplies.

#4 HomeSavvy – One of the hardest parts of being a new homeowner is adjusting to keeping on top of your home maintenance. When you were a renter, you simply had to call a maintenance team in to fix anything that broke at no extra cost to you, but as a homeowner, it’s your job to ensure everything in your home stays in top order. HomeSavvy makes it easy to remind yourself when various features of your new home are in need of routine maintenance. After all, your home is your largest investment, why not protect it?

#5 Mint – Mint is a popular budgeting app on the iPhone market, and it’s one of the best for keeping on top of your finances, which can be hard for new home owners. With Mint, you can easily set budgets for all aspects of your finances, from your mortgage payment to your clothing allowance. Simply link the application to your bank account or debit card and it will keep track of what you’re spending – and what you’re spending it on, automatically. It’s useful for identifying areas you could cut back on – as well as areas you can afford to splurge on a bit more.