Robin V. Wish - Real Living Suburban Lifestyle Real Estate



Posted by Robin V. Wish on 4/26/2021

Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

When you start designing a new home, you need to decide which type of foundation you want: crawlspace, basement or a slab foundation. All three have pros and cons that you need to consider. Basements in particular have many advantages, but some important disadvantages to consider. Here we will go over both the pros and cons to help you decide if a basement is right for you.

Basement Benefits

Extra Space

The biggest benefit of having a basement is the amount of extra space it adds to your home. Whether you want to build an in-law apartment, a game room, additional bedrooms, or make a home office in the basement, you have the space to do it. Another popular use for basement space is storage.

More Entrances

If you choose to build your house on a hill, the basement provides an opportunity for an additional door to the outside. Adding French doors or sliding doors from the main basement area, such as a game room or an office, gives you a view of the back of your property and allows you to step outside without going upstairs. Depending on the layout of your lot, could also use your basement as a garage space.

Energy Saving

Basement walls are thick and insulated by the ground. It's easy to heat a basement, and since heat rises, you'll save on the energy needed to heat the first floor of your home.

Repair Access

Unlike a slab foundation, all the pipes you need are under the first floor. This makes it easy to access pipes and other utilities for maintenance, repair, or general upkeep.

Emergency Shelter

It's easy to create an emergency shelter in your basement. Even without adding a reinforced roof between the top of the shelter and the floor joists for the first floor, a basement is the safest place during heavy storms.

Safe Storage

You can even add a hidden safe in the basement. If you add another small room with access on the outside wall from inside the basement, and hide that access, you'll have a large safe that will be difficult to find. You can build a small room around a large safe or simply build a room with a locked door and keep a safe in the room.

Basement Disadvantages

There are two major cons to having a basement: the cost and the possibility of flooding. As for the cost, if you are building your dream house, you want to do it once and be done with it - without regrets. Basement cost is calculated by square foot, so it will depend both on the going rates in your area as well as the size of your house. It's also common for basements to increase mortgage payments, so make sure you confirm the possible ongoing costs of adding or including a basement.

The other downside to having a basement is the risk of water seepage and moisture. When you discuss your basement with a builder, make sure the builder uses the best basement waterproofing to mitigate excess water from seeping into your basement. If your home is on a slope, you can also install a French drain or other drainage several feet away from your home. The extra drainage will direct water away from a basement or crawlspace.

When building a home, take into consideration the benefits of a basement as well as the potential setbacks. In the end, only you can decide what's best for your home and your budget.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 4/19/2021

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Your real estate agent can have a lot to do with your home purchase. Some buyers may think they do little more than fill out a few standard forms, but the reality is more complicated than that. If you're planning on buying a new construction home, the rules of working with a real estate agent get even more complex. Learn more about how to work with a real estate agent, so you can have the best possible outcome.

Step 1: Vet Your Agent

The agent you choose should have direct experience working with new construction homes. Because new construction homes present a unique set of challenges, it takes a certain expertise to work through each problem. Buyers often choose new construction homes because they want to start fresh and have full control over their environment. Your agent should understand this and help you choose a property that will live up to your expectations.

Step 2: Do Your Homework

An agent is there to explain the industry to you, but there's value in learning about new construction purchases before you even contact them. This will not only help you define your standards, but it can give you the confidence you need to buy a new home. The good news is that you're getting ready to buy a home without having to worry about the seller's emotional connection to the property. Instead you'll be working with someone who is primarily motivated by practicality.

Step 3: Know the Art of the Ask

So what does it mean to work with a pragmatic seller? The bad news is that they're unlikely to come down on price. Unless it's a one-off project, they know that coming down in price for you might mean lowering prices for everyone in the future. When you're working with your agent, be sure to ask about what can be negotiated. Builders might be more likely to throw in perks, such as better appliances or closing costs, as a way to offset the bottom-line. A good agent will push the seller to do more without overstepping boundaries.

Step 4: Prioritize the Details

Your home purchase comes down to the inspection and the contract. A common assumption for new homes is that they are structurally sound. After all, they haven't known wear and tear, soil shifts or homeowner blunders that can damage a property. These are all potential hazards that only come into play after someone has already had the property for a while. However, this is very misleading logic, one that could put you at a disadvantage.

While your real estate agent should be pointing out these potential perils, it helps to stay involved as much as possible. Make sure you're working with an inspector who can spot the flaws of new construction homes. From cheap materials to poor design, a professional can give you more context as to the true value of the home in relation to the price you're paying. The right agent can also pick up on anomalies in a new construction home that you might not have noticed.

Working with an Agent

As the client, your agent should be working for you, and not the other way around. However, it's clear that new construction homes are different enough that it helps to come in with the right attitude. If you're expecting the agent to negotiate $25,000 off the purchase price, you might be disappointed.

The best thing that you can do is find an agent who understands what's at stake for the seller. Whether you're working directly with the builder, developer or a third party, the goal is to find your leverage as a buyer and then work with that as much as possible.

As the buyer, it's your job to be involved with the process. As you ask questions and clarify your needs, it will give the agent more data to work with. So whether you're buying a starter home or a vacation condo, you end up with a quality home that will retain its resale value.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 2/22/2021

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

Once the floor plan has been finalized and construction work begins, you can start looking ahead to the interior design of your new home. When you take advantage of the styles that are trending today, you will be able to enjoy a fresh, contemporary look in every room of your house for years to come. 

Here are the interior design trends for 2021 that you simply need to take note of:

The Surprising Rise of Wallpaper

Wallpaper may have been something that your grandmother loved, and perhaps she chose a different pattern for every room in the house. But for years, homeowners have shunned the idea of wallpaper — especially because of the work it took to apply and, subsequently, remove. 

Today, however, modern homeowners are loving the idea of wallpaper once again. For starters, peel-and-stick wallpaper makes it easy to add a touch of texture or color to a room without enduring the mess of wallpaper glue and adhesive. In addition, the latest wallpaper patterns complement the other interior trends that are taking shape right now. Wallpaper is particularly popular in rooms that have personal uses, such as a bathroom, bedroom or home office.

The Entrance of Colorful Cabinets

Over the last several years, it seemed like anyone who was renovating their kitchen opted for sleek neutral cabinets in shades of white, gray or brown. However, in 2021, interior design experts anticipate that more people will be adding a burst of color to their kitchen by way of their cabinets. You may opt for a soft green shade, which will allow you to enjoy the color while complementing the rest of the kitchen with neutral decor. You also may consider country blue or daffodil yellow, which also are increasing in popularity.

The Need for Cozy Yet Functional Corners

If you are building a new home that has a quaint nook or a multi-purpose room, then you will want to take advantage of the interior design trends that utilize these spaces best. Even without a dedicated room, you can use a breakfast nook or a loft area as a home office. If you do not need a remote work space, then these flexible areas make ideal play spaces, study rooms or reading nooks. With so much of life happening within the walls of our homes right now, it's more important than ever to make the most of all functional and comfortable spaces.

As opposed to the lot that you select for your new construction home or the floor plan that you design with your builder, your interior design plan can be flexible. It's okay to opt for fashionable colors or accents that may not be popular in a couple of years — it is easy to switch up the color of the room or add in new furniture when needed. As you imagine the interior design of your home, have fun and be creative. This is your space to live in, and you should enjoy it.




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Posted by Robin V. Wish on 2/8/2016

You may have noticed that new homes are going up around town again. Along with the sale pending signs on existing homes builders are building again. A national index measuring builder sentiment rose in June to its highest level since May 2007. But is buying a new home right for you? Homebuyers trying to decide between new and existing homes have more choices than they have had in the past. The case for new homes: New homes come with builder warranties. New homes allow buyers to select colors and floor plans. New homes can be easier to insure. Some builders have their own financing divisions, so getting a mortgage from the builder may be easier than from a lender. New homes may have a resale advantage. The case for existing homes: Existing homes may offer more space for the money and a more convenient location. Existing homes can be 10 percent to 20 percent less than new construction for comparable square footage. Existing homes are in established neighborhoods. New homes can take several months or longer to build.      





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 11/30/2015

Have you noticed the number of new construction homes going up lately? A recent report by The U.S. Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showed single-family home building permits up almost 5%. The process of building a new home can be stressful; there are lots of decisions to be made and obstacles to overcome. Here are some useful tips to keep stress at bay when building a new home. 1. Get pre-approved for a loan. Make sure that you do all the steps necessary to put the proper loan in place. You will need to fill out a mortgage application and provide the necessary documentation to check your financial background and credit rating. This process will let you know exactly how much you can afford to spend. You will also need to make sure your lender knows you are planning on purchasing new construction. 2. Do your homework. Check the reputation of your builder. You can search for information online, contact the better business bureau or ask your friends for recommendations. If you are building in a subdivision you may want to ask some neighbors who have already moved in about their experience. 3. Watch you budget. The advertised price of a new home is rarely the final price. The price can escalate quickly when you start upgrading the standard flooring, cabinetry or lighting. Plan on how much you can afford to spend before you start upgrading and budget accordingly. 4. Don't forget about resale. You may love the upgraded plumbing and light fixtures but know that those things rarely bring in a good return. You will not be the last owner of your home. Be mindful not to add so many upgrades that you overprice your home for the neighborhood. 5. Keep the lines of communication open. Communicate with your builder, ask questions and make sure you know where your money is going. You may want to keep a running list of quotes for extras and upgrades. Be comfortable asking even the simplest questions. 6. Be prepared for delays. Building a home can be a long process. Depending on the size of your home it can take anywhere from three months to a year or more. Get an estimate of when the building of your new home will be completed and plan accordingly.







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