Building a custom home is hard work that is rewarded when you move into the home of your dreams. The first step is finding the perfect lot to build on. Before you purchase a lot to build on, be aware of these do’s and don’ts.
Do work with an agent to find the land. Your real estate agent can help to research the property and make sure that you are making a safe investment. Buying vacant land is different than buying a home; work with an agent who knows what questions to ask and knows how to negotiate on your behalf.
Do have your finances in order. You will need to have proof of funds for the purchase amount, so make sure you understand what you can afford to spend on your lot.
Do find out what utilities service the area. If you are looking outside of a developed area, you need to know what utility services are available already, or if any infrastructure needs to be added.
Do find out if incentives are available. In areas where natural disasters have occurred, local governments may offer incentives for building where previous homes have been destroyed.
Do visit the tax assessor’s office. The tax assessor will be able to tell you the estimated
value of your lot as well as your projected property taxes.
Do price the neighborhood. Your agent can help you with a market analysis of the surrounding homes. You don’t want your home and land cost to be vastly higher than the rest of the neighborhood.
Don't expect to finance your lot. Lenders often don’t lend money for vacant land, and if they do, they may only lend up to half the land value. This is why it’s so important to talk to your financial advisors before you start looking.
Don't skip the soil tests. You should have the soil tested to make sure there aren’t pollutants or foreign materials buried beneath the surface. If you will have a septic sewer system, you will need a percolation test to make sure the property is fit for a septic tank. In areas where sinkholes are common, a soil test can tell you if clay layers deep in the soil make your property more susceptible to foundation issues.
Don't forget to get a survey done. Before you purchase the lot, ask to see a recent survey or have one done to validate property lines and make sure other neighbors aren’t already encroaching on the lot with access roads, fencing, or structures.
Don't let neighbors know of your plans. Don’t get too friendly just yet. If the land you plan to build on has been enjoyed by nearby property owners for the view, for parking, or for recreation, your plans to build may be met with resistance.
Don't assume you can have property rezoned. Make sure you know the property zoning regulations for the property. If you are in a rural area and plan to have chickens or horses, make sure that is permitted. Be wary of sellers who tell you that you can subdivide the land or build two homes on one lot, as this may not be the case.
Don’t rely on a drive-by. You need to walk the property, no matter the size or your plans for its use. If you are buying multiple acres, don’t assume that the topography is consistent throughout with no hidden problems. Things to check for include flood-prone areas, environmentally protected-animal dwellings, trash deposits and neighbors that are involved in activities that may affect your enjoyment of the property, such as dog kennels or shooting ranges.
Whether you’re planning on buying a new home or redesigning your current home, when it comes to the kitchen, you want the space to feel fresh, new, and on-trend.
But what, exactly, does that look like in 2021?
In a recent article, realtor.com asked interior designers for their insights on 2021’s hottest kitchen design trends, including:
Extra-large islands. 2020 saw homeowners using their kitchens as not only a place to eat and prep food, but a place to socialize with their family, work, and enjoy leisure time—and, as such, the demand for larger kitchen islands is on the rise.
Handleless cabinets. While hardware can add a look and feel to cabinetry design, so can a lack of hardware—and the sleek, futuristic look of handleless drawers and cabinets is set to be a big trend for 2021.
Dark colors. All-white kitchens were a major trend for years—but in 2021, expect homeowners to opt out of all white for the more organic look of darker, deeper hues (like charcoal gray, deep blue, and dark green).
Not every room is blessed with good natural light.. Sometimes when a window isn’t placed well, or isn’t there at all, it can be hard to work around, while other times, the window is in a great spot but is being blocked outside by trees or other plants. If you struggle with poorly lit rooms, there’s a simple trick to try to boost the light in that spice.
The trick is to place a lamp in front of a mirror. The idea is that the mirror will bounce back any of the light the lamp gives off, easily growing your light source. One of the best uses of this trick is in the bedroom on a nightstand or dresser. If your bedroom isn’t dark in terms of sunlight, but dark in terms of decor, this trick also works well to liven up the space.
Apart from being a smart way to spread light in a darker space, symmetrical mirrors, lamps and nightstands also add the perfect touch to most rooms to help them feel cozy.. Darker shades force light up and down from the lamp, so placing the mirror in a way that catches both angles is key.
This winter selling season is gearing up to be one of the most active in recent years; inventory is low, demand is high, and homes are selling quickly and profitably in markets across the country.
But even though the current market is favorable to sellers, you still want to do everything you can to make your home as appealing as possible to buyers. And when it comes to improving your home before listing, there are few projects that make as big of an impact—for as low of a price tag—as painting.
A fresh coat of paint can completely change the look and feel of your house—and make it a much more attractive property to potential buyers. But if you’re going to paint your house in the colder months, there are a few things you need to know.
Paint dries faster in the winter. Many people think that the summer heat makes interior paint dry faster. But if you live in an area with humid summers, the opposite is actually true. There’s less humidity in the winter—and the less humid the air, the quicker your paint will dry.
Crank up the thermostat while you’re painting. The cold air outside can cause a drop in temperature in the interior of your home—and even if your thermostat reads 65, the temperature of your walls may actually be much colder. In order to paint interior walls, the temperature needs to be above 60 degrees—so make sure to crank your thermostat well above 60 to ensure your walls are warm enough to paint.
Use speciality paint. If you’re going to be painting your home’s exterior during the winter, make sure to use paint and primer that’s specifically formulated for colder temperatures.