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Archive for New Homes for Sale in Charles County MD

Saving for a new home

A Charles County Builder Offers information On: How to save enough for a down payment on a house

Builder Wayne Wilkerson giving keys to new homeownersAccording to Charles County New Home Builder, Wilkerson Construction, a home is the most costly thing many people will ever buy. The process of buying a home in Southern Maryland can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. One way to make the process of buying a home go more smoothly is to save enough money to put down a substantial down payment.

Saving for a down payment on a home is similar to saving for other items, only on a far grander scale. Many financial planners and real estate professionals recommend prospective home buyers put down no less than 20 percent of the total cost of the home they’re buying. Down payments short of 20 percent will require private mortgage insurance or PMI. The cost of PMI depends on a host of variables but is generally between 0.3 and 1.5 percent of the original loan amount. While plenty of homeowners pay PMI, buyers who can afford to put down 20 percent can save themselves a considerable amount of money by doing so.

Down payments on a home tend to be substantial, but the following are a few proven strategies prospective home buyers can employ to grow their savings with an eye toward making a down payment on their next home.

· Decide when you want to buy. The first step to buying a home begins when buyers save their first dollar for a down payment. Deciding when to buy can help buyers develop a saving strategy. If buyers decide they want to buy in five years away, they will have more time to build their savings. If buyers want to buy within a year, they will need to save more each month, and those whose existing savings fall far short of the 20 percent threshold may have to accept paying PMI.

· Prequalify for a mortgage. Before buyers even look for their new homes, they should first sit down with a mortgage lender to determine how much a mortgage they will qualify for. Prequalifying for a mortgage can make the home buying process a lot easier, and it also can give first-time buyers an idea of how much they can spend. Once lenders prequalify prospective buyers, the buyers can then do the simple math to determine how much they will need to put down. For example, preapproval for a $300,000 loan means buyers will have to put down $60,000 to meet the 20 percent down payment threshold. In that example, buyers can put down less than $60,000, but they will then have to pay PMI. It’s important for buyers to understand that a down payment is not the only costs they will have to come up with when buying a home. Closing costs and other fees will also need to be paid by the buyers.

· Examine monthly expenses. Once buyers learn how much mortgage they will qualify for, they will then see how close they are to buying a home. But prospective buyers of all means can save more each month by examining their monthly expenses and looking for ways to save. Buyers can begin by looking over their recent spending habits and then seeing where they can spend less. Cutting back on luxuries and other unnecessary spending can help buyers get closer to buying their next home.

· Avoid risky investments. Some times it’s great to take risks when investing, but risk should be avoided when saving for a down payment on a home. Traditional vehicles like certificates of deposit, or CDs, and savings accounts can ensure the money buyers are saving for their homes is protected and not subject to market fluctuations.

Saving enough to make a down payment on a home can be accomplished if buyers stay disciplined with regard to saving and make sound financial decisions.  When looking for a new home in Southern Maryland contact Custom Home Builder, Wilkerson Construction. 

New Homes Are Getting Smaller

Is Bigger Better? Learn From A Southern MD New Homes Builder

Builder pics showing Southern MD Home SizesFrom the early 1990s to the beginning of this century, “bigger is better” certainly was the mantra of the home-building industry. All across North America buyers could browse among home developments boasting homes of 3,000 square feet or larger and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. But according to new data, home buyers are seeking less space today but more in green amenities.

Research by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association has found that many people now desire smaller homes with multipurpose rooms and energy saving features. They’re not ready to trade in their two- and three-car garages just yet, though. Plus, a survey of International Furnishings and Design Association members forecasts that McMansions will become a thing of the past and more emphasis will be placed on smaller, more eco-friendly homes. Family rooms will grow larger, as will kitchens. Other rooms in the home will disappear, including the living room.

Many homeowners and potential home buyers realize that with girth comes a cost. In today’s fragile economy, the ability to cash in on the dream of homeownership may come at the compromise of a smaller, better-planned home.

According to Tim Bailey, the manager of Avid Canada, a research and consulting firm for the building industry, “While many consumers are willing to forgo space, they are not equating this with having to forfeit functionality. Design creativity is requisite to adapt to this changing preference.”

Here are some things that you will and will not find in newer homes moving forward.

* The dining room is becoming extinct, with larger, eat-in-kitchen/entertaining spaces the norm. The kitchen will be the main room of the home and be renamed the “kitchen lounge.”

* Separate rooms are evolving into spaces that serve many different purposes.

* Although the sizes of bathrooms may be scaled back, the amenities will not. Spa-style bathrooms with luxurious products, high-tech features and televisions will be on the rise.

* The master bedroom suite may not shrink in size, but it could be combined to form a home office and exercise space.

* Expect to see more high-tech offerings, such as voice- or motion-activation devices in the home. Lighting, entertainment gear, heating/cooling systems, and even blinds could be hooked up to a master control system.

* Thanks to an increasing number of people working from home, the presence of a dedicated home office is a given in newer homes. Nearly 40 percent of industry forecasters say that they expect one in every home.

* Home storage solutions will also be a vital component of new homes. Builders will create clever solutions for mixing storage into more compact spaces.

* With aging Baby Boomers comprising a larger segment of home buyers, expect to see more one-level homes, or at least homes where there is a master suite and the majority of the living space on the first level.

Part of what is driving this trend is the cost of homes in relation to space and the increased interest in environmental conservation. Smaller, more efficient homes require less in terms of heating and cooling energy. They need less furniture, and new materials made from sustainable products help further fuel green initiatives in the building industry. Energy efficient homes are a main priority for buyers. Although the homes may be smaller, they will not be miniscule. And home buyers can expect a host of amenities that will make the smaller size of homes barely perceptible.

Bring more light into a home

Southern MD Builder Notes:

Lighten Up Your Southern MD Home

southern md windowBig windows, light-colored walls and furnishings and the inclusion of French doors can help brighten up a room even during the peak of a Southern MD winter.

A home without ample lighting can be uncomfortable. Dark rooms can exacerbate feelings of depression and make a home feel less inviting to guests. However, bringing in more outside light or supplementing with artificial light can quickly transform the atmosphere of a space.

Daylight hours begin to shrink in the northern hemisphere starting as early as September. When daylight savings time is in full force, it can get dark as early as 4:30 in the afternoon. While this premature darkness may be ideal for animals who are hibernating for the season, for humans who remain active throughout the year, increasing the amount of light that is present in a home is a goal each winter.

There are different strategies to let in more light when the sun sets.

* When purchasing a new home, be conscious of window placement and also the direction in which a home faces. Apartments and homes that face north will be dark most of the day. Rather, those that face south will have ample sunlight. In addition, look at how many trees are on the property. Even a home that faces south can have compromised sunlight if it is hampered by many trees.

* Open curtains and blinds all the way throughout the home during the winter months. Not only will this let in more light, but it also may warm the home from the sun, cutting down on heating costs.

* Clean the windows. Dirt and grime that accumulates on windows can affect how much sunlight filters through.

* When planning a home renovation project, consider adding a window on a wall where there currently is none or think about the inclusion of skylights to let in more light from above. Innovations in skylight technology enable small ones to be placed in rooms and connected through interior tubes that reflect the light. French doors also can bring in a lot of light. Separate a dark room from a bright room with a set of French doors to spread even more light throughout the home.

* Paint walls with lighter colors that reflect light more effectively. Dark-colored floors and walls tend to absorb light, enhancing a cave-like atmosphere.

* Purchase light fixtures that allow for a higher wattage of light bulb, which will be brighter. You may find higher wattages even in energy-conserving compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs.

* Stagger lights at varying heights to cast equal light throughout rooms. Task lighting, overhead lighting and decorative ambient lighting can combine to achieve a warm, inviting atmosphere.

* Use solar lights outdoors to add extra illumination outside, which can make your home more welcoming when arriving home at night.

* Clear rooms of clutter as such items can interrupt the flow of light.

* If you find that the light in your home is still lacking and you can benefit from a burst of extra light therapy, consider the purchase of a therapy lamp that simulates sunlight. Set the timer and have it face you in the morning or afternoon. There also are alarm clocks that wake you with the simulation of a rising sun.

To banish winter doldrums, sometimes the key is to simply let more light into a home.

Create A Budget Friendly Landscape

AWARD WORTHY LAWN & GARDENS IN SOUTHERN MD

southern md landscapeHomeowners understandably envy the award-worthy photo spreads in lawn and garden magazines, wanting to emulate those same looks on their own properties. Scores of designers and landscape architects are involved in the process of creating those amazing lush lawns and perfectly placed plantings. Although not every homeowner has the budget to create lavish landscape designs, it’s still possible for homeowners to create lawns they can be proud of.

· Establish your budget. The first step in any project is to determine how much money you can devote to the job. Once you have established the budget, all other factors can be built around it.

· Find an inspiration piece. Great landscapes are inspired by many things, whether it’s a memorable piece of art or a landscape layout in a lawn and gardening magazine. Use photos of other gardens or neighbors’ yards as inspiration and build off of them. As long as the theme is cohesive, it will look pleasing to the eye.

· Consider the space and how you want to use it. Understanding the space will help you better allocate your budget. If your yard is more of a retreat, look for ways to create privacy and a vacation feel. If you have kids and entertaining friends is a main priority, focus on recreational aspects, such as a pool, playset and some durable plants. Understanding how to allocate your budget will help you to avoid spending money frivolously.

· Think about reclaimed or repurposed materials. Brand new items can quickly eat up a budget. However, repurposing salvaged or inexpensive items can stretch that budget while adding some unique flair to a landscape. See if you can find an outdoor patio set that someone is giving away or selling for a lower price. All it takes is a coat of paint and some new cushions to make it look like new. Discarded bricks or stones can be worked into a patio space or used to create raised garden beds. Purchase inexpensive flower pots and then paint them to make them look like stone or another desired material.

· Buy native plants. Native plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers will fare better than non-native, exotic plants. That means you’ll have to spend less time and money nurturing them into health, and less money having to replace plants that cannot withstand your climate.

· Consider perennial plants. Perennials may cost more at the outset, but the savings will be realized in the years to come.

· Hire a professional. It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a landscaping professional when you’ve established a strict budget, but that’s one way to save money. Landscape artists or garden designers have the experience to guide you in the right direction and help you avoid potentially costly mistakes.

· Use gravel in spots where plants don’t thrive. Gravel is an inexpensive landscaping material that can fill in voids where plants or ground cover simply do not flourish. Those working on limited budgets may be happy to learn gravel is typically less expensive than concrete or pavers.

· Ask friends or family for clippings. Don’t be shy about admiring the plantings of those you know. Flatter their good taste and ask if you can have some clippings to propagate yourself. These clippings can turn into lush plants in no time – with no additional spending required.

With some frugal spending, planning and budgeting, anyone can create a beautiful landscape.

Building A New Home

Building a new home of your dreams in Southern MD

local southern md contractorMany people dream of building a new home, customizing each room of their new home and this process can be very exciting. This is something that can only be done with a custom home builder like Wilkerson Construction.  It would be impossible to totally customize a prefab home.  Many spec homes that are pre fabricated houses and are designed piece by piece in a factory and therefore you have very little control over changes.

The spec homes seen in a custom home builders development usually give you an unbelievable variety of options and yet still offer flexibility in custom designing.  Normally custom home builders have the ability to draft their own plans giving you  a lot more flexibility with regards to customizing your home.  Custom designed homes can also be affordable homes.  Builders like the professionals at Wilkerson Construction will help guide you through the process of choosing options within your budget. Your builder can also point in the right direction where future maintenance is concerned. They will be able to guide you to options and products that require little to no maintenance later.  If time is a factor in your life be sure to alert them that you would like to see these types of options.

Your Builder is Great Resource

Don’t forget to ask your builder about the technology available for making your home green and energy efficient. Honestly, there are plenty of construction options when creating new construction and the ability to make your future energy consumption less expensive. It’s easy to see why using a new home builder to have your new house custom constructed with energy efficient concepts is appealing.

It’s important to choose the right home construction company in Southern Maryland.  Be sure to choose an experienced, professional builder that can build the house of your dreams affordably and efficiently.

Call Wilkerson Construction today if you’re looking for the Right Builder to Construct Your Perfect Southern Maryland Home. 

4 TOP TIPS TO STOP WASTING YOUR BASEMENT

Construction Tips from home builders in Charles County Maryland

charles county builder basement tipsUnfinished basements in Southern Maryland are a waste of space and energy. Unlikely to have insulation, your unfinished basement is costing you money in heat and is making your furnace work harder than it needs to, causing it unnecessary strain which may end up costing you money.  By remodeling your basement you are creating additional space in your home. Perhaps you need extra room for a growing family, or a gym, or an office, or a luxury home theatre space.

To create an inviting and comfortable basement there are a few different things to consider:

1.     WARMTH

Properly insulating your basement will help to create a warm space. A stone wool insulation product will produce the best results.

2.     WALLS

To make the space feel like less of a basement and more like any other part of your home you should consider dry walling. If this isn’t something you feel comfortable doing yourself, hire a professional home improvement company instead to ensure the job it done to a high standard.

3.     FLOORS

You need to seal and cover your floors with an insulation product before your carpet. Or perhaps you could splash out on under floor heating?

4.     MAKING IT YOURS

The finishing touches make a home. It is important to think about furniture that you can easily get into your basement as well as how you can tie in the design to the rest of your home.

Choose hardwood floors

How to choose hardwood floors in 5 easy clicks New online direct customized flooring a snap Brought to you by a Premier New Homes Builder in Charles County Maryland.

hardwood floorsNew online direct customized flooring a snap 

Times have changed when it comes to the selection and purchase of hardwood floors. With today’s ease of online communication and the low cost of sending product samples, it has become preferable and more cost-effective for consumers to deal directly with the manufacturer.

One North American manufacturer that is breaking the traditional sales mould is Avant Guard Flooring, who has chosen to market their custom made-to-measure Hardwood directly to the end users. Its site, www.AGFlooringdirect.com, has given consumers access to premium high-end flooring they can custom design online, which then gets custom-made and shipped directly to their door in the construction, species, grade, stain color and gloss level of their choosing.

Customers simply click through options to choose their optimal wood flooring by colour, whether they require solid or engineered floors, the species and grade, width and finally gloss level. Here are a few tips to consider when navigating the site:

1. Select solid or engineered flooring.

Solid flooring must be nailed or stapled into an existing wood subfloor and is only recommended on or above the grade level (soil line) around your home. Engineered flooring’s construction allows it to be installed over virtually any type of subfloor whether above, on or below the grade level.

2. Choose your preferred species and grade.

Examine the natural colour, grain patterns, grades, relative hardness and visual characteristics of each species to find what appeals to you. If you have an active high traffic household or a large pet, harder species are recommended as they will show less dents and traffic patterns.

3. Choose your board width.

The latest trend is the use of wider boards made popular in nostalgic decors. Until now, many hardwood dealers recommended against choosing flooring wider than 31/4″, because of fear that the floor would develop unsightly and unhealthy gaps over time due to uncontrolled swings in relative humidity within a home.

Gormley explained this is no longer the case thanks to the added protection of Avant Guard’s unique Contour Guard finishing process, which envelops each of its floorboards to eliminate any possible unattractive and unhealthy effects from these gaps.

4. Choose your color.

“We’ve found that today the number one consideration for consumers is selecting the right color for their flooring to match their decors,” said Tom Gormley, President of Avant Guard Flooring.

Often “popular” standard stain colors traditionally offered by manufacturers aren’t exactly what discerning consumers are looking for and they spend the next days and weeks searching different manufacturers for that particular elusive stain color that will harmonize perfectly with their decors.

AG Flooring direct has revolutionized this process by offering clients customized colors for their flooring with its exclusive “Designer color match” system.

“We can easily match any color you see offered by most of our competitors at no additional charge,” explained Gormley.

5. Choose your gloss level.

The final choice is the degree of light you wish your floor to reflect. A Semi-Gloss finish reflects approximately 50 percent of the light shone upon, while a simulated-oil look reflects approximately 8 percent and a satin-gloss finish reflects at a 30 percent rate.

How to choose a builder in Charles County MD 4 important tips

Building Your Home In Waldorf MD

Choosing a Builder in Southern MDWhether the kids have all grown up and moved out or if the kids are on the way and it’s time to expand a living area, building a new home is an exciting, yet often agonizing, experience. The reasons for building a new home are many, but regardless of the reason, the process of choosing a builder should remain the same.

Andrew Nadalin, president of Pace 2000 Inc. and a fourth generation builder and craftsmen, offers the following advice to prospective homeowners with their eyes set on building a dream home to call their own.

* Look for a builder with a solid reputation. A builder’s reputation speaks volumes, but it doesn’t have to speak for istself. That’s because a builder who has spent years providing personal service, innovative design and quality workmanship will no doubt have a host of happy former customers ready and willing to offer their input. If during the interview process a builder appears reticent to share his work or experiences with previous customers, this should be a red flag. Reputable builders will be proud of their work and more than willing to show it off.

* Find a builder who is flexible. You will be paying to build your home, not the builder’s home. A builder should be flexible and ready and willing to meet your needs, no matter how unique they might be.

* Look for a builder who does more than build. A good builder should do more than just build. A builder should provide a network of qualified professionals to make the process go more smoothly. This network should include real estate and building consultants, interior designers, architects and engineers. Such connections can provide peace of mind and will also illustrate that a builder is both respected in the community and is intent on ensuring your home becomes the dream home you envision it to be.

* Don’t build on the cheap. Buyers who plan to build their own home are in the unique position to ensure their home is as safe and high-quality as possible. This isn’t always the case when buying a resale, so make the most of your opportunity and use only top-of-the-line construction materials and features and choose a builder with experience in working with such materials and features. Building on the cheap could prove disastrous in the not too distant future, so don’t sacrifice on quality when building a new home.

Increasing the sales value of your home in Southern Maryland

Looking for the perfect custom built home in Southern Maryland? Wilkerson Homes can help you.

If you have to sell your home first then the infographic below will be of assistance.

Wilkerson home builder in Waldorf offers infographic to increase selling value.

Contact Wilkerson Homes for information on a  custom built premiere home in Southern Maryland.

Reap the benefits of a well-insulated home

Wilkerson Builders only builds a well-insulated homes.

By Scott McGillivray
scott mcgillivrayPresented by: Wilkerson Homes premiere home builders in Charles County MD: Waldorf, Indian Head, Hughesville, LaPlata, Nanjemoy and other communities in Charles County MD.

Many of us know that insulation plays a key role in keeping our homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But did you know the benefits can go well beyond achieving basic R-value requirements? Quality insulation can provide a number of added benefits that contributes to the comfort, safety and efficiency of ahome, including:

Sound absorbency – Life is loud, but the right choice of insulation can help reduce noise transfer throughout your home. Insulating between floors and interior walls can help create a peaceful sanctuary in areas of your home, even when life is chaotic.

A safe indoor environment – Good indoor air quality goes a long way toward ensuring personal comfort. Choosing insulation that is water repellant and resistant to mold, mildew, fungi, bacterial growth and rot can help to prevent common issues behind your walls that may pose serious health and safety concerns and lead to costly repairs. Look to products that will not off-gas or emit harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Savings – A properly insulated building will be more energy efficient, a benefit that will continue to provide return on investment long after the insulation install is complete. The result is reduced heating and cooling costs, less stress on your furnace and air conditioner (potentially leading to a longer equipment lifespan) and, at the end of day, more money in your pocket.

Fire-resistance – Certain insulations, particularly stone wool insulation products such as Roxul Comfortbatt and Safe ‘n’ Sound, can help buy valuable minutes in the event of a fire, withstanding temperatures of up to 1,177°C. Non-combustible, this insulation exceeds the limits of most other insulating materials, and it won’t produce smoke or encourage the spread of flames.

Performance – It’s important to remember that not all insulations are created equal. Some insulations can sag or contract over time, leaving gaps that can let outdoor air in and conditioned air out. Choosing insulation that is dimensionally stable, durable and that offers long-term thermal performance will ensure your home can stand up in even the most challenging conditions. Stone wool products are proven to perform in even the most extreme conditions, making them ideal for use in the United States.

Ultimately, you can purchase insulation as many do, based on basic R-values. But when it comes to quality, comfort, safety and efficiency, is basic really the best choice? Quality counts when it comes to all building materials. Always look for products that will deliver benefits well beyond the status quo.

Call Wilkerson Homes for a premiere quality home built with top quality products including home insulation.

Scott McGillivray is an award-winning TV host, a full-time real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator. Follow him on Twitter @smcgillivray.