Monthly Archives: July 2017

    • What to Know About Building a New Home

      Before deciding to build a new property, there are a few key things you should be aware of first.

      The first and probably most important tip to know is to choose a builder who is reputable and won’t leave you hanging during the process. Unfortunately, some builders will vanish before the job is totally completed and leave the buyer with a load of unpaid bills.

      A good builder will not only meet your building needs, but will also service your house under the long-term warranty. Talking to people within your community, especially your agent, can help you choose the right builder.

      While building a home may sound like a good idea, make sure you take add-ons and upgrades into account before deciding if this is the best move for you. Both of these things will drive up the price, and will be charged for a premium. You may be able to do some negotiating, but ultimately you should make sure that the add-ons and upgrades you’re choosing are actually best for you and your home.

      That being said, remember to stay involved in the building process. Visiting the site, keeping in touch with the builder and contractors, and scheduling regular meetings will help you make sure that you are aware of everything that’s going on. This way you’ll be able to tell right away if something isn’t being done correctly.

      “Always stay involved in the building process.”

      Also, learn the neighborhood. You can choose the way your house is built, but once it’s finished you need to consider the neighborhood you’ll be left in.Partnering with an agent who knows the area will help you avoid any mistakes or conflicts.

      Keep in mind, too, that building is a lot different than simply buying a home. It is a messy process, so you’ll need to be patient and flexible. Deadlines may shift and issues will come up, so make sure you have contingency plans in place.

      During the process always plan a walkthrough. Because they have experience on their side, your agent will have the knowledge to tell you what to look for when you do this to make sure everything is as it should be. Hiring an inspection team to check the home throughout the process is also a must.

      Use your agent as a resource to help you look into home warranties, as well. Agents want the process to go smoothly and will have all the information you need for things like home insurance.

      If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Written by -- CLIENT BRAND --
    • 9 Ways to Cut Energy Costs This Summer

      If you’re looking to cut energy costs for the summer season, here are nine useful methods that will save you money without sacrificing comfort:

      1. Plug any holes you may have in your house. Use plastic film on any drafty windows or just replace them if you have the budget, as leaking air is one of the biggest ways energy gets sucked out of your house and costs you money. Foam and caulk any other problem areas you see, like gaps around your doors and windows and around your outlet plates.

      2. Close the shades. Anything that keeps the sunshine from coming directly into your house will help lower your energy costs.

      3. Keep your filters clean. You should check your AC filter at least once a month to make sure it’s clean and you should be replacing it as necessary. This way your air conditioner isn’t working twice as hard to circulate cool air throughout your house.

      4. Program your thermostat. If you aren’t home, you obviously don’t need it to be as cool as when you’re there, so feel free to raise the temperature a little bit. Only about half of all people actually take advantage of their programmable thermostat, which is unfortunate because it’s a cheap and effective way to reduce energy costs. Also, overhead fans can circulate and cool air a lot more cheaply than a low thermostat, so don’t forget to use them if you have them or install a couple to help keep your air just how you like it.

      “If you aren’t home, you obviously don’t need it to be as cool as when you’re there.”

      5. Unplug, unplug, unplug. Computers, TVs, mobile devices, and any other devices such as these that are plugged in can use up energy while they’re not in use. Unplug them when you don’t use them and you’re not around so they’re not drawing energy while you’re not there.

      6. Cut back on oven usage. Using a grill or outdoor cooktop instead will reduce the amount of heat being generated in your house.

      7. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. Lowering the temperature from—say—130 degrees to 115 degrees can save you around $50 a year, which can add up over the long term.

      8. Get your HVAC tuned up. Don’t ignore your air conditioner until something goes wrong with it, because if it malfunctions when it’s 100 degrees out in San Antonio, you’ll want someone to fix it right away, and it will probably cost you a lot of money to get that done.

      9. Upgrade your systems.This means things like changing your light bulbs and replacing major appliances like your refrigerator, washer, or dryer. If and when you do, make sure you check out the energy efficiency rating of these items before you buy another so its replacement has a higher rating.

      If you have any questions about cutting summer energy costs or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the San Antonio market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help you.

      Written by -- CLIENT BRAND --