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Buying Process

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New Home? 5 Tips to Make Moving Easier

By | Buying Process
It doesn’t matter what kind of deal you get on a new home, moving is hard. The best you can do is diminish associated hassles. Following are several tips to help stimulate your mind and save you unnecessary difficulty during your move.

 

1. Get New Homes Re-Keyed Immediately

Find out how many doors are accessible via key, and which keys access them. Rekey those doors as soon as possible after you’ve signed the dotted line. If you can do it the day of the sale, this may be worthwhile. You’ll need to secure the new premises; doing so sooner rather than later makes the moving process easier.

 

2. Use The Move To Organize Yourself

Perhaps have a yard sale as you move, throw out what you don’t need, and get everything else properly organized as you pack it up. When in your new home, hang on to your new organizational practices.  

 

3. Use House Trade-In Programs Like Those From Experience Homes

A house trade-in program helps you avoid realtor fees, you don’t have to show your old home, you don’t have to pay simultaneous mortgages, and you can leave when you want. This can give you flexibility in time frames, making the sale of previous property and the move to a new home much less complicated.

 

4. Be Strategic With Garages, Attics, And Finished Or Unfinished Basements

Attics, unfinished basements, and garages are often unused or improperly used. Now that you’ve reorganized everything, determine if you’ll use these spaces for storage or utility. A garage could be a “workshed,” as it were. Or it might just be a place for cars.
Know what you want to do beforehand, pack up strategically for what you’ve planned. This is a lot easier than just throwing things where you can and losing utility of a room for a few weeks or months after the fact.

 

5. If You Need To Paint Anything, Do It Prior The Move

Be sure you know whether the new home needs painting work. Oftentimes new homeowners don’t realize this until after they’ve already come into a new property. It’s a lot easier to paint empty rooms than full ones. Do so prior to your move and save yourself some hassle.

 

A Moving Experience That’s More Convenience

Moving is work, but you can defer much of it by doing repairs/augmentations like painting prior the move, having a plan for your possessions beforehand, going with Home Trade-In options like those from Experience Homes, organizing yourself and goods during the move, and ensuring all doors are immediately rekeyed. Some of these tips may or may not be right for you; figure out what works, and save yourself some trouble!
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How To Avoid Realtor Fees

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Realtors earn a commission called a realtor fee every time they sell a house, and it’s nothing small, amounting to up to 6% of the total house sale. However, it can be maneuvered around.
Certainly, you could just sell and purchase property yourself without using a realtor. That’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. A better way might be following a few tips to help either diminish or sidestep fees altogether:
  • Finding The Right Realtor
  • Make Agents Justify High Commissions To You
  • Hold Out For Higher Listing Prices

The Split

If you sold your home for $300,000, a 6% realtor fee would pull $18,000 from that sum. This is a typical commission for realtors. If you use the same agent to buy and sell your home, they’ll take 3% of the sold and purchased properties.
Push for a split between separate realty agencies, or a halved commission. Use two agents instead of one, and let them work with one another. Also, the larger the appraisal of the property you’re buying, the greater leverage you’ll have in terms of diminishing commission.

Make Agents Justify High Commissions To You

Ask agents why you’re paying them such a high commission, and make them prove the worth of such a price. Be sure you know other agencies in the area, and have done your homework. At the very least you can knock off a few percentage points.

Hold Out For Higher Listing Prices

Sometimes realtors will low-ball you on listing prices because they’re trying to work a deal. Holding out for a higher listing can help you offset their commission fee.

Trade-In Programs

Builders (like Experience Homes in Amarillo, TX) sometimes offer home trade-in program. Basically, they appraise your property, and when you buy your new home, they’ll pay you a percentage of the old home’s appraisal.
No realtor fees are involved, you don’t have to do any house showings, you won’t pay two mortgages, and you don’t have to stress out on leaving by a certain time.
Additionally, if you clean things up and do some DIY additions prior to the appraisal, you can increase its worth substantially, helping cover the differential.
Such tactics will give your money greater buying power, and help you secure the best real estate deals.
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What To Look For In A Neighborhood

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When you’re searching for a new place to call home, one of the first aspects to consider is the neighborhood. But with all the different factors there are to take into account, sometimes knowing where to start is challenging. That’s why we put together a few tips to help you along the way.

Think about convenience.

If you’re looking for convenience, consider if the places you frequent are within a short distance from the neighborhood you’re considering. Also, determine whether or not these amenities are necessary or if how far they are from your home matters.

Don’t forget the noise level.

If you’re looking for a quiet neighborhood, choosing a place to stay located behind a busy shopping center or within a short distance from a highway may not be the best idea. It’s important to consider noise level when you’re looking for a new neighborhood to call home.

Consider access.

While a cul-de-sac may be a place you always wanted to live, it’s also limited to one way in and one way out. Consider how easy it will be to access and leave your home. Take a look at the environment, too. There are sometimes natural routes that make it easy to access alternative routes, such as an alley at the back of your home. Also consider if it’s important to live in a gated community versus a non-gated community.

Take market potential into account.

When you move to a new neighborhood, it’s vital to consider resale value. Consider whether schools and businesses are being built in the area, as these are signs of a potentially growing market.

Consider A Stress-Free Trade-Up

Whichever neighborhood you choose, make sure it’s one that fits your lifestyle and needs. With Experience Homes‘ Home Trade-In Program, we sell your home while you sit back stress-free and get a brand new one built and customized to fit your needs. Consider taking the guesswork out of selling and buying your home and contact us today to learn more about our Home Trade-In Program.

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6 Easy Ways to Save for a Down Payment

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Finding the money for that first home can be a challenge. Without at least 20 percent to put down, most lenders will require that you purchase mortgage insurance that will increase your monthly payment for years (until you’ve built up enough equity to equal that 20 percent). Fortunately, there are a number of creative ways you can find the extra money you need to buy the house of your dreams.

 

  1. Find a side gig.

There are scores of ways to earn a little extra every week. Write articles online for platforms like Scripted, Crowd Content and WriterAccess. Mow lawns in the evenings after your day job. Start a small business, such as a dog-walking venture or a direct sales business with companies like Mary Kay, Tupperware and the like.

 

  1. Clear out your attic, garage or closet.

You’re likely going to need to clean out those areas when you move anyway. Why not get a head start and use the money you raise from listing your unwanted furniture, collectibles and household items on Craigslist, eBay or Facebook Marketplace. You’d be surprised how much your “clutter” is worth.

 

  1. Borrow from yourself.

Why borrow from friends or family members when you may be able to borrow the money you need from your own 401k or IRA account? You can borrow an unlimited amount from your 401k and up to $10,000 (or $20,000 if married) from your IRA for a first time home purchase.

 

  1. Pay down your credit card debt.

If you carry one or more credit card balances from month to month, you could save a significant amount by reducing your balances and/or paying the entire bill off. The 15 to 30 percent in interest you pay each and every month could go a long way towards the amount you need for your down payment.

 

  1. Set up automatic savings.

Yet another easy way to get that 20 percent down payment is to set your savings on autopilot. Most employers will direct deposit a specified amount of every paycheck into your savings account. That way you won’t be tempted to spend it before you make it to the bank to deposit it yourself. In addition, there are apps, such as Acorn, that invest the “spare change” from your credit card purchases automatically.

 

  1. Lease-to-own.

Consider a lease-to-own home, such as those offered by Experience Homes. You can save for your down payment while you are already living in and building equity in your home. For more information, please see our Lease Option Path page.

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Parade of Homes

By | Buying Process, Home Trade-In, New Construction | No Comments

The Parade of Homes is a showcase of new homes held annually in the Amarillo and Canyon community. This year’s parade will start April 26, and will continue for the following two weekends. Come take a tour of the newest and most beautiful homes, including our very own home on 9751 Strawberry Field.

This home in Strawberry Fields is newly constructed with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 beautiful bathrooms. The master is very spacious with the bathroom connected. The master bath has his and her sinks and vanity areas. This home is up to date with new appliances, tile flooring, giving it a modern and elegant look. This kitchen has sleek gray and white granite countertops that correspond with the dark alder wood cabinets.

When building this home, we took our time to make sure we gave its new homeowners our absolute best craftsmanship. For the parade, Willow Home Staging and Design furnished the home. This home features foam insulation, upgraded lights, and a 30×40 shop. There are so many things to love about this home making it easy to visualize you and your family living here.

 

Tickets are $10 and are available at Pak-A-Sak, United Supermarkets or online at http://amarilloparadeofhomes.com. Children under 12 are free. Come take a look at this home, but be careful because you might just fall in love with it!

15001 Jenna Grace Amarillo, Tx

What To Expect When Building a Home – Month Six

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You made it! We are now in month six – the final month of what to expect when building a home. All of the big projects are finished and we are left with a few minor details. Last month we talked about installing cabinets, flooring, and garage doors. Now we will be adding in the finishing touches.

After tile and cabinets have been installed, it is time to pick out countertops and backsplashes for your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and any other parts of the house that need it. When choosing countertops, granite is usually the top choice. It is available in a variety of shades such as; blacks, whites, greens, corals and beiges, and no two pieces are exactly the same. Granite is available in two finishes. A polished finish results in a shiny look and often darkens the appearance of the stone, while honing is soft and matte. It is important to consider the cost for granite, because depending on many variables, including color, finish and origin of the stone; it can get a little pricey. While this is all happening, the trim is being finalized and doors are being put into place.

 

We initiated plumbing and electrical work in month 4, but now we will finalize it all. Installing plumbing for the toilets, showers/baths, water heater, and sinks takes place before the final electrical wiring. And although there are many interior plumbing projects to tackle, we also finish the plumbing for the outside sprinkler system. Once all the water works are finished, we can move on to the electrical portion. Any interior light fixtures will be wired as well as wiring for the dishwasher, garbage disposal, porch lighting, and the outside electrical unit.

 

The last finishing touches include adding in the carpet and paint touch-ups. Carpet is always done last because workers will constantly be in and out, so installing it last will keep it from getting dirty. Paint touch ups are also towards the end because when installing carpet, there is a chance the bottom wall trim will get scratched from the tools. All exterior finishing touches, fencing and back/front porch work, is finalized at this time too.

To conclude the process, the builder and the inspection team do a final quality walk-through before bringing in the customer for their final look. Building a home is a long process, but we want to give you the best Experience when doing so. This last month is full of emotions and excitement knowing that soon, you will finally be moving in to your brand new home.

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What To Expect When Building a Home – Month Five

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Building a house is an exciting process, especially when you get to month five. Your home is finally starting to take its shape and you can start imagining how the finish product is going to look. Last month we went through what is called the “rough-end” process. This includes: electrical, plumbing, and insulation being installed, and drywall being hung. After passing the inspection, the fun begins.

One of the first things to happen is we will hang the garage doors. About this time is when the exterior of your home is starting to come together. The brick is fully done and any stonework is being finished up. Once all of the bricking and stoning is finished, it is time to start prepping for the plumbing and drainage system in your front yard. Depending on weather delays, this part may take a while. But luckily, the weather will have no effect on what is going on in the interior of your home.

Last month, they finished up drywall which means this month we can start tile work. This is part of the exciting creative process because you are finally getting the kitchen design and spa bathroom that you’ve always wanted. Tile work can include anything like; showers, bathtubs, kitchen floors, and backsplashes. Incorporating tile doesn’t have to just be limited to bathroom or kitchen though; it can be placed in any room to add uniqueness to your home.

Installing cabinets is the next exciting step. You can design and customize them with full extension roll-out shelves, large drawers in base cabinets, hidden pull-out trash bins, wine racks or china displays. You can get as creative as you want because it’s your house. After all tiling and cabinetry is finished, painters will come in and start the trim and crown molding.There is so much excitement to building a new home. Many decisions and a lot of creativity take place in the process to make it the perfect home for you. We can make your dreams a reality and help build you your dream house. Call us today! Check back in February for month 6 of the home building process!

 

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What to Expect When Building a Home – Month Four

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Building a new home is a journey and if you pick the right construction company it can be an extremely fun and fulfilling process. That’s why it is so important to us at Experience Homes to make the home building process a positive experience. Building a new home from the ground up doesn’t have to be intimidating, so we are giving you a month-by-month roadmap of the building journey. Last month we walked you through constructing the basic skeleton of your new home. The framework is up and your new home is actually starting to look like a home now!

By this time in the process the sheet rock and exterior brick has been delivered and any duct or electrical work that was not completed during the last month will be in place during this time period. Work is also beginning on the interior insulation. We select insulation that is rated for its thermal performance or R-value, which is an indicator of how well the material resists heat transfer. This is also the time where much of the sealing and caulking work is taking place.

Once all the electrical, plumbing, ductwork, and insulation has been installed and thoroughly inspected it is time to begin putting up the sheet rock also known as drywall and the interior textures. First, the drywall is hung throughout the structure. This is the time where the house really starts taking on the shape of a home. Rooms are separated and divided and you can see the visual effect of each and every space in the house. After the drywall is hung, it is taped so that the seams between the boards are no longer visible. Depending on preferences, any drywall texturing that needs to be done will also take place during this time. A primer coat of paint will be applied to the drywall once all the taping work is complete.

While there is a lot of work going on inside your new home, the exterior is also undergoing a transformation of its own. Depending on the weather now is about the time that work is ramping up on exterior finishes like brick or stone. Work may be taking place on the driveways, patios, and walkways as well.

Owning a new home doesn’t have to be out of your reach. There are so many more options than ever before when it comes to financing and designing the home you have always dreamed of for your family. We can help you find financing and even trade-in your old home towards a brand new construction home. There is no hassle, no pressure, no realtors and no hidden fees! Are you ready to consider your new home construction options? Come explore your options with us and be sure to check back in January for month 5 of the home building process!

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What to Expect When Building a Home – Month Three

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Building a new home from the ground up doesn’t have to be an intimidating process, in fact it is a journey that can yield some amazing results and give you a home in which to build a lifetime of memories. That is, if you choose the right builder for your needs. At Experience Homes we want you to have a positive home building experience and are offering this roadmap through the entire home building process. Last month was all about building a solid foundation… and then waiting for it to cure. This month, with the slab poured and set we can start work laying out the skeleton of your new home.

With the slab in place and properly cured and the lumber delivered we can begin the process of framing the house. Work begins on the floors, walls, and roof creating the basic framework of the project. As the framing of the house progresses you will start to see the layout of your home unfold. At this stage of the process it is important to remember not to panic! A number of people will look at their home at this stage and think the house seems too small, it’s not, it’s just an illusion.

Next, plywood or sheathing is added to the exterior walls. Depending on the climate and time of year that construction is taking place, that sheathing may be covered with a protective barrier in order to seal off the elements from the interior structures of the home. This helps prevent water damage, mold, and rot. Work will also be starting on the roof, windows, and exterior doors.

Next the “heart and lungs” of the house are installed, meaning the heating and cooling systems. The ductworks for these systems are being put in place and HVAC vent pipes are installed through the roof. That’s not the only major change happening inside your new home, plumbing lines and electrical systems are also being worked on at this time. Teams are laying pipes and running wires through the interior walls, ceilings, and floors. Work is also being done on sewer lines, vents, and other water supply lines for fixtures.

During this time an electrician may also begin installing the receptacles for outlets, and running wires from the breaker panel to each receptacle. Wiring for telephones and cable TV may also be taking place.

Keep in mind that throughout this process inspections will be commonplace so the city or county in which the home is being built can ensure that all work is up to code. Rough framing, plumbing, and electrical systems must all be inspected for compliance.

The guts of the home are really starting to take shape at this point and your home is starting to look a little more like a house, rather than just a plot of land with some concrete on top of it!

The dream of homeownership doesn’t have to stay a dream, it can be a reality that we can help you achieve. There are now more options than ever before designed to help growing families get into a new home. We can help you find financing and even trade-in your old home towards a brand new construction home. No hassle, no pressure, no realtors or hidden fees. Come explore your options with us and be sure to check back in December for month 4 of the home building process!

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What to Expect When Building a Home – Month Two

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Building a new home from the ground up can seem like an overwhelming prospect. Experience Homes prides itself on making the process an easy and positive one. That’s why we are providing you with a roadmap through the entire home building experience. The first month of the process is all about decisions! You’ve made the decision to build, we’ve worked together to pick your floor plan and plot, and we’ve even laid out the upgrades and finishes. Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get down and dirty. Month 2 is typically construction time!

Once all of the details have been finalized the basic construction work can begin. The first order of business is preparing the site of your choice. The site is cleared of any rocks or debris and then leveled in preparation for the pad to built and concrete laid out. Sewer pipe and electrical conduits also have to be put in place before the concrete is poured.

Next comes the pouring of the slab. The slab is a concrete pad that is poured directly on the ground. This type of foundation works great on level sites and in warmer climates. Embedded into the concrete is a wire mesh and steel reinforcing bar. One of the most time consuming aspects of this step is allowing adequate time for the concrete to cure and reach 100% of its strength. The length of the curing process depends on a number of different factors including the concrete mix, water content, and temperature.

As much as we wish we could control Mother Nature, we can’t. The weather significantly impacts when concrete can be poured and how long it will take to cure. The foundation has to have the strength to carry the weight of your house, that’s why we don’t take short cuts. While this may be a time consuming process, that doesn’t mean work has halted on your new home.

As we allow time to let the concrete foundation fully cure we will continue working with you to design your dream. During this time a number of deliveries will be made, such as lumbar, in preparation for the next step of framing the house.

Owning a new home is not out of reach, give us a call and we can work with you to make your dreams of owning a new home a reality. There are many options open to people who are looking to grow into a new home. We can help you find financing and even trade-in your old home towards a brand new construction home. There are possibilities and we can help you explore them all! Check back in November for month 3 of the home building process!