The Blog

Tips for single parents buying a home

Categories: Homebuying, New Townhomes in Fredericksburg | Posted: June 26, 2017 | No Comments »

If you are a single parent or know one who is in the initial phases of wanting to buy a new home, it may be a little daunting taking on homeownership on your own. You might find yourself at a place in your life where you are ready to put down roots and give your family a place of your own to enjoy. Tricord Homes, a premier homebuilder for new townhomes in Fredericksburg, shares resources that are available to to help make the home buying purchase easier on for single parents.

The first thing you will want to focus on and focus on ahead of time is to do your research early. Check your credit score to see if you need to make any improvement on it if it is lower than you want or need to purchase a home.

Second, take inventory of the home prices in the area or areas you are interested in moving in and how long the homes are staying on the market. Keep an eye on homes that sell quickly, or sit on the market and have price drops. Then, gather your documents you will need, like income, debts and assets, once you are ready to more actively begin your new home search.

You will then want to familiarize yourself with the mortgage process. Even if you have purchased a home before or been involved in purchasing a home, things change so quickly that it is likely things have changed since the last time you went through the process of getting a mortgage.

Sometimes, single home buyers can experience more difficulties getting a loan than dual home buyers that have two incomes to back their mortgage. Shop around for a trustworthy lender that can help you find special programs that are designed with and for single parents. Even if you have been a part of purchasing a home before, you may be considered a “first-time buyer” as far as assistance is concerned, depending on your situation.

Research the home buying process and assistance programs or loan options that are available to you and figure out what qualifications are needed and any other documents you may need to provide.

Once you have your options in order, get prequalified for a mortgage so you know what your budget will be that you can spend. Knowing what you qualify for can help you make sure to look for homes that you can afford, and not get in over your head shopping for homes that are over your budget.

Lastly, be sure that whatever lender you choose, is a trustworthy one who will help you handle the paperwork and communication needed to help you purchase your new home. Especially being a single parent, you need all the help and support you can get during the homebuilding process and someone who will help make the journey a rewarding one for you and your family.

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

 

Millennials and ownership

Categories: Homebuying, New Homes in Fredericksburg | Posted: June 19, 2017 | No Comments »

When it comes to the millennial generation, many have myths made up in their head of what a typical millennials financial choices are. However, are these myths false true with this generation and their ownership interest? Tricord Homes, a premier builder for new homes in Fredericksburg, shares feedback from a recent article by CNBC explored this generation to find what their purchasing habits were like for bigger ticket items like homes and cars.

The study found that the aspirations of millennials and past generations remain the same, it is just that it might take the millennial generation longer to be able to afford the same things as their previous generations.

Successful companies such as Netflix, Uber and Spotify often lead people to believe that the future is more about renting than owning. However, when it comes to big purchases that doesn’t seem to be the case with millennials as most people might assume.

Another myth when it comes to millennials is that they are afraid to put down roots. This was also found to not be true, as millennials are buying homes in both rural and metropolitan areas when they have the financial means to do so.

Currently about 53% of millennials own their own home and an overwhelming 88% of millennials aspire too when they can financially afford it. Although the sharing economy is thriving, millennials still plan to and when they can afford too, purchase their homes and cars opposed to renting or leasing them in the majority.

Although this generation may be transitional when it comes to what they choose to purchase and their consumer preferences, the core big ticket items such as a car and a home are things that they are still wanting to purchase and can when they have the financial means to do so.

However, something that may be higher than in past generations is that a good portion of millennial homebuyers will buy a home to rent it or be a landlord, opposed to just living in the home as the sole purpose of purchasing it. The popular Airbnb craze can be partially to blame, as they see their home as an opportunity to make money as well.

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

What to look for in a neighborhood if starting a family

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homebuying | Posted: June 12, 2017 | No Comments »

If you are in the market for a new home and have already started our family or plan on starting your family soon, you may notice the priorities you look for in a new home have shifted. Even if you haven’t started your family or have very small children, they will soon get bigger and you will want your home to accommodate what you will need as a family in the future. Tricord Homes, a premier builder for Fredericksburg new homes, shares what to look for about your prospective new home. The first thing to look for that most parents or soon-to-become parents already know to look for, is the school district information and what districts you want to purchase a new home in. Greatschools.org is a great place to start and look up the schools where you are looking to purchase a new home. Not only can you research information on the best school districts in the areas you are looking to move, but you can also look at the ratings of each school within the district. If you have any learning requirements you want to make sure are addressed, this heads-up research will be very beneficial to you in the long run. If you find a home you love and you can, it also isn’t a bad idea to visit the schools in that area in-person to get a life feel for what each school is like. While some schools might be rated very well, they can also be very over-crowded at the same time. This is something you probably would not know without a visit to the school itself. The second feature to look for in a family-friendly neighborhood will be the crime rates. You can protect your child as much as you can in your home with baby proofing, doctor visits and keeping anything of danger out of their reach. However, it is also important the neighborhood and area you move into is safe on the outside of the home as well. Typically, you can find the local crime rate of an area online in various locations. From a local police station website, to Zillow or Trulia that show neighborhood crime activity information. Taking note of what is going on around in and around your neighborhood from a safety perspective will leave you with a much calmer mind when it comes to the safety of your family playing outside and going for walks. The final factor you will want to consider for your new home and family will be the community network around you. Are there other young kids in the neighborhood? Are there any barking dogs that you need to worry about next door? How friendly are the neighbors? You would be surprised how much you can learn about a home by just driving through the neighborhood at different times of day, talking to any neighbors who might be outside, and observing who and what is around the home. You can often get a good feel of who is in the neighborhood by just taking the time to walk around, drive by and spend time in and around the neighborhood to get a feel for what it would be like to live there yourself.

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

Getting ahead of household germs 101

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homeowner Tips | Posted: June 5, 2017 | No Comments »

Even with the warm temperatures of spring and summer, germs still have a way of getting members of your family sick no matter what time of year it is.  If you live in a home with a family of any size, you very well know that if someone in your home gets sick it can easily get passed around and spread like wildfire in your house. Although it may seem inevitable that if one person gets sick more people are doomed to follow, it doesn’t have to be that way. Tricord Homes, a premier homebuilder for Fredericksburg new homes, shares how you can control the germs in your house when someone gets sick to keep them from spreading.

One of the first things you will want to have handy in your house before anyone even gets sick, is a disinfectant spray. You can purchase these at the store or even make your own homemade disinfectant spray with a number of recipes available online if you prefer a more natural route. This will be your go-to item you will want to grab and use several times  day for the places any sick people have visited in your home. Bathroom handles, sink handles, the lever on the toilet, and any other surface or handle the sick one in your house may have touched.

Towels and clothes are another common place that people sometimes overlook as a way of spreading germs around the home. Clean your towels in hot water once a week or more to keep them germ free. Also be sure that anyone infected with an illness has their own hand, face and body towels to use that are not the same as the ones the rest of the family is using. Even better, just stick to paper towel when it comes to hand towls during this period of time.

Toothbrushes and hairbrushes are another common germ spreading ground you will want to watch. Keep anyone in your family who is sick toothbrush far from the toothbrushes of other family members. A week or so after the illness has passed, be sure to throw that toothbrush away and get a new one or better yet, use throw away tooth brushes up to two weeks after the illness has passed. You can also boil the tooth brush to kill germs as another alternative.

Toy bins are something that are a breeding ground for germs outside of the home in public places, but also inside of your home if you have little ones sharing common toys. While you can’t tell your little ones their toys are off limits, try to keep the sharing of toys apart for this period of time and if you can’t keep them apart be sure to disinfect them after use.

You can run toys through the dishwasher as well for another way to disinfect them, just be sure to check that they are dishwasher safe first.

And the age-old saying of washing your hands in warm soapy water still applies and is something your family should be sure to do more frequently when there is a sick one in the house. Be sure to especially have clean hands before touching your nose and eyes, as that is the most common place germs tend to enter your body.

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

Top 3 tips for selling your home

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homeowner Tips | Posted: May 29, 2017 | No Comments »

Are you preparing to put your home on the market sometime this year, but overwhelmed on just where to start? The first and most important thing you can do is put the best face forward on your home when it comes time to sell. Tricord Homes, a premier homebuilder for Fredercksburg new homes, shares the top three tips real estate professionals recommend to sell your home as quick as possible.

The first tip may seem obvious, but it is crucial in order to sell your home and sell it fast. Get rid of the clutter! Purge your home of unnecessary items and try to make your home as much of a blank slate as possible.

When potential buyers come into your home, they look at it through the eyes of what it would be like for them to live there. If you have too much clutter, too many personal belongings or too many things that remind a buyer of you and your family, it makes it difficult for them to picture what it would be like as their own.

You will want to organize closets and clean drawers. Buyers will be looking around the home and want to check out the storage space. Don’t shove everything in the closets of your home and expect buyers to not open them up and look around. If anything, a cluttered or packed closet will leave the buyers thinking there isn’t enough storage space in the home. So, clean drawers and closets to have a neat and tidy appearance, so storage won’t be a red flag against the home.

Lastly, you need to deep clean your home as a part of the de-cluttering process. This may be something you want to leave to the professionals to take care of, otherwise be prepared to invest the time it will take to truly deep clean your home to the point where buyers will see in like-new condition. Nothing turns a potential buyer off more than a dirty home.

The second set of recommendations will involve any DIY projects that you can do on your own. For example, fix leaking faucets or toilets that run, replace the caulking around tubs, showers and sinks, repair any grout as needed, repair any walls that have dents, dings or marks on them, replace damaged window screens and replace any burnt out light bulbs.

The final set of recommendations will address the curb appeal of your home, which will be the first-impression point for buyers. When potential buyers are charmed by the outside of your home, they will look forward to seeing if the inside matches their expectations and have a great first impression.

You will want to start with your bushes, shrubs, and trees. Make sure they are trimmed up nicely and not brushing against your house other plants you may have surrounding them.

Look at your gutters and make sure they are in tip top shape and replace any damaged or falling gutters if you have any.

Depending on your landscaping, apply new mulch or rock for a fresh an updated look. Depending on the season, plant seasonally appropriate flowers or put them in large potted vases that can sit outside the front of the home and give it life.

 

Just giving your home the moderate amount of effort it needs to be show ready will have it selling quicker than you may have imagined.

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

 

 

10 items you can re-purpose from your pantry   

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homeowner Tips | Posted: May 22, 2017 | No Comments »

If you are making your list for early summer cleaning, your pantry may be on your to-do list to clean and de-clutter to start off a new season. Before you go throwing everything out of your pantry, look at 10 secret ways to use items in your pantry you may have never known existed. Tricord Homes, a local builder for Fredericksburg new homes, shares options that may have you looking at what you consider junk in your pantry in a whole new way.

The first thing to look for in your pantry that you can get more use out of than just seasoning your food, is from your salt shaker. If you have a beautiful arrangement of flowers or get any this spring, add a dash of salt to the water of your flowers when they start to wilt. The salt acts as food for the flowers and prevents bacteria growth. Thanks to your salt shaker, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful flowers a little awhile longer.

The next tip is most likely located next to the salt shaker in your cabinet, and that is your pepper shaker. Next time you do a load of brights in your laundry, add a teaspoon of pepper to your wash. Pepper naturally prevents colors from running in the wash and can save you from fancy detergent that promises to do the same.

If you are having a party or bringing a fruit dish to a get together, you will appreciate this next tip. You can keep fruit fresh and eliminate it from browning by sprinkling a few drops of lemon over the cut fresh fruit. If you don’t have lemons handy, you can do the same thing with citrus soda!

The third tip is one that will be extra helpful next time you cook a meal that gives off a strong odor (or burn something in the kitchen), simmer a pot of boiling water on your stovetop and add 3-4 tea bags into the boiling water. This will eliminate the odors in your kitchen and you can even rise your hands with cold tea after you prepare the meal, to help eliminate the odors that may be on them as well.

If you have scuffs in dark wood furniture, look no further than your coffee pot… our grounds, that is. Take a cotton swab and rub it on old coffee grounds, then dab it on dark wood furniture that has white scuff marks. It will help conceal it and leave your furniture looking more like new without costing you a dime!

Finally, use your old paper towel holders for jewelry storage. You can slide your bracelets, bangles and belts on the towel holder and wrap your belts around it to keep them in place.

 

These simple tips can have you putting your everyday household items to use this summer!

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

How fast will your home sell?

Categories: Homebuying, New Homes in Fredericksburg | Posted: May 15, 2017 | No Comments »

Whether you have been in the market to buy a new home in Fredericksburg or you are planning to sell your current home, location has always been the number one thing that most real estate agents press hard on for what makes a home sell fast. However, there are other common factors that can tell you how fast your home might sell if you are in the process of putting it on the market this year. Tricord Homes, shares tips on how to determine how fast your home will sell and if it is up to par to sell fast in today’s market.

While the housing market has been on the upswing over the past couple of years, it doesn’t mean that sellers can list their homes for way over market value and expect it to sell without any time or effort into it. Pricing your home just 12 percent over what it is valued at or what other homes in your neighborhood of similar specs are selling for, makes your home about half as likely to sell in the same 60-day period as a home that is priced at the target listing for the area and what it is worth. So, your house may sit on the market (which doesn’t look good to buyers) if you get too aggressive in your listing price over the comps in your area.

When it comes to listing your home online for buyers to see be sure and list enough photos but not too many. The best range of photos to showcase of your home is anywhere from 16 to 21 photos. It is better to error on the side of too many than too little. If you have fewer photos than what is recommended, your home is projected to sit on the market for more than 60 days as well. If you want to gain interest in your home, consider having professional photos taken of your home or have an interior designer come out and stage your home before you take photos. The better your home shows in photos, the more buyers you will have at your door wanting to look inside.

If you have a smaller home, the market might be in your favor to sell fast. Homes under 1,100 square feet nationally, sell the fastest in all markets. Homes in this size typically sell nine percent faster than homes of a larger size over the same 60-day window. There are two markets across the U.S. where this doesn’t hold true- which are San Francisco and Indianapolis. Smaller homes in these markets sit longer than their larger counterparts.

The final thing you will want and need to do for your home in order to help it sell quickly, is to get the word out on your home as much as possible. The likelihood of you selling it will be far faster than just relying on your realtor to do all the work. List your home on places like Zillow or Trulia if it isn’t already, and share on social media as well. You never know who might be in the market for a new home and would have never stumbled across your home without you doing some of your own advertising! You can ask friends and family to share as well, to expand your audience. Buyers often feel comfortable knowing who is selling the home if they are in the market, opposed to buying from a stranger if the opportunity presents itself.

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

To-do list for purchasing a home

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homebuying | Posted: May 1, 2017 | No Comments »

Are you planning to purchase a new home this spring or summer? If so, do you know the steps involved to be prepared for what it entails to purchase a new home? Tricord Homes, a local homebuilder for Fredericksburg new homes, shares tips for what you need to be sure to have in order before starting the process of looking for a new home.

The first tip is being sure you are ready to purchase a home that you will live in for more than a few years. If you are not in the position to put down roots in a home for several years, consider renting until you are ready to do plant your roots.

The next step is one that people often don’t do in advance, which can hurt them. Get with a lender and have them pull your credit report about six to 12 months before you want to begin actively shopping for a new home. This way, if there is anything negative on your credit report or work that you need to do to improve it, you will have adequate time to do so and can get a better loan for your new home. They can also make you aware of anything you don’t want to do leading up to purchasing a new home, such as open a bunch of new credit cards, rack up extra debt, and so on.

Once you have your credit in order, you will want to find an agent to help you find and purchase your new home. Do some research among friends, family and even online resources to find an agent that comes highly recommended. Also, don’t feel like you must select the first agent you meet or talk too. Be sure to shop around for the agent that fits your needs and comfort level the most.

Some tips on what to look for in a good agent are at least five years’ experience in the area you are looking to purchase a home in and someone who is a full-time sales professional. It also helps if they can show you if they have closed at least five to seven deals each year, for several years. Lastly, be sure to verify that their license is in good standing with the state you are looking to purchase a new home in.

The final tip to remember when beginning to shop for your new home is to be realistic. There will be no amazing deals when it comes to real estate. If you come across a home that seems too good to be true, especially for the cost, chances are something is hiding behind the walls of the home that should be a “buyer beware” scenario.

Be sure to buy and invest in a home that will be a great long-term solution as well as a home that will build equity over time. Buying a home in a desirable location, a location that is growing, in a great school district and so on will be an investment that is most likely to help you gain equity over time.

Do your research when it comes to your new home, the location you are looking at buying and where you see yourself in the next five, 10 or more years. If you don’t currently have any kids but plan to have them in the future, consider the school districts around the homes you are looking at. Are they rated well? Would you want to send your own kids to the schools in your area? What about the size of the home, can you have one, two or more kids comfortably without having to move as soon as baby comes into the picture?

This can also be a factor if you are getting close to being an empty-nester or will in the years to come. Are you investing in more home than you will need in a few years? Are there too many stairs that you won’t want to have to climb daily as you age in your home?

Taking these tips and considerations into play for your new home will help to ensure that you end up with the best possible home for your long-term needs and a smart investment for your future.

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

 

How to give your home more curb appeal on a budget

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homeowner Tips | Posted: April 24, 2017 | No Comments »

If you are planning to put your home on the market soon or just want to liven up your homes curb appeal, you may think you need to break the bank when it comes to updating your homes exterior. However, there are ways to get the most curb appeal for the least amount of money. Tricord Homes, a premier homebuilder for Fredericksburg new homes, shares some ways to dramatically increase the look of your homes exterior on a budget.

The first (and hopefully) most obvious way to increase the aesthetic of your homes exterior is to simply spend a weekend cleaning it up. From Trimming your bushes, mowing your lawn, planting some new flowers and washing your driveway, windows and fence, a little elbow grease can go a long way in taking your home up a notch on the appealing scale.

It is a good idea to rent a power-washer to do the heavy-duty cleaning if needed or if it’s been a while since your windows, driveway and fence have had a good cleaning. It typically only costs about $50-$75 per day to rent a power washer and the result is worth the time and money. The one thing you won’t want to power-wash however is the roof. That can damage the shingles and end up costing you money, which you are trying to avoid.

Be sure to clean not only the outside of your windows, but the inside as well. A better cleaning solution that glass cleaner is a mix of detergent diluted in warm water.

Next, an addition to the exterior of your home that can accentuate the size of your windows will be to add shutters. It will make them look larger and add visual interest to the front of your home. It can also add more curb appeal, especially if your homes exterior is bland or boring in color or style.

Painting accent areas is another feature you could add to your homes exterior to enhance appeal. You don’t have to paint the entire exterior of your home to enhance it. Try painting your trim, door or shutters (or all three) to add a nice highlight of elegance to update your home. A fresh coat of paint on any of these areas can go along way for a small amount of money.

If you have a boring front door or just one you are not in love with, instead of just painting it to try and make it look better consider adding molding to it to offer a more decorative touch. You can also add metal house numbers to your doorway which can cost as little as $5 per number. Top if off with a wreath or seasonal decorations and you will have your front door standing out in no time!

Lastly, updating your light fixtures is an inexpensive and immediate way to not only add to the curb appeal of your home, but also make your home look richer. Outdoor sconces can be found for as little as $20 at your local home improvement stores. If you don’t mind the outdoor lighting you have but it looks outdated or faded, consider spray painting them a different color to bring them back to life.

 

These simple exterior updates will keep your wallet happy and dramatically improve the exterior appeal of your home at the same time. It is a win-win scenario that is well worth the time and effort!

 

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.

 

Home updates that can increase your home’s value

Categories: Fredericksburg new homes, Homeowner Tips | Posted: April 17, 2017 | No Comments »

Provenance new home

Whether you are looking to move soon or in the next couple of years, it is always good to invest in updates in your home overtime. This puts you at an advantage so when the time does come to sell, you don’t have to plan and pay for a major remodel all at once. Tricord Homes, a premier homebuilder for Fredericksburg new homes, shares tips on do it yourself projects you can take on for yourself overtime, that will add value to your home.

The first project you can do to start small, is a simple upgrade that can be made to any room in your home. What is this simple and easy upgrade? Add crown molding! Your bedrooms, especially a master bedroom are the perfect place to add some elegant crown molding that will automatically make the room look much more finished and give it a more expensive look. You can purchase and choose the crown molding style of your liking and pick up all the supplies to install it at your local home improvement store. They can even give you tips on how to install it and the tools that you will need.

A nice kitchen is one of the main things buyers look at and look for in a new home, so making some upgrades to your kitchen can pay off in the long run. However, why not enjoy the upgrades you make for your kitchen yourself while you are still living in and enjoying your home?

A great do it yourself project for your kitchen that will also add some resale value, is to add some adhesive backsplash tiles. Not only is this a relatively mess-free project, but one you can easily do yourself. There are a variety of styles and colors to choose from, so get creative and add a real touch of modern elegance that can automatically give new life to your kitchen.

While you don’t need to replace all your kitchen cabinets at the same time, it might be a good idea to address them as well. Try painting all your cabinets to go along with your new backsplash. This can lead to a complete transformation in the overall look of your kitchen and look like you spent a fortune, when it isn’t a costly upgrade to do at all.

Next, the laundry room is often a very over-looked room in the home but with a few simple DIY improvements, it can be a real highlight in your home when it comes time to sell. Start by removing any of the basic wire shelving in the laundry room and put up attractive wood shelving options or cabinets in its place.

Painting the room can also make a world of difference as well as improving the storage space and what storage solutions you have in the room. Adding some hooks on a nice wooden platform can add both a nice design piece as well as functional piece to the laundry room. Don’t be afraid to add some décor on the walls as well. If you need some quick, easy and inexpensive laundry room wall décor, check online or on Pinterest for a lot of inspiration for your home.

Your lawn is another place on the exterior of your home that can make a dramatic difference and be done on your own. You can add some greenery around your walkways, add some stone siding to your walkway or front lawn area around a flower bed, as well as add some drought-friendly plants. Perennial plants are an excellent option since they will come back year after year, so you can essentially set them and forget them in terms of maintenance.

Some other quick fixes you can do on your own for your home include: painting the front door, updating your window treatments, power washing your deck and sidewalks, and cleaning your gutters as well as replacing any old ones that may not be performing to their full potential.

 

These simple ideas can have your home looking more updated while adding value in the long haul at the same time.

 

 

Tricord Homes builds new home communities in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Contact them here to learn more about what they can offer you in a new home.