Archive for Jacqueline

What to Do Within the First Year of Owning a New Home

new homeowners

Buying a new home can feel a lot like graduating from college. For years you struggle, sacrifice, and put in the hard work, then comes the day when you earn your degree, which is not a guarantee for a job but a credential that can open many doors. Owning a new home can be a lot like that. You suddenly have this new brand new accomplishment under your belt and it feels great but then you begin to learn there’s more to it than that.

You’re not alone. Many new homeowners are caught off guard once the costs of owning a home begin to settle in. Not to worry—you’re in good hands. Here at Palo Verde Homes, we work with buyers we believe will be successful in their journey as a homeowner and do our part to ensure you know just what you’re getting into so you can enjoy this lifetime accomplishment, as you should! As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

What to Do in the First Couple of Weeks

Okay now that Franklin’s quote as settled in, it’s to plan out a couple of key items. Shortly after you move in, within the first weeks, there is a couple of home maintenance you’ll want to handle:

  • Do a thorough walk-through of the home and look for any possible repairs. Before you begin unpacking and setting up the home, including hanging decorations on the wall, you want to make the home doesn’t require any repairs. In the event a repair is needed, it’s much more difficult to have it done once there’s furniture in the home.
  • Check all appliances and electrical outlets. Although this is something that will be inspected in the walk-through, it’s always a good idea to test out your appliances within the first weeks of moving in to make sure everything is intact.
  • Know who to call in the event of an emergency. Whether you’re new to the area or El Paso in general, you want to know who to call outside of 911. For example, a local plumber, electrician, insurance agent, gas leak, and other home damages. Having these numbers on hand can prevent losing any valuable time, which is especially critical in an emergency situation.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit somewhere safe. In the same sense, you want to make sure you have a supply kit stored nearby in the event of a power outage. For example, if the lights go out you’ll have a flashlight on hand. It also doesn’t hurt to store non-perishable food and water in your pantry as well as blankets and other essential items one would need if the electricity goes out.

What to Do on a Monthly Basis

Owning a new home certainly has its perks. For one, you won’t have to worry about unexpected damage or severe home maintenance issues such a leaking roof. However, there are items you will need to keep track of and handle on a monthly basis. These include:

  • Change the air filters each month. This will help keep the air inside clean. Some people extend this to two or three months but if you’re running your AC or heater on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to replace the filters each month.
  • Test the carbon monoxide detector and other home alarm systems. The batteries in carbon monoxide detectors can stop working without notice so it’s a good idea to test the detector once a month just to ensure the batteries are working. This applies to other battery-operated doctors.   
  • Flush out the water to remove accumulated sediment. Water can cause appliances such as your washing machine or sinks to stop working much sooner. This is because the chemicals in the water will damage the pipes. As a precaution to the water you’re drinking and using for other household chores, it’s a good idea to check your water softener and replenish the salt if needed.    
  • Clean the garbage disposal. Like many commonly used but often forgotten areas of the home, the garbage disposal can easily get dismissed. We recommend marking these monthly maintenance items in your calendar on days that are easy to remember. For example, every 10th day of the month throw some ice cubes in the garbage disposal and turn on the grinder then flush it out with hot water and some baking soda. This will clean out all the residue that tends to stay behind.

Every Spring and/or Fall

While El Paso is fortunate to have rather mild and predictable weather, we do see a changing of the seasons, even if it’s not as dramatic as the leaves changing colors or the first snowfall. In our city, it’s more like the first day of triple-digit weather or the first full day of rain. Regardless of how you observe the changing of the season, at least twice a year when it gets cold/warm out, you want to do these items:

  • Have your roof inspected. New roofs don’t require nearly as much work as older homes but keeping it safe and damage free is as easy as a yearly routine inspection.
  • Remove any leaves or debris from the gutters. This will prevent the backflow of water, which can result in foundational issues or other structural damage.
  • Check your plumbing and make sure the pipes are all working. Just like a new roof, your plumbing won’t be difficult to deal with but it’s best to have your pipes inspected at least once a year.
  • Inspect your home appliances. From your oven to the washing machine and refrigerator, it’s a good idea to inspect your home appliances on a seasonal basis. Any small issues are much more feasible to repair than larger electrical issues.
  • Do a walk-through of your home’s exterior. If you don’t spend a lot of time outside, exterior issues are easy to dismiss. Make sure to do a rigorous walk-through of your home and look for any damage such as splitting paint, vegetation that requires work, a faulty door, or any issues with your irrigation system.    
  • Check for any cracks or gaps in the windows. Again, for a new home, it may be uncommon for the area around the windows to begin cracking or splitting but as caution and preventable measures, inspect your windows. Look for gaps between the trim and exterior siding as well any new caulk that needs to be re-applied.     

Have a Specific New Home Question? Contact Palo Verde Homes Today!

Yes, having a home is work. But is it worth it? Absolutely! In a list format, it may seem like there’s a lot to do but since most of these items are spread out and can easily be tackled within a day or two, it won’t be as nearly as tiring as one might imagine. It’s also a good idea to call in a professional for some of the items, which often involves an inspection and update on that part of your home. Knowing is better than not knowing when it comes to home damage. Most importantly, doing these items will help keep the pristine look and feel of your new home.

If you have any specific questions about your new Parlo Verde Home, please connect with us today!

Before You Build: 5 Steps to Follow

Building a new home begins long before the foundation is poured. To avoid costly mistakes during the construction process, start with these five important steps. As you move from your dream house to your real house, be sure to ask questions and share your progress.

1. Plan Your Budget

Begin now to think about how much you can afford to spend and how much building your new home is likely to cost. Chances are you will need a construction loan and a mortgage. It’s not too early to find out what size loan you qualify for. Also, knowing the approximate costs will help you modify your building plans to meet your budget.

2. Choose Your Lot

Whether you are building your home in a suburban development or a site with sweeping ocean views, you will almost always need to choose the land before you select floor plans or other details. You (and any pros you hire) will need to investigate factors such as soil condition, drainage, zoning and building codes in the region.

3. Line Up Your Team

You’ll need a team of experts to design and construct your house. Key players will include a builder, an excavator, a surveyor and a home designer or an architect. Many homeowners begin by selecting the builder or contractor. That pro then selects other members of the team.

4. Pick a Plan

Many new homes are built using stock plans from a catalog. The builder or a home designer may make minor modifications in room size, window style or other details. A custom-designed home, on the other hand, is created specifically for the family which will live there. In most cases, custom-designed homes require the services of a licensed architect. Whether you opt for a stock or a custom design, you will be wise to choose a plan that will meet your needs for many years to come.

5. Negotiate a Contract

Be sure to get a written contract which has been signed and dated by both the builder or contractor and the architect or designer. A contract for new home construction will describe the project in detail and include a listing of all the parts to be included in the house. Remember to amend the contract if you or your team make any changes to the project later on.

20 Creative Color Schemes Inspired By The Color Wheel

An empty room is a blank canvas for any decorator to fill with color, pattern, and texture. While decorators have a handle on color schemes that work, choosing color schemes can be a scary proposition for others. Fear not, there are a few easy guidelines to follow that will have anyone picking colors like a pro.  There are five basic color schemes and a myriad of options from which to draw upon for inspiration and we will review each of them.

Monochromatic

The monochromatic color scheme is perhaps the easiest to understand. It is the use of anyone tint, hue or shade of a single color.  This scheme can be either very relaxing or very dramatic depending on the color chosen and the various shades or tints incorporated. For a bit of drama consider the use of a warm hue such as red or orange. For a cooler feel try blues or greens. Grays, whites, and creams are fabulous options for neutral schemes.

Analogous

The analogous scheme uses consecutive colors on the color wheel.  Mixing colors that are adjacent to each other creates a colorful yet harmonious look.  Using more than five colors would be a bit jumbled and cause visual confusion in a space. A safe bet is to pick three to four that you like together and decide which will be a key color and which will be accepted.If yellow and green are favored colors you could build a scheme that involves yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green and green into space.

Complementary

A complementary scheme is created by using colors, shades, tints or tones of two colors found opposite each other on the color wheel.  This scheme is easy to use and leaves a room feeling harmonious and soothing. Pick the two colors you like and build your scheme from there.  Expand the palette by incorporating a lighter tint or a darker shade of the two colors. This will add some depth and character to the room. Add white to both green and red to achieve the vibrant and cheerful look of the pink and green room, or add white to the yellow and blue to achieve a soothing formal look for a living room.

Split Complementary

A split complementary scheme involves the use of three colors. Start with one color, find its complement and then use the two colors on either side of it.  For example, the complement of blue-green is red-orange and the split complement of blue-green would be red and orange. Again, any shade, tint or tone of these three colors can be used when developing your color scheme.

If One Of Your Goals For 2019 Is To Become A Homeowner, Read Along…

Owning a home is one of the greatest investments. And right about now you’re thinking, “Yes, I’ve heard that phrase time and time again.” The reality is, owning a home can provide you with many incentives and a prosperous future. However, getting there is what takes the majority of work. Being determined, persistent, and wise about this decision is what truly matters.

Here at Palo Verde Homes, it’s our priority to match people with homes and guide them in their journey to homeownership. If you’ve made it your goal to become a homeowner in 2019 then we’d like to provide you with a couple of tips to help get you started.

Tip #1. Don’t settle.

This is a lifetime investment after all. Spend time exploring what you need and desire in a home. Make a list and carry it with you. There may be some give and take, especially if your partner has a different set of ideas but it’s important to find a balance. Once you begin attending Open Houses and working with a Realtor, who will also pose discovery questions, you’ll have a better picture of what will fill your desires in a home.

Tip #2. Research the builder.

You can fall in love with certain layouts or home features but if the home’s foundation is not what it should be, you’ll have numerous problems down the road. Knowing that the builder is reputable and has a solid customer satisfaction rate is key. One of the first items on your agenda should be researching home builders in the area. See what type of warranties they offer, make sure they meet all of the standard qualifications and don’t be afraid to ask for customer reviews. You should get to know the builder and ensure they are able to provide you with quality service from beginning to end.

Tip #3. Get pre-qualified for a loan early on.

Having your finances in check is especially important. One of the first items your Realtor will want to know is how much you’re looking to spend. If you have any outstanding debt or bad credit, this will affect your qualifications for a loan. Ultimately, it’s critical that you know what amount you can afford for a monthly mortgage. Knowing upfront what you can and cannot afford will save you from headaches and heartbreaks.

Bonus Tip: Contact Palo Verde Homes

We don’t say this because we’re biased to our own high-quality, beautiful homes, we say this because we are confident in our ability to bring you a home you’ll cherish for years to come! Knowing your goal is to become a homeowner in 2019 excites us. Each year we meet so many couples, families, and young professionals embarking on a new journey of homeownership and it’s truly what keeps our passion alive. Once you see a couple of our model homes in person you’ll have a great sense of why we continue to score a 5/5 among current owners.

We’re confident 2019 will be the year you unpack your bags and shout, “I’m home!Contact us today to make that vision a reality!