New Homes Billings MT

2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty

Know if a Home is Move in Ready

Buying a house is a big investment and usually a big step in anyone’s life.

The home that you choose to live in will affect nearly every aspect of your day-to-day life, so you want to make sure that the decision you make is the right decision for you and your family.

You don’t want to come to regret your decision later on. Because there are so many options on the market in today’s day and age, it is a very good idea to know the industry so that you can easily identify whether a house is right for you or not.

Move in Ready - How to Know if a Home is Move in Ready
Move in Ready

The first choice you will have to make is if you want to purchase a move in ready home or new construction.

There are several factors to take into account with each option and while there is no right or wrong answer, one or the other will probably make more sense for your specific situation.

A new construction home (unless you are building fa custom home from the ground up) will generally simply be a shell of a house that is waiting to be finished. The outside may be fairly complete, but the inside will have no plumbing or wiring yet. The walls, for the most part, will not be framed in. The reason for this is to give the buyer ultimate flexibility in being able to choose the layout of the house.

Where the bedrooms go, how many bathrooms there are, which walls are load-bearing, are all decisions that the buyer can make to customize the home as much as possible.

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By contrast, a moving in ready home will simplify the buying process significantly. Because everything will already be in place, from the flooring to the kitchen counters to the bathroom fixtures, a buyer will save a ton of time (as well as decision making) when it comes to their new house. If time is of the essence, a move in ready home is probably the best option.

The biggest factors when deciding between a move in ready home and new construction is usually time and cost.

Obviously if you are relocating for work and need a new home immediately, you will not choose new construction. It simply takes too much time to finish off the house if you need a place to live right away. You might wait 4-6 months depending upon the schedule of the builder, before your house will be inhabitable.

Plus, there are always delays that inevitably happen, such as an appliance being out of stock, or an electrician who can’t make it on a certain date, etc.

By contrast, purchasing a move in ready home can take as little as a few days to a month to move into. You will not have the options that you would have by choosing new construction, but you can still control things like location and neighborhood.

You will also not have the complexity of having to make so many choices as you would with a new build.

Overall, choosing a move in ready home or a new construction home probably depends strictly upon each individual’s needs. If you don’t have the time to wait and also to make every decision that comes with new construction, then a move in ready home is probably the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want to have the ultimate in flexibility and customization, new construction is the way to go if you are not in a hurry. Knowing the differences between the two will help you to make the most informed decision for your given situation.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about finding your new home in Montana!

Hiring a Local Home Builder

Custom building your new home can be (and should be) an extremely exciting and rewarding process.

However, for many people, it can also be more than a bit intimidating. It is a big project with a lot of moving parts, so making sure you hire the right builder is crucial to keep your dream home from turning into your nightmare home.

If you are getting ready to build your own home, or even just thinking about starting the process, here are some things to consider when hiring a local home builder.

Local Home Builder 300x225 - Hiring a Local Home Builder
Local Home Builder

The biggest reason to hire a professional home builder is simple: expertise, experience, and knowledge. A good builder will have all three.

If you have not gone through the process before, (and lets face it, most of us haven’t) then you need someone you can rely on to help you over the various hurdles that you will face. With a good custom builder, you will be hiring a whole team of experts who each have knowledge and expertise in their particular arenas.

Don’t worry about all the things you don’t know. Hire a professional and let them worry about it!

Custom builders will also often have much better buying power than you would on your own. They will have long term relationships with suppliers and manufacturers so that they can get the materials and fixtures that will go into your new home at the best possible prices. Imagine having to go to the lumberyard to buy all the lumber for your house. Your builder will not have to do that and will be able to order whatever is needed at a far better price than you would ever find on your own.

These savings will then be passed on to you, and even better, you don’t have to worry about what every little thing costs.

*Be sure to learn more about Trails West 2-10 home buyer’s warranty!

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Hiring a home builder will also preserve your time spend.

Building a custom home takes a lot of time and effort. Managing such a process on your own will more than likely leave you quickly overwhelmed and with zero time to live the rest of your life. Take a load off your mind and hire a professional who will then free you up to do the things you normally do. This will take the stress off your shoulders and allow you to do the things you normally do rather than spending every waking moment worrying about the new home.

Local Home Builders 300x191 - Hiring a Local Home BuilderHome builders will also be able to streamline the processes in ways that you may have not even thought of. Worried about when the concrete will get poured? Don’t worry about it with a custom home builder. Your builder will have a time line of when everything gets done and be able to move from phase to phase with minimal issues, simply because they have seen and done it all before. There will not be any surprises for a good custom builder who has tons of experience.

They are not going to see anything that they have not seen before and that will come in handy for preserving your own sanity as you build your custom home.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about finding your new home in Montana!

Show Me Homes

A realtor can offer a wide range of assistance to prospective home buyers. Choosing the right one can save you a great deal of money and secure you the home of your dreams.

Is Every Real Estate Agent a Realtor?

The quick answer is no. Therefore, you need to be sure you are working with a professional realtor. It is important to be clear about definitions.

* Real estate agent: Anyone who earns a real estate license can be called a real estate agent. They need to attend classes and pass their exams.

* Real estate broker: This is a real estate agent who has taken further classes and passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or hire other agents to work for them.

* REALTOR®: A realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, and must therefore uphold the standards of the association and abide by its code of ethics. https://www.nar.realtor/

Find a realtor first. Then determine if this is a person you will feel comfortable dealing with. A good realtor can soon start to seem like a member of the family.

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Showing You Homes

Showing you possible homes will be a key part of their job, but they need to get to know you and your family as people so they can help find a home that will suit your tastes and needs. They also need to have a good idea of your price range and overall budget.

Get You Pre-Approved

A good realtor should have a reliable network of trusted lenders and professionals commonly involved in the many details related to you buying a home, and they will help the sale go through smoothly all the way to closing. The first step is to get a mortgage pre-approved so you can start shopping.

Note that pre-approval means that the lender has gone through all of your financial paperwork, such as proof of employment and income, and assessed your credit report. Be sure to get a pre-approval letter if you have been shopping around on your own before working with your realtor.

What does a realtor do besides show me homes - What Does a Realtor Do Besides Show Me Homes?

Give Advice about the Local Housing Market and Neighborhood

Some neighborhoods have a certain character, and are more desirable than others. Not all four-bedrooms are created equal, therefore. Be sure to inform your realtor of any special requirements from the outset, such as being close to an elementary school or high school, near public transportation and shops because you don’t drive, and so on.

They will also know what similar houses have sold for recently and might be able to connect you with a bargain house that needs to be sold quickly, or which has just reduced its asking price significantly.

Negotiating Your Offer

Leave this to the pros and they should be able to get the best price for you. It will be contingent on what the house inspection reveals.

Connecting You with a Reliable House Inspector

Your realtor will want you to be happy and not stuck with a "lemon". They will recommend reliable inspectors they trust. Based on what they find, the house valuation may be lower, in which case you can adjust your offer accordingly.

They will also advise you on whether the price is in line with the neighborhood. The last thing you want is an "underwater mortgage" in which you will owe more than the house will ever be worth.

Attending the Home Inspection

A good realtor will be willing to attend the inspection and take part actively. Two pairs of eyes will always be better than one. They can then report back their honest opinion as to your next steps and negotiate as needed.

As you can see, the right realtor can make a real difference to the house-buying process and will help you find your dream house.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about finding your new home in Montana!

Choosing a Custom Home Builder

If you happen to be in the market for a new home, one thing you may want to consider is building your own custom home rather than buying a pre-existing one.

There are obviously many aspects to be considered if you choose to go down this path, but the first one will be to choose a custom home builder that fits your needs. Choosing a builder is probably the most important decision that you can make since you will need to trust the builder to see your dream home come to fruition.

Custom Home Builder 300x175 - Choosing a Custom Home BuilderEven if you are looking at builder a townhouse or condo, a home in a nice subdivision, or a custom built home out in the country, finding a reputable builder that fits your needs is all part of the process.

Once you have in mind what type of home you are looking to build, you will want to compile a list of custom home builders in your area. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this task from checking with a local home builders association to going through the newspaper or even using Google or Craigslist.

Local real estate agents should also be able to help with this decision, as many of them will have worked with builders in the past and have their own personal favorites. Word of mouth is a great way to find a custom home builder as well since there is nothing like personal experience to find out how a builder truly performs.

Once you have compiled a list, the nest step is to research the builders on it.

When you have your list completed, it is time to interview some builders. Talking to them and asking the questions that are important to you is all part of the process. Finding out how they will be to work with during the process of building your home is paramount to having a good experience rather than a stressful one. You will also want to take a look at their work, so visiting their recent builds is always an important step as well. Sometimes you may be able to even talk to the current homeowner who is living there and ask them what they like about the house and what they don’t. Again, personal, hands on experience is important in your decision making process.

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As you are interviewing builders and talking with current home owners, there is nothing wrong with talking along a notebook of some sort to jot down some notes. You will have questions and some of the things you jot down will lead to points of discussion later on, so don’t be afraid to document your due diligence.

You are looking for quality and value and there is no need to be shy about it; this is a big decision for you and your family that will necessitate spending a large amount of money. Take it seriously in the beginning and it will work out better once you are actually in the process of building your home.

Overall, choosing the custom home builder that fits your needs is an important part of the process of building your own home. Much like interviewing a potential employee, this is a relationship that you need to be very comfortable with moving forward and you want to be confident that you will get the best possible result for your money.

changing your furnace filters

It’s that time of year again. You know; that time of year when the air starts to get cooler and you start thinking about all the things that need to be done around your home to get it ready for winter.

It never fails, there is always a lot to do around the house to prepare for the cold weather and most people have some sort of checklist to help make sure everything gets done and while cleaning the gutters and checking the windows for drafts is important, one thing you want to make sure you don’t forget is changing your furnace filter.

Dirty Furnace Filter 230x300 - Fall means it's time for changing your furnace filters
Dirty Furnace Filter

Changing your furnace filter is more important than you may think. This task may not top anyone’s list of things to do, but keeping a clean filter purifies the air that we breathe by removing dirt and allergens. Changing your furnace regularly not only keeps the air that you and your family breathe clean, but it saves you money on energy costs as well.

Overall, the benefits of a basic maintenance task that only takes a few seconds far outweighs putting it off and ending up with a dirty, clogged filter.

People who suffer from allergies as well as issues such as asthma will benefit from a clean furnace filter in the home. Two types of indoor air pollutants will affect our breathing: particle pollutants and gaseous pollutants. Particle matter can consist of things such as pollen, cigarette smoke, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, mold, and cooking odors. Gaseous pollutants might include items such as paint fumes, adhesive products, building materials, pesticides, and cleaning products.

The way an air filter works is that it acts as a trap for all of these various pollutants. Regularly changing out your air filter will allow you to greatly reduce the number of polluted particles in the air that you breathe in your home, which is important not only for your family but also for your pets as well. Young people and older adults can particularly be affected by particles in the air.

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Air filters have different MERV ratings and the higher the MERV rating, the more particles you will capture with the filter. A MERV rating of 8 is common for most household furnace filters, but if you have people in your home who may be particularly susceptible to allergens in the air (such as asthma sufferers, etc.) then you may want to consider using a filter with a higher MERV rating such as MERV 11 or MERV 12.

Now that you know how air filters affect the air that you breathe in your home, you are probably wondering how they can save you money. When an air filter is not changed regularly, it accumulates all sorts of dust and debris. These foreign particles serve to clog up your filter and make it harder for air to pass through it. This in turn forces your furnace to work harder, using more energy and thus costing you more money. This increase in air resistance is a big deal because you do not want to have to make costly repairs to your HVAC system.

By simply replacing your furnace filter once every 3-4 months, you will greatly reduce the possibility of having problems with your system. All of us have better things to spend our money on than fixing our furnace, so an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case.

It is by far cheaper to replace a simple air filter regularly than it is to call a heating/cooling company to come to your house to make repairs to your furnace system!

Fall Furnace Filter 300x225 - Fall means it's time for changing your furnace filtersIt’s easy to see how doing a simple task like changing your furnace filter regularly has all sorts of benefits for you and your family as well as your wallet. A clean filter will grab foreign particles much more easily than a clogged, dirty one will, and it will allow air to flow through your ducts much more easily, saving you money.

Protecting your home from air pollutants is a great fall task to add to your list and it should be done several more times of the year as well. When the air starts changing from hotter to cold air, the environment changes as well and different pollutants can come into your home.

Take a few minutes to replace your furnace filter and you and your family will benefit from this simple fix. There is no better time than the present to take care of your HVAC system.

How Soon Can I Move In

One of the main questions new homeowners have is how soon they can move in once they spot the house of their dreams. The truth is that the process can take around three to six months from start to finish.

It's not as simple as just viewing the houses and falling in love with one and buying it. Unless you have cash in your pocket to buy it, you’ll have to deal with various stages of paperwork from opening to closing the deal, and getting the keys so you can move in.

Getting Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage

Getting pre-approved is key so you know your budget (roughly) and realtors will be willing to work with you. Get a pre-approval letter from your lender before you start to look.

Viewing Houses

Viewing houses can be the fun and also the frustrating part. It will depend on your needs and tastes. It will also depend on how soon you want to move. Expect the entire process to take at least three months.

back of house - How Soon Can I Move In?

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Making an Offer

If you decide you want to make an offer, do so through your realtor.

Giving an Earnest Money Deposit

Once you decide to make an offer, you will need to give an earnest money deposit of 1% to 3% of the price of the home. This will show you are serious, and the seller will then take the house off the market. Give the money to your realtor, who will put it in escrow for safekeeping until it can be used as part of the down payment for your house.

The House Inspection

The house inspection is essential in order to determine if the price is right, and if the house is in good repair. You can adjust your offer based on what the inspector finds. Once the list of repairs is completed, or you’ve agreed to a lower price, the sale can go ahead.

Finalizing Your Mortgage

Once you are clear about how much you need to borrow, you can finalize your mortgage.

Gathering Your Down Payment

Make sure your down payment is ready so you can hand it over as and when needed.

Decide on a Closing Date

Decide when you will have all the paperwork and money available to be able to close.

Determine a Move-In Date

If the seller is still living in the house, be sure to negotiate a move-in date before you close. If you are in a hurry, this could put you both under a lot of pressure. However, you don’t want to be paying rent and a mortgage at the same time, so the sooner you can move in, the better.

You should usually get the keys within a week of closing. If you can’t get the keys right away, be clear about the number of days of occupancy they are requesting, such as 30 or 60 days after closing.

What If They Can’t Move?

What happens if the seller hasn’t moved? This can happen if they are looking for their ideal new home too, and are delayed in completing their purchase.

Your occupancy date should not be changed once it is set. It is part of the entire legal agreement in buying the home. However, you could offer to rent the home to them for the price of the mortgage payment each month until they finally move. This is commonly referred to as a leaseback. It can be frustrating, but it will be worth the wait.

Keep in regular communication with your realtor until such time as you have the keys and are completely moved in. They can help you with any issues so you can all do your best to make sure your move-in date will go according to plan.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about finding your new home in Montana!

What Is an Earnest Money Deposit

Prospective new home owners can often become confused by the strange-sounding terms used throughout the process of looking at homes, finding one they love, and wanting to actually buy that house. There are a lot of steps involved from looking to moving in. One of those steps at the decision-making stage is the earnest money deposit.

The Earnest Money Deposit

The earnest money deposit is important because it tells the seller of the house that you are a committed buyer with the money to go ahead with the sale.

Without the earnest money deposit, there would be nothing to stop a prospective buyer from making offers on many homes, which would result in them being taken off the market until the buyer decided which one they liked best - leaving the other sellers in the lurch. These days, most sellers insist on having a deposit of some kind as a part of accepting your offer.

The Earnest Money Will Be Part of Your Down Payment and Closing Costs

Many people worry that this is an additional cost on top of all the other financial obligations involved in buying a home. The truth is that the money will go towards the down payment and/or closing costs when the sale goes through.

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What If I Change My Mind?

The only exception to getting all your money applied towards the sale is if it does not go through. If you change your mind, for example, there will usually be a fee involved, with a small percentage of the money forfeited.

On the other hand, if you want to back out of the sale because the house does not pass the inspection and/or there will be too long a wait for the seller to redress the issues, you should not forfeit any money. Sometimes the seller might also discover that for various reasons, they are not allowed to sell the home. This could be because they are in foreclosure, have a tax lien on the house, or are not aware they are in a flood zone and need to follow certain rules and regulations when selling.

Earnest Money Deposit What is it 300x200 - What Is an Earnest Money Deposit?How Much Earnest Money Will Be Required?

In general, it will be around 1% to 2% of the agreed-upon price for the home. You should have this money available before making a firm offer. If it is a lively market, they may ask for 3%, but they might also be willing to haggle on the price if they can be assured of a large down payment and quick sale.

What Happens to the Deposit?

Once you have signed the purchase agreement, the money will usually be put in an escrow account by the realtor, or title holder if you are opting for a foreclosed property. Never give the money directly to the seller. You should of course use only a reputable realtor and be clear about how they will hold the money.

Once the sale reaches the final stages, the money will be released from escrow and applied to your down payment for the house.

What to Do to Get Your Money Back

If the deal falls through, a small cancellation fee might be charged, especially if you change your mind.

The rest of the amount in escrow will be handled based on what is stated in the purchase agreement, so make sure there is a clause about this in the agreement.

The agreement should also state certain contingencies. For example, sometimes even pre-approved customers actually get declined for a mortgage in the end. In this case, you should be able to recover 100% of the earnest money deposit. Issues with the seller not being able to sell, or the home inspection, should also be stated in the clause to ensure you get back you full deposit.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about finding your new home in Montana!

Retirement Living-Need to Know

So you have been considering moving to a new place for your retirement. Obviously there are a plethora of choices that exist for you consider around this great country of ours, but many folks these days have at least thought about, or are strongly considering moving to Montana for their retirement years.

If the state of Montana is on your radar for retirement living, there are some things that you need to know.

First off, here is a little background and geography for you to consider. The name Montana comes from the Spanish word for mountain-‘montana’. As you might expect, there are numerous mountain ranges covering the state, 77 ranges in total. Most of these are part of the Rocky Mountains and cover the western part of the state, while the eastern lands of Montana are mostly prairie and badlands. To the north, Montana is actually bordered by three Canadian provinces: Alberta, British Columbia (B.C.) and Saskatchewan. Some of the primary sources of income in the state include: farming and ranching, oil, coal, and gas, as well as rock mining and timber harvesting.

One of the most important things to take into consideration when planning your retirement in Montana is the climate. Montana is known for her harsh winters, as well as the very warm summers, so you will need to appreciate all four seasons if you plan to make Montana your home. If you have a problem with snow, Montana may not be the place for you, as it is inevitable during the winter months. Many folks who live in Montana appreciate the cold winters, as well as the activities that the winters provide such as skiing, snow shoeing, etc. No matter what your outdoor pleasure is, you are going to find it either in the winter months or the summer months in Montana.

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The state of Montana is sparsely populated when compared to other states, as Billings, which is the most populated city, has only a little over 100,000 people. The capital of Montana is Helena, with a population of only about 28,000. Great Falls and Missoula are a couple of the other most populated hubs, with in the neighborhood of 50,000-70,000 people. After that the 56 counties of the state are made up with many smaller towns and communities.

Retirement Living - Retirement Living-Need to KnowOne of the many things that you may appreciate about Montana is the cost of living. The cost of living in Montana is 6.3% lower than the rest of the country, making it a tempting destination for retirement living. In addition, Montana is one of the few states left that does not have sales tax, so many people find that the costs are much less than what they have grown used to when living in more metropolitan areas. Montana also has relatively low property taxes as well, coming in at ab out 1.19% lower than national averages. Tax rates are usually determined by location in relation to cities, counties, and school districts.

If you are looking for cuisine when it comes to Montana, you will find the food to be diverse, depending upon location. Overall, Montana is known for its cattle as well as pigs and hogs, so you will find some of the best steaks around at the various Montana eateries. Many delicacies exist in various regions of the state, from the huckleberries of western Montana to the elk burgers and bison burgers of the upper crust restaurants.

Here are some other pro’s to making Montana your home in your retirement years:

1) Yellowstone National Park. If this national treasure doesn’t perk your interest, then nothing will!

2) Glacier National Park. The only location perhaps as scenic and breathtaking as Yellowstone is Glacier Park in the north-western region of the states.

3) Low taxes. Nothing more needs to be said here.

4) No tolls. You will not find any tolls as you drive around the vast state of Montana. Once again, this weighs into the lower cost of living that the state provides.

5) Less dense population. If you like your space and don’t want to live right on top of your next-door neighbors, Montana provides that in a big way.

6) Outdoor activities. Whether its fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, golfing, skiing, horse back riding, or anything else you can think of, if it takes place outdoors, Montana provides it.

7) Liberty minded people. Montanans like their freedom and if you don’t need a new law every time you turn around, Montana is probably the place for you.

8) Living in Montana offers options that you just plain will not find in any other state. If you like a more cosmopolitan type area, then the bigger cities such as Billings and Missoula offer that, while still having outdoor activities right out your window. If isolation is what you seek, you can purchase a property that requires you drive 30 minutes just to retrieve your mail. You may not even have a neighbor and if you do, you may never see them!

9) The great outdoor living is in general, healthy. Montana is rated as the least obese state in the nation.

Again, if you like to experience all four seasons, Montana offers that where other states do not. As opposed to somewhere like Phoenix Arizona, where you get extreme heat in the spring/summer/fall, along with very temperate, beautiful winters, Montana will run the gamut. In certain parts of the state it may be -25 degrees in the winter and 95 degrees in the summer.

Overall, like most places, there are pros and cons to living in Montana. No place is perfect and Montana is no exception to that rule. However, there are some aspects to life in Montana that you will not find anywhere else that you may consider for your retirement living. It is up for you to decide if those aspects appeal to you, your family, and your way of life.

Many folks find Montana to be the ultimate place to live in their retirement. You might try it and feel that way too.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about finding your new home in Montana!

Money Saving Household Tips

Nowadays, who isn’t looking to save money? Most of us love to save a dollar or two where ever we can and it is surprising how much money you can save by making a few little changes and adjustments around your house.

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Sure, your home is a source of pride and security for you and your family, but it can also be a source of saving money if you follow these handy tips for saving money around the household.

  1. Change to LED bulbs. By replacing as few as five of your most used light bulbs with LED bulbs, you can save as much as $75/year on your energy bill. You wouldn’t think a few light bulbs would make that much difference, but LED bulbs are so much more efficient than regular light bulbs that the savings can really add up fast.
  2. Speaking of light bulbs…….ever hear of cleaning your light bulbs? Dusty, dirty light bulbs can emit as much as 30% less energy than a clean one will. By simply cleaning your bulbs, you can brighten any room and thereby turn on less lights and use less energy. Sounds simple? It is!
  3. Fill your fridge. Here is another tip that sounds to simple to be effective. A full refrigerator will retain cold air better and therefore use less energy. If you are going to be out of town and don’t want to leave a bunch of food in your fridge that may spoil, simply use water bottle to fill up the extra space. This is a simple act that will save on electricity.
  4. Power strips. You probably have these in your house anyway. Many of your appliances such as computers and coffee pots, will continue to suck electricity even when not in use. A simple way to avoid this is to hook them up to a power strip and flick the switch off when not in use.
  5. Set your water heater to 120 degrees. Most water heaters tend to be set much higher than is needed. By lowering the temperature to 120, you can save 3-5% off the cost of your hot water heating.
  6. Money Saving Tips 300x200 - Money Saving Household TipsWash your clothes in cold water. This is another simple tip that may have you smacking your head because you didn’t think of it first, but washing clothes in cold water means you don’t have to heat water for the wash, thereby saving money on your electric bill. Simple and yet effective!
  7. Don’t use the highest setting on your dryer every time. Much of the time you are drying your clothes, you don’t need the highest setting and it wastes energy to ‘overheat’ your clothes. They will dry on cooler settings and you can save money by doing so. Want to save even more? Hang your cloths out on a cloths line in the nice weather and don’t pay any electricity to dry them at all!
  8. Want another laundry tip? Try cutting back on laundry detergent. You can get by with a lot less detergent per load than that little ‘fill line’ on the detergent cap tells you. Think about it; Tide wants you to use more detergent for every load, so that you have to buy more detergent from them. Don’t fall for it. You will be amazed at how much less you can actually get by with.
  9. Ditch the Swiffer. Disposable mop and broom heads cost money. You can get by with more traditional means when it comes to cleaning your floors and it will save you a ton of money on a yearly basis. Plus you will be doing a favor for the environment by creating less waste.
  10. While we are ditching things, add dryer sheets to that list. Dryer sheets are not necessary and if you want to get rid of static cling, try tossing a couple of tennis balls into the dryer. You will get the same effect, save money, and again, create less waste.
  11. Don’t rinse the dishes. Want to save on the water bill? Get rid of the tedious process of rinsing off your dishes prior to putting them in the dishwasher. You can do a good job of scraping them off into the garbage can and then put them in the dishwasher. Don’t waste water by ‘pre-washing’ the dishes.
  12. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator. If you drink water out of the tap, save water by not having to let it run to get it cold. Keeping a nice, cold pitcher of water in the fridge will save on your water bill and you can also use a filtered pitcher for added benefits.
  13. Cut your shower time. One of the best ways to save money on your water bill is to simply cut down on the amount of time you spend in the shower. If you even cut down by a couple minutes per day, it will save you a lot of money when added up over the course of a year.
  14. Close the closet. Many people don’t stop to consider this, but if you leave closet doors open, you are just heating or cooling more space because of it. You don’t need your closet to be as warm as the rest of the room, so shut that closet door and save money on your heat bill.
  15. Use ceiling fans. If used correctly, ceiling fans can reduce your bill for cooling the house in the summer and also heating your home in the winter. By keeping some air flow going, you will make both your AC unit and your heating unit more efficient and save yourself a few bucks at the same time.
  16. Weather-strip your windows and doors. This is another simple fix that people often forget. Over time, you can develop small cracks around your windows and doors as the original calking or weather-stripping wears out. Make sure you don’t have drafts where hot air is escaping in the winter, and cool air is escaping in the summer.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

Whether you are buying a brand new home or a pre-owned older home, one of the things that every home buyer has to think about is: what if something goes wrong?

Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts in your house, from the furnace to the roof to the plumbing to the kitchen appliances and having to make large expenditures to replace an item in your house can be very stressful and quite taxing on your wallet as well.

Expenses can pile up quickly, which is why many homeowners go with a 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty.

So, how does a home warranty work?

Basically, a home warranty is a contract that you can purchase that provides coverage for the major systems and major appliances in your home. Depending upon the warranty, different items may or may not be covered and you will want to make sure to do some research to find out which one may be right for you.

2 10 home buyers warranty logo - What is a 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty?

Standard warranty agreements will cover things like: heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. Appliances covered will usually be items such as refrigerator, stoves and ovens, hot water heater, dishwasher, and possibly even things like your garage door opener. If any of these items fail during the period of your warranty, the warranty company will pay to have them repaired or replaced.

A home warranty is different from your homeowner’s insurance and is usually purchased before the completion of the sale of the home. Home warranties cover items that fail due to normal, every day, wear and tear. Your insurance covers accidents, such as hail damage or flooding.

You should also be aware that home warranties can be purchased for various periods of time, as little as 2 years, and as many as 10 years. The length that you purchase will depend a lot upon the home that you are buyer and your specific needs.

(FREE) Download Our 13 New Home Plans and Warranty PDF!

Not all home warranties are created equal.

Costs will vary as well as the items covered under the warranty. You should also take into account the reputation of the home warranty company. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a home warranty with a ‘fly by night’ type of company who will not honor a claim when you need them.

Make sure you do your due diligence and that you know exactly who you are dealing with prior to purchasing a warranty.

A 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is a specific warranty from a  specific company, know as 2-10. 2-10 is a name brand company who stands apart mainly due to their stellar reputation.  It is one of the few home warranty companies that has been approved by HUD. (United States Department for Housing and Urban Development.) They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Having your own warranty with such a reliable company is certainly great for your peace of mind and you know that should a problem arise, it will be taken care of quickly and efficiently.

When the time comes to file a claim, you simply contact your home warranty company. Don’t contact a service professional or repairman of your own. The warranty company will send someone out who they work with. There is generally a nominal fee to go with any claim, much like you would pay a deductible with your insurance policy.

The warranty company then takes care of things from there; if the item can be repaired or serviced, it will be. If not, it will be replaced.

It is important to note, in the beginning what your home warranty will cover and what it won’t. Some items are covered by your homeowner’s insurance, and some by home warranty.

Know what you are getting in the first place to avoid confusion down the line. Also keep in mind the length of your warranty and when it does run out, you will have the option of purchasing a new warranty for either the same or a different length of time.

Smile knowing your home is protected for a full 10 years.  Learn more here!

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