3 Smart Tips For Examining A School District Before You Move

new homesHere’s a shocking statistic: the value of a home can be affected as much as 20% based on the quality of the school district. That’s just one reason it’s critical to evaluate the quality of a school district before you move, regardless of whether or not you actually have children. While it’s not always easy to determine the overall quality of any given school district, there are a number of tips you can keep in mind to help make the process easier so you can confirm your move and start looking at new homes. Here are just a few school-smart tips for examining a district before you move.

Look at After School Programs
Since you probably won’t be able to take a walkthrough of any schools within the district themselves, what you can do is look at the quality of their after school programs. This is an important step that can reveal more than you might think about the school’s budget and academic priorities.

“After school programs invite students to participate in a variety of activities after the official school day has ended. In most cases, they are held at the school, but sometimes, activities are held elsewhere, such as a library, park, or community center. Programs often include sports, performing arts, creative arts, academic environment, outdoor education, and financial literacy options,” writes Updater.

Remember That Numbers Don’t Lie
Numbers and statistics aren’t everything, but they certainly carry a lot of weight when it comes to determining school district quality in relation to real estate. Start by looking at the student to teacher ratios in all the schools in the district. Then, look at a public database to get an idea of the district’s standardized test scores. It may seem a bit over the top, but it’s a secret that can really pay off.

Moving can inevitably be a long and drawn out process, so there’s no need to spend too much time checking out the school district. Still, it’s helpful to know that you have more power than you think to choose an area that prioritizes education and helps to raise the value of any new homes you’re considering. For more information about custom built homes or how to find the luxury home of your dreams, contact Stony Brook.

3 Home Floor Plan Mistakes to Avoid

luxury estate homesBuying a new home is an exciting, yet stressful time. If you’re planning your own custom built home, you may be having a difficult time figuring out the perfect floor plan. The floor plan of a home is one of the most important aspects. And with 34% of people who recently bought a new home saying they were looking to avoid renovations and plumbing or electrical problems, having the perfect layout means no future renovations. So how do you decide on the perfect floor plan? To help you get started, let’s talk about a few things not to do.

Not considering your lifestyle: Many homeowners fail to consider their lifestyle when they’re planning the layout of their home. For example, if you’re planning on using the backyard area a lot, make sure it’s easily accessible from a common area in the house. And if you’re someone who likes to entertain on a regular basis, you may want to consider a more open floor plan. It’s important to consider how you’re going to use the house when deciding on a floor plan.

Forgetting about function: Function is key when planning the layout of luxury estate homes. Unfortunately, what looks good on paper doesn’t always work out so well in real life. Because of this, it’s important to consider your daily routines and how you’re going to be using the house. Is the dining room too far away from the kitchen? Do you have a bathroom that will be easily accessible for guests? These are important questions to ask yourself.

Leaving out storage: When people are working on the floor plan for their luxury estate homes, they often leave out one important detail: storage. New homes nowadays often have an uneven distribution of space, meaning there’s too much space used somewhere that doesn’t really need that much space. So instead of allocating space to a great, big corridor, make sure you have enough space for plenty of storage throughout your home. Without storage areas, you won’t have anywhere to put all of your belongings.

New custom homes allow you to design your home to fit your lifestyle and needs. So to avoid having a floor plan you end up hating, make sure you think about how you’ll be able to go about your daily routines in your new home.

Designing a Custom Home: What Really Matters?

new custom homesWhen it comes to designing and building new custom homes, there are a lot of important factors to consider. This is especially true if you’re one of the 32% of people who are looking at buying their first home. Designing a home can be overwhelming and it can be a long process. However, time and patience will pay off in the end. During the planning process, it’s important to understand what truly matters in a home’s design. While aspects like layout and location are what first come to mind, there’s much more that goes into designing a home. This article is going to talk about three key design aspects all homeowners and builders should consider when designing new custom homes.

Storage: While many homeowners spend a lot of time thinking about each and every room of their home, they sometimes forget to incorporate storage space into their design plans. One of the best things about custom built homes is that homeowners are truly in control of how they use space. So it’s important to talk to your home builder about utilizing empty space for storage and how much storage area you want in each room. This will come in handy when it’s time to order cabinets, vanities, and dressers.

Functionality: Luxury homes should have a design that maximizes functionality. Functionality plays a key role in being able to enjoy your home for years to come. Deciding what you like or don’t like about how homes are designed is a great way to ensure you’ll be living comfortably in your new home. Things like the proximity of the dining room to the kitchen and the number of bathrooms in relation to how many people are living in the house are all key functionality decisions that need to be made carefully.

Lighting: Natural lighting is one aspect of designing new custom homes that people often forget about. While artificial lighting can provide light and aesthetics to a home, there’s nothing quite like natural lighting. Because of this, it’s important to think about where you want the most lighting in the house. The kitchen, living room, and bedrooms are all great places to incorporate natural lighting into the design.

Hopefully, this article gave you some insight into important design aspects you should consider when planning your future home. With the right layout and functionality, your new home will be comfortable and enjoyable for many years.

Choosing a Home Builder: Where to Start

custom built homesAccording to Zillow, 48% of homebuyers look for new homes that have no previous owners. Because of this, custom built homes are becoming more and more popular choices. A custom home is a great way to ensure your home is exactly what you need and want. And to make this happen, you need to find a reputable builder to take on the project. This article is going to discuss a few ways to choose a home builder.
Continue reading “Choosing a Home Builder: Where to Start”

Custom Home Market Continuing to Expand

luxury homesIf you’re considering building or buying a home this year, custom seems to be the way to go. According to Builder Magazine, the market for custom homes is continuing to expand. Despite a recent focus on entry-level homes throughout the housing industry, demand for custom luxury homes has been steady in recent years. Both owners and contractors are continuing to invest in property that allows them to build a custom design.

Custom luxury homes can offer homeowners immense benefits. From being a cost-effective solution to allowing homeowners to choose every detail, custom homes are being more and more popular. If you do decide to go the custom home route, there are a few things you should determine before making a final decision. Let’s take a look at a few things homeowners should think about in order to decide if a custom home is the right choice.

Do you have the right budget? Before you even begin planning a new home, you need to create a budget. In doing this, you can ensure you’ll be able to afford the home you want. Additionally, a budget will allow you to be able to pay for any unforeseen emergencies during the home building process. Many homeowners get too excited and go through their available funds too fast. It’s important to determine your financial situation before making a final decision.

Where do you want your new home to be located? There are a lot of factors to consider when determining your desired location. Unfortunately, 52% of homebuyers say that finding the right property is the most difficult aspect when buying a home. While it may be difficult, it’s important to not settle for something you don’t want. The neighborhood, school district, and daily commute can all be contributing factors to your final decision.

Do you have the time and patience needed to build a custom home? Custom built homes are a big commitment. You need to be ready to dedicate a lot of time to plan every aspect of the home. Additionally, custom luxury homes have a slower building process to make sure the house is constructed to your exact wants and needs. If you don’t have the patience or time to wait for a custom home, it might not be right for you.

If you do decide a custom home is the right option for you, it’s important you work with qualified, experienced contractors. Custom homes require a lot of planning and you want a contractor who will take the time to understand your wants and needs and give you a home you can truly be happy with.

Looking to Buy a New Home? Make Sure You Implement Energy Efficient Features

luxury homeWhen it comes time to look for a new home, more and more people are choosing custom luxury homes. With all of the options a custom home offers, buyers can ensure their new home has the features that mean the most to them. One popular feature people look for in a new home is environmentally friendly options. In fact, 48% of buyers looking at new luxury homes cite “energy-efficient” as their most desired quality. If you’re looking for a new home, this article is going to discuss a few reasons why you should consider energy efficient features.
Continue reading “Looking to Buy a New Home? Make Sure You Implement Energy Efficient Features”

Considering Renting Instead of Buying? Here Are Some Pros And Cons To Consider

custom built homeMany people consider buying their first home to be a major accomplishment. While there are some benefits that come with renting a luxury home, buying a home allows you to build equity and invest in your future. However, before you decide whether renting or buying is right for you, it’s important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages that come with renting. Here are just a few basic pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy your next home.

PRO: Renters aren’t responsible for maintenance
In most cases, people who rent aren’t responsible for their apartment or home’s maintenance. This means that if any issues arise with utilities or appliances, it’s your property manager’s duty to resolve them. While this often alleviates a lot of stress, it can also mean that your property manager may have to enter your home or apartment more often, so be aware.

CON: Lack of equity
As mentioned, many people see renting as essentially throwing away your money because of the simple fact that you aren’t gaining equity. Your rent payment goes to the property manager and it’s easy to feel like you’ll never see it again. Even though renting provides stability, this is the main reason it doesn’t typically work well as a long term financial option. When you own a home, on the other hand, you’re investing in your financial future and can eventually resell the property and get back the majority of your investment.

PRO: Speed of moving process
One benefit of renting is that renters can typically relocate slightly faster than homeowners in the event that they receive a job opportunity, quickly change financial status, or have another unexpected life situation. However, homeowners can often make decisions that expedite their relocation processes as well, such as renting out their current home. Fortunately, about 92% of people now use the Internet in their home search, making it simple to browse homes for rent or for sale online.

CON: Lack of individuality/personalization options
Finally, rental properties can’t typically be individualized or personalized. This means that you can’t just make renovations without getting permission from the property manager, which is often difficult if not impossible. When you buy a home, on the other hand, you’re free to make any renovations you want, or you can even invest in your own custom built home and make the house of your dreams appear before your eyes!

When it comes down to it, making the decision to rent a home is sometimes a viable option, but buying your own home is easily the wisest long term financial decision for most people. Knowing the realities about both renting and buying is the key to making the choice that’s right for you. If you do feel as though you’re ready to browse new homes and become a homeowner, consider looking at custom built homes for maximum flexibility. For more information about owning or renting custom built homes, contact Stony Brook Estates.

Popular Myths About Custom Homes, Debunked

new homeMany communities around the world are incorporating the idea of custom-built new homes into neighborhoods. Designing and building a custom built new home can be an extremely rewarding experience, but custom built homes can sometimes be feared. Especially since 32% of people who are looking to buy a home are first time home buyers and might be hesitant to go custom for their first home. Popular myths about choosing a custom built new home make people hesitant to choose a custom design for their new home. Here, we’ll debunk these myths and prove custom built is the way to go for your new home.

  1. Custom built homes cost way more than other homes. Often times, people hear “custom” and automatically think “expensive”. They also dear that once they start the project, they will have to pay for many additional expenses throughout the project, leaving the final prices way more expensive than they originally planned. However, custom built home companies will help customers select their own products they want to put into the overall budget. This allows total transparency and no hidden expenses.
  2. Custom-built homes take too long to build. Another fear people have about custom built homes is that they take too long to build and end up going way past the intended schedule. In actuality, like regular homes, the custom built home building process should be outlined and really take only a few months to be completed. This small time investment is worth the wait to have a home tailored to the homeowner’s lifestyle and desires.
  3. Communication with custom built home companies is not effective. Like with any construction project, effective communication depends on which company you choose. Most custom built home companies are extra involved in communicating with customers because they want to ensure that they get exactly what they want out of their home. They often walk the customer through every step of the process and handle any issues that may arise quickly and efficiently.
  4. Building a custom home is just too complex. Along with the fear of expenses, many people may also fear that choosing to new custom homes will simply be too complicated. Whether it’s the finding the right design or selecting the right materials, people think the entire process will be too overwhelming. In reality, custom built homes can actually be quite simple. Working with an experienced contractor will provide you plenty of guidance and advice along the way. This will ensure you understand the process and are aware of any options you can choose from.

It’s important to be aware of these myths, and the truth behind them, because going custom for your new home is an excellent idea. You not only get to have a say in every aspect of your home, but you and your family will have a home made just for you for years to come.

Don’t Skip The Details On Building Your New Home

new custom homesHomeownership is an exciting thing, but finding the best home for you and your family can be difficult. According to Zillow, nearly half (48%) of individuals want a home that has never been lived in. New homes can be difficult to find, however, and that’s why some potential home buyers turn their attention to building their own.

Custom built homes have many benefits compared to pre-built ones. You get to design it to fit your needs and wants, ensuring that you have the perfect home for you. However, these new custom homes also have a lot of risks, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. To help you build your new luxury home with as few mistakes as possible, we’ve found a few of the more common blunders made by homeowners:

Thinking Only In The Short Term
For a lot of homeowners, new custom homes are their dream. They don’t plan on leaving until they’re dead and gone. However, there are some issues with that level of thinking. You need to prepare for the future if you’re going to live there forever. Reduced mobility is the price of age, after all. Take these things into consideration when you’re building your new home. Having a spare bedroom on the first floor to move into when you’re older, for example, can be a smart choice.

Skipping Inspections
Just because you have a warranty from the contractor that helped you build your new home doesn’t mean you should skip the inspection. You should have a third-party inspector come in and look through your new space before you move in. If you avoid this step, small problems might slip past you and turn into a disaster later.

Not Thinking About Ducts
Ductwork is one of the most neglected aspects of a home. You want to make sure that you have the highest quality sealing and insulation on these systems. It will help you save money on energy in the warmer or cooler months, as well as give you a better and more efficient HVAC system. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking these systems when building.

New custom homes can be a thrilling thing to invest in, but you can’t afford to make mistakes when building them. They’re going to be where you live for a long time if everything goes well. Make sure you do your research and cover all your bases during construction.

5 Benefits of Investing in a Custom Built Home

custom built homesWhen you start to think about buying a home, whether it’s your first or fifth, you can be bombarded with overwhelming choices. On top of having a plethora of homes to look at, it can be difficult to find a house that has everything you want. Building a custom home can be an easy way to make sure you get everything you want out of your home. Not only do you get exactly what you want, but there are also many benefits to building a custom home. Read below to find out some of the top benefits of going with a custom built home.

  1. You can design the floor plan yourself. Do you want a big, open floor plan, but could never find a house that had one? Well, with custom built homes, you can have whatever floor plan you desire. Privacy is also another factor to consider — you can choose to have your home facing the direction that allows for as much privacy as you’d like. You’ll have many floor plan options, especially when choosing a luxury homes neighborhood.
  2. New custom homes can come with the most updated energy-efficient technology. With things like windows, insulation, and solar energy, you will have the ability to update your home with the latest technology, which is becoming more and more important to home buyers. In fact, 48% of home buyers interested in brand new homes have “energy-efficiency” at the top of their desired features list.
  3. Custom built homes also allow homeowners to choose the most updated, efficient appliances. Without having to worry about who lived in the house before you, you will have the opportunity to pick out the features that will be most beneficial to you and your family.
  4. It may seem like custom built homes cost more, but in fact, they may actually save you money in the long run. If you choose to move into an older home, you will have to put money into it for upgrades, maintenance, and additions to make it into your dream home. It can be difficult to compare luxury estate homes to older homes, since custom homes are often more spacious and modern.
  5. The ability to build your dream home is priceless. You get to be a part of every step of the design process, from the floor plan to the building materials. The end product will be something you can be proud of and a place you can truly call your own.

Since you’re hopefully going to be staying in your next home for a long time, it’s important that you get what you want. Do you want to spend years renovating an old house to get it up to your standards? Why not just start from scratch and ensure you have your perfect home right from the start.

To start planning your dream home, contact local building companies for information on a custom home in Princeton NJ today.