3 Keys to a Tidy House

cleaning house

Some people really enjoy busting out the mop and broom to clean the house, but most people fall somewhere between indifferent to loathing when it comes to cleaning. Even if you don’t consider yourself a clean freak, you can still have a tidy home with a tiny amount of effort. Just follow these three tips to get a clean house without breaking too much of a sweat.

Clean in Sprints

Surveying an entire house that’s riddle with mess and disorder can be overwhelming. Instead of trying to tackle the entire house at once, just clean in two minute sprints. Before you leave for work in the morning, before you go to bed, or whenever is convenient, just take two minutes to put astray items back in their rightful home. By doing a few cleaning sprints a day, you can make a big difference.

Put Chores in Categories

Trying to do every chore under the sun isn’t feasible or necessary. To work more efficiently, make a list of all the chores that need to be done in your home and then put them in one of four categories: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Doing the dishes can be done daily, vacuuming can be done weekly, organizing the pantry can be done monthly, and cleaning the oven only needs to be done once a year.

Perfect Isn’t Possible

You’re an adult now. Your mom isn’t going to come to inspect the quality of your cleaning. Don’t waste time and energy trying to clean your house to unreasonable levels. It’s more important that you get in the habit of cleaning regularly and finish projects you start. As you keep up with this new lifestyle, you’ll naturally get better at cleaning.

 

A Guide to Employee Relocation Packages

Accepting a job in a new city is an exciting, and hectic, time. There are a lot of details to work out and not a lot of time to get everything taken care of. It’s easy to lose sight of the details in all the commotion, but one detail you don’t want to let slip is the employee relocation package. Around 70% of companies in the US will offer new hires some form of a relocation package, but each package will be slightly different. To make the most of the job offer and negotiate intelligently, it’s important that you understand how employee relocation packages work.

Bring It Up

The first thing to know is that you may have to be the one to bring it up. If the employer hasn’t said anything, do some research on how much it will cost to move and use that number to negotiate. You’ll be able to make a stronger case if you can ask for a specific amount rather than making a vague request.

Everything is on the Table

Companies can, and will, pay for more than just boxes and movers. It’s more than appropriate to request compensation for closing costs, lost wages while a spouse looks for a job, or even a guaranteed buy out (GBO). A GBO is rare, but it’s basically the best case scenario for homeowners. When a company offers a GBO, they will hire independent real estate appraisers to get an unbiased value of your home. If you are unable to sell your home within a specified timeframe, the company will buy your home at the unbiased price.

Bill the Employer

Once you and the new employer have agreed on a package value, one of the best things to do is request that all expenses get billed to the employer instead of getting a lump sum of cash. This will save you money on your taxes and increase the bang for your buck. When companies give new employees a check for moving expenses, that money is fully taxable. However, when the company is billed by the moving company, you won’t have to worry about taxes.

 

Keeping Electric Bills Low When Temperatures are High

The Oklahoma Summer is finally here and it’s not messing around this year. With triple digit temps in the forecast, homeowners need to be smart if they hope to avoid skyrocketing electric bills. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps any homeowner can take to reign in the cost of utilities.

Change the Air Filters

For optimal performance from your AC unit, air filters need to be changed every three months. When filters go unchanged, they get clogged up, which makes it harder for the AC unit to get the air it needs. If you’re especially forgetful and want an easy way to remember to change the filters, sign up for Filter Easy. They ship you new filters every three months, so you’ll never forget!

Program the Thermostat

There’s no sense (or cents) in paying for the AC to run when you’re not home. By programming the thermostat to kick off when you leave for work, you can save a surprising amount. These thermostats can also be programmed to turn back on before you come home so your home is just as comfortable as when you left.

Use Appliances at Night When Possible

Appliances like dishwashers and dryers create heat when they run. To avoid adding this heat to the equation during peak hours, try running the appliances at night when it’s cooler outside. This will help your AC unit not work so hard during times when electricity is in high demand.

Plant Some Trees

Shade from the sun can make it feel 10-15 degrees cooler. While you don’t want too many big trees close to your home, having a few trees to cast shade on your home can greatly reduce the need for air conditioning.

 

4 Big Benefits of Buying a New Construction Home

new construction home

One of the first decisions house hunters normally make is whether to buy a pre-owned existing home or build a new home from scratch. According to Trulia, the majority of house hunters prefer new construction homes to pre-owned homes. This preference makes sense, because there are several key benefits to buying a new construction home.

Less Maintenance

There’s no wear and tear on a new construction home, which means homeowners can spend their weekends playing with the kids instead of scraping popcorn ceiling texture. There will likely be small imperfections that come along as the home settles, but these should be covered by the builder’s warranty.

 

Customization

 

One of the biggest benefits of buying a new construction home is getting to pick and choose all the options that go into a home. This includes the flooring, paint colors, cabinets, countertops, floorplan, and light fixtures. All these little details can be handpicked by the buyer to create the home they’ve always wanted.

More Energy Efficiency

Because new construction homes are built with the latest and greatest techniques and materials, they are much more energy efficient than existing homes. Not only is this better for the environment, it will also save homeowners lots of money down the road in utility bills.

The Best Appliances

Whether it’s refrigerators or washing machines, manufacturers are always coming out with new bells and whistles for appliances. Getting a new home is a great excuse to get the hottest appliance technology and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

If you’re looking for a new construction home in Tulsa, call Perry Hood Properties. We are one of the most experienced home builders in the Tulsa area and will do whatever it takes to build your dream home.

 

What You Need to Know About Real Estate Disclosures

real estate disclosure

 

When making a big purchase, like a home, it’s important to know all the facts. Home inspections will give you a pretty good idea of what kind of condition the home is in, but expecting to catch ever imperfection in just a few hours isn’t realistic. Homes are complex structures and you never know what might be hiding in walls, under the floors, or inside the pipes. These details are caught by living in the home for a few years. That’s why it’s standard practice for home sellers to document any known defects and inform buyers of these defects. This process is commonly called a real estate disclosure.

The purpose of a disclosure statement is twofold. First, it’s an opportunity for the buyer to learn about any skeletons hiding in the closet. Secondly, it’s an opportunity for the seller to formally disclose any problems with the house and avoid lawsuits down the road. This serves as a big motivation for sellers to disclose as much as possible.

Flaws and material defects should be at the top of the disclosure list. Things like leaky faucets, busted pipes, bad light fixtures, and things of that nature should be listed. This will allow the buyer to know how much additional money needs to be put into the home to get it up to par.

Broken stuff and shoddy work aren’t the only line items that go into a real estate disclosure. Sellers should also let the buyer know if anyone died in the home, especially if the death was caused by a defect in the home like a busted pool enclosure. Details about the surrounding neighborhood is another category sellers should include. Buyers have a right to know if neighbors are frequently noisy or if the city shuts down the nearby streets for a monthly parade.

There are a few more details that can go into a real estate disclosure depending on state and local laws. The important rule of thumb to remember is that sellers should disclose anything that might affect the quality of life for people living in the home or anything that affects the value of the home.

3 Timeless Pieces of Furniture Every Home Should Have

living room

When it comes to filling your home with the right furniture pieces and decor, you need to be smart about where you make your biggest investments. You can spend tons of money on just about anything in a home. Some people have the audacity to sell a candle for almost $500! It’s important to allocate large sums of money on pieces that will have the biggest impact and last the longest.

The Sofa

Possibly the MVP of your living room, the sofa is a piece you can design an entire home around. Sofas will also get more use than just about any other piece in the home, so it needs to be comfy, good looking, and durable. Sofa design preferences change pretty slow, which lets you invest with confidence knowing it won’t be out of style next week.

Light Fixture

Whether it’s a floor lamp, chandelier, or table lamp, working in one or two stand out light fixtures will really enhance the look of your home. The mood the light creates is just as important as the design of the fixture so don’t overlook the kind of light the fixture emits.

Area Rug

If the Dude had one thing right, it’s that rugs can really tie a room together. With endless options in colors and patterns, you can find a rug that stands out as an avant-garde artistic piece or a bridge that pulls all the other decorative elements together for a unified look. Area rugs will take up more space than any other piece, so don’t be afraid to splurge a little

 

 

Finding the Right School When House Hunting

For homebuyers with children, the school district a home resides in is almost as important as the price of the home itself. Parents want to ensure their kids get the best education possible and might even move just to get their kids into a better school district. With such a high premium put on schools, here are a few tips homebuyers can use to find the right school district.

Report Cards

Sites like School Grades offer parents insight into how well a school performs. It will show basic testing scores and may even show SAT and ACT success rates. Having these objective numbers is a great way to know how well a school will prepare a child for the real world.

Think Long Term

When parents are checking out schools they need to look at all the schools their child may attend while living in this home. If the elementary school is great, but the high school is terrible, this location may not be as good as it seems. Parents need to think long-term when assessing school quality.

Get a First-Hand Look

Looking at test scores and other numbers is great, but sometimes you need to see for yourself. Thankfully, most school board and PTA meetings are open to the public so you can pop in and see what the school is really like. This is also a great opportunity to talk with real parents about their experience with the school.

Finding the right school is an important part of finding a new home. After all, kids will spend very formative years in the schools they go to. If you’re looking for a new construction home in top-notch school districts, call Perry Hood Properties. We have a wide selection of home sizes and options in some of the best school districts in the area.

 

 

 Red Flags Mortgage Lenders Look For

red flag

Before the bank will foot the bill for a house, buyers will have to get past one very important person – the loan officer. This person is in charge of ensuring only financially stable people get a loan. To make this determination, they look at financial data like money for a down payment and closing costs, and whether or not buyers are able to regularly make their monthly payments. A lot of this work is done by reviewing bank statements, which is why it’s so important to get financial records in order before submitting a loan application.

Unexplained Large Deposits

Loan officers will check to see if there are any large deposits to your bank account that may seem irregular. While they won’t hold a sudden windfall of cash against a buyer, having multiple and sporadic large deposits can raise some red flags because it can suggest the money is coming from less than legitimate sources. If for some reason a buyer’s financial history has a lot of sudden spikes, it’s a good idea to have a good explanation ready.

Overdraft Charges

Buyers will normally have to submit two months of bank statements with their application. If those statements are riddled with overdraft charges, lenders won’t be happy. This can be a sign a buyer doesn’t know how to manage their money well.

Non-Disclosed Loans

Another red flag that may get raised is personal loans from family or friends. If loan officers see the same amount of money going to the same person every month it can be interpreted as a non-disclosed loan. A common example is a home buyer getting a loan from their parents to buy a car or help pay for school.

If any of these red flags apply to you, don’t worry too much. In most cases, these issues won’t constitute an automatic rejection, but you might have to produce more financial records to appease the loan officer.

Important Questions to Ask When Buying a New Construction Home


new construction homes

Asking the right question can make all the difference. This is especially true when shopping for a big ticket item like a car, or house. We want all our home buyers to be completely satisfied with their purchase, and that means no surprises after the papers are signed. To keep customers happy and surprises to a minimum, here’s a list of important questions home buyers should ask when buying a new construction home.

What are the plans for the neighborhood?

If the development is in the initial phases, it’s a good idea to find out what the builder plans to do with the rest of the property. Are they going to keep it a small community with just a few homes, or are they planning another 75 homes in the next year? The answer to this question can have an impact on your property value.

What are the homeowners association rules?

If your community has an HOA, make sure you know their rules and regulations and how much dues will be. Most HOAs are pretty harmless, but some have very strict rules on sheds, color of tarps, landscaping, and fences.

What options for finishes do you offer?

Finishes will make all the difference in a home. This can include the flooring, cabinets, light fixtures, countertops, and lots of other things. The finishes in the house will have a huge impact on the quality and price. Make sure you know all your options for finishes as well as the associated costs.

What is your warranty policy?

Every quality new home builder should offer some sort of new construction home warranty. These policies typically cover any workmanship defects for one year and structural problems for 10 years. Every builder will define workmanship defects and structural problems differently so it’s important to know up front what’s covered and what’s not.

3 Things to Know About Buying a New Construction Home

new construction

Buying a new construction home is a little different than buying a used home, and buyers should educate themselves on these differences if they’re considering a new construction home. Thankfully, these differences aren’t too difficult to navigate once you know what you’re dealing with. If you’re thinking about buying your first new construction home in Tulsa, here are three things you should know.

Buying Before Building

One of the most unique things about buying a new construction home is you can buy the home before it’s even built. It might sound scary to buy a home you’ve never seen before, but this is why we build model homes. The purpose of a model home is to give home buyers a chance to walk through the floorplan they’re interested in and check out all the available features. While this won’t be the actual home they buy, it will give them a chance to try before they buy. The biggest advantage of buying before the home is built is you get to pick out different features and customize the home to your liking.

It’s Not Personal, It’s Business

When you buy a home from an owner who lived in the home and raised their family there, they will likely have some level of emotional attachment to the home. After all, they made so many memories there and it was a huge part of their life. This emotional attachment can sometimes lead to sellers inflating prices to cope with the emotions of selling their home. Buyers working with a custom home builder won’t have this problem. Since we never lived in the home, we have zero emotional attachment to the home. Our prices will only be influenced by cold hard numbers.

Experience Matters

If this is your first venture in the new construction arena, working with a home builder who’s been around the block a few times is vitally important. Perry Hood Properties has more than 20 years of experience building new homes in Tulsa and we can help guide you through the process. Our team will treat you with respect and ensure you know all your options to help you make informed decisions.