Steps To Choosing The Right Mortgage With Your New Home

Conceptual image - calculation of the domestic finance

For those who are ready to purchase a new home within the next year or two, it’s important to know the steps in the home buying process to not only save money on your home, but also save money on your mortgage. Here are some factors to consider before choosing the mortgage that is right for you and your new home:

  1. First things first, how much do you want to borrow? Mortgage calculators are available online and can even tell you how much you can be borrowing. Ultimately, it’s good to know how much you want to be spending a month or how much you want to give as a down payment. After you know your maximum monthly payment or down payment, you can decide what you feel comfortable with spending and choose a mortgage loan that works best for you.
  2. The most common mortgage is the conventional loan and majority of buyers choose the 30-year fixed rate option. Conventional loans cannot be used by a home that is more than 4 units and a popular conventional mortgage program is the Conventional 97, which allows for a minimum down payment of just 3% on a home. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and are more popular due to the flexible approval standards and low down payment requirements.
  3. Fixed or adjustable rate? Depending on your financial situation and goals, either rate could be a good fit. For people planning on living in their home for a shorter period of time, adjustable- rate mortgages (ARMs) may be more beneficial. ARMs usually have lower interest rates in the first years and then can fluctuate to match current market trends. Fixed mortgage rates do not change. Homeowners keep the same interest rate for the entire life of the loan, which enables them to create a consistent housing budget.
  4. Your credit score is important to know before choosing a mortgage for your home. People with high credit scores get additional mortgage options and people with low credit scores get more aggressive mortgage rate options. Spending your money responsibly and paying your bills on time account for majority of your final credit score, along with the type of credit you use and how much credit your using at a time.

Having all the information you need as well as knowing as much as you can will help you obtain the mortgage that will be most suitable for you for you to live comfortably in your new home!

Council Rock School District- Top Rated In The State

council rock

Council Rock School District is a highly ranked school in the Bucks County area, with various opportunities for students to learn and grow within their classes. Both Council Rock North High School and Council Rock South High School have excelled in college readiness and Council Rock North High School was even recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top high schools in the state as well as the country. This was based on state issued standardized tests and Council Rock North was ranked 13th out of the 687 high schools in Pennsylvania!

Both schools offer a variety of extra curricular activities, as do other schools in the Council Rock School District. The school district is located close to Judd Builders’ wonderful community, Poet’s Walk, for children from grades K to 12 to experience a good education.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Mudroom

mudroom decorating ideas

Mudrooms can be a tricky room to work with, finding the right decorations and spots for all of your belongings for the amount of space you have. Here are some tips to help create a mudroom you’ll use and love, without it being unattractive or too cluttered:

1. A main function of a mudroom is to store items that you need easy access to. This includes coats, shoes, bags, etc. The room also prevents the rest of the house from getting dirty when the weather gets messy. Using bins, or deep draws to store all of these items in a confined space will keep you organized and tidy. Labeling the bins will help remind you where you will find what you’re looking for later.

2. Along with bins or draws, a counter top above them gives you a space to fold laundry or sort mail.

3. Highly consider installing a small sink in your mudroom to clean up messes that are too much for your regular kitchen or bathroom sink. Kitchen and bathroom sinks are typically for washing hands or cooking dinner, so a mudroom sink will allow for some heavy duty cleaning or even wash up before you enter your home.

4. Some people like to have a bench in their mudroom to prompt guests to take off their dirty shoes as soon as they walk in. Add a cushion made from outdoor fabric for comfort along with easy clean up.

5. Cleaning up is much simpler with tile floors. With family members, guests or pets walking in and out all the time, tile floors allow you to mop up any dirt they may drag in during the process.

6. A mudroom is a great place to also put your pets food and water bowls, if you have any. It will keep them out of the way of the rest of the house, but also allow for easy clean up if your pets make a mess.

7. Hooks of all different sizes can be extremely helpful with your organization. Hooks can be used for coats, bags and even smaller ones for car keys so you never lose them. All of these items can be grabbed quickly on your way out and hung up as soon as you walk in.

8. When it comes to decorating, using neutral colors such as green will give your mudroom a more natural feel, while still adding some style to it.

Making Small Rooms Look Bigger With Painting

overhead view of couple having fun renovating their new home together with blue paint on a roller

There are ways to make small rooms look bigger, without the hassle of reconstruction. Knowing the facts about painting can help you choose colors for certain rooms as well as accents to help make your small room open up!

  1. The first painting rule to make a room look bigger is choosing sharp colors. Using very clear, crisp colors will expand the look of a room. Brighter color combinations will bring out the space more instead of hiding it in duller colors.
  2. Unexpected accents are another way to bring out the space in a room. Use pops of color inside a bookshelf or windowsill to create more depth. If there’s a hallway, painting it a darker color will allow people to ease into the brighter and more colorful room, which makes it look bigger by contrast.
  3. A focal wall is not ideal in most people’s eyes, but painting a wall a different color than the rest can make a room look deeper.
  4. Different shades of the same color in various rooms can bring the rooms together and ultimately make them look bigger. The same goes for any repeated patterns.
  5. Painting the ceiling of a room a different color than the walls will also make it look bigger. If the ceiling is painted the same color in a smaller room, it feels more closed in and people feel more trapped. If the ceiling is lighter and a lot of times people use white, then the room will feel airier.

These painting techniques are all very useful in making a single room or even multiple rooms more spacious than they appear to be at first. These are great tricks for those who want a quick fix and don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on making spaces feel bigger.

New Interior Design Trends of 2016

Hand working with architecture hand-drawn sketch on modern creative workspace

Everyone’s curious as to what’s in store for interior design this year. Which trends will stay and what new ones will surface? Here’s an idea of what the interior design trends are looking like in the new year:

  1. The 2016 color palette consists of various shades of pink, red and peach. These colors can be used in different types of rooms and can be combined with a lot of other colors. Along with these colors becoming more popular, accessories are leaning more towards deeper colors of navy, green oil and dark blue. Other deep colors such as black and purple have been combined with shiny copper and brass surfaces, which gives a calming and elegant look.
  2. A big trend for this year in materials includes brass, copper, wood and marble. Many are interested in what they can do with the materials nature has to offer to decorate their homes with. Cork and marble are coming back into design trends as well as stone and raw concrete.
  3. Functional decorative objects are also on the rise. This refers to getting rid of all the knick-knacks that cover your surfaces and replacing them with items you think fit with your current life that you will use.
  4. More focus is on the bathroom to make it into a relaxation space. It is seen as a more functional setting and it will be common to put benches and plants in there to be able to enjoy it more.
  5. Vegetation is not only an upcoming trend in bathrooms, but in all aspects of the home. Environmentally-friendly homes are appealing because they are good for the environment, but also because they add a beautiful, calming feel to homes by bringing nature closer to the residents.

All of these 2016 interior design trends seem to focus on simplicity and functionality as well as give a more sophisticated look to current and future homes for residents to enjoy.

Energy Efficient Home Features

Image

SAVE on digital room thermostat wearing woolly hat

Having the most energy efficient home possible is a top priority to not only have a better living experience, but also to save money. Here are energy efficient home improvements to upgrade your current home or look out for them when searching for your new home:

1. Programmable thermostats are a great energy and money saver. It’s generally a more accurate thermostat and you can set up a schedule to change the temperature on its own from day to night.

2. Tankless water heaters saves users about 20% of their water bill! They never run out of hot water and also last 5 to 10 years longer than tank heaters.

3. When it’s not too hot out, using ceiling fans instead of your air conditioning can end up saving you some money and still keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

4. Insulated homes keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and reduces both costs by 20%.

5. Low flow faucet fixtures save water as well as the money in your wallet. It reduces water consumption by about 50% and can save you up to $145 a year.

Fun Children Activities in Warminster

Family in bowling alley cheering and smiling

Bucks County is a beautiful area to live in with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Not only does it have a homey feel, but there’s plenty to do for people of all ages, even a handful of choices for children and families to be apart of. Below are some locations in Warminster to be able to enjoy:

  1. Spend a day at the Warminster Community Park walking the trails, playing sports or sitting by the pond. With 243 acres of land there is tons of room to do all sorts of activities! There’s also nature trails at Barness Park or tennis and volleyball areas at Log College Park. Kemper Park has a playground, perfect for younger children, and for those who like skateboarding, Munro Park has a skate spot with rails and ramps for the older and more active kids in the area.
  2. Thunderbird Bowling Center in Warminster  provides indoor entertainment for the days where the weather isn’t so nice to spend the day outside. It allows scheduled events for planned family nights or spontaneous nights when you want something to do. Happy Tymes Family Fun Center has exciting activities such as go carts and miniature golf along with interesting indoor choices such as batting cages, bowling, rock climbing and rides!
  3. Bucks County is home of some gorgeous scenery destinations where people can visit to enjoy the view, or participate in activities held there. Spend the day tubing or rafting down the Delaware River or even canoeing and kayaking for a more relaxing river ride. The Washington Crossing Historic Park is also located along the Delaware River where George Washington crossed the river in 1776 as a surprise attack on the Hessian troops. You can participate in a guided tour or watch the reenactment of Washington’s Crossing that takes place every year on Christmas Day.

Bucks County is the location of one of Judd Builder’s delightful communities, Poet’s Walk. All of these family friendly activities are near the Poets Walk community for the residents and visitors to enjoy whenever they please! Visiting the destinations listed above is a great way to spend time with your children and family as well as entertain them with different activities. 

Kitchen Back Splash Ideas

kitchen backsplash ideas

Picking the right back splash in the kitchen can be the finishing touch in making the room feel like apart of your new home. Different back splash’s correlating with counter tops in the kitchen will pull together the look you want to enjoy. Here are ideas for a kitchen back splash to choose from and build on to decorate your new home:

  1. For a seamless look for your back splash and counter tops, use the same materialfor both. It will give it a perfect blend as well as a clean feel. Adding ledges and alcoves are a great way to use your extra material for more storage space.
  2. Ceramic tile can be paired with various types of finishes, colors and patterns that you would enjoy.
  3. If you don’t want to do too much with your back splash, a classic and more plainrectangular tile is a good choice for a neutral background to use accents in the rest of your kitchen.
  4. Glass tile has a more luminous and glossy look than ceramic tile. It truly looks clean and refreshing as a back splash.
  5. Mosaic tiles are a much smaller, square tile, about 2 inches and are meant to look like ancient mosaics and are often backed with mesh.
  6. Metal tiles are a more modern choice and using different shapes can make the back splash pop.
  7. Wood back splash’s make a kitchen feel warm and cozy. It must be sealed properly to prevent water damage.
  8. People commonly use decorative accents over their sink or cook top with colors to match the rest of the room. This adds more detail and character to your kitchen by personalizing it with any accent of your choice.

Springfield Township Historical Society

springfield township historical societyThe Reserve at Creekside is located in the beautiful area of Flourtown, Montgomery County. The Springfield Township Historical Society is apart of Montgomery County and was created to research and preserve the history of Springfield Township and educating the general public of this history. It was founded in 1985 and since then has dedicated the time to focus on maintaining a record of the historically significant buildings in the area, work towards the preservation of buildings of architectural and historic merit, identify those who have significantly contributed to the township’s history and much more! This society is extremely important to acknowledge and preserve the history of the town and also educate the residents of it for years to come.

What To Look For In A New Home Beyond Inspection

Hand opening a door with a key. The keyring has a house shaped icon on the end and is shiny silver colour. The house looks modern and luxurious. The keyring house icon is dangling down. Close up with shallow focus. New house concept.

While looking for a new home, it’s obvious that the most important aspect is making sure it passes inspection. No one wants to have a leaking roof or faulty wiring in their brand new home, but there are items on the home-buying checklist beyond the home’s inspection that will affect the living experience in your home. Make sure that all of these parts meet your standards to ensure that you love not only the functionality of your home, but the feel of it too:

1. The interior layout of your home can make a big difference in your day to day experiences in your new home. You want the layout to have a natural and organized flow to it when walking from one room to the next. Walk through the home and imagine your daily life in it to see if it fits.

2. Window size and placement can also greatly affect someone’s living experience. The right amount of lighting depending on your preferences and also depending on the room can change your opinion on a home as well as simply where they are located in the home. Since changing the windows in a home is not the cheapest renovation, it’s ideal to find a home that has well-placed windows. With that being said, if there are a couple homes you feel strongly about, make arrangements to view them a second time at a different point in the day to get a better idea of what the lighting will be like if you live in it.

3. Laundry rooms can sometimes be in inconvenient locations such as in the corner of a basement. If this is something that is important to you, make the effort to find a home with an easily accessible laundry room since this is a chore that is done quite frequently.

4. Kitchens are a more popular area in homes today than they were in the past. Many people use the kitchen for entertaining, having dinner with family or even just for more cooking. With that in mind, you may want to be more picky about the features in the kitchen of your new home based on your preferences. Some kitchen features that people find more important include the kind of stove, the layout, sinks, natural lighting, storage area and overall size.

5. Choose a home with enough bathrooms to meet your family’s needs to avoid the expense of adding a new one later. Even if you are looking for a home for only one or two people, an extra powder room on the main floor isn’t a bad idea.

6. Lot grade is another aspect to consider when shopping for a new home. Not only do you want to be happy with the size of the yard around your home, but also the steepness. Having a larger yard is nice, but much less enjoyable if it’s too steep to walk down. Also, think about the future of your yard. If adding a deck or patio is a project you would consider adding to your home, make sure it is able to be added to the yard of your home.