Steps To Choosing The Right Mortgage With Your New Home

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.
    Need to know how much home you can afford before you start your home search?Check Judd Builder’s Mortgage Payment Calculator:
  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!

Celebrate National Milk Chocolate Day with Philadelphia’s Best Local Chocolates


Today is National Milk Chocolate Day! Philadelphia has a rich history in candy making, and there is no sweeter way to celebrate than enjoying the best local chocolate the city has to offer!

Here are few of the of the best local candy shops with homemade chocolates:

Shane Confectionery

Located on Market Street in Old City, a visit to Shane Confectionery is like taking a step back in time. The old-fashioned candy shop is oldest continuously operated candy shop in America. It offers some of the most historic chocolates you will ever try!

Lore’s Chocolates

Lore’s Chocolates is a gourmet chocolate store located in historic Philadelphia. They also offer chocolate gifts, custom chocolate molds, holiday gifts and chocolate parties.

John & Kira’s

John & Kira’s unique chocolate creations are made with ingredients sourced from urban gardens and small family farms. Many of the chocolates are clever and whimsical creations such as Chocolate Ladybugs and Bees.

Art & Nature Come Together at Woodmere Art Museum


Located in Chestnut Hill, just minutes from The Reserve at Creekside, Woodmere Art Museum has been telling the story of Philadelphia’s art and artists since it opened in 1940. Charles Knox Smith, owner of the 6-acre Woodmere Estate in the early part of the 20th century, donated the building, grounds and portion of the permanent collection. Smith was a prominent Philadelphia civic leader and enthusiastic collector of local art.

Today, the museum houses a collection of over 6,000 works of art. The collection includes paintings by renowned artists Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber, Walter E. Schofield, Benjamin West, Frederic Edwin Church, Violet Oakley, Arthur B. Carles, and more. Guests also are invited to walk around the beautiful grounds of the estate and admire outdoor sculptures.

A carriage house on the property has been converted to the George D. Widener Studio. Art classes are offered here year-round to children and adults.

To learn more about the Museum and upcoming events visit:

Outdoor Activities for When the Kids Visit

Playing together in the backyardWhen your kids and grandkids are in town for the weekend, you likely look for fun things to do together. No need to spend outrageous amounts of money or travel further than your own backyard. Check out these outdoor activities to keep everyone occupied, from kids to adults.

Scavenger Hunt

This game gets everyone involved. The goal is to come up with a list of items, hide them outside, and have the kids collect every item and return it to you for a prize at the end. Time is of the essence here, so you may want to time the game. Team up or just let the kids compete on their own. One cool spin on a scavenger hunt is to try an alphabet hunt: everyone has to locate items for every letter in the alphabet, i.e., acorn for A, baseball for B, etc. You can also conduct a nature scavenger hunt where kids are challenged to find a yellow leaf, four-leaf clover, five twigs, a feather, etc.


Rather than just a standard who-can-get-there-fastest race, add a spin on things with a three-legged race. Designate a start and a finish, line everyone up and tie two players’ ankles together with twine or rope. The first set of partners to hit the finish line without falling over wins. Another fun race is the potato on a spoon race. Grab some spoons from inside and some small potatoes. The challenge is to balance the potato on the spoon and make it to the finish line before the rest – without the potato falling off. If it falls, you have to start over. For smaller kids with less dexterity, try hard boiled eggs instead.


On a clear night, grab a blanket and head to the backyard for some stargazing. Lie on your backs and try to identify all the constellations you can. Have a flashlight and an astronomy book handy to look up stars and constellations so you know what to look for. Don’t forget the popcorn and drinks!


This is a classic for a reason: who doesn’t like to roast marshmallows over a fire pit while telling ghost stories?


Got a water hose? One player holds the hose and all the kids take turns going under. The stream gets lower and lower until one nimble person is declared the winner. Once someone is wet, they are out. Dry? They stay in.

Plant a Tree

For lasting memories, plant a tree together and nurture it every year whenever you get together. Buy some seedlings, dig a hole, place them in, cover with soil and water. You can put mulch, bark, leaves or dirt around the base of the tree but not directly against the trunk. Water it every day until it takes root.

At Judd Builders, we can help you make memories too. Call us to find out how we can improve your whole property so you can enjoy it with your kids and grandkids for years to come.

Tips for Organizing Your Closet

organzing-a-closetMany Judd Builders homes feature beautiful walk-in closets, including Brookshire, our community of the month located in Zionsville, PA. Here are a few tips to make your closet easy to tidy and help your wardrobe stay organized and look its very best!

  1. Group clothes by color and style.
  2. Stack cubbies across the closet floor to create space for shoes.
  3. Make sure shelves are adjustable, and line them with smooth vinyl matting. Cut the matting to fit each shelf, and fasten it with double-sided tape.
  4. Dry-clean garments before storing them for the season. Sugar stains (such as wine) can set and spread over time.
  5. Remove dry-cleaning bags, which trap moisture; use fabric bags instead. And don’t store wool or silk in airtight containers — they need to breathe.

East Passyunk Car Show & Street Festival


Start your engines for the 11th Annual East Passyunk Car Show & Street Festival! The event takes place on Sunday, July 31, from 11am-4pm on East Passyunk Avenue between Broad and Dickinson Streets only a short drive from Siena Place.

Over 140 antique, show, classic and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles will line will line 5 blocks of East Passyunk Avenue. The festival will also feature live music & DJs on every block and the Bang! Boom! CRAFT! Show at the Fountain. Fantastic food & drink options include Italian fare from Mamma Maria Ristorante, an outdoor bar complete with Pizza from Marra’s, and limoncello snow cones from Birra. There will also be a variety of food trucks vending onsite. Kids will enjoy arts and crafts, games, face painting, high-wire performances, and a free moon bounce!

Don’t miss out on the cars, food, and fun at East Passyunk’s largest block party of the year!

For more information on the East Passyunk Car Show & Street Festival visit:

When: Sunday, July 31
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Rain date is Sunday, August 7)

Cost: Free for attendees, $20 fee for participating cars

Thoughtful Housewarming Gift Ideas to Welcome New Neighbors



When a new neighbor moves in, make them make them feel welcome by dropping by with a housewarming gift! Here are a few ideas:

Bring a baked good. Nothing says “welcome to neighborhood” more than a homemade cake or pie! Don’t have time to bake? Pastries or cookies from a local bakery also make a lovely gift.

Plant: A plant is a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that will brighten up their new home!

DIY Oven Mitt Kit: An oven mitt full of utensils will help get your new neighbor’s kitchen up and running.

Neighborhood Guide A practical gift that would definitely come in handy is a little guidance about the neighborhood. Write a little note on the welcome card and fill out the “things we love” card. Attach it to some treat or tickets to the local movie theater!

Here is a link to the free Neighborhood Guide Printable:

7 Easy Interior Paint Projects

Painting and decorating DIY bannerTransforming your home can be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. What a difference a bold new color can make! From adding an accent wall to painting a pattern, here are some of the easiest ways to add a pop of color into your home.

1. Neutral Color Blocks
Going neutral doesn’t mean you have to compromise your color choices. Go a little bolder with an orange-hued color block that adds a pop of color but keeps the rest of the room neutral through the selection of muted accessories and furniture. Add sunny spots with chairs, lamps, pillows and throw rugs for a sophisticated yet crisp look that works for any room in the house.

2. Stripes
When you think of stripes, you may automatically think of bold circus-tent patterns that are offensive to the eye. But you can achieve the striped look with tone-on-tone color schemes to liven up your plain walls without the color shock. Try soft shades of green and blue for a minty look, using tape to ensure straight, seamless lines. Vary it up even more by doing one stripe in glossy paint and one stripe flat.

3. Patches of Paint
This is an innovative painting technique that lends a contemporary feel to anything from dining rooms to living rooms. Mark off different shapes of squares and rectangles on the wall and fill in each with paints reflecting the same color family for uniformity yet chaos at the same time, says Better Homes and Gardens.

4. Linen Textures
Using a linen weaver tool, some textured linen glaze, and paint, you can breathe new, multi-dimensional life into your textiles on anything from furniture to walls to doors.

5. Crinkle Painting
This technique involves mixing paint with glaze and rolling over a base followed by pressing and bunching the mixture with plastic sheets.

6. Two-Tone Walls
By incorporating two bold colors, such as bright pink and green, you are already causing a color sensation for the eyes. Go a step further and artistically apply peel-and-stick circles and wooden rings in a variety of hues for even more of a rejuvenating look.

7. Dressed-Up Blinds
Who says paint has to stay on the walls? Dress up your blinds with rows of creative stamped designs to create a lasting, unique look that complements the surrounding room. Leaf designs, geometric patterns, swirls and stripes all make beautiful accents to an otherwise boring room.

Judd Builders has even more ideas for making your house a home. Get in touch with our designers and builders today to get started! We stand behind our quality workmanship, honed over 50 years of experience, expert planning, and award-winning, energy efficient home designs. Call us today or fill out our online information request form.

Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market


Open Saturdays year-round, the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market is the perfect place to purchase some local seasonal produce!

Local food and products:

  •  Seasonal produce, herbs, mushrooms, and honey: Fahnestock Fruit Farm, Landisdale Farm, Primordia Mushrooms, Rineer Family Farms, and Taproot Farm.Plants and flowers from Lunaria Gardens.
  • Sustainably raised meats found at Canter Hill Farm, Rineer Family Farm, and Landisdale Farm.
  • Local cheese from Valley Milkhouse Creamery and Wonderful Good Bread & Cheese

Local food artisans: Anita’s Guacamole, Market Day Canele, and Foolish Waffles, voted best food truck in Philly.

Location: Winston Road between Germantown Avenue & Mermaid Lane

Event Time:
Saturdays, 9:30am-1:30pm

Blueberry Festival 2016


It’s Blueberry Season in Pennsylvania and time for the Sweetest Festival of the Summer! The annual two-day Blueberry Festival is held at Bethlehem’s Burnside Plantation the weekend of July 16-17. Guests will have the chance to indulge in all things blueberry such as blueberry pie, ice cream, beer, wine, mead and more!

This year features new performers, an expanded children’s craft area, and special offerings such as the Blueberry Brewery, pet adoption opportunities and pet parade! Come out to see, experience and TASTE all the festival has to offer!

Event Location: Burnside Plantation, 1461 Schoenersville Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Event Website:
Event Times: Saturday, July 16: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m
Sunday, July 17: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.