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Pros & Cons of Different Wet Area Flooring Materials

Categories: Davidson Homes, Design and Decor, Floor Plan, Home Features | Posted: January 27, 2016 | Comments Off on Pros & Cons of Different Wet Area Flooring Materials

Because flooring materials respond differently to moisture, finished floors within wet areas must comport with certain code requirements to be used in home construction. According to accepted standards, these floors must be impervious to moisture to be suitable for wet areas. Although many different materials are considered acceptable solutions, all of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what the most popular flooring materials used in wet areas have to offer.

Engineered Hardwood

Although vulnerable to moisture, engineered hardwood flooring is suitable for wet areas when covered with a waterproof coating.

Pros

  • More attractive than other options
  • More comfortable than harder surfaces
  • Should last many years

Cons

  • Movement may cause joints to open up, cracking finish
  • Water can enter cracked finish, leading to water damage
  • Not recommended in areas subject to wet cleaning or water splashing

Vinyl Plank

Because it is impervious to moisture, vinyl plank is seen by many as an ideal wet area floor finish.

Pros

  • Can be used in showers and other wet areas
  • Available in a wide range of colors, styles, and textures
  • Inexpensive compared to other flooring options

Cons

  • Can be slippery when wet
  • Not considered as attractive as wood
  • Requires professional installation

Ceramic Tile

Probably the most popular options for indoor wet areas, ceramic and stone tiles are widely used in home construction.

Pros

  • Impervious finish keeps moisture out
  • Nearly endless style, color, and texture options
  • Should last a lifetime
  • Adds beauty, elegance, and class

Cons

  • Can be quite pricey
  • Hard surface may be dangerous in a slip and fall
  • Improper installation could let water into the joints and substrate

Summing Up

While all of the aforementioned flooring materials are suitable for certain wet areas, some are clearly more suitable than others for home construction. With that said, homeowners should explore all of their options before selecting a material.

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USB Outlets Are the Smart Home Solution for All of Your Smart Devices

Categories: Davidson Homes, Design and Decor, Home Features | Posted: January 20, 2016 | Comments Off on USB Outlets Are the Smart Home Solution for All of Your Smart Devices

One of the many excellent benefits of building customized homes is the ability to add elements and details that will make life in your new home easier. One such element to consider is the addition of USB ports.

USB-powered devices, such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and MP3 players are fast becoming ubiquitous in American households, and more USB-powered gadgets hit the market every day. In fact, Apple’s latest 12-inch laptop uses a USB setup as its power port—it is the first computer to do so. And, the latest USB technology allows for faster charging, a higher power output, as well as bi-directional power, which means that you can use a USB cord to charge your laptop from your smartphone, and vice versa. Some experts even think that soon, larger electronics, such as TVs, will be USB-powered.

With more and more devices utilizing USB technology, installing USB ports in customized homes is a smart choice. USB ports come in two configurations; a combination receptacle that includes the basic 120-volt outlet as well as one (or more) USB ports, and a USB-only outlet. When you build a new home, you can decide which setup and which locations will best meet your needs.

Many homeowners find that USB ports in the bedroom offer added convenience, particularly for those who like to read on their tablet or e-reader before bed. Many bedside electrical outlets are already overcrowded by other devices, like alarm clocks and bedside lamps, so a USB port in this room lets you charge your gadgets without unplugging other devices that you need to use. Additionally, you won’t need to dig through the drawer to find those bulky AC adapters that take up so much space on your electrical outlets. Other great locations for USB ports in customized homes include a home office or in the kitchen.

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How to Calculate Your Spending Limit for a Home

Categories: Davidson Homes, New Home Benefits, New Home Owners | Posted: January 13, 2016 | Comments Off on How to Calculate Your Spending Limit for a Home

Shopping for new homes for sale can be an exciting experience for many people. A variety of questions usually come up during this process. One of the main issues to resolve at the outset is to calculate a spending limit. Knowing these numbers will simplify the hunt and make it more enjoyable.

Initial Calculations

A lender will perform a thorough investigation to determine how much house a buyer can afford. However, before even talking to any banks, it’s helpful for people to crunch their own numbers. These math exercises will ensure that a family has realistic expectations about their price range and houses that fall within it.

  • Calculate monthly household income after taxes. This income should include the contributions of every family member who earns money and contributes to the household.
  • List set monthly expenses such as insurance, utilities, transportation expenses, food, and other recurring bills. Include setting money aside in savings as an expense. Some current monthly expenses may disappear after the purchase, such as renter’s insurance.
  • List monthly expenses that will begin after purchasing a home, such as homeowner’s association fees, water and sewer, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes.
  • Subtract expenses from income to see what is left over to begin shopping for new homes for sale.
  • Use a mortgage calculator to figure out monthly payment amounts using various interest rates and loan terms. This calculator will help people see how the variables of interest rates and loan terms can create different monthly payment amounts of principal and interest on a mortgage.
  • Approach a couple of different lenders to see what type of financing is possible to get.

Shopping for New Homes for Sale

After doing the math and speaking with a lender, buyers will be ready to begin the actual process of finding a house. It’s wise to start either at or slightly below a price range to ensure that people don’t begin looking at houses they can’t afford.

With careful calculations, house shopping can be quite straightforward.

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First-Time Home Buyers Must Know These Important Things

Categories: Community, Design and Decor, New Home Owners | Posted: January 6, 2016 | Comments Off on First-Time Home Buyers Must Know These Important Things

First-time home buyers usually have many questions about the process of searching for and buying a house. When people learn as much as possible about shopping for homes for sale, it’s possible to come out ahead with a residence that fits every need and desire.

Save for a Down Payment

In the past, buyers had the freedom and flexibility of financing 100 percent of a house purchase without the need for putting forward a down payment. While it may be possible to find this type of creative financing, there are benefits to paying a down payment.

Factor in Sweat Equity

When buyers approach the search for homes for sale with an open mind, they may save thousands of dollars. By considering houses that need remodeling or renovation, it’s possible to spend less at the beginning. New owners can also save money by doing these renovations themselves instead of paying professionals to do the work. Building sweat equity in a property can be an exceptional way to add value without having to pay a premium price for it.

Explore Inspection Results Carefully

After having an inspection, review the results carefully to understand them fully. Sometimes an inspector might uncover symptoms of an issue. But unless they dig deeper, the full scope of the problem may remain undisclosed until after the sale.

Homebuilders Provide Fair Prices

Using a professional homebuilder means that the homebuyer will get the fairest price for the home without going through the hassle of trying to make sure every part of an evaluation or estimate is correct. A trusted homebuilder will work within the budget of the home buyer to provide essential amenities and other specifications.

The search for homes for sale can be an exciting prospect for first-time home buyers. Proceed with knowledge in order to make the best decision.

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Rent or buy a home? 5 Important questions you need to ask yourself

Categories: Davidson Homes | Posted: November 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Rent or buy a home? 5 Important questions you need to ask yourself

As more millennials hit their 30s this year, America will increasingly witness one of its largest renting populations enter the homebuying market for the first time. The biggest homeownership gain in the U.S. between July and September happened in the under 35 year old demographic, which is the first time ownership has increased for that group since 2004.

Homeowners should be careful about what kind of home they can afford. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, homeowners shouldn’t allocate more than 28% of their monthly income to housing costs. For instance, a first-time home buyer in Alabama could afford to spend an average $1,114 a month, according to CFPB’s calculations. When you carefully choose a house you can afford, the outcome can be significant. By paying your mortgage, you are building equity in a place of your own. Equity is the portion of the property that you actually own. Your equity increases by paying your monthly payments, and your home may also appreciate in value over time.

Now an upside to renting is that renters don’t pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and, in most cases, maintenance costs. These expenses can cost homeowners about 3% of the price of their home annually. Renters don’t end up with a valuable asset, as buyers do when they pay off a mortgage. But renters might be able to make more money by investing the monthly savings, as well as the cash they would otherwise use for a down payment. Plus, they don’t run the risk of their property de-appreciating in value if the housing market changes for the worst.

Here are several questions you need to ask yourself to determine which option is best for you (and your family):

1. How long do you plan to live in that particular city?
2. Have you had a recent lifestyle change such as deciding to change careers?
3. Do you plan to have children in the next couple of years?
4. Have you calculated how much renting vs. buying would be in the particular city you want to live in?
5. Do you want to consider your home a financial investment?
Overall, it’s important to do your market research beforehand and sit down to do the math to make sure you don’t fall into a financial hole, should you decide to buy or rent.

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Buy a home versus Renting

How to Get the Best Loan for Your New Home

Categories: Davidson Homes | Posted: November 6, 2015 | Comments Off on How to Get the Best Loan for Your New Home

The good news continues for potential home buyers. With interest rates remaining unchanged over the past year coupled with a strong housing market, borrowers should encounter fewer obstacles in getting a mortgage.

Right now, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average is 3.86 percent while the 15-year FRM (fixed-rate mortgage) average is 3.08 percent. A little loosening of the mortgage lending regulations should also help more buyers who have been shut out of the market. The Urban Institute estimates more “normal” lending requirements could mean an additional 1.2 million home loans every year.

But before you start looking applying for a home loan, make sure you take these important steps first:

1. Know your credit score

One of the first things you need to do is pull your credit score. The most common is the FICO score, which will be based on data from one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Your debt-to-income ratio and your down payment determine the minimum required credit score for a mortgage.

2. Understand total monthly debt payments

Make sure you aggregate all your debt information prior to applying for a loan. This will also help you determine what you can realistically afford in terms of your monthly mortgage payments. Lenders scrutinize your (and your spouse’s) job and income history and prospects, debt-to-income ratios, and savings and assets. Lenders will also look at your proposed ratio of monthly housing expenses to income. Housing expenses include loan principal and interest, real estate, taxes, and hazard insurance (PITI) (principal, interest, taxes,insurance) plus mortgage and homeowners-association dues. Lenders also figure your maximum debt-to-income ratio (total monthly debt payment divided by gross monthly income).

3. Get Pre-Approved For a Loan
A pre-approval will give you a good idea of what your price range should be when looking for a home, and it will also be an opportunity for you to go to another bank if the one that issued a pre-approval isn’t providing you with the loan terms you’re looking for.
Signing on to a mortgage is a big financial commitment, so be sure you’re prepared before you take the leap!

 

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Younger buyers move into homeownership, but choose function over frills

Categories: Davidson Homes | Posted: November 6, 2015 | Comments Off on Younger buyers move into homeownership, but choose function over frills

Adam Davidson, owner and CEO of Davidson Homes, has seen an uptick of new homeowners over the past few years as the housing market has steadily picked up. But he’s noticed something interesting. “More couples are actually being thrust into instant homeownership because of life changing events…like a baby,” chuckles Davidson.

Davidson predicts that this trend will continue to grow as more older millennials get married later in life, have families, but up until then have been renting or living in starter homes. “Millennials are more conservative about living within their means. They are saving money and they buy a home when they are more financially stable,” comments Davidson. “In the meantime they are renting longer and hesitant about repeating the same financial mistakes as their older predecessors.”

According to the latest figures from the Alabama Center for Real Estate, July’s new home sales in Alabama were up 17.1% compared to July 2014.

“I’d estimate that first-time homeowners account for about 20% of new home sales, and certainly younger buyers—such as the millennial generation—make up a good portion of that percentage,” says Lynn Corder, 2015 HBAA President of The Builders Group of West Alabama. “Interest rates are at historic lows and a variety of financing options make homeownership very attractive.”

However, there is still trepidation about owning a new home. For example, new homeowners want to make sure that they don’t lose money on their investment. “People have more sizeable down payments versus just 100% financing,” remarks Davidson, “and this is due to their intentional saving over the years.”

New homeowners are also very price-conscious, opting to consider square footage included in a home versus the amenities. New homeowners are also now open to move-in ready homes or modeled homes they can customize (lot selection, house plan, color palettes) which are built and then closed on.

“Some customers come to us with a second child and they have been living in a starter home. They are more focused on the amount of room for their children and more often that becomes the deciding factor in their home purchase,” says Davidson. Many homebuyers want to make the most of their space, and combining rooms (such as an office and guest room) for daily use instead of occasional use is more appealing to today’s buyer.

But there are non-obvious benefits to becoming a homeowner, especially when considering a custom-built home. “Maintenance is typically much easier on a new home, as older homes have more wear and tear on them that may need to be addressed as soon as you move in,” says Russell Davis, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Alabama. “New homes are also usually more energy-efficient, saving new homebuyers money in the long run.”

Davidson cites another reason that homeownership is a benefit: “Community is everything. The kind of neighborhood you choose is vastly important to your family and also impacts the value of your home. Educate yourself on the neighborhood you want to live in and if it’s a right fit.”

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4 Advantages of Building New vs Buying Old

Categories: Davidson Homes | Posted: November 6, 2015 | Comments Off on 4 Advantages of Building New vs Buying Old

Prospective homebuyers have developed an almost involuntary tendency to search for-sale homes already on the market. But, there is another option that too often goes unexplored. Avoiding the older homes of the housing market and pursuing a new development may be the best bet a homebuyer has to ensure the highest level of control, security and happiness.

Pick your lot
When scouring the housing market, a few things happen that may not be immediately obvious. First, you are relegating yourself to a finite amount of options, none of which may accurately meet your housing desires. Second, there is an inevitable calculus the buyer will have to do. It isn’t often that you find both a home and a location that meet your wish list, which means one will have to be compromised. But, when buying a new development, the homebuyer has more of a choice over which lot they want to purchase as well as a multitude of options regarding the new home.

Energy efficiency
One of the perks that come with purchasing a new development is the new appliances and amenities. Not only is your washer and dryer shiny and working like a charm, but they’re energy efficient. With the latest technology come advancements in efficiency. So, not only will you see this benefit in your monthly energy bill, but hose especially attuned to sustainability initiatives will find an extra incentive to buying a newly developed home.

No renovation expenses
With an older home, renovations are a constant worry. Whether caused by an unusually strong storm, wear and tear or random chance, a part of your home can find itself in need of immediate repair. This can leave you with costly and unexpected expenses. Such repairs are much more infrequent in newly developed properties, which haven’t accumulated the same wear and tear. And, when repairs are necessary, they are covered by warranties.

Warranties
Choosing to purchase a new home comes with a certain piece of mind. Both the structural elements and the home’s technology will be covered by lengthy warranties. If an electrical malfunction was to occur, or a compromise in the structural integrity made itself known, you wouldn’t have to stress over pricy labor and replacement charges.

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Renting vs. Owning

Categories: Davidson Homes | Posted: June 29, 2015 | Comments Off on Renting vs. Owning

An increasingly difficult question for the Millennial generation is whether to buy a home or continue renting apartments. What used to be a very simple question is now muddled by many factors that vary from person-to-person.

Basically, to rent or own is a personal choice as a result of weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each, as they pertain to your life. So, though no one reason is uniform, what are some of the more popular reasons people are choosing to rent and own?

Renting

While many pundits, real estate owners and developers have hammered it into the national consciousness that owning a home is the obvious choice, financially, and to chose otherwise is an avoidable folly, a large population of Millennials have repeatedly replied that some of the emotional benefits of renting are worth considering against the financial drawbacks.

According to Adam Davidson, of Davidson Homes, our country’s financial recession, which has drastically affected the housing market for close to a decade, has consistently repelled Millennials from buying homes. Even with interest rates so low, they look to stay that way for a while. As a result, there is no urgency to buy now, especially for former students straddled with student debt and necessary car payments.

Importantly, something has also changed in how we culturally value home ownership. Davidson continues, “While past generations saw home ownership as a status symbol, this generation places value elsewhere.”

Americans approaching their thirties are much more interested in renting in a location that fits their out-and-about lifestyle, with amenities and thriving communities within walking distance. Also, the flexibility of a short term lease is very comforting to people looking to move around, taking new jobs around the country before settling down to have a family.

The focus for Millennials is much more on being non-committal, not dropping their anchor, than it has been for past generations.

Owning

The aforementioned home owning detractors do not mean buying a home is out of the picture for thirty-somethings. Basically, once couples begin to start a family, their top priority is to investigate the housing market.

However, though owning a home to house a burgeoning family is another personal decision, Adam Davidson foresees that the ever-increasing rent prices (as a result of high demand and little supply) will nudge Millennials toward rethinking home ownership sooner than they currently are.

Besides avoiding high rent, the financial benefits of home owning are in abundance. Whether it is the tax incentives, both property and state, or building personal equity through paying your own mortgage, people who chose to own a home will see the difference in their wallet.

“But,” Davidson warns, “It is important for new home owners to buy within their means. Buying a home on a 10-15-year mortgage is going to drastically benefit owners.” Purchasing a home on an extended mortgage is going to be counterintuitive to buying a home for financial advantages.

It is also worth noting that a large population of Millennials still maintain past generations’ idea of the American Dream: the comfort of calling a place your own. For many, putting off a family and home for the sake of being flexible or enjoying a downtown apartment is not as appealing as putting down stakes in the quiet suburbs.

As mentioned, choosing to stay in a rental or take the plunge on buying a home is a very personal choice that is a reflection of who you are or where you are in life. To get more details about the housing market for making the right decision for yourself, contact Davidson Homes through davidsonhomesllc.com or call (256) 350-1322.

Monrovia Grand Opening

Categories: Davidson Homes | Posted: May 14, 2015 | Comments Off on Monrovia Grand Opening
Legacy of monrovia exterior shot Davidson Homes in Huntsville, Alabama

Legacy of Monrovia- Davidson Homes

On Saturday, May 23rd, Davidson Homes will be premiering the most exciting new homes in the Monrovia area.

Located at 104 Legacy Trace Drive in Madison, Alabama, the Open House will feature two homes that demonstrate our excellent developments with state-of-the-art features.

Home automation

We will be unveiling our exciting new SmartHome features, which include the ability to play music throughout the home via your mobile device, the convenience of turning on and off lights remotely, and wirelessly lock and unlock the front door.

Interiors

Always priding ourselves on providing excellent interiors, these homes will be no different. Visitors can expect to find top-of-the-line hardwood floors, granite countertops, and fixtures that allow you to seamlessly integrate your technological devices. For instance, the wall outlets in these homes include USB ports that make charging mobile devices even easier.

Energy

Davidson Homes is Energy Right Certified, which means we optimize up-to-date technology in order to create energy efficient homes. Some of the energy saving attributes of our Monrovia developments includes tank-less water heaters, blown-in insulation, and LED lights. These homes have a significantly lower energy output than competitive homes on the market.

With these properties, Davidson Homes is revitalizing a long-neglected subdivision that has plenty to offer. The area is just a stones throw from Route 72, making everyday travel as convenient as possible. The Monrovia school district is ideal for raising a family.

Davidson Homes specializes in developing superior homes in excellent locations, all at a competitive price. Our new Monrovia developments are a perfect example of our premium products. To take a look at our latest and to find out more information about the features we offer, come check out our Open House on the 24th from 11am to 6pm at 104 Legacy Trace Drive in Madison.