Odd Shaped Window Covering Options

Extended Leg Eyebrow

Moving into your new home is such an exciting time. Your new home is a blank canvas and you get to decide where to put everything and how to decorate it. As you start looking at your windows thinking about coverings, you see it…that odd shaped window. You think to yourself “how do I cover that window?”

There are all kinds of odd or specialty windows available: full circle, half circle, eyebrow, octagon, trapezoid and palladium to name a few. Specialty windows can add elegance and character to your home. Sometimes these windows are in places that it may not be critical to cover, like a hallway, a kitchen or the living room. However, when you have these in a bathroom or bedroom, you may be more apt to cover them.

There are several window treatments available depending on your tastes and intended uses. If you want to block but still be able to let light in when you want, you can use blinds. Blinds come in all shapes and sizes and can be ordered to fit the exact dimensions of your window. You can also use cellular shades that help filter light as well as keep out the heat and cold. Curtains can be an option as well. You can install a track that allows you to attach a curtain that you can still open and close. If you’re looking for an option that lets in light but doesn’t allow others to see into your home, self-adhesive window films may be what you’re looking for. These self-adhesive films come in a frosted or matte finish, etched with different designs or some come in colorful designs that can resemble stained glass.

So you may have wondered how you were going to cover that odd shaped window before, but now you know there are several options available that will fit exactly what you’re looking for.

  • Share on Tumblr

Introducing the European Elevation Floor Plans in Foxcroft

Family-friendly Foxcroft is conveniently located close to great schools, shopping, dining and events in the renowned golf communities of Pinehurst and Southern Pines in Eastern North Carolina, and the first neighborhood to showcase The McKee Homes European elevation floor plans.

We began building our new European elevation floor plans in Foxcroft toward the end of 2015. With our model home now open, and many new homes almost completed, it’s time to unveil the European elevation floor plans by McKee Homes.

European Elevation floor plans by McKee Homes

The European Elevation Floor Plans

The European elevations include all the great features of our Classic floor plans with custom exterior details that give these homes a refined upscale look. The blend of architectural stone, siding and specially styled arches and roof lines give our European elevations a unique and appealing design.

Foxcroft

Foxcroft is located in Whispering Pines just minutes from Southern Pines and incredible shopping, dining and golf in the Village of Pinehurst!  Foxcroft offers beautiful home sites backing to wooded areas and the quiet privacy of country living. It is also in the much sought-after Farm Life school District.

Foxcroft neighborhood sitemap

This area of Moore County is home to over 40 golf courses within a 15 mile radius including the world-famous Pinehurst No. 2, home to both the men’s and women’s 2014 US Open Championships.

With prestigious golf resorts featuring championship courses, tennis, racquet clubs, swimming and more, and quaint village-style shopping, dining and other events it’s understandable why this area attracts so many visitors and vacationers, but it’s an even better place to call home.

Foxcroft location map

For more information about Foxcroft and our European elevation floor plans, please contact McKee Homes or visit our Foxcroft web page.

  • Share on Tumblr

Introducing the Coastal Elevation Floor Plans in Winds Harbor

McKee Homes began building our new Coastal elevation floor plans at Winds Harbor toward the end of 2015. With our model home now open, and many new homes almost completed, it’s time to unveil the Coastal elevation floor plans by McKee Homes.

Coastal Elevation floor plans by McKee Homes

If you’ve been looking for Wilmington new homes, and want a family-friendly neighborhood conveniently located to great schools, shopping, dining and events in historic downtown Wilmington, with some of the best beaches in the area, Winds Harbor may be the perfect place for you.

McKee Homes Coastal Elevation Floor Plans

The Coastal elevation floor plans include all the great features of our Classic floor plans with custom exterior details that make them perfect for the coastal and beach-front lifestyle. The absence of stone and brick on the front with special details and trim give these homes a classic coastal look while maintaining a distinctive elegance and refinement.

Winds Harbor

Winds Harbor is a new community off Middle Sound Loop Road in Wilmington, NC. This ideal family friendly location is less than two thousand feet from the Intracoastal Waterway and a short drive to beautiful Wrightsville Beach, Mayfaire Shopping Center and historic downtown Wilmington.

Winds Harbor in Wilmington, NC by McKee Homes

Wilmington, NC is home to three of North Carolina’s finest beaches. Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach are all within a 25 minute drive of each other.

With a 230-block National Register Historic District, one of the largest in the U.S., Wilmington offers a wide variety of architectural styles and its historic downtown area has a one-mile-long Riverwalk, developed as a tourist attraction, which is home to many boutiques, eclectic shops and vibrant nightlife venues.

Enjoy fresh local seafood and regional specialties at over 40 locally owned restaurants and pubs in downtown Wilmington’s historic river district, many featuring live music.

Winds Harbor location map

For more information about Winds Harbor and our Coastal elevation floor plans, please contact McKee Homes or visit our Winds Harbor web page.

  • Share on Tumblr

Multi-Generational Homes With First and Second Floor Owner’s Suites

Homes with first and second floor owner’s suites, often referred to as multi-generational homes, have become very popular in the last 10 years. Some multi-generational homes have separate entrances and small kitchens in guest suites for more privacy and independence, however all areas are typically connected to the main house for security and economy.

According to a 2015 report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 13% of all homebuyers in 2014 bought multi-generational homes with the main reasons being cost savings, children over 18 moving back into their parent’s home, caretaking of aging parents and spending more time with aging parents.

multi-generational family

While the initial cost of multi-generational homes can be a little higher than the typical 3 bed/2.5 bath home, the total cost for everyone living in the home is much less when you consider the cost of a mortgage or monthly rent for aging parents and/or kids just out of college.

A popular new home feature is first and second floor owner’s suites. Even if a house doesn’t have separate entrances or kitchens, this design allows parents to sleep upstairs near their children while the kids are young and then move downstairs once the kids get older or are out of the house. Having a full owner’s suite on both floors allows for much more flexibility in lifestyle. As homeowners age they can live on the first floor of the home and not have to go up and down stairs to the bedroom. That can also save money as the second floor of the home does not need to be heated and cooled as much, but is still available for visits from family and friends when needed.

Many new home builders are now offering multi-generational homes and homes with first and second floor owner’s suites, guest suites with optional kitchenettes and separate entrances. McKee Homes has a dozen floor plans with first and second floor owner’s suites, optional guest suites or optional second floor guest suites with kitchenettes.

First and second floor owner’s suites: Brooks, Clark and Sanborne

Optional first floor guest suite: Beaufort

Optional second floor guest suite: Canterbury and Riddick

Optional second floor guest suite with option for wet bar or kitchenette: Palazzo, Portico, Promenade, Salerno, Torino, and Verona

  • Share on Tumblr

5 Things To Do To Improve Your Credit Score Before Buying a New Home

The home buying process begins long before your start looking at new home listings online. One of the first steps in the home buying process is getting a handle on your finances and understanding your credit. Here are five things to do to improve your credit score before buying a new home.

5 Things to do to Improve Your Credit Score

  1. Know what’s on your credit report.
    When was the last time you checked your credit report? If it hasn’t been in the last year, then you could be missing something that could be hurting your credit score. Every year, you can get your credit report, for free, from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian by going to annualcreditreport.com. While this doesn’t provide you with your credit score, it does show you what the lenders see.
  1. Identify and fix any errors.
    Once you’ve reviewed your credit report with a fine-toothed comb, you need to start fixing any errors. On each of the credit bureau websites there are step-by-step instructions on how to dispute errors, and your credit report will have instructions as well. When contacting the credit bureaus, keep detailed notes on what you submit to them and copies of any documents.
  1. Always be on time.
    It may seem like commonsense but if you’re looking to increase your credit score pay your bills on time every month and don’t miss a payment. Paying more than the minimum balance, even if it’s just a little more, looks good to the lenders. It also helps you pay your bills off faster.
  1. Pay off your credit cards, but don’t close them.
    Paying off your credit cards is a great way to lower your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Every lender has different standards for DTI ratios, but according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a DTI of 43% is, in many cases, the highest ratio a borrower can have and still qualify for a mortgage.
  1. Be smart with new and old lines of credit.
    If you are under contract to buy a new home, opening up new lines of credit or making any large charges on your current credit card can negatively alter your DTI. This makes you look risky to lenders. If you are building a new home, it can sometimes be a six-month or longer process, so be sure to plan ahead. It is recommended to wait until after closing to buy a new car, new furniture or book that all-inclusive vacation. If you have any thing that comes up before closing consult your lender. While not opening new lines of credit is important, keeping old lines of credit open is advised. These old lines of credit show your credit history and closing them could change your DTI for the worse.

Source: Forbes.com; HGTV.com

  • Share on Tumblr

Should A Veteran Always Use A VA Loan?

VA Loan

The VA loan program is a great benefit for veterans and with 21 million VA home loans it seems like a no-brainer that veterans would take advantage of this benefit. But should a veteran always use a VA loan? The answer is no, but let me explain.

There are many reasons to use the VA loan program. One of the biggest perks of this program is the no down payment. The VA does not issue the loans but they are guaranteed by the government which gives lenders confidence in issuing the loans.

  • You don’t have to have a down payment as long as your loan doesn’t exceed $417,000.
  • Lower closing costs as the VA restricts the types of closing costs a veteran can pay.
  • No monthly mortgage insurance premiums like you find with other loan programs.
  • VA loans also allow for those with higher debt ratios and lower credit scores to qualify for loans.

Now all this may make you wonder, well why wouldn’t I want to use a VA loan? Well there are a few things that may make you consider not using a VA loan.

  • If you’re buying a fixer-upper home, you won’t be able to use a VA loan as they are mainly for “move-in ready” homes.
  • While you can reuse a VA loan, you can’t get another VA loan before you pay the other one off.
  • If the home you’re buying isn’t going to be your primary residence then you’ll need to consider another loan program.
  • There is a limit on VA loan co-borrowers who are not a spouse or another veteran.
  • If you have a 20% or larger down payment it may be wise to consider not using a VA loan to avoid the VA funding fee.

So when you start your home search it would be a good idea to check into all of your home loan options. Knowing what’s available to you can save you time and money, and even if you are a veteran, you may not always want to use a VA loan.

Source: Marketwatch.com; VeteransUnited.com; Military.com

  • Share on Tumblr

Is Seed or Sod Better For A New Lawn?

If you want to establish a new lawn, or reestablish an old lawn, you have two basic choices: you can plant seed and sprout your own new turf, or you can buy sod and roll it out like new carpet, ready to go.

seed or sod for new lawn

The end result should be about the same if done correctly so what are the differences between the two options?

Seed Advantages

  • Significantly lower initial cost than sod.
  • More species of grass available as seed for sun and shade.
  • Lawn develops in native soil.

Seed Disadvantages

  • Takes longer to establish a new lawn as seed must germinate.
  • Water requirements are critical during germination.
  • May require reseeding after heavy rain.
  • Ideal time of year for seeding is limited to late summer and early fall.
  • Weeds can be a problem until lawn is established, especially if seeded in spring

Sod Advantages

  • Creates an instant lawn, which can be walked on almost immediately.
  • Virtually no weeds when installed.
  • Stops soil erosion right away even on slopes.
  • Can be installed any time during the growing season.

Sod Disadvantages

  • Much higher initial cost to establish lawn.
  • Choice of species is very limited, not shade tolerant.
  • Possibility of importing problematic non-native soil.
  • Large volume of water needed initially.

Whichever way you choose to go, the quality of the seed or sod is essential to establishing a healthy lawn. Initial soil preparation is also important. If possible, get a soil test done before starting so any amendments can be added to the soil. Compost may be necessary for clay soils. Rough as well as fine grading is crucial and control of perennial weeds is necessary before seeding or sodding to prevent them from taking over your new lawn. Tilling or covering with sod will not kill perennial weeds and an initial application of a non-selective herbicide may be necessary.

Newly seeded lawns must be watered frequently, but not deeply. It’s only necessary to keep the top ½ inch of soil moist, but you don’t need to deep water initially. Once the seedlings have emerged, watering should be done deeply and less frequently. Limit heavy traffic on lawn for first year until it has become well established.

Newly sodded lawns need a good deal of water initially to keep them healthy, however they will hold up well to foot traffic and can be fertilized on a regular schedule. Beware of shrinking as weeds can grow between the sections of sod. If you decide to go with sod, it’s best to hire a professional to do the installation and insure you get fresh sod.

  • Share on Tumblr

Should I Buy a New Home Now or Later?

If you’re like many people, you may be asking yourself should I buy a new home now or later? While there are many things to consider when asking this question, here are a few things to get you started:

  • Are you in a good place financially?
  • Are you ready to be your own landlord?
  • Are you committed to staying in one place?

If you answered yes to these questions then you may be ready to buy a home. The next question you may ask yourself is should I buy now or later? With interest rates still at all time lows, that may sway your opinion. Maybe, knowing that Freddie Mac predicts that by January 2017 interest rates will rise to 4.5% or that CoreLogic predicts that home prices will increase by 5.5% over the next year may help make your decision to begin the home search now. If you wait until next year, that $250,000 budget you have would need to increase by $13,750 to get the same home.

Should I Buy a New Home Now or Later

If you have questions about the home buying process or what McKee Homes has to offer, contact us today and we would be happy to answer your questions.

Additional Source: Forbes.com

 

  • Share on Tumblr

10 Tips to Get Your Home Ready For Spring

It’s been a long cold winter with snow, ice and rain. Your house has been closed up for months and the garage is a mess. Here are 10 tips to get your home ready for spring.

10 tips to get your home ready for spring

  1. Inspect and clean out gutters and downspouts
    Inspect and clean debris from gutters and downspouts. Check for signs of leaks or any loose sections. Leaky gutters can cause water damage to your home. If you are not comfortable on a ladder you may want to hire someone to do this.
  1. Inspect roofing shingles for damage
    Do a visual inspection of roofing from the ground to make sure there aren’t any loose or missing shingles from winter storms. High winds can often cause damage to your roof especially if there are trees close to the house with overhanging limbs. If necessary, hire someone to inspect and repair any damaged areas. A leaky roof can cause expensive damage to the structure and interior of the home as well as allow mold to grow inside the walls.
  1. Clean yard and inspect drainage
    Clean debris from yard and look for low areas with poor drainage, especially near the house. Spring rains can cause flooding in the yard which can cause foundation flooding and damage. Pools of water in the yard are also a breeding ground for insects such as mosquitoes. Repair any drainage issues with the yard and landscaping to make sure you don’t have any problems related to standing water or flooding.
  1. Power-wash driveway, walkways, decks and siding
    After a long winter with rain, snow and ice your driveway, walkways, decks and siding need some TLC. Rent or buy a power-washer or hire someone to clean these areas. It’s amazing how a good cleaning can make the exterior of your home look like new again. This is also a good time to clean patio furniture to get it ready for use in warmer weather.
  1. Inspect windows and doors
    Once the exterior of your home has been power-washed, take some time to inspect the windows and doors for damage. Inspect the seals and weather-stripping, the glass, and any exterior caulking and paint. Replace or repair any damaged areas and glass and re-caulk and paint as necessary. This will save money on heating and cooling your home as well as prevent water damage from leaks.
  1. Clean out the garage
    The garage can really take a beating during the cold winter months. No one wants to clean the garage when it’s cold and wet outside. Take some time to open it up and clean the inside of the garage from top to bottom. Throw away any junk or garbage that has accumulated inside the garage and put everything back in its place. Clean mud and debris off the floor from vehicles and boots and check for cracks in the concrete.
    It’s also a good time to thoroughly clean your vehicles, especially the undercarriage, to wash away any mud and salt brine that may have accumulated from driving during the winter months. If you live in an area where the roads are salted to prevent ice and snow buildup on the roads, you want to make sure to wash the residue from your vehicles so it doesn’t cause rust and other damage.
  1. Thoroughly clean and air-out home
    The first warm weekend of spring is a great time to clean the inside of your window and door glass and open them up to let fresh air in, and stale air out, of your home. It’s best to do this before the pollen gets bad later in the season so it doesn’t get inside your home while the windows are open. Months of cooking and living with the windows and doors closed can lead to dust and odor buildup inside your house. A thorough cleaning of rugs, carpets, curtains and furniture will make your home clean and fresh again.
  1. Clean out the Refrigerator
    How long has it been since you took everything out of the refrigerator and cleaned all the shelves and inside surfaces? If it’s been awhile, spring is a great time to mark that chore off the list and get rid of any science experiments that might be growing in the back of the fridge.
  1. Change your home decor
    Most people don’t have the money to change the decor of their homes with each changing season but there are low-cost ways of giving your home a fresh look inside for spring. While you are cleaning your home, think about rearranging the furniture, replacing any old damaged items and possibly doing some painting. Add some flowers and new plants and you’ll be amazed at how new and fresh your home can look on a budget.
  1. Get your garden ready
    Early spring is the time to plan your garden and start sprouting veggies and herbs in small plastic cups inside under grow lights or in a greenhouse. That way you don’t have to wait until it’s warm outside to plant and your garden gets a head start. It’s also a good time to prep the soil in the garden and put up or repair planters and trellises. Take some time to determine what you want to plant, and where, so you know exactly how to proceed when it’s time to get the garden planted.
  • Share on Tumblr

McKee Homes Donates $30,000 to Alzheimer’s Association

check presentation by Pat McKee and Julie Russo of McKee Homes

McKee Homes sponsored the Fayetteville Chamber’s Business After Hours event at Marquis Market in downtown Fayetteville Thursday evening, Feb. 25 at 5:30 pm. The Business After Hours event brings together many local residents, professionals and business owners from the Fayetteville area for a popular networking event.

Pat McKee, President of McKee Homes and President of the Home Builders Association of Fayetteville, along with wife Julie Russo who is VP of Human Resources at McKee Homes, presented the Alzheimer’s Association® with a promotional check for $30,000 which covers all the donations made in 2015 by McKee Homes. Lisa Roberts, Executive Director, Eastern North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer’s Association, accepted the check at the Business After Hours event. From 2011 to 2016, McKee Homes has donated approximately $135,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association® through the Joe McKee Memorial Alzheimer’s Fund.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association® website at alz.org®, North Carolina is home to more than 160,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and half a million unpaid caregivers. The Eastern North Carolina Chapter is responsible for providing programs and support services, information, referral, education and advocacy to the 51 counties of Eastern North Carolina.

“Our mission is to utilize our resources and good fortune to support the Alzheimer’s cause in the greater Fayetteville, Wilmington and Raleigh areas by raising awareness of this devastating disease, supporting initiatives of the Alzheimer’s Association® and helping fund Alzheimer’s care and research,” said Pat McKee.

The Business After Hours event was well attended with great food and door prizes given away by McKee Homes.

  • Share on Tumblr