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8 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make When Building a Home

Today we’re giving you the 8 biggest mistakes that we see home buyers make when deciding to build a home in hopes that you don’t make the same errors. The phrase “hindsight is 20-20” should never be used when referring to your new home build. Just saying.

MISTAKE #1: Being your own general contractor

A lot of homeowners see a general contractor as just a project “supervisor,” and therefore think they are qualified to be said contractor.

Yes, the contractor’s job is to oversee the home build, which includes but isn’t limited to gathering bids, identifying and sourcing sub-contractors, overseeing timeline and budget, and making sure that progress is being made. What you don’t consider the contractor’s long-standing authority in the industry and their deep-seeded relationships with sub-contractors (electricians, plumbers, etc.). Because of these trusted connections, sub-contractors want to perform exceptional work for general contractors. If they do, general contractors will continue to enlist them for future jobs, thus keeping the sub-contractors in business.

Unfortunately, sub-contractors will be less likely to do quality work (stick to your budget or finish within the agreed-upon time-frame) when working with someone, like a homeowner, whom they’ll never work with again or whom won’t provide any subsequent opportunities for work.

You might see hiring a general contractor as an unnecessary, added expense, but working with a notable, qualified professional will save you time, money and headache in the long run.

MISTAKE #2: Being frugal

Building your home is not a time to cut corners on your budget. When sourcing bids for a builder, beware of outlying low offers. It might sound like music to your ears when a builder promises to build your dream home two months faster and $40,000 less than other builders, but don’t fall for it.

If there’s a significant difference in the timeline or price compared to other bids, the builder is likely just offering what they think will get them the business. The problem lies in the added expenses that will likely ensue as the project progresses due to being excluded in the original offer. The difference in pricing could also hint to the quality of materials this builder is using.

Your home is an investment. Spend your money wisely on the front end so you’re not wasting your money replacing or fixing home features in the future.

MISTAKE #3: Not Covering Your Back

This is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so we recommend being an active participant in the home-building process and overseeing all the details. This means reading, understanding and reviewing all documents with a lawyer, asking for copies of contractor and sub-contractor insurance policies (if the contractor isn’t insured and an employee gets hurt on the job site, the homeowner could be held responsible), and serious deliberation over your floorplan and home feature selections – once construction commences, changes to a home can be very costly.

MISTAKE #4: Not Asking About Incentives

A builder almost always offers some type of incentive program. Before you sign a contract, be sure to ask the builder or New Home Sales Consultant about special offers that can either reduce the final amount you pay out of pocket (either on the home price or closing costs) or add value to the home (discount to the Design Studio, upgraded features or included appliances and/or amenities).

We at McKee Homes make an effort to provide our homebuyers with as many incentives as we can. Through the end of the 2019 year, we are offering $5,000 off closing costs, as well as a ‘Move-In Package’ complete with a free Whirlpool refrigerator, washer and dryer! Get more details on current incentives and available homes included in the special here.

MISTAKE #5: Not taking location into consideration

When considering a home, take into account the following:

  1. Resale value of the home (don’t concentrate on the cheapest lot). Think about your ROI (return on investment) in the long run.
  2. Land viability. Do your homework on things like the water table, terrain, slope, utility providers, etc.
  3. Size of lot. Do you like to be situated close to your neighbors for a close community feel or do you want a more spacious lot for privacy and tranquility?
  4. Convenience to a grocery store or gas station. Depending on who you are, being close to the busy life is important. To other families, a more quiet, private location suits them better.

MISTAKE #6. Having a budget without a buffer

It’s important to establish a budget when building a home. The budget should include a slush fund that takes into consideration unforeseen circumstances and overages, because even with the best-intentioned bid, incidentals will likely still come up.

There’s also a big difference between the base line price and the actual price of the home. A sales consultant will sell you on the base line price of the home, but it’s your job to know that any upgrades to the floorplan or feature selections (sun room, patio, bonus third floor, deluxe kitchen, decorative lighting packages, L-shaped master shower, etc.) will come with a price. Calculate the base line price and your upgrade costs before putting a deposit down.

MISTAKE #7: Assuming your home will sell during your build timeline

Even if you get financing for your new home build before you have sold your current home, there’s always a chance your home won’t sell before the new home is done (your realtor will tell you otherwise!). Depending on the location and economy, there are many factors that could affect the sale of your home: slow market, appraisal problems, buyers lacking financing, etc.).

When developing your Plan B (because you should have one), consider the following options:

  • Move into your new home and rent your old home while it’s still on the market
  • Make both house payments until your old home sells
  • Walk away from the new home and lose your deposit
  • Explore a new realtor with more creative selling approaches

MISTAKE #8. Working with the wrong builder

Before you choose a builder, do your research:

  • Look at their website not only for examples of work, but also who the builder is. Do they give back to the community? What are their values? Do they take the time to respond to their customers on social media? All these factors will give you a glimpse into the character of the builder.
  • Check reviews online (Google, Facebook, Angie’s List)
  • Ask potential builders to provide examples of their work (photos and in person)
  • Tour neighborhoods in which a builder has built and ask people about their experience

 

It’s important to take the time to find the right builder for you (not just based on the timeline and budget they promise). You will be working with them for the duration of the project and will forever be living in the home they build for you. Pick wisely.

If you’re on the fence about building a home and want to make sure you make the right choice regarding a builder, we’re happy to hop on the phone and answer any questions you may have. Simply fill out the form below or give one our friendly, knowledgeable online home specialists a ring at 910-672-7491.

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Affordable New Homes on Large Homesites

With homesites in the US averaging around 8,560 sq. ft., under one-fifth of an acre, it can be difficult to find affordable new homes on large homesites. Many homebuyers assume they would have to build a custom home to get a large homesite of an acre or more.

The size of homes and homesites have been getting smaller as the cost of land and construction materials have gone up in order to keep new homes affordable to the average homebuyer.  For families that want more space between their home and their neighbor’s home than what’s available in the majority of new home communities, the dream of buying a new home may seem out of reach.

Large Homesites

There’s good news though. There are production builders that still develop large homesites in some of their neighborhoods. These builders are not only able to offer the economy of production building, but also the opportunity for homebuyers to choose structural options and finish upgrades to get the home they’ve been dreaming about at a price they can afford.

McKee Homes, in Eastern North Carolina, has five neighborhoods with large homesites between ½ acre to over an acre in the Raleigh Triangle and neighboring areas, such as Pinehurst and Fayetteville.

Raleigh

Heather Glenn

heather glenHeather Glen in Raleigh offers large homesites from ½ acre to 1 acre in a quiet country setting just 12 miles south of downtown Raleigh for the best of both worlds. With large homesites, a variety of floor plans to choose from and just minutes from Lake Benson, Heather Glen is an ideal family-friendly neighborhood.

Copper Pond

copper pondCopper Pond in Fuquay-Varina near Holly Springs offers large homesites from ½ acre to over an acre in a quiet country setting just minutes from downtown Fuquay Varina. We have several floor plans on crawl spaces to choose from, some with Owners Suites on the first floor. Enjoy the town’s attractions, such as the Fourth of July Fireworks Show and historic downtown with great restaurants and shops.

Pinehurst

Meadows at Farm Life

meadows at farm lifeMeadows at Farm Life is a beautiful new home community offering large ½ acre homesites close to the Village of Whispering Pines and the Town of Carthage, NC, the county seat for Moore County. The community is located approximately 10 miles from Pinehurst and Southern Pines with all these areas have to offer. Only two opportunities left in the family-friendly community less than two miles from the highly-acclaimed Sandhills Farm Life Elementary School.

Fayetteville / Fort Bragg

Oakmont

oakmontOakmont offers country living with large homesites from ½ acre to over an acre in a family-friendly, gated community near Anderson Creek Club in Harnett County, North Carolina. It’s close to Fort Bragg, Lillington, and Fayetteville. Oakmont amenities include a neighborhood swimming pool with pool house and exercise room, covered bus stop, and small park area making it an outstanding family-friendly neighborhood.

Sinclair

sinclairSinclair is a peaceful new home community in Moore County comprising over 200 acres of beautiful countryside offering large ½ acre homesites. Most homes will have a view of permanent green space, making this community a must see for relaxing family living. Just 15 minutes from Fort Bragg at the Manchester Gate and a short drive to quaint shops, restaurants, and world class golfing at Pinehurst and Southern Pines.

More Info

If you’re looking for beautiful, affordable new homes on large homesites, please visit our website or contact us using the form below to get more information about our communities. Or give us a call at 910-672-7296 to talk to a friendly, knowledgeable new home specialist. They can answer any questions and schedule an appointment for you to come out and view our beautiful new homes and large homesites waiting for your family to enjoy!

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8 Easy Ways to Naturally Detoxify Your Home

Our homes are meant to make us feel safe, happy and healthy. To keep it that way, it’s important to know how to detoxify your home from certain toxins, germs and other hazardous substances that can have adverse health effects on your family.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that your home can have upwards of 500 various chemicals trapped inside its sealed-up, insulated walls. Furthermore, the air inside your home is estimated to be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air (yikes!). Given these facts, more and more serious conditions are being linked to environmental toxins – autoimmune and reproductive disorders, just to name a few.

So, you’ve installed a filtered fresh air intake system to improve the air quality in your home, tested your tap water for lead and routinely changed your HVAC air filters. Give yourself a pat on the back … this is a good start!

The question is: what else can you do to be proactively keep your family healthy and safe?

Try these easy, all-natural steps to instantly make your home healthier.

Use all-natural cleaners

Replace harsh cleaners and poisonous chemicals with mother nature’s homemade alternatives.

    • Wooden Cutting Boards & Surfaces: Lemon and Salt
      Cut a lemon in half horizontally. Sprinkle the wooden surface with coarse salt. Scrub the surface using the lemon, squeezing slightly as you scour the surface to release the lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse with a clean wet sponge.
    • All Purpose Cleaner: Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 liter of warm water.
    • Drain and Burnt Pots and Pans Cleaner: Baking soda and vinegar. It’s a proven fact that the combination of baking soda and vinegar can pretty much clean anything.
      • To clean the drain: Pour a half-cup baking soda down the drain. Add a half-cup white vinegar. Cover and wait five minutes. Rinse drain with a full pot of boiling water.
      • To clean burnt pots and pans: In a burnt pan, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar to a boil. Once boiling, remove it from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. When the mixture stops fizzing, empty the pan and scrub with a rough sponge. For any tough spots, add additional baking soda. Rinse.
    • Kitchen sink: Baking soda and rubbing alcohol
      Baking soda works well on stainless steel surfaces as it’s abrasive enough to scrub away hard water deposits and stuck-on food and grease, but not too harsh as to scratch shiny stainless surfaces. To create the mix, combine baking soda with a bit of water or rubbing alcohol until a paste forms. Cover your sink with the paste, scrub, rinse and enjoy the sparkle!
    • Oven Cleaner: Water and salt
      Mix water and three tablespoons of salt in a spray bottle. Spray the spills and scrape them away once the oven has cooled.
    • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Lemon juice and borax
      Make a paste with lemon juice and borax. Apply the paste to the toilet bowl, let set for two hours, then brush and rinse.

No shoe policy

Shoes bring in contaminants from outside, including soil, that in many cases, still contains lead compounds.

No artificial air fresheners

Health experts preach that plug-in air fresheners use of phthalates (air polluting chemicals) that can cause harmful side effects, like asthma and allergic symptoms. Essential oil diffusers are a great alternative and smell just as delicious.Beware that phthalates are also used to soften plastics in children’s toys and as sealants and adhesives in nail polish – likely consumer products you already have around your home.

Use untreated fabrics

Man-made fabrics, like acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate, and nylon are treated with thousands of harmful toxic chemicals during production. Stain-resistant surfaces as found on furniture and flame-retardant clothing, including children’s pajamas, have volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like formaldehyde.Stick to shopping for fabrics that are good for your skin, such as bamboo, wool, synthetic fabrics, vintage clothing and wrinkle-resistant apparel.

Beware of mold

When your kids are coughing or wheezing, it’s likely due to mold spores in your home versus the pollen outside. Mold flourishes where there is too much moisture in the air. Make sure there aren’t roof leaks or dripping faucets and that any space heaters, furnaces or fireplaces are properly calibrated and well-vented. To keep humidity under control, try a dehumidifier that keeps the relative humidity below 50%.

Ditch the chlorine

Although chlorine is an effective germ killer, it increases the risk of coronary heart disease and has been linked to linked to cancers, specifically bladder and rectal.Since chlorine is lurking in your tap water, try a kitchen faucet with an activated charcoal water filter and a similar showerhead filter to minimize the chlorine-containing compounds you inhale during a hot shower.

Be mindful of germs

    • Wash your hands after every meal and trip to the bathroom.
    • Try not to touch your hands to your mouth or eyes.
    • Use disinfectant sprays on doorknobs and other frequent touch points.
    • Use a dry toothbrush. Many viruses, including those that cause the flu, can survive for more than 24 hours on moist bristles. Alternate between a few brushes so you’re always using a dry toothbrush.
    • Replace sponges weekly. Kitchen sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria and can easily transfer food-borne bugs, such as salmonella and campylobacter, from countertops and cutting boards to dishes and cookware. The rule of thumb is to change your sponge weekly and make sure you air-dry it between uses.

Watch out for lead

Most of us think that lead isn’t an issue in a home anymore. Think again. The toxic metal can still be found in tap water, old paint, newspaper ink, as well as topsoil that remains highly contaminated due to the fallout of automobile exhaust that ran on leaded gas years ago.

 

To detoxify your home, the first step is awareness. If you’re reading this article, we’re guessing you’re ready to make the necessary changes. Check! ☑ The next step is implementation. Luckily, these easy, all-natural, non-toxic home cleaning remedies should have you worrying less about your family’s health and enjoying more memories together in your home.

Let us know how these DIY cleaning hacks work for you!

all natural cleaning hacks

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Buy A Home to Build Equity

Are you on the fence about whether to buy a home or rent?

Building Equity

Home equity is the appraised value of your home minus what you still owe. Simply put, you build equity by making your monthly mortgage payments. Your mortgage payment consists primarily of interest and principle, but may also include other payments such as PMI (private mortgage insurance) and even your home insurance and real estate taxes, depending on the type of mortgage you have. Interest does not go toward paying off your mortgage but principle does. One way to build home equity faster is to make extra payments whenever possible as anything you pay above your interest amount each month goes toward paying off your principle.

Why is home equity important? Your house is considered an asset which means you can use your home equity to finance your child’s college education, remodel your house, buy another home as an investment or even supplement your retirement savings.

Buying Vs Renting

You won’t be able to build equity with your rent payment each month, but you can buy a home to build equity over time and lock in your monthly payment. With a fixed rate mortgage, you can freeze your monthly payment, so it never goes up. Rent will continue to rise over time, which could eventually price you out of your rental home or apartment.

The Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, Q1 2019 shows 52 percent of those surveyed complained that renting prevents them from earning equity and 45 percent said they regret renting instead of buying a home. Over 50 percent regret not being able to customize their home and think that their rent is too high. Other complaints about renting included problems with their property’s pet policies and not liking their neighbors.

There are certainly reasons to rent instead of buy, such as planning to be in the area for only a short time or needing to work on your credit rating in order to qualify for a mortgage.  Maintenance costs, having to pay real estate taxes and down payments are also cited as reasons to rent instead of buy.

However, if you plan on living in an area for a long time, raising a family or want your monthly payments to build equity over time, buying a home is a better option than renting. It adds stability to your life as you have more control over your home environment and can customize your home as desired. You’ll also have more flexibility when choosing a neighborhood in the best school district for your children and one that has amenities that you desire, like a pool and walking trails.

Buying New Vs Pre-owned

If you are concerned that buying a home may cost you extra money in maintenance and repair costs, consider buying a new home. Most new homes come with a builder’s warranty to cover any issues that come up within the first year. Many builders offer a “2-10 Home Warranty” that covers systems for two years and structural defects for 10 years.

Additional advantages of buying a new home are newer neighborhood amenities than older neighborhoods and being able to personalize the home with structural options, finishes and fixture upgrades to get the home of your dreams!

You can also save money every month on utility bills because new homes are much more energy efficient than homes five or more years old. The roofing, appliances and systems such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical, will be new as well so there’s less chance of unexpected repairs and maintenance. This makes the economic life of a new home longer than a pre-owned house.

Most builders have preferred lenders that can help you with new home financing and save you money at closing by paying for most, or all, of your closing costs. They can also help you get the lowest interest rate available.

Conclusion

While there may be economic or other factors in your life that make renting a better choice, you’ll need to buy a home to build equity with your monthly housing payment, which can become a major asset over time. Buying also gives you more control over your living environment and creates a more stable environment to raise a family.

Buying a new home is a more secure investment than a pre-owned home because appliances, systems and roofing are new and under warranty, and the additional energy efficiency of the home will save money each month on utility bills.

Some builders only offer a one-year builder’s warranty while others offer a more robust warranty such as McKee Homes’ 2-10 Homebuyers Warranty. It’s a good idea to research the different types of home warranties when buying a new home.

McKee Homes

McKee Homes has highly skilled team members dedicated to creating the best home building and buying experience possible in Eastern North Carolina. Areas we are building in include: Fayetteville, Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen, Raleigh and Wilmington NC. Some of our new home resources we can provide you include: New Home Financing, Buyer Incentives and more.

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Vinyl Siding Vs Fiber Cement Siding

Two of the most popular and versatile choices for residential home siding are vinyl siding and fiber cement siding. When comparing the pros and cons of vinyl siding vs fiber cement siding, it’s important to note that they are both less expensive to buy and maintain than wood siding, as well as more durable and water resistant when properly installed.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has been the most popular siding choice for the last 20 years. It is made primarily from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) with a mix of other materials that give it color and texture. Vinyl siding is attached to the home’s exterior in a way that allows it to expand and contract with changing temperatures.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is sometimes referred to as “hardiplank” or “hardie board” after one of the most popular brands of fiber cement siding manufactured by James Hardie. It is made from a combination of wood pulp and Portland cement and can be formed into long planks or shingles which do a great job of mimicking traditional wood products. Fiber cement siding is directly attached the home’s exterior using nails in much the same way as wood siding.

Vinyl Siding Pros & Cons

vinyl siding

Pros

  • Energy efficient: Using an insulated version of vinyl siding increases the R-value of the exterior walls and limits the transfer of heat into the wall during summer months.
  • Durability: Vinyl siding doesn’t crack, chip or fade and is highly water resistant.
  • Less maintenance: Vinyl siding only needs to be washed with soap and water to retain its vibrant look.
  • Lower Cost: The initial cost of vinyl siding is less than fiber cement. With lower installation costs and no painting or caulking required, vinyl is significantly less expensive overall.
  • Variety of color and styles: More styles and colors than fiber cement with panel designs such as clapboard, board-and-batten and Dutch lap, in addition to the traditional plank and shingle designs.

Cons

  • Not fire resistant: Vinyl siding can melt when exposed to high heat. Even an outdoor grill or other heat source in close proximity can damage it.
  • More easily damaged: Hurricane force winds can blow entire sheets of vinyl siding off a home and hailstorms can dent and damage the siding, requiring it to be replaced. However, some new, thicker vinyl siding products can handle winds up to 240 mph with extra rigidity in the nail hem, panel projections and locking system
  • Less eco-friendly: While PVC is a recyclable #3 plastic, it is not recyclable in many facilities and emits hazardous dioxins when burned. However, the lightweight vinyl doesn’t take as much fuel to transport, and doesn’t require painting which reduces the deposit of paint, stain and other maintenance-related materials into the environment

Fiber Cement Siding Pros & Cons

fiber cement siding

Pros

  • Durability: When properly installed, fiber cement siding is unlikely to be damaged by high-wind storms or hail. With caulk and paint maintenance, it is water resistant and should last 50 years or longer.
  • Fire resistant: Fiber cement has the same rating as brick giving it the highest flame resistance compared to vinyl and wood siding.
  • More eco-friendly: Fiber cement is made from fairly sustainable materials, such as wood waste, unlike vinyl which requires PVC made from fossil fuels.
  • Looks more like real wood: Fiber cement is thicker than vinyl and looks similar to wood siding. Some historic districts will accept the use of fiber cement instead of wood. Since it can be painted, there is an almost unlimited color variety and it’s also available in pre-painted colors to reduce the initial cost of painting.

Cons

  • Requires more maintenance: Fiber cement does need to be caulked and painted initially, unless the pre-painted version is installed. Paint will fade, and caulk will dry out over time, so periodic maintenance is required to avoid water intrusion.
  • Higher Cost: The initial cost of fiber cement is generally higher than vinyl as is the installation cost. When coupled with the extra cost of caulking and painting, fiber cement may cost approximately 50% more than vinyl siding overall.
  • Absorbs moisture: Fiber cement will absorb moisture which can be an issue in an area that is constantly exposed to water. However, with proper caulking and painting, as well as periodic maintenance, it holds up well over time.

Conclusion

So, which is the best siding when comparing vinyl siding vs fiber cement siding? There are many factors that need to be weighed as mentioned above, such as initial cost, maintenance, durability, longevity, insulating ability, water resistance and eco-friendliness.

If cost and durability are your main concerns, then vinyl siding may be the best option. You’ll have more style and color options, and very little maintenance is required to keep it looking new and vibrant.

However, if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes or wildfires and are concerned about using eco-friendly materials, you may be better off with fiber cement siding.

More Info

Whichever choice you make when looking at vinyl siding vs fiber cement siding, there are plenty of style and color options, and either siding will last 40-50 years if properly maintained.

For information about which McKee Homes’ neighborhoods have vinyl siding and which have fiber cement siding, please use the form below or give us a call at 910-672-7296.

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Blue Inspired Home Designs

There will never be a reason for week-day blues ever again with these blue inspired home designs …. 🤩

We have to admit: we love a blue accent. In color psychology, blue tones are known to evoke tranquility, clarity, purity and increased intuition, and have been proven to elevate health and well-being. You can infuse blue hues throughout your home in a variety of different ways from paint, décor and furniture to decorative pillows, linens, wall art and more. No matter the depth of the blue–dramatic deep navy or subtle pale robin’s egg — a blue-centered design will always create an immediate calming and welcoming feel for your home.

Today we’re sharing examples of our blue-inspired home designs, both interior and exterior details, to help you create the home vision that your little blue heart desires. 💙 Read More

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What selections can I choose for my home?

When a homebuyer asks the above question, they are really asking, “How much can I personalize my new home?” This is part of the new home selections process and the answer depends upon if the homebuyer is purchasing a presale home, which is a home that has not yet been built, or an available Showcase home, which is a home that is either completely built or is in the process of being built.  This article will focus on the presale home-buying experience.  If a homebuyer purchases an available inventory home, the amount of personalization that can still be done will depend on the house’s build process stage.

Once a homebuyer, chooses their floor plan, and finalizes the paperwork involved in securing the home of their dreams, the fun begins.  Some of the personalization can be done at the same time as the initial paperwork.

new home selection appointment

If the homebuyer is not sure of what selections they want, that’s okay as our expert Design Consultant will schedule an appointment with them at either our Fayetteville or Leland, NC design studio.  The design studio has a variety of selections available to touch, see and experience, including carpet samples, kitchen and bath tile, exterior finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and kitchen cabinet options.

Normally the selection’s process follows the sequential order listed below:

  1. Exterior selections: siding type and color, front door and color, roofing type and color, window, trim and shutter color.
  2. Interior selections: paint color, counter tops, cabinets and flooring.
  3. Plumbing and lighting fixtures
  4. Appliances

For a complete list of selections, please see the McKee Homes Selections Process article.

If a homebuyer is unable to visit the design studio, other arrangements will be made to accommodate the buyer’s needs.  All the homebuyer’s questions regarding selection options will be answered during this appointment.  To ensure that McKee Homes adheres to the time allotted to build a home, we encourage the homebuyer to make their selections within 14 days of signing the new home contract.

McKee Homes come with beautiful standard features, which are listed on the “Standard Feature Sheet”, available on our website neighborhood pages, and can be found at the model home in the homebuyer’s desired neighborhood.  A McKee Homes’ Sales Representative and/or Design Consultant will also be able to share these standard features with you.

new home selections options

It is normal for a homebuyer to feel excited and a little bit anxious during the home-buying and new home selections process.  McKee Homes’ employees are committed to making this experience a positive one.  They are available to answer questions and help the homebuyer in any way they can.  The homebuyer can also visit the McKee Homes website design studio page.

By Julie Russo and John Rives

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Fairfield North VIP Event

McKee Homes hosted our Fairfield North VIP event in Fayetteville on July 20, 2019 for our upcoming new home community. This special event was held exclusively for our “VIPs,” those who signed up on our website to get a sneak peek of upcoming lots, floorplans and pricing. As VIPs, they were given the chance to choose their specific lots and floorplans in Fairfield North, a brand-new phase of the established Fairfield Farms neighborhood located on W Summerchase Dr, Fayetteville, just north of the 295 Connector−North Ramsey Street.

Fairfield North is strategically-placed in the highly-sought-after Pine Forest School District, minutes from the 295 Connector, Fort Bragg and downtown Fayetteville, home to historic attractions, unique locally-owned restaurants and the new Fayetteville Woodpeckers ballpark.

Dozens of VIPs and McKee Homes’ staff enjoyed Mediterranean food while reviewing lot maps, floorplan layouts and other value add-on options at the Fairfield North VIP event. The event was held at our Nandina Court sales office which will be used for Fairfield North until the model home is finished later this year.

After highlighting their top 3 floorplan choices and enjoying delicious food and beverages, many of the VIPs drove by the new Fairfield North lots and enjoyed tours of our other Fayetteville area neighborhoods so they could experience their dream floorplans in person.

Believe it or not, our first contract was signed within two days of the event!

A little more about the Fairfield North community:

Homes in Fairfield North are from our Classic and Craftsman Collection, starting in the low $200’s and ranging from around 2,000-3,700 sq. ft. Home prices will increase as homes are sold, so the VIPs had a unique opportunity to secure their new home in a desirable neighborhood at an incredible price. If you’re interested in this upcoming neighborhood, be sure to visit our Fairfield North pricing and interactive floorplans web page.

There will be 9 lots available in the initial release shown on the Fairfield North Community Site Plan. The new model home will be on lot 98. The homes will include all features from our Heritage Series. The Fairfield North Feature Sheet is available as a PDF download on our website, as well.

We look forward to announcing the Fairfield North Grand Opening Event sometime later this year!

Fairfield North Homesites

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PROPANE or NATURAL GAS: Which is best for your new home?

When dreaming about spending summer evenings around the fire pit on the patio or snuggling in front of the fireplace in your new home, should you plan on using PROPANE or NATURAL GAS?

First off, did you know you had a choice? Well, for the most part you do! We’ll explain further …

To help you make an informed decision for your family and future home, we’re breaking down the PROS and CONS of PROPANE and NATURAL GAS.

  • Both can be stored as a liquid
  • Both produce carbon monoxide
  • Both are domestically-produced fossil fuels
  • Both are considered cheaper than electricity
  • Both are considered low emission fuels

But, the more important question is: what are the differences?

PROPANE

Pros:

  • MORE CONVENIENT: Widely distributed, so it’s most always available.
    *Ensure there is ease of access to small tanks & availability in your area.
  • MORE EFFICIENT: Since propane produces more than twice the energy of natural gas in any given time, it’s much more efficient.
  • MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Propane is considered to be better for the environment as it does not contain any greenhouse gas, is low carbon, and emits virtually no air pollutants (https://propane.ca/environmental-benefits/).

Cons:

  • MORE COMPLICATED TO INSTALL AND MAINTAIN
    • Some applications require propane to be delivered and injected by the distributor.
    • The level of propane in the home must be monitored to ensure that the tank isn’t close to empty.
    • Conversion to a natural gas source could be inconvenient, as it requires removal of existing propane tank and digging a trench to make way for the gas pipeline to reach your home.
  • MORE COSTLY
    • Up-front costs for any propane injected into a tank, regardless of whether the propane is used.
    • Conversion to natural gas is very costly, if you ever decide to switch gas sources.
    • Appliances set up for use with natural gas cannot be used with propane. Purchase of a conversion kit or new appliances suitable for propane would be required.
  • MORE OF A SAFETY RISK
    • It’s important to note, neither propane or natural gas is completely “safe,” as both produce carbon monoxide.
    • Propane is heavier than air, so it does not dissolve into air as quickly or exit enclosed spaces as easily as natural gas.

NATURAL GAS

Pros:

  • MOST CONVENIENT IF: There is a natural gas pipeline to your home.
    *Some neighborhoods or municipalities don’t have pipeline access, which means natural gas isn’t an option.
  • CHEAPER: Homeowners only pay for the amount of natural gas they use in any given month. Natural gas rates tend to be low.
  • SLIGHTLY SAFER: Although both gases emit carbon monoxide, Natural gas is lighter than air so it will rise and exit enclosed spaces more easily.

Cons:

  • LESS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: While natural gas dissolves into air quickly, it does contain high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane
  • LESS EFFICIENT: It takes more natural gas to generate the same energy output as propane.
  • NOT AN OPTION: If your neighborhood does not have pipeline access.

CONCLUSION

So, what’s the better source for your home?

Only you can decide! There are certainly advantages to both forms of gas, but hopefully we’ve given you enough information to make an informed choice as to which type of fuel is best for your home.

QUESTIONS OR INTERESTED IN MORE INFO?

Leave a comment below or contact us directly.

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How To Safely Clean Tile Showers

There are few things that make a bathroom feel more luxurious than a clean tiled shower. However, cleaning a tile shower can be a daunting task. Below are some tips on how to safely clean tile showers that will help make this task a little easier.

Supplies

Before beginning the cleaning process, make sure you have all of the supplies you need on hand.

Perhaps the most important item is an appropriate tile cleaner. However, not all tiles are created equally, and care must be used when choosing a cleaner. Ceramic and glass tiles are non-porous and able to withstand harsher cleaning materials. Glass cleaner works well on glass and ceramic tiles, as do most commercial cleaners and vinegar-based cleaners. Natural stone tiles must be treated with more caution as they can absorb chemicals and acidic cleaners. If you have tile made from a natural stone (such as granite, slate, or marble, etc.), it is essential that you use a non-acidic cleaner and a non-abrasive cloth (such as a hand towel or microfiber cloth) in order to safely clean tile showers. Use of acidic cleaners and rough cloth can result in wear, damage, and discoloration to natural stone.  Ammonia should also be avoided, as it can dull the stone’s finish.

The tile grout may require special attention and additional cleaning supplies. A melamine foam eraser can work well to remove stains from grout. Before beginning, test the eraser on a small and unnoticeable area of the shower to ensure the tile is colorfast.

Other tools necessary include a squeegee or hand towel, which will help remove excess moisture.

Pre-Clean

While the shower is dry, wipe down the shower walls and floor to remove any solids such as dust, dirt, or hair. Scrape or remove any other deposits, such as areas of thick soap scum or mildew. Before cleaning, make sure the chosen tile cleaner is approved for the type of tile you are cleaning (natural stone, ceramic, glass, etc).

Once the shower is free from solid debris, spray down small sections at a time with your tile cleaner of choice.  Allow your shower cleaner to set and take effect. Then, using an appropriate cloth or brush, rub the section until the entire area is clean. Remember to rinse and squeeze the cloth or brush, as a very saturated cloth will not clean effectively. Once a section of tile is clean, use a melamine foam cleaner or brush to take on areas in the grout with persistent stains or mildew. Some areas of mildew may be difficult to remove or may leave stains, and this can require extra attention with a mildew cleaner that is appropriate for your type of tile. Then rinse the walls of the shower free of tile cleaner using the shower head, cup, or spray bottle filled with water. Repeat around the shower walls.

Removing moisture from the shower once it is clean is an important step in the process. Use a squeegee to wipe down the shower after it’s been rinsed, paying careful attention to the corners where excess moisture may collect. For extra assurance, dry the walls of the shower with a towel.

If the floor of the shower is tiled, repeat these steps using precautions to avoid slipping on the wet tile floor.

Maintenance

Of course, it is easier to maintain a clean shower than it is to clean up a shower full of mildew and soap scum. To maintain a clean shower, use the squeegee on the tile after showering to remove the bulk of the moisture from the walls and corners. If you don’t like the idea of a squeegee, try wiping the shower after each use, or after every other use. This will help prevent mildew and mold from growing. Then, spray an after-shower spray that is appropriate for use on the tile. After shower sprays break down soap and shampoo residue, which makes “soap scum” easier to clean.

Skipping bar soap can also make a clean tile shower easier to maintain. The materials used in bar soap mean that is more likely to create soap scum in a tile shower. Liquid soap is less likely to leave a film or residue when used and can be rinsed more easily with just water.

Finally, treat mildew and mold immediately−don’t wait! Mold and mildew will continue to spread and can stain surfaces and grout if not promptly treated.

Resources

How to safely clean tile showers
A Guide to the Care & Cleaning of Natural Stone