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Buying A Home Online: The Digital Home Buying Process

Just because you have to stay at home during this time, doesn’t mean you should stop the pursuit of your dream home. The concept of buying a home online might be foreign to some, but if you’re in the market for a new home, NOW is still the time to buy (and we’re not saying that just because we’re in the home buying & building industry).

The fact is … home buyer purchasing power is at an all-time high with interest rates at the lowest they’ve been in a decade (and they are expected to decrease even more through May 2020)! If you want to explore this unique opportunity that doesn’t come around often, we’re here to help with buying a home online (or at least starting the process), utilizing our easy-to-use digital tools.

Whether you’re looking for already-built, quick move-in ready homes or available homesites that you can build a new home from the ground up, we’re ready to give you a customized new home buying experience from the comfort of your current home.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Wrong. Let’s break down how this process would work …

Let McKee Homes bring your new home to you …


First, Do Your Homework: Research McKee Homes Neighborhoods & Homes

McKee Homes builds new homes across North Carolina, in markets such as Southern Pines, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Raleigh and surrounding areas. You can find information on all of our communities on McKeeHomesNC.com/Find-A-Home, where you can learn about available homes and homesites, our portfolio of floor plans and features, neighborhood amenities and more.

Since home shopping online can be overwhelming, we have a few digital tools that will help you get clear on exactly what you are looking for:

  • Interactive Design App: You have an idea in your head of what you want in a new home, but don’t know how to bring it to life? Use our Interactive Design App to pick your floor plan, exterior colors, upgrades and more! Designing your new home from the comfort of your couch has never been so easy.
  • 3D Virtual Tours: Walk every single one of our floor plans as if you were in the home, right from your computer. Our interactive video tours allow you to walk through every room in the house with a click of the mouse, so you can experience the floor plan and special details for yourself.
  • Photo Galleries: Professional real estate photographers have captured every detail of each floor plan, which are showcased on our website. We also share photo galleries that feature design ideas for your future kitchen and bathrooms to inspire your inner designer and help you get a feel for what you’d like in your own home.


Try to visualize the long-term picture: an investment today will increase savings in the long run.

We can’t stress this enough … now is the time to buy. Interest rates are at a historic low and are enabling new homeowners to get more house for less at a lower monthly mortgage payment. Long-term this means saving more money for college tuitions, family vacations and retirement.


McKee Homes is here you for you, virtually, every step of the way!

McKee has always offered ways to facilitate the homebuying process electronically – including home tours via video chat, electronic purchase agreements, secure payment process for deposits and text, phone and email correspondence with our Builders, Design Consultants and New Home Sales Agents. Although nothing replaces the joy we get from face-to-face interaction with our new home buyers, we’re happy to be able to offer these virtual capabilities at a time like this. McKee allows homebuyers to tour their future homes virtually (or through a private 1:1 scheduled appointment), ask questions with our sales consultants and loan offers, sign a contract, pay deposits, pick design selections and do final walk-throughs of their homes from the comfort of their current homes. Go To Meeting, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Houseparty … you pick! We’ve used all of the virtual technologies and are happy to conduct a virtual home tour with your online video chat of choice.

At the end of the day, our sole mission is to match your family with a new home or homesite as quickly, easily and safely as possible. So, we’re here, virtually, ready when you are.

Have peace of mind with our trusted lender, Vision Lending

Getting a home loan for building a new home is not hard, especially digitally. Through Vision Lending’s secure online hub and mobile app, you can get pre-qualified and start your application, calculate payments with a built-in mortgage calculator, view your progress, securely scan and upload documents and easily message your loan officers as you go. Access to our loan officers via text, phone and FaceTime is available, too!

 

Private 1:1 Home Appointments: Our homes are thoroughly cleaned, top to bottom!

Your safety is our top priority, above any home sale. We have gone above and beyond to ensure the sanitation and safety of our homes – hand sanitizers, face masks for builders and trades, additional cleaning measures and strict social distancing rules as recommended by the CDC. As of right now, we are operating “By Appointment Only” for in-person tours where you can schedule a 1:1 private home showing with one of our New Home Consultants. More popular as of right now are our LIVE video home tours that you can book and conduct from any computer or phone.

 

Our home buyers are part of the McKee Family and we take care of family members. Have the comfort of knowing that we are here and doing everything we can to meet your needs, even during these trying times. If you’re ready to take advantage of the low-interest rates or need to move quickly due to work or family, let us know how we can help make your new home dreams come to life!

Feel free to reach out to us on the phone at 910-672-7296 or fill out the short form below!

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‘Before and After’ of Building A Home in 82 Days

We’ve all seen the ‘before and after’ of building a home on Instagram or HGTV, but do you ever wonder what happens on a daily basis to make a home buyer’s dream house a reality? If so, you’re in luck.

We’re giving you real, behind-the-scenes footage of building our brand-new model home in Mid South Club, a beautiful, gated, golf course community nestled in the charming town of Southern Pines, NC. From laying the foundation to final photography, you’re about to witness a specially-designed Winston Craftsman floor plan come to life in just 82 days (a pretty big feat for any home builder!).

Israel Demus, head builder for the Southern Pines region, oversaw this project from start to finish. Although his original goal for this new home construction was 77 days, all new home build’s run the risk of falling behind schedule due to unforeseen hiccups, like weather, issues with sub-contractors or delayed permits. One of the most important aspects of keeping a home build on track is managing the trade partners in the field. Each step of the home-building process is crucial, and if one piece of the puzzle is missing, it can derail the entire timeline. Luckily for us, our trade partners made this goal attainable (thanks to you all!).

“This was an extremely exciting opportunity presented to me to show our trade partners we appreciate all of their daily efforts. The trades were excited about this project as much as the rest of the McKee team. In the end, we have this greatly built home that we can reflect on of all our efforts.” – Israel Demus, Head Builder

ABOUT MID SOUTH CLUB: SOUTHERN PINES, NC
The private, gated community of Mid South Club in Southern Pines, NC, near Pinehurst, is a gorgeous, upscale neighborhood that meets the wants and needs of those looking for all the amenities of resort-style country club living. You’ll enjoy a newly remodeled clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, driving range, golf course, walking trails and 24-7 security. Each home features a designer kitchen with large chef-like island and eating bar, granite countertops, exquisite tiered cabinets and crown molding and state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances. As Pinehurst is a golf mecca in North Carolina, golf fanatics will get one of the best golf courses in the area at Mid South Club.

If you decided Mid South Club was the perfect living location for you and your family, you’d have a variety of floor plans in the Mid South Club – Palmer’s Preserve neighborhood to choose from, including:

The Clark (Craftsman and European):

The Beaufort (Craftsman and European):

The Brooks (Craftsman and European):

The Biltmore II (Craftsman and European):

The Winston (Craftsman and European):

If you’re looking for more low-maintenance living, feel free to explore our Eagle Point neighborhood within Mid South Club. This community features homes from our EPCON portfolio of floor plans specially designed on a one-story foundation, in which you’ll glide through wider interior doorways, relax on a country club style private courtyard and never worry about stairs from the outside.

Have questions about the ‘before and after’ of building a home or the home buying process in general? Fill out the form below and one of our New Home specialists will be in touch shortly!

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How McKee Homes Gives Back to North Carolina Communities

McKee Homes gives back to various charities throughout NC, including the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Kids Peace Foster Care Agency, Fayetteville Urban Ministry and Cape Fear Guardian Ad Litem Association, among others. The company is truly known in the industry for its passion to not only build homes but build communities, too.

As part of our dedication to the community, McKee Homes also provides a yearly stipend to each employee to support a cause of their choice. Today, we are highlighting a few committed employees who are making an impact in their very own community, with the financial support of McKee Homes.

We thank our employees for all they do to better the communities around us.

MARK HILL: Builder (President of Parkton Youth Association)

NON-PROFIT/CAUSE:

Parkton Youth Association , a non-profit dedicated to giving children a safe place to have fun and play sports.

WHO DO YOU SERVE AND WHAT DOES THE MONEY GO TOWARDS?

“The activities that we offer build character, friendship and team building—memories they will take throughout their life. Again, thank you Pat and Julie for continuing to make a child’s activity a lifetime event. God bless McKee Homes.

Because of this organization, our 1 through 4th grade cheerleaders just placed first place in the Southeast Region Cheerleading Competition. These kids are truly amazing.”

SHANE MCCLEOD: Area Construction Manager, Southern Pines & Fayetteville, NC

NON-PROFIT/CAUSE:

Carolina Freedom Baseball, an organization based in Fuquay-Varina, NC. The goal of this non-profit is to teach the game properly so that each player will develop the skills and ability to play baseball at a high level. Additionally, the hope is to aid the players in developing a strong foundation in baseball, work ethic, and teamwork that will not only serve them well on the field, but also in life.

WHO DO YOU SERVE AND WHAT DOES THE MONEY GO TOWARDS?

We serve 12 & under boys and were able to outfit the entire team with new helmets.

The idea of this non-profit is to use baseball as a way of teaching young men about life. Baseball is a game of failure and life is too sometimes. We teach them about hard work and how you keep getting up and trying.

I have a son on each team, so this was a cool moment.”

RACHEL MCMORROW: Marketing Coordinator

NON-PROFIT/CAUSE:

The Apex Fun Run for Johnston Charter Academy in Clayton, NC

WHO DO THEY SERVE AND WHAT DID THE MONEY GO TOWARDS?

The Apex Fun Run was a fundraising event to support Johnston Charter Academy. The event encourages children to raise money for a good cause and help them understand the meaning of supporting their school, teachers and fellow classmates.

The organization’s mission:

To collaborate with school PTO/As and faculty to build student leaders through a meaningful, “hassle-free” and financially successful school fun run.

We Believe

  • Every child can change their school, and the world, in a profound way
  • Serving others brings the greatest joy and contributes to the greatest good
  • Learning by doing and exercise are both undervalued and underutilized in fundraising today
  • Encouragement and enthusiasm build others up—we will help build leaders
  • Raising money for your child’s school can also serve as a positive learning experience
  • Many people giving a little reduces the individual burden on the typical givers and donors

DIANA DELPONTE: New Homes Sales Consultant, Wilmington NC

NON-PROFIT/CAUSE:

Coastal Horizons Center, an organization that advocates for healthier lives and safer communities by providing a continuum of quality, professional services for prevention, crisis intervention, sexual assault victims, criminal justice alternatives, mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.

WHO DO YOU SERVE AND WHAT DOES THE MONEY GO TOWARDS?

“The money helps support the annual event, Coastal Duck Derby, which benefits the Open House Youth Shelter & Crisis Intervention Services of Coastal Horizons Center, a 501(c)(3) charity. In addition to meeting the basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter, Open House encourages youths’ personal growth through counseling services, vocational/educational, and life skill building.”

MORE INFO ON HOW MCKEE HOMES’ SUPPORTS THEIR CORE CHARITIES

WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S – EASTERN NC

McKee Homes is the Platinum Sponsor for each Walk to End Alzheimer’s in the Fayetteville, Raleigh and Wilmington areas, and the Presenting Sponsor for the Moore County Walk.

KIDS PEACE FOSTER CARE AGENCY

McKee Homes is the Love Sponsor for the Kids Peace Annual Chair-i-table Auction, an event that raises money to support hundreds of children in foster care in the Greater Cumberland County and surrounding areas.

FAYETTEVILLE URBAN MINISTRY

McKee Homes supports the Fayetteville Urban Ministry through their annual Duck Derby, Boss Toss Challenge, food drives, and special projects.

CAPE FEAR GUARDIAN AD LITEM ASSOCIATION

McKee Homes supports the Cape Fear Guardian Ad Litem Association, which helps abused, neglected, and dependent children in the state court system find safe, forever homes.

 

Are you interested in supporting these causes and/or communities throughout North Carolina, too? We would love to partner with you to give back. Please reach out via the form below to get involved.

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The Stress-Free Guide: Hosting Your First Thanksgiving in Your New Home

Thanksgiving every year is a holiday families look forward to. But this year is extra special … you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving in your brand-new home. We know you’ll want to make this year even more memorable than usual without the added stress of doing “more.”

Try our helpful tips for creating a day that’s extraordinary yet easy for you and your family!

 

TIP 1: Plan ahead. Fail to plan, plan to … be stressed!

Get organized early and you’ll fly through the holiday with ease. Start here:

  • Create a menu & grocery list of all ingredients and supplies:
    • Include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to provide options for those that don’t drink or aren’t of age
    • Look up the grocery store’s current promotions & coupons to save as much as you can
    • Don’t forget non-food items:
      • Festive napkins
      • Appetizer plates
      • Table cloth
      • Tables and chairs
    • Create a guest list and send invites well in advance
      Most families plan ahead for the holidays. Get the word out that you are hosting and encourage people to RSVP as soon as possible. As a nice gesture, create a mail-delivered or specially-designed online invite to show your closest friends and relatives that you would really enjoy their company!
    • Prepare a schedule for the weeks leading up to dinner. Assign roles to different family members to help with the prep.
    • Think about logistics: Where will you set up tables? Where will the guests sit? Where will the food be served – on the dinner table or buffet-style in the kitchen? Will you have a separate help-yourself bar? Are you serving appetizers prior to dinner? Where should you designate the kids-only area? Do you need to acquire more tables and chairs? Will sports or music be playing? If yes to music, create a festive playlist that would appeal to everyone’s tastes.

TIP 2: Decide on your decorations.

Since you’re fresh off a new home build, your dream home is likely to look like just that … a dream. That means you just need to spruce it up with a few seasonal staples, and they don’t even need to be fancy or expensive!

  • Go out in nature to grab holly or berries.
  • Get a couple bouquets of flowers and mix and match them throughout the house (Trader Joes has fabulous floral finds that are budget friendly). The best fall flowers are Snakeroot, Sweet Alyssum, Goldenrod, Helenium (comes in red, orange or yellow), Pansy and Purple Fountain Grass. Mums are also a pretty touch to the front porch.
  • Mini pumpkins and gourds in a variety of colors and sizes to sprinkle on the dinner table, entry way bench, bathroom vanity and living room side tables.
  • Small and large bowls of season fruits for an extra aesthetic “pop”

TIP 3:Prep the high-traffic rooms beforehand.

Begin the day with a clean kitchen, as well as empty dishwasher and trash cans (don’t forget the small bathroom ones). Remove breakable items and fragile furniture so they aren’t ruined by hyper children or red wine sipping guests. Double line your trash cans so when one bag fills up, you can easily move to the next. Make room in your hallway closet for guest’s shoes and coats.

 

TIP 4: Prepare for overnight guests:

For the planned overnight guests and the ones that may have indulged a little too much in your bloody mary bar … follow the below check-list to ensure they have a hotel-like stay:

  • Make guest beds with fresh linens
  • Set out large towels and washcloths on the beds
  • Stock the guest bathrooms with necessities. Grab a few mason jars and fill with q-tips, cotton balls, face wash toothpaste and extra tooth brushes, mouthwash and any other consumable your guest might need during their stay.

TIP 5: Get your stash of cleaning supplies ready to go …

Thanksgiving never goes by without a spill or two! For all-natural home cleaning remedies, be sure to read our previous blog. Here’s a quick guide though:

    • Coffee splatters: White vinegar
    • Red wine spots: White wine (believe it or not)
    • All other major food and drink slips: Tide to Go or baking soda in warm water

TIP 6: Cook in Advance:

Don’t bring on unnecessary stress for yourself by cooking everything on Thanksgiving Day. When creating your menu, make sure to include a timeline for yourself, too. Outline which dishes can be made ahead of time and which ones need to be cooked the day of. For a quick reference, foods that can be pre-made:

  • Casseroles
  • Chopped veggies (slice and bag, but don’t cook)
  • Stuffing, rice or any pasta-based concoctions
  • Salads

Rule of thumb: Almost everything can be pre-made besides the turkey or meat of choice. The rest can be prepped, so it’s ready to be popped in the oven or on the stove top.

TIP 7: Set the table as well as the appetizer and drink area a few days before.

Taking care of smaller tasks, like setting the table, will lessen your load leading up to the “big day.”

A little word to the wise: When planning a seating chart, place yourself closes to the kitchen and seat lefties at the corners, so they’ll be able to eat without hitting their neighbor. Have a “grown ups” table and a “kids-only” table and use place cards to make people feel special (and to avoid any confusion come dinner time).

If you’re providing a drink and/or appetizer bar, neatly line up wine, beer and cocktail glasses, lay out cocktail napkins, appetizer plates and serving china (or dishes). Serving and regular utensils can be placed in a decorative basket for easy organization.

TIP 8: Set-Up a Kid-Focused Area/Room

Well all know that parents enjoy their mingle time on holidays. To make sure the kids are taken care of and enjoying themselves too, designate a specific room or area that’s in sight and outfit it with toys, games, crafts and other activities. Mom and Dad will thank you.

TIP 9: Add a nice holiday scent to your home.

Light candles or add air freshers to the main rooms that your guests will be enjoying themselves: the bathrooms, kitchen and living room. Pumpkin Spice, Apple Cinnamon, Pine Needles or Fireside Smores are the best fragrances for the Fall season.

Not settled in your dream home yet, but would love to enjoy the holidays in it? It’s your lucky day. Our Year-End Savings promotion is going through the end of the year: put a contract on a new home and get up to $5,000 in closing costs plus a “Move-In Package” complete with a FREE Whirlpool washer, dryer and refrigerator!

Give one of our friendly new home specialists a call today (910- 672-7491) or fill out the form below to ask any questions and/or schedule a tour.

From the McKee Homes family to yours, we wish you a magical Thanksgiving season!