Pick Me! I’m New


Why Buyers Love Brand New Houses


Investing in a new home is no small feat.  It takes years and years of saving, planning, and shopping and no two buyers are alike in their list of wants, needs, and preferences.  However, many folks, if given the choice prefer new construction over older models more often than not.  As the world becomes more technologically savvy and equipped, there’s good reasons why newly built houses are so popular.




Top 4 Reasons Buyers Love New Houses


  1. CONTROL:  Often buyers can select their favorite lot, exterior design, interior floor plan and room layout, not to mention their choice of colors and content of flooring and window coverings.

  2. CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY:  Most new properties are carefully constructed with environmentally friendly materials and stocked with energy efficient appliances and high performance electrical, plumbing, and heating systems.

  3. CASH SAVINGS:  Because of the better technology and energy efficient materials and appliances, consumers pay less for utilities while they’re conserving energy.  State of the art garage openers and circuit breakers, for example, eliminate costly repair bills and service calls.

  4. COMMUNITY AMENITIES:  Many new residential developments offer well- equipped common areas for residents and their visitors to enjoy.  Pools and clubhouses are standard amenities, and now hiking trails, gyms, and other fitness tools are strategically planned for residents’ convenience and healthy lifestyle choices.


Just as older model flip phones are becoming less popular, older houses, while charming and quaint are being upstaged by new models that come equipped with built in amenities, modern technology, energy efficient appliances, and environmentally friendly building supplies.


Buyers know that unless an older property has already been updated, the cost of new plumbing and electrical systems and replacement of older model appliances, windows, and doors will add to the property’s price tag.  For some, it’s just easier to buy new and enjoy the amenities, leaving the big home improvement projects (and expense) to others!


Good Reads




When your next residence is one in an established homeowners association, there are several important documents to read and understand.  Buying into a homeowners association means that you share ownership of the commonly owned real estate, and share responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance in exchange for access to the amenities.  Here are Good Reads every potential HOA member should check out in escrow or before. 




  • By-Laws, Board Meeting Notes/Newsletters            


Explains the rules and regulations you must follow.  Alerts you to historical or upcoming issues including insurance, reserves, budget, rentals, pets, etc.


  • Demand Statement


Tells whether there are any unpaid HOA fees or unit violations that need attention.


  • Reserve Study


Shows how much the HOA should be setting aside for future repair projects and improvements.  Gives a snapshot of the physical condition of the common areas.


  • Financial Statements and Budget


Indicates whether the HOA can afford itself, is allocating for reserves, and is collecting enough money to pay bills. Get copies from the last few fiscal years.


  • Master policy insurance binder


Outlines what the HOA insurance policy covers.  Share with your insurance agent to determine the right policy for your personal residence.


  • Online resources


Reveals miscellaneous public information about development.  Punch in property address, and read any and all entries. What does the public record say about your new community?


Whew!  Lots of reading, but well worth the investment of time and energy.  The big payback will be the smooth transition to ownership and residency in your new community.  Welcome home!


What Buyers Want


The National Association of Home Builders recently released an updated list of amenities buyers want in new houses.  Here are a few highlights of their research.


1. His and Her Walk-in closets in the Master Bedroom.  Buyers will forego other amenities to get this one!


2. Well- equipped laundry rooms that include alternative light sources (like skylights), space to fold and store clothes, and upgraded appliances.


3. Energy Star appliances, energy efficient windows, and programmable thermostats that will insure the lowest possible utility costs and the highest energy efficiency.


4. Large, light and bright great rooms that offer open spaces connected to kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms.  Eat, sleep, play and work happen here.


5. Cozy eight foot ceilings on the second for, but nine foot, taller ceilings on the first floor near living, dining, and great rooms. Cathedral ceilings on the first floor are no longer a priority.


6.  Three car garages!  At least two for cars, and the other for storage.


Statistics and Specifics


  • Energy Star-rated appliances — 94 percent
  • Laundry room — 93 percent
  • Energy Star-rating for the whole home — 91 percent
  • Exhaust fan in bathroom — 90 percent
  • Exterior Lighting — 90 percent
  • Bathroom Linen Closet — 90 percent
  • Energy Star-rated windows — 89 percent
  • Ceiling fans — 88 percent
  • Garage Storage — 86 percent
  • Table space for eating in kitchen — 85 percent
  • Walk-in kitchen pantry — 85 percent


This information is useful for those seeking a brand new house or for those renovated older properties.  Staying on top of what buyers want is like money in the bank to those who build, remodel, buy, or sell real estate in today’s market.


Maximize Your Membership


8 GREAT Reasons to Volunteer for Board Duty


If you’re already a member of a homeowner’s association, pay your dues regularly and love learning, sharing, and giving, consider a spot on the Board of Directors of your homeowners association. 


The benefits range from good karma for your soul to credible work experience for your resume!


Here are 8 GREAT reasons to volunteer to serve:


  1. You will become an expert on the legal framework and documents that govern your organization.  Most associations are non-profit corporations, so you’ll learn to read and review items like articles of incorporation, CC&R’s (covenants, conditions and restrictions), insurance policies, reserve studies, and other relevant official paperwork.

  2. You will meet and work side by side with professionals like accountants, lawyers, contractors, and insurance agents hired to support the board. These contacts are a great source of networking opportunities to forge new professional relationships.

  3. You will become a more effective leader by taking the helm on special projects, chairing committees and planning special projects.

  4. You will become an expert on official meeting etiquette and procedures like Roberts Rules of Order.

  5. You will earn the respect and admiration of neighbors who will count on your service.

  6. You will meet many neighbors and new friends and be in a position to help them understand the organization better.

  7. You will be able to place your pet peeves on the agenda for the board’s immediate attention.

  8. You will be in a key position to protect the property values, quality of life, and community spirit where you live.




Pick one or more of these 8 GREAT reasons and get on board today.  You’ll be glad you did!  The possibilities are endless.  Maximize your membership now.