Monday, July 28, 2014

Jacksonville Custom Builders wants to light uo your life!!

How to Light Up Your Home — and Your Life

how to use lighting in your home
The right kind of lighting can create just the perfect ambiance for your home. For example, by layering light, like in this master bedroom, you’ll have a comfortable, relaxed feel. Photos courtesy of Randall Whitehead; photos by Dennis Anderson.
Have you ever walked into a room, looked in a mirror and thought, “Wow, I look good!” and then turned around and noticed everybody around you looks fabulous too?
That’s probably because the room was perfectly lit. “The right lighting can make us look and feel good,” says San Francisco lighting designer Randall Whitehead, author of Residential Lighting: A Practical Guide to Beautiful and Sustainable Design.

Proper lighting can also make it easier to enjoy our homes by creating the right ambiance for every room. Knowing which type of light to choose and where to place it will make a significant difference in your home’s overall appeal, not only to you but to your neighbors and guests, too. It’s also one of the least expensive ways to help your home come alive. Here’s a rundown of the top tips for lighting your perfect home:

Layer the Light

“One fixture can’t do everything,” says Whitehead. Instead, he recommends you layer at least three types of light in every room. Start with ambient light, which fills the room and usually bounces off the ceiling, softening the shadows on people’s faces.

This indirect light makes people feel comfortable, like walking into a room with a crackling fire. Scones and torchiere lamps can also do the trick, just remember to pair it with at least two other light sources, such as over-the-desk task lighting and decorative light sources over islands and tables, for example.

Choose the Right Task

Anything that requires a certain amount of concentration, such as cooking, reading or shaving, benefits from the right amount of task lighting. In kitchens, these lights are usually found under the cabinets, illuminating your work space as you prep food.

In a bedroom, it’s often by the bed for late-night reads or over a desk for when it’s time to study or sit down to open mail.

In bathrooms, it’s frequently on either side of the bathroom mirror, illuminating the space for careful makeup application, for example. Even closets can benefit from task lighting. If yours is large enough, consider installing lights to help you choose the perfect outfit for those big meetings or special events.

As you design and build your home, go room by room and consider what “tasks” you’re likely to accomplish in each, then choose your lighting appropriately. Remember that most rooms serve more than one function, so make sure you layer your light sources.

Always Use a Dimmer

Dimmers can help you set different scenes, like the one you prefer for entertaining and the one you rely on when studying or paying bills. Hence, just about every light switch should have a dimmer. This gives you an enormous sense of control over the ambiance and allows you to accommodate for day or night, as well as specific tasks. Dimmers are generally inexpensive, easy to install and can be found at home improvement stores.

Give Your Home a Little Bling

Decorative light is just that, decorative. It’s designed to provide a visual sparkle for a space, draw people in and set the mood, says Whitehead. “I like to call it architectural jewelry,” he says. This is usually the “wow” chandelier above a staircase or foyer or the eye-catching fixture hovering indiscreetly over a kitchen island or dining room table. It doesn’t exactly provide the kind of light by which to perform tasks, but it certainly tells the world what kind of family lives there.

Pick the Right Accents

Just about every home has something worthy of the spotlight (besides you, of course). Perhaps you have a marvelous green thumb and you want to shine a light on your gorgeous succulents display or maybe it’s a beautiful piece of art you acquired — whatever it is, accent lighting can help you draw attention to it. While it certainly highlights objects, accent lighting also creates depth and dimension, providing an extra special “light layer” to a room.

decorative lighting ideasUsually this type of lighting is adjustable, giving you a certain degree of flexibility (think track and recessed light, for example). The trick is to use it sparingly. A room filled with too many “special objects” quickly loses its sparkle. Instead, use accent light to draw the eye toward your most extraordinary pieces.

Do Candlelight Right

Who doesn’t love candlelight? Just about everyone, right? Sure, but how many people know how to use it in the most flattering way? Not many. “Most people make the mistake of putting the flame at eye level,” says Whitehead. “But that disrupts your ability to see other people.” Opt for votive candles, which are short, or long candelabras that reach above the sight line.

Once you’re armed with the right lighting tips, you can turn even the drabbest home into one that pulses with the right mix of energy and excitement, as well as calm and coolness

Friday, July 25, 2014

Green Building???

Green Building: What it is and why it Matters

“Green building” is the latest media buzz about the construction industry. Professional builders welcome the attention brought to this important topic. Take these with a grain of salt, however, because green building is a far more complex issue than that portrayed in the media. News spots or magazine articles usually focus on insulated windows, high-efficiency furnaces, roof-mounted solar panels, or recycled-content flooring.
Certainly, those products provide measurable benefits in terms of energy savings and improved use of natural resources, but genuine green building is much more complex. A green builder uses a systematic approach to design, construction, and on-going operational durability in which the sum of the benefits are far greater than the individual components. A green builder also knows how to personalize the green building approach to each homebuyer’s needs and budget, carefully balancing the value that the client places on the benefits of green building as opposed to other choices available for new home construction.
It is true that all homes (and all buildings) leave an environmental “footprint.” The materials builders use in new construction use natural resources, such as trees and metal ores, even oil. The important goals of green building are to reduce the amount of natural resources required to build a house, and then to lessen the amount of energy used by the house. Energy efficiency over the life of the house further reduces the natural resources needed to produce electricity and natural gas.
Green Building
To achieve those goals, look for building materials, products, and systems that make the most (or best) use of every resource harvested while also performing better than traditional products. For example, an engineered beam uses smaller, fast-growing trees. Twice as much of each log can be used to make an engineered beam as compared with a comparably sized “glue-lam” beam created in a sawmill. An engineered beam can also span longer, open spaces and resist warp better. A house that is free of even the smallest gaps does not waste energy.
Various green building certification programs are now available to help builders create more sustainable and resource-efficient homes. Many builders often find that the building practices already in place meet or exceed those standards. That’s good news for homebuyers and owners because it means they are already providing a high-performance home — i.e., a home with many green features — without adding to the cost or price. Of course, a client may choose to add additional features as budget, needs, and passion for the environment dictate.
With a systematic approach to green or sustainable building, you can build a new home that not only leaves as small an environmental footprint as possible, but also delivers convenience, comfort, safety, and a high level of value.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 Bible Verses Every Small Business Owner Needs

MistyPath  As a Christian and a family focused builder, I believe that faith is a key ingredient in small business success.  In this current economy, the people of God must remember that if you honor God through your business he will direct your path. Use these bible verses in the good and tough times in your small business.
1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Learn something every day.  If you only lean on your own knowledge in your business, you will not be able to grow.  You must grow yourself to grow your business
2. “Behold, I am doing something new! It’s already happening; don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.”  Isaiah 43:19 (GOD’S WORD® Translation) Sometimes your business will need to move as the market pulls you in a different direction. You might need to reinvent your business, and you should not be afraid. God’s always got your back.
3.”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV) One of the most important things you can do for your business is to pray every day.
4. “Faith without works is dead.” James 2:26 (KJV) You can’t just pray for success. Develop a plan and work your plan. If you can do something about your situation, then do it. Stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, and do it!
5. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV) There will be contracts that you really need that you will not win. There will be days when you drop the ball on your customer service, but you can not let that define you or your business. You will get another opportunity and even if you don’t, God is with you always.
6. “As I think in my heart, so am I.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) Your thoughts can be your number #1 asset or your biggest liability. When you are alone in your office or back bedroom, your thoughts can easily turn on you. Your ability to stay positive, learn from all experiences and shake off mistakes quickly will be a big asset to you and your business.
7. “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) Making decisions in your small business based on fear is never helpful. For that matter making decisions in anger is not good either. Try hard not to be reactionary with clients, vendors or employees. Use factual information and up-to date financials to make sound business decisions.
8. “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day.” Habakkuk 2:3 (TLB) You need to understand that God’s time is not your time. There may come a time in your business when you just know you have a contract, one that you really need and things fall through. Those are the times when you need to trust in the Lord the most. When we accept God’s timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems.
9. “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;” Proverbs 3:13 (NIV) You need to be a life long learner in order to be successful in business.  You should constantly seek to improve yourself and increase your knowledge about the business of running a business.
10. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV) Peace only comes through our Lord and Saviour.

Remember, whether you are religious or not you can always pray about your business.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Your house needs you!!!

So important, yet so hard to remember... HOME MAINTENANCE!!!

Hope this helps!


  • Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). We’ll assume you have and know how to use an extinguisher. This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.  
  • Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that’s not always necessary. For smaller families without pets or allergies, you’ll likely be okay changing the filters every 2-3 months. If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month. I’ve also been told by handymen to go with cheaper filters and replace them more often versus going with the expensive filters.
  • Clean kitchen sink disposal. There are a bunch of ways to do this, but the handiest and best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. You’re welcome.
  • Clean range hood filters. If you’ve never thought of doing this, you’re in for a real “treat” when you get that filter off the hood to clean it for the first time. The Family Handyman suggests simply using a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to go.


  • Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another simple task; your detectors should have a “test” button. If the alarm sounds, you’re good to go. If not, replace batteries immediately and test again. If it still doesn’t sound, it’s possible there’s simply corrosion on the battery terminal, and it won’t detect new batteries.  Clean it and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a new detector.
  • Test garage door auto-reverse feature. In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths. Test every month by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse after a second or so when the door hits the wood. Also test the photo-electric sensors if you have them by placing something in front of them (not your body). If the door doesn’t immediately go back up, you have a problem.
  • Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
  • Check water softener, add salt if needed. You shouldn’t need to add salt every month, but better to check anyway, as it only takes about 5 seconds.


  • Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve. This will prevent mineral and corrosion buildup, which safeguards against leaks. It will also help your heater run more efficiently.
  • Give your house a deep clean. Take one Saturday every six months with your whole family, and give the whole house a proper deep clean. Appliances, windows, dusting every nook and cranny (including the basement), etc. Keeping things clean and not letting dirt/grime/dust build up over years and years will help keep your home in tip-top shape.
  • Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. I’d never heard this before, actually. I just assumed you changed it out when it started giving you the low battery beeping noise. This tip was in everything we researched, however. With something as important as this, you can’t be too careful, and batteries won’t break your bank. Change ‘em out every six months.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils. I actually learned this tip from a refrigerator repairman, and our research confirmed it. The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. Over time, the coils get dirty and your fridge requires more juice. You can save up to $100 a year by doing this, and it’s not at all a difficult task.

Annually (Organized by Season)


Spring is a big month for home maintenance. They don’t call it “Spring Cleaning” for nothing. Especially focus on the exterior of your home as it’s just gone through winter and is preparing for summer heat, and in some parts of the country, brutal humidity.
  • Check the exterior drainage. Will rain water flow away from the house? Puddles should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours. If water stays, or moves toward your foundation, you have a few options. First, check your gutters. It could be a bad spout or a loose connection there; they may also just need cleaning. Second, you can grade the area around your home yourself with some dirt; this has worked just fine for me in the past. Third, for pavement, you can have professionals come out and raise it so it drains away from your home.
  • Clean out gutters. They’ve likely accumulated leaves from the fall and grime/sediment from the winter snows and/or rains.
  • Inspect the exterior of your home. Is any paint chipping? Is any siding damaged from winter? Are there any holes in your brick? Take a close look all around your house, and make any repairs as needed. Also be sure to check the foundation for any cracks. A good silicone/caulk can fix a lot of your problems.
  • Get your air conditioning system ready for summer; consider having it serviced. This one really depends on your individual home, and even which part of the country you live in. Some places mostly just use window air units, while other places (like my home in Colorado) use a big swamp cooler up on the roof — these are fairly basic machines where a quick internet search can help you fix any issues that come up. Also refer to the user guides for specific regular maintenance. Central air is obviously a more complex system. Getting it serviced by a professional should be around $100 or less, and it will save money and headaches down the road.
  • Repair/replace damaged window screens. You don’t want bugs making their way in because you missed a hole in a window screen. And no, duct tape doesn’t count. It can be a quick fix, but don’t leave it for long. It just looks bad.
  • Clear dead plants/shrubs from the house. This could double as a gardening tip, but if you didn’t trim trees or shrubs in the fall, do so now. Plants can weasel their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, causing damage and shortened longevity. Nip that in the bud before it’s an issue. If you have decorative vines on the exterior, pay close attention.
  • Check trees for interference with electric lines. Have professionally trimmed if necessary.
  • Inspect roofing for damage, leaks, etc. Repair as needed; you may need a professional.


Summer is a great time to focus on the exterior of your home, as well as your lawn and garden. It’s also perfect for having that garage door open and utilizing the prolonged daylight to work on any manly projects you’ve had on the backburner.
  • Check grout in bathrooms, kitchen, etc.; repair as needed. This will prolong the life of your tiled surfaces and just looks better.
  • Inspect plumbing for leaks, clean aerators on faucets. Go around to all your faucets and toilets and check for any small leaks. If you have poor water pressure out of a faucet, the aerator is the likely culprit and it’s an extremely easy fix.
  • Take care of any insect problems you may have. Summer is their playground. You probably won’t have to look too hard to notice any insect problems. Ants, spiders, moths, etc. are all common, and fairly easy to take care of. Keep cobwebs clear, have ant poison handy, make sure all doors are tightly closed, etc. If termites are common in your area, this handy article gives some tips on how you can do some inspection and prevention yourself.
  • Clean and repair deck/patio as needed. It generally just needs a good washing. A deck may also need re-staining. Also check for any loose boards or posts and repair as needed.
  • Clean out window wells of debris. If you have a basement, you also have window wells. All kinds of things can get down in there from leaves, to trash, to animals.
  • Check and clean dryer vent, other exhaust vents to exterior of home. While the dryer is running, check that the exhaust is coming out. It should smell nicely of fresh laundry. If there isn’t much exhaust, check for blockages as well as you can. You may need a professional. Also vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.
  • Clean garage. Cleaning the garage should be a summer ritual for every man. Keeping it clean and tidy will extend its life, and it often gets neglected of regular care. With all the extra dust it gets from the manly projects you’re working on, you should actually clean it even more. Once a year, however, give a thorough going-through.


Fall is an in-between season where you’re finishing up your summer home maintenance tasks as well as getting your home ready for winter. Cold, snow, and rain can do a number to a home, so you don’t want to ignore winter preparation.

  • Flush hot water heater and remove sediment. This prolongs the life of the heater and helps with efficiency as well.
  • Winterize air conditioning systems. Remove and store window units. If you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.
  • Get heating system ready for winter. Check for any leaks in windows or doors; these can cost an arm and a leg. Make sure heating vents are open and not blocked by furniture. Get furnace serviced/inspected at least every other year, preferably annually. As with the AC, this shouldn’t be a huge expense. Don’t forget about fireplaces if you have them.
  • Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. Also flush hoses and store them. Winterize sprinkler systems as well, if you have one.
  • Get chimney cleaned, if you have one. Some folks say to do this in the spring, some say fall. Either way, just make sure it’s done once per year.
  • Test sump pump. You don’t want to wait until you need your sump pump to find out it’s not working.
  • Check driveway/pavement for cracks. Make sure to have re-sealed before winter; water can freeze and expand in the cracks, causing more damage.
  • Buy winter gear. Have sidewalk salt, good shovels, etc. ready for winter. You never know when that first snow will come!


Winter is the time to go around the interior of your home and check for any little things you may have overlooked, or perhaps noticed and said, “I’ll get to that later.” Winter is your later. If you have any interior honey-do projects, whether it be painting, building shelves, etc., now is a great time to tackle those as well.
  • Regularly check for ice dams and icicles. De-icing cables that sit at the front of the roof work well. Don’t let icicles grow, as much as the kids may want you to. They’re not only a danger to people standing beneath them, but they’re incredibly heavy and can cause damage to your home. They also can cause water damage to your foundation when they  melt.
  • Test your electricity to the extent that you can. Always, always be extra careful when working with electricity. You can do a couple things on your own, though. Check that all outlets work; if they don’t, you can re-wire them on your own. Also, test your GFCI outlets. There are wildly varying opinions on how often to test this. Some say monthly, others say annually.
  • Tighten any handles, knobs, racks, etc. Go through the house and inspect anything that could have a loose screw.
  • Check all locks and deadbolts on your doors and windows. If anything doesn’t work right, replace.
  • Check caulking around showers and bathtubs; repair as needed.
  • Remove showerheads and clean sediment. This prolongs its life and helps with water pressure as well.
While this list is certainly extensive, it’s not a complete list of all the things you can do for your home. What do you do to keep your home in tip-top shape? Do you have any hacks for doing these tasks as efficiently and effectively as possible?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Understanding Home Construction Loans

Understanding Home Construction Loans The time has finally arrived to build your dream home! Whether it's a tiny ranch or luxurious Craftsman house plan, your dream home will soon be a reality! The first and often most overwhelming step in the home building process is obtaining financing for your project. There are several options available today that will ensure that you find the right financing for your budget. You'll really want to shop around and contact as many lenders as you can to get the most up-to-date information on loan programs and qualifications since loans are constantly changing, particularly home construction loans.

Home construction loans are typically referred to as "story loans" because the lender will want to know everything behind the construction of your home. That plays a big role in the interest rate and the options for repaying the loan. Home construction loans are less "cut and dry" than a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage. In fact, home construction loans will depend on the actual type of financing you want and the type of home you're building. In other words, your lender will want to know the whole "story" behind your loan. Here is some helpful information to help you get started on finding the right home construction loan:

How Home Construction Loans Work

Generally speaking, home construction loans are short term, variable rate loans. They will be priced at a short-term interest rate, which will depend on what's called the "draw schedule." The lender, the home builder/contractor, and the borrower will agree on a schedule for the construction. Traditionally, there are five to ten different stages of construction and the lender will charge interest based on the amount of money that has been "drawn" to date. In most cases, the borrower will have the option to take out a construction loan that will then "automatically convert" to a permanent mortgage when you move into the home - or you can structure it so that there are two separate loans. Some home construction loans can be written so that they include the cost of purchasing the land as well as building the home.

Different Types of Home Construction Loans?

There are generally two different types of home construction loans, and each of them have their benefits. As a borrower, you should understand the different options that you have when it comes to financing your new home. The names of the loans do a good job of saying what they do and how they work, but let's go over them in more detail.
  • One-Time Closing Loans also called a construction-to-permanent loan. The premise behind this type is loan is that it automatically converts to a standard mortgage after all of the home construction is completed. This usually is when you get the "certificate of occupancy" for the home. There are several costs involved in obtaining a one-time closing loan. The benefit is that you will ultimately reduce your closing costs by combining the land, the construction, and the permanent loan all into one closing. You'll also reduce the cost of additional fees for confirming your credit, performing a title search, and recording the mortgage. The only real drawback of a one-time closing loan is that you don't get to shop around for different mortgage rates when the home construction is complete.
  • Construction-Only Loans are just like they sound - they're short-term loans that are just for the construction of the home. These loans usually range from six to 12 months in length. There usually is an upfront fee, which can be 1 to 3 percent above the current prime rate. You only pay the interest during the home construction, but then the entire principal is due at the end of the term of the loan. Once you're ready to move into your new home and get your certificate of occupancy, you'll have to apply for a mortgage loan. You'll have the opportunity to apply for the loan either through the same lender or you can find a new one. With changing interest rates and loan product, you may want to choose this option because you'll have the opportunity to shop around for the best mortgage rate after your home is complete.
Whether you choose a construction-only loan or a one-time closing loan really depends on your personal preference and your particular financial situation. If you're looking for the security and piece of mind of a loan that will ultimately convert into a permanent loan, then you may want to choose a one-time closing loan. However, if you can afford the upfront fees and cost of a construction-only loan, then you'll have additional time in order to "shop around" to find a mortgage when you're ready to move into your dream home.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jacksonville Custom Builders' team of builders and staff grew up here on the First Coast. With over 30 years combined building experience, this is our home as well as yours. We are proud to be a part of this outstanding community.
Please come check us out! If you are considering building a new home or remodeling your existing one, stop by our blog regularly for updates and information on our services, projects and helpful tips. Get to know us better by following us on Facebook! 
We are excited to partner with you to build our communities!

Nine Great Reasons Home Buyers Prefer New Homes vs. Used

Today's new homes offer more benefits than ever before.
Here’s 9 great reasons why so many home buyers prefer new homes to used houses:

 1) Design Your Dream Home Your Way: Why settle for someone else’s choices? Select your favorite cabinets, countertops, appliances, carpets and floor coverings, bath and kitchen fixtures. Your new home will reflect your taste, not someone else’s.

2) Choose a Floorplan and Room Layout that Meets Your Needs: Want a Master Bedroom on the first floor? With massive his and her’s walk-in closets? Done! With high ceilings and a luxurious, resort-style Master Bath? Would you like a sitting room with fireplace in your Owner’s Suite? French Doors opening to a private patio or the pool? Build your Master Suite, your way.

 3) All New, Under Warranty: A used home has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances and countertop or water heater on a used home? Those same components of your new home feature the latest designs and building materials — and they offer years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.

4) Energy and Cost savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago, and no comparison to homes that are 10, 20 or even more years old. New homes offer much higher levels of performance in heating, cooling, and insulation. Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double or even triple-pane windows with special coatings and inert gases between layers of glass that save energy in both heating and cooling season.

 5) Comfort and Indoor Air Quality:Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state of the art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, consistent and draft-free comfort with higher indoor air quality.  An average house has between 70-200 square inches of air leaks; we  polyseal and caulk the entire house to help minimize these leaks.

6) Low Maintenance: New cars today are computer-designed and computer-equipped and they perform far more reliably than a 10 or 20 year old car. Homes are the same. Today’s new homes not only have open floorplans and high ceilings to reflect the way we live today, they’re also made of state-of-the-art building products that require less care and maintenance.

7) Advanced Technology and Design: It’s possible to replace all of the single-pane windows in a resale home with state of the art high performance windows. It’s also possible to add insulation to a used home. However, it is very expensive to replace out of date appliances, cabinets and counter-tops in that used home. And it’s simply not realistic to dream of high ceilings on the first floor of a 10 year old two-story home. 

8) Safety: State of the art circuit breakers. Electric garage door openers with infrared beams that stop if a tricycle or child is too near. High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners that use the latest environmentally-friendly coolants. Cabinets, carpets and paints that use fewer Volatile Organic Compounds so you and your family can breathe easier.

9) That New Home Feel: A used home was someone else’s dream, reflecting someone else’s choices, and someone else’s family memories. You may love avocado-green appliances and you may be willing to scrub stained countertops or grease-encrusted ovens and cooktops but more and more people prefer that never lived-in feel. When was the last time you went to a department store and selected used clothes? Or visited a car dealer and paid more for a used car than a new car? New homes offer the latest designs, style, comfort and quality -