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Buying Your First Home: Here’s What You Need to Know

You’ve heard there’s no place like home, but the truth is, there’s no place like your first home. Think about it: you’ve just made your biggest financial (and most emotional) decision yet, you’re finally switching from renting to owning, and most importantly, you’re taking a giant step toward the rest of your life… It turns out that your first home really is the most special place in the world.

 

If you’re thinking of buying a new home or are about to start the process, you’ve probably read up on mortgages, compared new homes vs resale, etc. But do you know what to bring to builder meetings? How about current promotions? Some things get overshadowed by the “big points,” but at Schaeffer Family Homes, we believe the little details matter… So we put together everything you won’t find in a simple internet search:

1) Your First Home is Less Overwhelming

We’re not saying that buying a home isn’t stressful, but the entire process with your first home is typically less overwhelming than with your next. Your first time buying a home, you’re probably not as concerned with getting all of the features and finishes absolutely perfect — but more so just excited and focused on owning your own space in a location that makes you happy.

 

Pro top: Enjoy every minute of the ride, even the lengthy parts, because it’s all worth it in the end.

2) You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Do you believe you can’t afford a home you truly love? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But that’s why we’re here to tell you that you might be able to afford so much more than you think. In fact, you might even up paying less for your mortgage than for your current rent… in a much better space that you own.

 

Pro tip: You can get a preapproval even while you’re still renting! Go check out where you stand (you might be amazed).

 

 

3) “Sooner Rather Than Later” is Your Mantra

When it comes to home ownership, there’s no better time than right now. (Guess all of those “seize the moment” quotes were right…) Of course, with interest rates at a current low point, buying your first home sooner rather than later means you can stop throwing money away (and by that, we mean renting), and start owning something that gives you so much back in return.

 

Pro tip: Just take the leap! You’ll be glad you did.

 

 4) Don’t Give Up Your Favorite Things

Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but when it comes to your first home, what’s on the outside matters a whole lot too. Your new home’s location is going to make a difference when it comes to your job and your social life, so make sure to consider convenience — how close are you to stores, restaurants, and bars? How long will it take you to get to work?

 

Pro tip: It’s okay to experience lifestyle changes (i.e. driving to work for the first time instead of walking), but don’t overlook the certain things you favor the most.

 

5) Listen To Your Parents

You might be wondering why we’re giving you childhood advice in a blog about owning a home, but hear us out. Bringing someone who knows and loves you (and who you trust) to your builder meetings will help you see things clearly. Whether a parent, a sibling, or another important figure in your life, having someone else’s opinion that you value can make a world of difference.

 

Pro tip: It’s always okay to sit back, take a deep breath, and consider a new perspective.

 6) Ask Questions

If you’ve ever been told to “ask a lot of questions,” now you finally have a good reason to. We are here to help you throughout this entire process and want to make sure that you are absolutely clear about every detail of building your new home!

 

Pro tip: You’re the buyer! Don’t be afraid to ask!

 

Last but not least, we want you to know that this whole process is going to be emotional. Your home is a big deal (the biggest deal, actually), so you’re going to feel a lot of different emotions. But even if you’re doubting everything you’re going through, remember that owning your first home is a feat that should make you proud.

 

Building your vision from the ground up is so much more than just a process. It’s one of the most special things you can do. Looking to buy your new home in South Jersey? Contact Schaeffer Family Homes at 856-208-5118 to make your first home buying process a breeze!

 

Curb Appeal: Preparing Your Home To Sell

When it comes to selling your old home, there’s nothing like a first impression — which means your exterior should be in its been shape ever. When potential homeowners come to visit, it’s important they experience that “special feeling” from the get-go… a beautiful, clean, and depersonalized space can make the magic happen.

 

From your lawn to your flowers to your gutters, there are so many easy ways to make your outdoor space as appealing as your home’s interior. If you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry! When you work with Schaeffer Family Homes, we’re right behind you to ensure that you stage your home effectively, and feel confident and secure with every decision.

 

Are you ready to beautify your old home’s exterior so you can settle into your new Schaeffer home? We’re ready too! Take a look at a few of our favorite tips to enhance your curb appeal, win homeowners over, and sell your old home faster than ever:

Lawn: This may go without saying, but caring for your lawn should be one of your biggest (and first) priorities. From mowing the grass to raking leaves to pulling weeds, “grooming” this part of your yard ensures a clean, dignified aura that potential homeowners can feel immediately. The grass is greenest in your own front yard!

 

Real Estate Signage: There’s almost nothing more noticeable than that “For Sale” sign in your front yard. Of course, potential homeowners are going to see this sign and make instinctive judgments about how both you and your realtor view your home, so make sure the sign is appealing, clean, and represents you well!

 

Flowers: What says springtime better than vibrant, colorful flowers? Adding pops of color to your exterior, whether on your porch, on the sides of your walkway, or around your mailbox, creates a sense of warmth and liveliness. In the spring, flowers like yellow daffodils, pink peonies, and white tulips bloom beautifully.

 

Driveway: After years of use, your driveway naturally loses its original spark… The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get it into tip-top shape — pressure washing your driveway will make it look as good as new without breaking your wallet. When homeowners walk up to your home, they’ll get squeaky clean vibes!

Mailbox: Your mailbox may be one of your favorite staples, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a little work. Touch up the post with a fresh coat of paint (you could even repaint your front door with a matching color). All in all, make sure that it looks clean and fresh, and if it’s too worn down, there’s no harm in getting rid of it.

 

Roof and Gutters: As much as it may feel like a chore, cleaning your roof and gutters will make a world of difference to someone who’s seeing your home for the first time. This means clearing out any branches and debris, reattaching loose gutters, and even replacing the roof if it’s completely necessary.

 

Photography: Today, about 88 percent of homebuyers start their process online, which means aesthetically pleasing photography puts you at an advantage. Once you’

ve spruced up your outdoor space, enlist the help of a skilled photographer to snap some “glamour shots” that will entice homeowners to come see the real thing!

 

At Schaeffer Family Homes, our team ensures that your road to move-in day is just as smooth and enjoyable as you deserve. When you stage your home the right way, potential homeowners will be able to envision making it their own — which puts you one step further to settling into your brand new Schaeffer home!

It’s not too early to start prepping for Thanksgiving!

You look forward to Thanksgiving each November. Whoever hosts always seems to pull it off
without a hitch. Now, you are all settled in your brand new Schaeffer home, and you’ve volunteered
to host this year. And the magnitude of the task has hit you. Don’t sweat it. You can do it – and make
it look effortless – thanks to your state-of-the-art kitchen and party-friendly open floor plan!
Invite early. The key to a stress-free Thanksgiving is to plan early. Once you commit to hosting, the
first thing you need to do is invite every single person you want to come. Even the last minute types
are likely to make Thanksgiving plans early in November, so start putting feelers out there ASAP. In
the meantime, start thinking about where you’re going to put everybody. (Flexible, open floorplans
make this part soooo much easier!)

Be organized. Planning and organizing is imperative. It’s the only way to make sure you don’t find
yourself with missing ingredients, a house that’s a mess, and hours of cooking still to be done when
your guests arrive. Start by making lists of everything you need to do, a schedule for the weeks
leading up to dinner, and shopping lists before you head to the store for ingredients and supplies.
Bonus! Lists let you see everything you need, and let you check things off. (Checking things off is a
really good feeling!)

Plan your menu. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and you need a game plan. The first
step? Figure out what’s on the menu. Chances are your guests will want to bring things… you just
have to tell them what you need. Once you have the menu set, start shopping for non-perishables
(e.g. baking ingredients, bread cubes, herbs & spices), and make a corner of your pantry
“Thanksgiving Central”. Having everything in one place will help you keep track.
Cook in advance. Don’t stress out by trying to cook everything on Thanksgiving Day. Create a
timeline, and figure out what can be made ahead of time. Casseroles can be premade. Vegetables
can be chopped and ready to steam. Some things can’t be cooked early, like the turkey, but almost
everything else in the meal can be prepped and ready to just pop on the stove top or into the oven.
Let’s put that brand new kitchen to work!

Set up in advance. Establish your dining space (formal dining room, flex space, even the family room). Figure out if you’re having a sit-down meal or a buffet-style repast. Then, as long as you don’t have to worry about pets or small children upsetting things, set everything up days before the event. That way you won’t be scrambling to find the serving dishes that are somewhere in the basement; cleaning the dust off the extra wine glasses that are on that high shelf in the kitchen, and counting the flatware only to discover
you don’t have enough right before the first
guest rings the bell.

Offer snacks before dinner. Tasty appetizers benefit the cook as much as the guests. Bowls of nuts, some crackers and cheese, and trays of crudité or hot apps scattered throughout the family room, living room or basement rec room will keep them busy munching while you finish up! Keep the kids entertained. For children, it seems like Thanksgiving dinner takes foreveeeer to
land on the table. Keep ‘em occupied with games out in the yard, movies up in the loft or craft projects in the rec room.

Above all, relax and enjoy. Let your guests marvel at the spaciousness of your new Schaeffer home,
while you perform culinary magic in your new kitchen! Learn more about our holiday-friendly
homes at Schaeffer Homes.

Tools That Every Homeowner Should Own

Once you and your family have settled into your gorgeous new Schaeffer home, the rest of your life can begin! We’re more than excited for you to experience the most rewarding journey yet, and to feel comfortable everyday in your home.

Throughout the entire homebuilding process, we do all of the heavy lifting for you. You never have to stress over the details or feel overwhelmed by any step. Once you’re moved in, however, it’s always a good idea to have a few trusted tools in your back pocket.

 

 

Check out our list of the best tools to keep in your home:

 

Screwdriver Set

A complete set comes with a variety of head sizes to get into all kinds of spaces. When you’re completing basic projects like tightening cabinet hardware, this set will be your best friend.

 

Hammer

Make sure that the head of your hammer is smooth to avoid damage to any surface that you’re working on. Get one with a grip that feels the most comfortable to you!

 

Cordless Drill

There are many things you can do with a sturdy cordless drill, including creating holes in wood without splits. With a full charge, you can take your drill anywhere without worry.

 

Measuring Tape

Accurate measurements of furniture, valuables, and walls are a must whenever you decide ro remodel. Pro tip: you’ll appreciate a measuring tape that fits in your pocket when you’re out.

 

Utility Knife

A handy general tool, your utility knife will be helpful in many different situations, and especially in the beginning of your move when you’ll be cutting open taped-boxes.

 

Leaf Rake and Snow Shovel

New Jersey is no stranger to fall leaves and winter snow, and these two tools are absolutely essential. Keep your front and back yards tidy with tools that feel comfortable in your hands!

 

Ladder

A ladder’s purpose speaks for itself, just make sure not to walk underneath it! (Just kidding…)

 

Zip Ties

Easy to store and durable, zip ties are great for a wide variety of things — from fastening flowers together to attaching tags to luggage.

 

Pliers

When you’re working with pliers, a strong tool with a firm grip will be your best aid. Different sizes and shapes work for different projects and spaces, so why not get a few kinds?

 

Handsaw

If you enjoy building your own furniture and completing various home projects, a great handsaw will help you get the job done.

There’s no better feeling than moving into your dream home. Once you’ve made it, having a few handy tools available will save you a last minute trip to the store when you need them most!

 

For more information on our Schaeffer homes and communities, please visit our website, or give us a call at 856-208-5118. We look forward to partnering with you on this incredible journey!

9 Ways to Welcome Spring Into Your Home

New Home Living Room

We never thought it would be here, but Spring is finally in full bloom and all of us at Schaeffer Family Homes in New Jersey are so excited because of all the fun ways to enjoy the season inside and outside your home! We’re more than ready to hang up our coats and make the most of spring! Here are a few design and decor tips to welcome spring into your home, so you can enjoy the season to the fullest.

  1. Bring plants and flowers into your home. Whether they’re in vases, hanging planters, or sprawled on the mantle, more greenery and color will brighten anyBUDy’s day!
  2. Designate a weekend to some Spring cleaning to bring in the new season and send out those winter woes! Nothing feels more refreshing than an organized home, so grab the vacuum and cleaning supplies and go room by room to tackle the dust and dirt that’s been building up all winter.
  3. Give your closet a makeover by switching into the clothes you’ve been waiting to wear all winter! Likewise, collect all those heavy boots and coats and put them into storage.
  4. Let the light in! Nothing feels more like spring than fresh air and natural light, so part those curtains and open up those large windows! Spring is in the air and you should have it circulating through your house.
  5. Pastels and shades of white are back on trend. Replace your pillows, curtains, and accessories to add pops of spring colors. Fun accent pieces with lots of color and even fun patterns are the perfect way to brighten up any room. With our homes, you definitely have enough room to utilize all of the trending spring colors!
  6. Lemonade, strawberry shortcake, lavender sorbet… the options are endless when it comes to cooking creatively with spring ingredients. Keep your kitchen stocked with fruits and seasonal veggies!
  7. Speaking of lavender, spring scented candles are back in stock and ready to be lit! Filling your home with all the calming and enjoyable scents of the season are the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.
  8. Getting the outside of your home ready for spring is just as important as the inside. Decorate your entryway with blossoming wreaths and potted flowers to properly welcome your guests and create an inviting new look for the season!
  9. But don’t just plant a new bed of flowers – switch out your actual bed as well! Exchange the flannel sheets and heavy comforters for lighter sheets and duvets. It’ll be easy to catch some ZZZ’s in the right linens.

 

Spring is the perfect time to have fun with your home decor. Use these helpful tips to enjoy all the feelings of the season inside and outside your home!

               

We are proud to offer new homes that have earned the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR qualified new homes are substantially more energy-efficient than homes built to the minimum code requirements. Our ENERGY STAR qualified new homes are independently verified by a third-party Home Energy Rater to ensure they meet ENERGY STAR energy efficiency guidelines. These homes are better for the environment and better for you. Learn more about ENERGY STAR qualified new homes at http://www.energystar.gov/

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