Parry Custom Homes Blog

Blog Archive for August, 2019

Back to School Hacks for School Supplies

Categories: Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: August 30, 2019 | Comments Off on Back to School Hacks for School Supplies


If you have kids, then you know the time of year has come where you are off to the store to check all the school supplies needed for your kids as they go back for another new school year. If you have more than one child, you very well know this can be a major expense once you make your way through the supplies list a few times over. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares school supply hacks you can find at your local dollar store that will help your kids and your wallet as they start a new school year.

Back to school hack #1:

Instead of buying a new lunchbox that comes with an ice pack inside to keep your kids meals cold until lunch time, make a trip down the dishwashing isle at your dollar store and pick up a few kitchen sponges, some snack size zip lock bags and colorful duct tape.

You will be able to wet the sponge and freeze it, then place the frozen sponge inside the zip lock bag and cover it in duck tape. As the sponge melts, the moisture will stay inside the bag as it keeps the lunches you pack cool until lunch time.

Back to school hack #2:

Using the colorful duct tape you already purchased for the DIY freezer packs, pick up a box of freezer bags during your trip to the dollar store. Pick up a 3-ring binder and cut the freezer bag to the size of the binder, so it fits nicely inside. You can then cover the freezer bag in colorful duct tape and cut holes along the end to latch into the 3-ring binder and voila! You have a pencil pouch that can easily be replaced if it gets too dirty over the course of the school year.

Back to school hack #3:

If you have kids that are of elementary school age, pick up a handful of soap boxes and stickers. You can use these as easy to grab and go containers for crayons, snacks, erasers and any other loose school supplies. Your kids can decorate them with the stickers for a fun activity that will also get them excited to use them when they go back to school.

Back to school hack #4:

If your kids have lockers at school or if you have a place at your home where you like to keep their homework and school papers organized, save your cereal boxes before throwing them away! You can easily cut the tops off the cereal boxes and cover them in gift wrap or colored paper. You can stack them on top of one another and allow for separated cubbies for your kids to keep their homework and school papers organized.

Back to school hack #5:

Make your way over to the kitchen area of your local dollar store and pick up a few kitchen drawer utensil organizers. These can go in your child’s desk or locker at school, to help them keep their pens, pencils, highlighters and other loose school supplies organize and easy to grab when they need them without having to dig through their backpack or locker to find them.

Back to school hack #6:

If you have multiple children, you know how difficult it can be each school year to keep your kid’s paperwork for school organized, especially the paperwork that comes home with them. Whether they have papers you need to sign, homework they need to complete throughout the week, or books they need to read, make your life much more organized but using magazine organizers to allow each child to put what belongs to them for school, in their own organizer so you and them can easily access what they need for school each day. Make it fun for them by allowing them to personalize their own organizer with their name, stickers, and anything else that will encourage them to use it each day.

Back to school hack #7:

For your final back to school hack, here is another tip to make you and your family’s life easier throughout the school year as they work on projects and have homework. Take a spice rack you already have at home if you don’t use it or pick one up at the dollar store and replace the spices with jars that can hold paper clips, erasers, batteries, mini note pads, staples, and any other miscellaneous desk supplies that seem to get scattered in a junk drawer or loosely around the house and cause for chaos (or yelling for mom) when they can’t be found. This way you can easily see when you need to replace office supplies when they run low and your kids of any age can easily access what they need and know where to find it (win-win!)



These inexpensive and easy school hacks will have you ready to take on a new school year with ease and not take as big of a hit to the wallet at the same time.




Parry Custom Homes is an established homebuilder in the Pittsburgh area.  Call or contact us today for more information.

How to choose the best agent when buying a home

Categories: Buying a Home, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: August 23, 2019 | Comments Off on How to choose the best agent when buying a home


Are you planning to be in the market this fall for a new home? If so, you may find yourself struggling on finding an agent to help you along the home buying process. The relationship you have with your agent will be one you want to be sure you are comfortable with and trust, as the home buying process can often have unexpected twists and turns before you are finally handed the keys to your new home. Since choosing the right agent is such an important decision and one of the first you have to make in the home buying journey, it’s best you know what to ask in advance to make the right decision the first time. Weston Dean Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares questions you should ask when you meet with your potential agents.

It is always good to have some questions prepared when you go to meet with an agent to make sure they meet the criteria you will want to have in a buyer’s agent. Some good questions to as are:

How long does it typically take for buyers you work with to find and close on a home?

This question will let you know if he mostly deals with buyers who want to move quickly and do a lot of research independently, or if he has buyers that take a year or long it will show that they are more patient and will let the home-buying process run its course. Depending on what track you are on, the fast track or the leisurely one, could help determine if they would be a good fit for you.

What areas do you do most of your business?

Agents typically have certain towns or cities where they tend to do most of their business. Depending on where you are wanting to look and if you have certain towns or school districts you want to move too, someone who is well-versed and knows the areas you are most interested in will be the best fit for you and might have more insider knowledge on homes that are coming to the market that you may be able to see in advance or have an advantage over.

How do your showings work?

Depending on your area, some locations or agents rely on open houses for showings, why others need private appointments with an agent to privately see the home. In many markets with inventory going off the market just as quick as it comes on, having an agent that can make themselves available to you the same day a home comes on the market if need be is something you will want to keep in mind.

What is the best way to communicate and find properties?

Buyers no longer rely on agents to find properties anymore like they did in the past. Especially in markets where the inventory is moving quick, agents will encourage their buyers to look for homes online on their own and often give them access to their local MLS so they can get alerts based on homes that meet their criteria and let the agent know if they are interested in looking.

Do you work independently or with a team?

Be sure to ask your agent if there is a team of people they work with, if they have an assistant or if they work independently. If your agent has an assistant or junior agent you may end up working with, you will want to know that in advance as they might not have the experience you need when looking at a home and wanting their feedback.


The best way to ensure a good relationship with your buying agent is to make sure you know how they work best and how they expect you to work and connect with them in regards to homes you are interested in. As with any good relationship, communication is key especially at the start. So, once you have found an agent that you feel checks of the boxes of what you need, then you can begin the exciting process of buying a home!



Parry Custom Homes is an established homebuilder in the Pittsburgh area.  Call or contact us today for more information.

Closet cleaning: 101

Categories: Pittsburgh on your lot builder, Uncategorized | Posted: August 16, 2019 | Comments Off on Closet cleaning: 101
Closet cleaning 101

Closet cleaning 101

As summer winds down to an end and fall is on our doorstep, chances are the wardrobe in your closet will soon be changing too. However, if you are like most, your closet may seem smaller than the amount of clothes and belongings you have to put in it! So, what is the best way to clean your closet and make it the most functional it can be? Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares the best tips that will have your closet in tip top shape before the weekend is over!

Step 1: The first thing you will want to take is to do an audit of your closet. What clothes do you want to keep? What can you get rid of? Does it fit? When is the last time you wore it? Are there any imperfections such as stains or holes that cannot be fixed?

Step 2: Make four piles that you can distribute items in your closet into.

Pile 1: Items to keep

Pile 2: Items to store

Pile 3: Items to donate or sell

Pile 4: Items to throw away

You can then put each pile into a plastic bag to keep away from your closet area and keep together, for where they need to go next.

Sept 3: The next thing you will want to do is take an inventory of your hangers. Group your hangars together by style. For example, what hangers as best for delicate items or fabrics? Which hangers are best for sturdier items like coats or suit jackets? Do you have hangars made specifically for pants? Organize the similar hangars together, into grouped pairings by type.

Step 4: Begin to hang your clothes up that will fit for the upcoming season, and items that will get you through the “transition” period of temperatures between seasons. Anything that you won’t be wearing for the next several months, store.

Step 5: Begin to organize accessories. Once your clothing is situated and hung up, move on to your accessory items like hats, scarves, belts, purses, etc. If you don’t have drawers or storage in your closet, you can use boxes or bins to store these items. You can get creative and store them above your closet or wherever you have the best amount of room to keep them out of the way, but still easy to access.

Step 6: Move on to your jewelry. A great way to organize jewelry in your closet, is to get a pegboard and mount it to a wall or the back of your closet door. You can put hooks on it and hang bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc.

Step 7: Shoes will be the last items in your closet to focus on. If you have the original shoe boxes, a great idea is to label each shoe on the front of the shoebox and store them that way. This is a much more efficient way to store shoes and save room since you can stack the boxes and grab for easy access. If you don’t have the original shoeboxes, simply purchase some boxes fit for shoes at places like Bed Bath and Beyond or the Container Store.

Step 8: A good rule of thumb is to go back through your closet and organize it in a way that is easy and makes sense. For example, you can group all like-items together by color. For example, if you have 5 color tank tops, place all tank tops in one area and organize them from darkest to lightest.

Step 9: Be sure to give your closet a good vacuuming, dusting and wiping down once you are all done.


You will be prepared to take on the new season and make selecting items from your closet a breeze.



Parry Custom Homes is an established homebuilder in the Pittsburgh area.  Call or contact us today for more information.


Want to buy your own fixer-upper home?

Categories: Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: August 9, 2019 | Comments Off on Want to buy your own fixer-upper home?


Pittsburgh new home

As summer winds down and the fall season is on our doorstep, many homeowners might start to plan some inside projects they can start once the temperatures begin to cool down. There are plenty of home improvement shows these days that focus on everyday homeowners becoming their own “flippers” in fixing up an old, outdated or rundown home. Whether you find yourself interested in flipping a home to turn a profit or to live in on your own and hope to sell for more money down the road, be aware of the reality of flipping homes that most people aren’t aware of outside of the TV show side of things. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares why you may want to think twice before purchasing a home to flip.

In a recent analysis by Zillow, it was found that across the U.S. the average home that was fixed-up or flipped sells for just eight percent less than market value. In dollar amounts, this means that it saves buyers about just $11,000 for renovations to break even.

Over the 70,000 homes being flipped across the U.S. that were a part of the study, it was found that if the renovation costs exceed the discount they got on the home, it might be less expensive for them to buy a similar home that doesn’t require the renovations.

Out of all the locations that were analyzed, Phoenix was the location with the smallest cash discount, saving buying’s only about $1,000 off list price. Hardly a bargain for all the time and money that goes into home renovations, with very little leeway.

The best place to find large upfront cash savings on fixer-upper homes is in expensive markets, where a small amount of discount could add up to a large sum of money to spend on renovations. For example, most fixer-uppers in San Francisco are discounted 10 perfect, which is lower than other metro areas but gives buyers just over $50,000 upfront that can be put towards renovations.

So, if you are considering a fixer-upper, be sure to do the math first as well as do your homework on how much renovations cost. Most kitchen renovations cost over $11,000, which is the average number of savings a buyer will get on a fixer-upper. If you need to update more than just a kitchen, you will most likely be better off buying a home that has little to no renovations needed.

In the end, you will always have your favorite home improvement and fixer-upper TV shows to enjoy, even if you don’t take on a similar project yourself! It might just save you lots of money keeping your renovation desires strictly to your TV programs.




Parry Custom Homes is an established homebuilder in the Pittsburgh area.  Call or contact us today for more information.

Community Spotlights in Pittsburgh!

Categories: Custom Home in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh New Home Builder, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: August 2, 2019 | Comments Off on Community Spotlights in Pittsburgh!
Oakton Manor

Oakton Manor

Finding Pittsburgh custom homebuilders is a task in and of itself. Just as much as finding the perfect builder to build your custom home in Pittsburgh is finding the perfect location for your dream home. After all, your homes location is equally as important as the home itself. Luckily for you, Parry Custom Homes not only builds some of the best custom homes you’ll find in Pennsylvania, they also build in the most desired new home community locations as well.

For those of you looking to build a new home in the North Huntington area, Oakton Manor is a neighborhood you will want to check out. Located within North Huntington Township, this community is a part of the highly acclaimed Norwin School District.

This community is also great for young families, as much of the neighborhood is on two private cul-de-sacs and the elementary school is located within minutes of the neighborhood as well.

This community has been so popular that there are only a few home sites remaining in this neighborhood to build on. If you would like to learn more about this neighborhood and building opportunities, just give us a call!

Next, another popular new home community in the North Huntingdon area to consider is Bella Mia. The Bella Mia neighborhood is located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. This beautiful new home community is positioned just a few miles off of Route 30 in a private setting.

There are only a few lots remaining in Bella Mia, so time is of the essence to act on this new home community. Most all of the homes built in this neighborhood are custom designs with different styles and trends that have been built over years past, as well as very current styles. It is a true beauty of a community in Pittsburgh!

For more information on either of these wonderful new home communities, or to let us fit you with the perfect location for your dream home, just contact us anytime!


Parry Custom Homes is an established homebuilder in the Pittsburgh area.  Call or contact us today for more information about this floor plan option, or to view other homes in our portfolio that may suit your new home needs.