Parry Custom Homes Blog

Blog Category - Homeowner Tips

How to best handle your down payment

Categories: Buying a Home, Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: March 27, 2020 | Comments Off on How to best handle your down payment

 

Down payment 101

Down payment 101

Gone are the times in buying a home where you have to have a large sum of money saved up in order to purchase a home. Now, depending on your financing, the minimum down payment for a new home may be lower than you think. Combined with the current interest rates that are at record lows, many are finding it more affordable than they thought to purchase a new home! Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares how to best handle the down payment of your new home with the different options you will have.

It is important to consider where to store your funds for the down payment on a new home. Whether you have it in savings already or if it will be a gift from a family member, it’s good to have a plan in place on where this money will be housed. These three tips will help you with this decision and also avoid delays in securing your new home loan.

Tip number one: Do not house your deposit in your checking account

The first and one of the most important tips is to not put all your home deposit money in your checking account. Believe it or not, checking accounts can be a problem in home buying. If you keep your home loan money in your checking account where you pay your bills, it can look to a lender like you are spending your home loan money on your bills and everyday spending, which is not a good thing.

Instead, keep your money in a separate account or savings account that you are not taking money out of. It’s best to keep it in a separate savings account that has little to no activity.

Tip number two: Keeping it in another person’s account

If you are storing money in your parent’s bank account, even though it may be your money you will have to have them sign a “gift letter” stating that the money is donated, so your mortgage company knows it’s not another loan.

Even though the money is not technically a gift since it is money you own, your lender wont view the money in that way. Any account that is on paper that is yours, is considered your money. Any account that contains funds under another person’s name, is considered their money.

If you are in fact getting a gift of money from a family member, they will need to provide the gift letter as well as bank statements that show they have the funds to give the money to you as well.

Tip number three: Storing money in your safe

Hiding your money at home and away from the eyes and the ears of a bank doesn’t help you either. All financial institutions have strong anti-money laundering laws to prevent any criminal activity. The money you use to buy a home must be in your bank account for at least 60 days or the money has to be gifted, as mentioned above.

Cash deposits from any side jobs will be sure to create questions and conditions from your mortgage lender. It is best to do yourself a favor and when you are serious about buying a home, use your bank account to store all your funding.

Following the three tips above will not only make sure you are following the right steps when buying a home, but also prevent you from any time sensitive issues that could prevent you from buying the home or getting the loan you need, when you need it.

 

 

 

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

Spring Cleaning: Home Maintenance Tips

Categories: Homeowner Tips, New Homes in Pittsburgh, On your lot builder Pittsburg | Posted: February 21, 2020 | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning: Home Maintenance Tips

 

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

As we creep closer to March and the promises of spring, many people find the itch for spring cleaning setting in. It is always good to keep up on your home maintenance year round, so that your home always stays in good condition and you can preserve the value of it over time. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares the best home maintenance tips to put into play this spring.

No matter the age or size of your home, it is just like your car and needs to be maintained in order to run efficiently over the long haul. Keeping up on how your home ages, needs to hit the main spots of a “dry, clean, well-ventilated, free from contaminants, pest-free, well-maintained and overall safe” home.

Water leaks are a big thing that many homes suffer from, no matter how small. Even though your leaky faucet may not seem like a big deal now, one faucet that drips equates to $20 a year and 10,000 gallons of water. The most common offenders in your home for this type of thing will be toilets that run, and faucets or shower heads that drip.

Most of these issues are also easily fixable! If you have a wrench and a screwdriver, most leaks you will be able to fix yourself.

Other than leaks in your home, these items should be on your home maintenance to-do list:

Clean your stove vent screen and check for build-up on the inside of the vent every couple of months.

Clean the lint trap and outside dryer exhaust.

Check for signs of pests in your home.

Test all GFCI outlets in the home (with the button in the middle.)

Vacuum under and behind the fridge- a must once you realize what is behind there!

Lastly, be sure to change out the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year and make sure they are working. Also, be sure to clean your gutters in the fall and in the spring once the tree blooms are gone.

Whether you plan to stay in your home forever, or just plan to be in your home until you outgrow it, keeping up on the maintenance of your home will save you big in the long run. Keeping your home up to par will preserve the value and allow you to ask for top dollar, when it comes time to sell.

 

 

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.

Savvy Gardeners Understand Climate and Weather

Categories: Homeowner News, Homeowner Tips, New Homes in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: January 17, 2020 | Comments Off on Savvy Gardeners Understand Climate and Weather

 

Spring Gardening Tips

Spring Gardening Tips

Spring may still be a few months away, but dreaming of warmer temperatures may have you ready to get in your garden. Spend the next few months studying up on what plants will work best in your environment. Savvy gardeners keep one eye on the sky and the other on their plant beds. They give nature a nudge by understanding the climate, learning how to read the weather and then creating a landscape that fits. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares information on how to grow the best garden possible this spring!

It’s good to know what the weather is doing, why it’s doing it and what it will do next. If you go with your climate and soil, your garden will be much more successful and if you choose the appropriate plants and tend to them well, you’ll save money because there’ll be fewer failures.

Learning how to read clues about upcoming weather can result in a more productive garden.

You can predict whether there will be a frost by noting the temperature and the rate it changes at dusk, can predict whether dew will form. Calculate the atmospheric humidity and you’ll know how likely it is to rain or snow. Watch the clouds for approaching weather fronts and gathering storms.

Soil and climate are closely linked. At the extremes, desert soils are sandy while tundra soils are low in nutrients because vegetation is so limited.

The more sand you have, the faster it will drain, so you might need to irrigate. Clay retains water and is very fertile because it stays wet it tends to be cold in spring, so you can’t work it or plant it early in the year.

Silt is very fertile. Loamy soil, which is best of all, has approximately equal parts of clay, sand and silt.

Then there are microclimates, which can vary depending on the size and shape of your property.

Lower terrain may have lower temperatures than higher terrain. Exposure to sun and wind can create a dry microclimate even in areas with adequate rainfall.

When you have a few days of unexpected 65-degree weather come February or March, people may think they can plant. But nature has a way of getting even and it’s best to stay with the tried and true. Things aren’t what they used to be, but nobody can be certain what the weather is moving toward.

 

 

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.

New Years Resolution: How To Make Your Home Healthier in 7 Days

Categories: Custom Home Builders in Pittsburgh, Custom Home in Pittsburgh, Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh custom homebuilders | Posted: December 13, 2019 | Comments Off on New Years Resolution: How To Make Your Home Healthier in 7 Days

 

Healthy Home Tips

Healthy Home Tips

A New Year is right around the corner and if you have been thinking about New Years Resolutions to make for the New Year, Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh custom builder, shares how you can make your home and family healthier in 2020…in just one week!  Although new homes may be healthier because they come with the latest in design, materials and technology, it is still a good idea to put seven weekly habits in place to keep your home healthy for your family in the long run. A recent article from BrightNest highlights these seven habits to put into motion that will keep your home and family healthy.

Make Sunday your day for washing your pillows and sheets in hot water. The hot water will both kill the germs and reduce the dust.

On Monday, do a fridge check for the week and do an audit on perishable items. The most common things to check are things like meat, dairies, veggies and fruits or anything else that will perish quickly. Also, be sure that leftovers that are over four days old make their way to the trash. four days is the maximum amount you want to leave leftovers.

On Tuesday, take all your sponges and put them in the dishwasher. Then, wash them on your hottest cycle to disinfect them, without wasting them.

On Wednesday’s agenda, give your toothbrush a bath in boiling water to kill any germs and bacteria. Also, a good rule of thumb is that if you are just getting over being sick, throw away your toothbrush and get a new one. It’s better safe to keep any lingering germs in the trash.

On Thursday, use a disinfectant spray and wipe down your fridge and microwave handle, as well as the light switches. This is also anther great tip to keep germs from spreading if there are any sick ones in the house.

On Friday, celebrate the weekend and do a random favor for your neighbor or someone in your home. It will not only make them feel better, but you as well! Nothing beats a starting off the weekend in a good mood!

On Saturday, shift the focus back to you and keep your positive mood going. Be sure to open your shades and let any or all-natural light into your home. This helps boost you and your family’s mood!

These small tips can be done each day of the week and will make a big impact on your health and the health of your family over time.

 

 

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.

8 Smart Things To Do with Your Money in Your 30’s

Categories: Buying a Home, Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh custom homebuilders, Pittsburgh New Home Builder | Posted: December 6, 2019 | Comments Off on 8 Smart Things To Do with Your Money in Your 30’s

 

8 smart things to do with money in your 30's

8 smart things to do with money in your 30’s

As a new year approaches, many people find themselves thinking about areas in their life they would like to improve on for the new year. For many it may be to exercise more, lose some weight, or do more reading and less screen time. If you are in your 30’s or nearing them, have you considered making it a goal to focus on what you do with your money? If you’re looking for a Pittsburgh new new homebuilder, chances are you should read on to make sure your money is going where it should. Parry Custom Homes has some great tips for financial advice from TIME for those in their 30’s.

Normally financial advice is given to college or post-college students as they enter their careers. However, by the time most hit their 30’s, chances are they are at a more secure position financially than in their 20’s.

When you are no longer living from paycheck to paycheck, what are the best things to be doing with your leftover money? According to Solari Financial Planning, making savings goals a priority is first. The 30’s tend to be a time where you will need extra savings as you embark on a new home, kids and a car.

Mint and You Need A Budget are two great online tools that allow you to create savings goals and check your progress. If you are planning to buy a new home, it is ideal to have 20% to put down towards that new home. If you don’t have the 20%, you will have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can add to your monthly payment for your new home.

It is best to take a look at how much you need to save to put down 20% and then see how to make sure you’re buying a home you can afford.

Another shocking figure if you are planning to have children- the average cost to raise a child is $245,000 and that doesn’t include college expenses. The best way to prepare yourself for these expenses is to start setting aside money as soon as possible.

Insurance in general such as life, heath, home and disability often gets put on the back burner for savings but it is very important to make this a part of your plans to protect not only yourself, but your families’ well-being as well.

If you take all of these tips into consideration, you will be well prepared to take on your 30’s this New Year and for many years to come!

 

 

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.

Considering the switch to LED bulbs?

Categories: Custom Home Builders in Pittsburgh, Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: November 27, 2019 | Comments Off on Considering the switch to LED bulbs?
LED lights in your home

LED lights in your home

If you have begun putting up your holiday decorations, you may have switched over your holiday decor lighting to an LED option, to prevent having to re-string your garland so often. Over the past couple of years, LED bulbs have been the all of the rage when it comes to home lighting. Known for their versatility, long life and cost effectiveness, it is easy to see why they would be an attractive option to switch to in your home. However, all LED lights are not created equal. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, has what you need to know before you head out to the store to buy new lights for your entire house.

A common misconception when it comes to wattage is that the number of watts will determine how bright the bulb is. This is actually false. The number of watts refers to how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescent lights, this is an accepted correlation between watts and the brightness of the bulbs. However, LED lights are much different. A 60-watt incandescent light would be comparable to an LED light that is just 8 to 12 watts.

Because there are so many varieties of LED lights, it will not be the same as going to the store and picking up an incandescent light like you have been use to in the past. When shopping for new LED bulbs, you will no longer be looking at the watts of the bulb, like you are accustomed too.

However, don’t worry about having to go into a light store and do the math. There is a uniform way to convert incandescent watts to LED watts. Lumens is the new form of measurement for LED lights.

The Lumen (lm) is the true measurement of brightness provided by a light bulb and this is the number you will want to look for when you go out shopping for your LED lights. An incandescent light can draw up to five times as many watts for the same number of lumens.

LED lights also come in a wide variety of colors. A traditional iridescent light has a warm, yellowish hue. However, when you switch over to LED bulbs, you will have a choice in what color you prefer.  The most popular colors of LED bulbs are warm white, soft white or bright white.

The warm white and soft white LED bulbs will be the most comparable in color to your traditional incandescent bulbs, while the bright white color option will produce a brighter light that will be similar to daytime light or the light you see in retail stores.

If you want to get really specific with the color, the color of an LED light (which is actually the temperature) is measured in kelvins. The lower the number, the more yellow the light will be. A typical incandescent light is between 2,700 and 3,500k in comparison.

These simple tips will make selecting the new LED lights in your home a breeze!

 

 

 

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.

Need To Sell Your Home This Winter?

Categories: Homeowner News, Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh custom homes | Posted: November 1, 2019 | Comments Off on Need To Sell Your Home This Winter?
Winter Home Sales

Winter Home Sales

If you are currently in the market for a Pittsburgh custom home or know that is on the horizon for you this upcoming winter season, many homeowners hesitate to list their current home for sale during the winter months. The winter season is typically looked down upon for putting homes on the market and most realtors may even recommend you wait until spring. However, Parry Custom Homes shares why a study by Redfin indicates that selling your home in the winter months might actually be to your benefit.

While spring may be the home-shopping season for many, listing your home for sale in the winter can give you the upper hand in a lot of cases. When buyers are shopping for homes in the winter, they tend to have more of a sense of urgency. Redfin, an online brokerage, found that the average seller nets more than asking price during the months of December through March, than they do from June through November. Homes listed in winter also sold faster than homes listed in the spring, surprisingly enough.

These findings may have many people in a rush to put their home up for sale before spring, but timing for home sales is always based on supply and demand. The best way to determine this is to check your area to see when might be the best time for you to sell your home, if you aren’t on a time crunch.

Check the number of days on the market for your city and the recently sold listings. If most homes are sitting for more than 60 days, it will be safer to hold off until spring when more buyers enter the market. However, if properties are selling quickly, then you can take that as a green light to list your home.

A few tips to help your home sell fast are:

1.) Schedule a tune-up. Be sure the main issues buyers look at like heating and maintenance are up to speed, as well as clean gutters, air filters, and clean windows are in place. A well kept home is a home that will sell much faster.

2.) Price Your Home Right. If homes are going on the market as quick as they are going off, then you have the flexibility to test the market and price it higher. However, if it is the dead of winter and the market is not as bust, it’s best to price it reasonable to draw in buyers.

3.) Brighten your home. Often times, the winter months are gray and gloomy. Be sure to make your home warm and inviting from the minute the buyer drives up. Warm up your curb appeal with clean landscaping and cool-weather plants, and make sure chipped paint and cracked window seals are taken care of. A welcoming house will sell, even in the winter months.

Putting this knowledge to use when listing your home this winter may have you selling your home quicker than you imagined, especially if inventory in your area is already low this winter season!

 

 

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.

 

4 simple ways to make your new house feel like home

Categories: Custom Home in Pittsburgh, Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: October 18, 2019 | Comments Off on 4 simple ways to make your new house feel like home

 

House to home

House to home

If you are getting ready to move into your new Parry Custom Home or are currently on the search for a Pittsburgh on your lot builder, turning your new house into a home is always key once you finally move in. An article in The Huffington Post shares four simple tips on how to make your new house feel like home once you move in.

The first way to turn your new house into your new home is to figure out how you can customize the space you have, and optimize it at the same time. Builders do their best to construct homes to have the most livable floor plan that makes sense for everyday life, but until you are actually living in the home it can be hard to determine what works and what doesn’t.

Another great tip to give your house the “homey” feel that you’re after is to incorporate some plants into your home to give it that relaxed and alive feel. If it is hard to keep plants alive in your home, try just adding a nice floral arrangement to the centerpiece of the table to still give off that warm vibe.

Changing aspects of your home to suit your day to day live doesn’t have to mean renovation projects on your brand new home. It can be as simply as changing the color in a room to a brighter shade to help a room out that doesn’t have much natural light. Or if might be nice to divide up your open concept spaces with well-placed shelving that can also add an additional layer or storage or display to your new home.

The third tip to help turn your house into a home is to add some art to your home. Adding artwork to your new house will allow your personality and taste to shine through and immediately give your home another touch of who you are. Different ideas of art to bring in can be paintings, drawings, sculptures, even antique pieces or furniture or accessories that might have been passed down or have importance to you are another great option to add to your home.

Lastly, the quickest and easiest way to make your house feel like home is to represent your family in your new home. Displaying photos of your family and loved ones throughout your home automatically give it the feeling of being yours. You can check out places like Pinterest for ideas on how you can create a gallery wall in your home. This has become a recent trend that incorporates family photos with other décor to add more interest and design appeal.

 

These 4 simple ideas will quickly turn your new house into a home in no time!

 

 

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

Simple ways to refresh your home décor for Fall

Categories: Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: October 10, 2019 | Comments Off on Simple ways to refresh your home décor for Fall

 

Fall Decor for your home

Fall Decor for your home

If you haven’t yet decorated your home the fall season but plan to have get-togethers or even host Thanksgiving this year, you may be tempted to add some fall inspiration into your home before friends and family visit. All of the pumpkin inspired treats and Fall leaves may have you scratching your head for ways you can incorporate Fall décor into your own home. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, has some home décor tips on simple ways you can bring the essence of Fall and Thanksgiving inside your home.

First, a great simple way to bring Fall into your home is to incorporate Fall colors into your home. Maroon, mulberry, camel, eggplant, navy and olive are wonderful fall shades that will have your home looking like Autumn in no time. If you are not ready to commit to a new paint color, changing up your pallet and adding a fall colored rug in a great deep Fall shade or switching out your standard sofa pillows for some darker ones in cool Fall shades.

Consider adding the “cozy” factor to your home by including some scented candles on your fireplace mantle, stacks of books or fall magazines, and some seasonal botanicals. If you don’t have a fireplace in your home, emulate a cozy space by adding a rug, cozy char and a bookshelf in a corner to create the perfect place to cuddle up with a good book and a warm cup of tea this fall.

Gold always evokes the holiday season and can easily add a Fall flare to your home as well. You don’t need to go crazy when incorporating gold into your home, it can easily be done with accent pieces such as gold candlesticks, lamps with gold bases and silverware. Mixed metals are on-trend this season, so don’t shy away from also incorporating brass or copper metals as well.

Lastly, knits and furs aren’t just a stylish accessory that can be added to any room of your home, they also come in handy once the temperatures drop during the Fall! Try tossing a chunky knit across your bedspread that will look great and come in handy on the chiller evenings.

For your main living areas, toss some shearling throws over living room chairs, couches or dining room chairs. Consider adding some rustic charm with sheepskin rugs that can be easily added in multiple rooms in your home.

Get creative this weekend and see what you can come up with on your own using the ideas shared above. You can have your home looking like Fall in no time!

 

 

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

How to tackle your first home improvement project

Categories: Homeowner Tips, Pittsburgh on your lot builder | Posted: October 4, 2019 | Comments Off on How to tackle your first home improvement project

 

If you have recently moved into your first home, you may be faced with the task of tackling your first home improvement project. Depending on what your expert level is in home improvement projects, it may be a daunting task that leaves you confused on where to start. Parry Custom Homes, a premier Pittsburgh on your lot builder, shares tips on where to start on your first home improvement project.

The first thing you will want to do is prioritize your DIY or home improvement task list. Take inventory of the projects you would like to see done around your home and separate them out into tasks you can do yourself and tasks you will need to hire a pro to do.

Next, decide what projects are the most important to get done. The tasks that are the most important might not be the ones that are most exciting, but it is best to just get the ones you need completed done first to make sure they don’t fall too far down the to-do list or have you run out of budget before you can get to them.

You will then want to be aware of your skill level (and be honest about it!) It is best to start out with projects that fit your comfort level and then progress to more difficult projects as you get more comfortable with your handiwork around the house.

It is a good idea before you start any project to know all the steps, tools and time that it will take to achieve the project. If you aren’t sure, do your research before starting the project. YouTube is a great resource for videos and step-by-step guidelines, as they often have professionals or professional companies helping with how-to videos.

Your next step will be to plan the prep that is needed for the first project you plan to tackle. First, take into consideration the amount of time your project will take. Will your project be a quick weekend project, take a couple of weekends or will you need to take some time off work to complete the project over a long weekend or week?

Once you have the timeline figured out, the next thing you will want to do is allocate the budget you have to spend on this project and then add 10 percent to what you plan to spend. Most projects will add up to about 10 percent more than you plan for them to be, so building in that wiggle room for your budget will ensure that you can get it done and have the money to complete it. The last thing you want to do is to get 90 percent of the project done and run out of money to finish.

Lastly, prep the space in your home where you will be tackling your project. Move all the furniture you will need either out of the room or in the interior of the room and covered. If you’re doing any work around counter space, be sure to cover and seal it well, along with carpet or flooring that might need to be covered also.

The final (yet most import­ant) task will be beginning and following through with your first home improvement project. The best tips for a successful DIY home project is to start at step one, take your time, take breaks, step back and look at the whole project once you near the end, and then clean up and celebrate!

As with any current or future home improvement project you may encounter, remember that there may come time where you need to call in the pros to help you finish a project. Whether a project is simply taking more time than you can dedicate to it or you run into issues that you aren’t sure how to correctly tackle on your own, as long as the project is done correctly and leaves you with the end result you desire it doesn’t matter how it is accomplished in the end.

 

 

 

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