Newest Custom Home. Rambler with Shop in Pasco WA

image1 (4)Devoted Builder’s really enjoyed working with these great home owners in Pasco WA. The couple owned their own lot and we orchestrated the hook up of all infrastructure including, electrical, water and an engineered septic system.  The owners provided us with a rough plan they had drawn and from there it was fine tuned with our designer. The home is built on a crawl space, with no steps or stairs to enter or exit the home.  The owners chose traditional yet contemporary finishes including durable wood laminate flooring, quartz counter tops, beech wood cabinets and ceramic tile.  For questions or to get an estimate to build a home on your own land/lot in or around the Richland, Kennewick or Pasco, WA area, call Jennifer at 509-947-5670 or Jessica at 509-947-2230. Continue reading “Newest Custom Home. Rambler with Shop in Pasco WA”

Should I Stay or Should I Go? – The Pros and Cons of Renovating

According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), market conditions point to a higher demand for remodeling in the coming months. The NAHB produces their Remodeling Market Index which measures remodeling activity in homes: calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs and appointments for proposals. The RMI hit an all-time high of 60 in the last quarter of 2014. Continue reading “Should I Stay or Should I Go? – The Pros and Cons of Renovating”

New year brings new ideas

The team at Devoted Builder’s is always at work brainstorming and researching new and fresh ideas for home building in Tri-Cities.  A handful of things we are looking forward to in 2015 include:

1. One level home designs with no steps or stairs at all.  Including all entries, showers, patios and walk ways.  Why have a one level home that you have to climb stairs to get into?

2. Finnish work that is less trendy and more sustaining of design changes like stain grade wood trim packages that allow for custom stain color match and also wear far better than paint grade trim packages.

3. Wood Laminate flooring.  Not only does it typically cost less than hard wood it is often much more durable and holds up to pets and other high traffic elements without sanding, staining and sealing in future years.  And the selection!  Boy this is one you can really have fun with.

4. Third garage bays that allow for RV or Boat parking both in height and depth.  Keep your babies at home with you, out of the elements.

5. Separate living areas. We have seen a big turn away from separate living and dining areas with the emphasis on one great room and that is predicted to continue for many years. We find it nice to have a balance.  Spaces where multiple people can enjoy their time in separate areas. Think beyond the “man cave” the office or the family room.

Devoted Builder’s is excited for this new year!  For home building options, information and pricing call us at 509-947-5670 or visit us online at www.devoteddreamhomes.com.

 

 

 

Buying Land, 11 Things you need to know

If you have ever dreamed of building your dream home on the perfect piece of property, then you may have toyed with the idea of buying land. However, if you buy land without doing your homework you may encounter more frustrations than foundation.  Before you write an offer, consider the following:

1)      LOCATION –Land itself, even without a home on it, can be a good investment.   The challenge is determining the true value by evaluating potential use and demand.  Location is paramount in determining value.  Tiny little houses in the middle of bustling downtown neighborhoods can sell for top dollar due to the supply of land in that area.

2)      ZONING LAWS – The value of land is impacted by zoning laws which determine what you can and can’t do with the land.  You may be able to check property zoning online. Pay attention to the county’s long term land use plans and scheduled road additions as these are indicators of future growth.

3)      HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS – Is the lot in a subdivision governed by a homeowners association?  If so, check the rules of what can be built and if there are restrictions regarding footprint, size, or style.

4)      COSTS TO DEVELOP LAND – There are costs to consider when developing land including survey costs and title insurance.

5)      ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS – Most land is sold in subdivisions which may have restrictions. There may be deed restrictions which are private agreements created between the owner and the buyer of the property.  You may also have ordinances which you must adhere from the local city.

6)      UTILITIES – There will be costs to bring utilities to the property including electricity, phone lines, water and sewer (if available).  If public water and sewer is not available, you will need permits for drilling a well and for installing a septic system.

7)      ROAD ACCESS – This is one aspect that is easy to overlook.  The gravel path the property came with may not work as a permanent driveway driving the costs up. Verify the road you see can indeed be developed as a permanent path.

8)      EASEMENTS –Be aware of every easement on the property and understand what the easements mean for your use and enjoyment of the property.

9)      SURVEYS – A survey will show you exactly where the property boundaries are as well as elevation possibilities for building. Never rely on an old survey – it may be outdated.

10)   FLOODING – You will need to know this to determine whether or not flood insurance is needed.

11)   PERMITS – Unless you plan on camping in a tent on your new piece of land, make sure you secure a permit for all improvements.

 

Once you know what you are doing it is easy to look for red flags when looking for land, saving you time and money. Ready to learn more? Give me us call at 509-947-5670.

What is a home warranty?

The term “home warranties” can refer to a number of different types of warranties. When buying or selling a home, different types of home warranties can provide benefits to buyers or sellers – and sometimes both. For sellers, a home warranty increases the perceived value of their home by providing an extra incentive.  For buyers, a home warranty purchases a little extra peace of mind.

In many cases a home warranty is sometimes purchased independent of a real estate transaction by a homeowner simply wanting extra protection in the event of appliances breaking down or other issues that can come up in a home that are not protected under standard homeowners insurance.

Covered items vary widely on these types of warranties, so it’s a good idea to carefully review the warranty to be sure you’re receiving the coverage you need.  In many cases, after-market warranties can be created from an “a la carte” menu, allowing you to select the coverage most important to you.

Each home built by Devoted Builder’s includes a warranty from the largest national home warranty program, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty with coverage on homes for structural defects that make the home unsanitary, unsafe or otherwise unlivable and include a full ten years of qualified structural warranty coverage from the date of closing. For more information on coverage and the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty visit www.2-10.com.

When discussing warranties, be clear on the exact resolution process when a problem arises with each covered item. For example, if the fridge breaks down, what is the process for getting it fixed?

Regardless of the type of warranty, there’s no doubt that they are an excellent tool to build trust and comfort between buyers and sellers.

For more of the nitty-gritty details on home warranties, give us a call at (509) 947-5670 or (509) 947-2230.

 

Senior Real Estate Specialist & Certified Aging in Place Specialist

Continuing education is very important to Jessica and as of Spring 2014 she earned her Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. This training and designation combined with her expansive experience working with those 55 and over allows Jessica to provide a high level of knowledge, streamlined services and a team of professionals to assist “senior” buyers and seller in the steps needed to make a move easy and stress free.

Additionally Jessica completed training and testing to become a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). This designation is close to home as she has a 13 year old daughter who has Down syndrome and who she lovingly refers to as having “unique abilities.” This training allows Jessica to work closely with those with a disability of any kind and their families and caregivers to create specialized floor plans, accessibility, sensory aid systems and general functionality to optimize their current home or plan for a future home.

Moving: Easy Ways to Make Moving Day Less Stressful


By Relocation.com Staff

Moving day is stressful – not only do you have to coordinate every aspect of the move, you might also be dealing with the emotions of those around you on a very busy day — your spouse, your kids, your movers.

Heck, even YOU might be getting emotional.

So be careful that in the heat of the moment you don’t make some of these more common mistakes:

1. Ignoring Your Inventory

Your moving inventory is proof that items that were packed in your home found their way onto the truck. Make sure that everything that was packed got on the van, and that it’s reflected in the inventory. Work out a system with your mover so you can check this. (Moving companies do this all the time, so they’ll be prepared for the request.)

When you get to your new home, you’ll use the inventory again to ensure that everything gets off the truck and into your new home!

2. Not Doing a Walk-Through of Your House After Loading

It’s easy to leave stuff behind — perhaps it’s those Christmas decorations in the closet, or maybe that painting in the master bedroom. Before signing anything, go through every closet and cupboard to ensure it’s all been loaded. When you sign, your signing over your items to the moving company, and if anything’s been forgotten, you’ll have to arrange to have it shipped to your new home (and it won’t be cheap….)

3. Letting Your Moving Company Move Stuff You Need Access to

Once everything’s on the truck, you won’t be able to get at it until you’re at your new home.  Make sure you set aside these things where the movers won’t accidently load them.

This includes enough clothing, cosmetics, toiletries, prescription drugs, electronics like a cell phone and a charger — and bring a little more than you think you’ll need, just in case the moving company’s late.

4. Having Kids and Pets Around During the Move

Having kids and pets around during the move can be dangerous to them, and to your movers, because the movers will be lifting and moving lots of heavy furniture and boxes. If you can’t have someone watch them for a few hours, make sure they stay in a room that’s out of the movers’ way. In your new home, set up their rooms first and unpack their toys and the TV, so they can occupied while everything gets moved in and unpacked.

5. Letting Movers Move Precious Goods

Anything you can’t bear the prospect of losing you should keep with you in the car on the way to your new home. These include family mementos like pictures, personal documents, financial information and artwork. Also back up the data on your computer (unless you’re carrying it with you) and carry the drive with you.

Should I Build a Custom Home?

If you are thinking of buying a home, the thought of purchasing either something new from a production builder or having a builder custom-build a home just for you may have crossed your mind. This can be a very exciting – and possibly scary – time! Usually buyers have a lot of questions about the process which can vary depending on if you are simply buying a home from a builder in a development or if you prefer to have a builder start from scratch on the land of your choice.

In the Tri-Cities, there are currently over 300 homes listed for sale which indicate they were built in either 2012 or 2013. Many of these homes are already finished, but there are several which are available in various stages of completion with some customization still available. Alternatively, there are over 250 pieces of land available to build a single-family home on ranging from property high on the hillsides of Richland to waterfront property along the rivers, to acres of agricultural land and even land bordering a golf course.

When we are working with a buyer who is thinking of building a custom home, we usually recommend they first think about where they want to live and HOW they want to live. For example, a buyer may be thinking of living in a golf course community because they like the access to recreation, yet they may need a three car garage and shop for their “hobbies” which may not be something that a standard lot in that type of development or homeowners association can allow. Furthermore, think about proximity to work, school, and extracurricular activities to determine an ideal radius to be within. This helps create a list of area “must haves” which is essential for beginning the search.

Then we look at new home developments within this to determine if anything that is already-built meets their needs. If the area is right, but the home or property just need a few tweaks in order to be move-in ready for the buyer, this type of new home may be a good fit.

However, if the buyer has specific wants and needs or there don’t seem to be any developments that are the right fit, then it is time to put on some boots and begin looking for the perfect piece of land. By this point, we should also have a list of home “must-haves” so we can find the right piece of land for your home. In the previous example, that buyer needed not only a garage, but also a shop. Depending on the needs of the buyer, we may also look for areas that allow homes to be above a certain height or allow a basketball court to be built in the backyard. Perhaps having some chickens is on the “must-have” list. Every buyer and list of needs is different.

Budget is also top of mind for us throughout the search and the “dreaming” process while we help our buyers find the right land fit and right builder fit. Helping find the right match and helping people live in an environment completely custom-suited to them is one of our favorite parts of our job!

If you have been wondering what it takes to buy a new home in a development, an almost-done home that requires customization, or a brand new home from scratch on your dream lot, give us a call! We are experts in helping our clients find – or build –  the right home for their needs. We are happy to consult with you to help determine the right direction. You can reach Jennifer at (509) 947-5670 or Jessica at (509) 947-2230.

Innovative Building Material – I.C.F. Construction

Through the years, man has relied on many types of materials to build shelters – brick, wood, mud, straw, and yes – even concrete.

But while one might picture a cold and unwelcoming institutional dwelling when thinking of concrete construction, it might surprise you to know that not only is concrete versatile and when combined with other materials, is very warm and inviting. It is also on the cutting-edge of energy efficiency, and is a building material that is perfect for the weather we have here in the Tri-Cities.

I.C.F. – Insulated Concrete Forms – are a great match for our climate extremes here in the Tri-Cities because, as its name says, they are very insulating. This helps homeowners use less energy to heat their homes during our cold winters. It might surprise you to know that they also do a better job of keeping a home cool in the summer because the thick wall regulates the temperature more evenly.

An additional bonus? Because the walls are more air-tight than their wood-built counterparts, the dust that plagues most stick-built homes (and becomes very bad in the wind here in the Tri-Cities), is significantly less in an I.C.F. home. In fact, a resident of Mediterranean Villas (an I.C.F. community in Pasco) reported having left for six months and returned to a virtually dust-free home!

So how does it work? Basically I.C.F. Construction is a series of lego-type foam blocks that stack on top of each other and lock into place, allowing concrete to be filled in the center. Then stucco or siding can be applied to the outside and drywall applied to the inside, just like a regular house. I.C.F. offer space to run not only plumbing but also electrical conduit.

Not only do homeowners of I.C.F. homes report they are much more comfortable (and outside noise-free!) than a stick-built home, the energy savings are very dramatic. David and Carol Myers who own an I.C.F. home in Mediterranean Villas reported that when they owned a comparable-size traditionally-built home, their energy bills would be up to $175 in the winter. However, since they moved to a Devoted Builders-built I.C.F. home, their highest winter energy bill was $66. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYfIHiQ5egw

You’ll probably be hearing a lot about I.C.F.s in the years to come.  If you’re considering a building project, you may want to consider insulated concrete form construction. For additional information and to learn more about this innovative, energy efficient way of building, please contact Jennifer Cowgill at (509) 947-5670 or Jessica Johnson at (509) 947-2230. You can also watch our videos here to learn more!

HOMEOWNERS: The New Carbon Monoxide Detector Law pertains to you!

The State of Washington recently revised RCW 19.27.530 which requires that all single family residences, condominiums, apartments, hotels and motels have working carbon monoxide detectors installed. Single family homes that were occupied before July 26, 2009 are exempt until the home is sold, at which point the seller must install a detector. This new revision requires strict regulation of carbon monoxide detectors in homes, condominiums, apartments, hotels and motels and allows for enforcement to make sure these regulations are being followed.

Carbon monoxide detectors are similar to smoke detectors in their operation. They are designed to save lives by sensing dangerous carbon monoxide levels and sounding an alarm to evacuate when these become too high and unsafe.

Under the past law, new residences must have carbon monoxide alarms installed upon completion. However, this new law applies to any home that is sold.

Why is there such a concern over carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide is a very dangerous poisonous gas which cannot be seen or smelled. It is so dangerous it can kill a person or an animal in a very short period of time.  Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to fatal levels in either enclosed areas, semi-enclosed areas or non-ventilated areas.

It naturally occurs when fuel is burned. Cars, trucks, small gasoline power equipment like trimmers, chain saws, boat engines, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, gas ranges, ovens, and furnaces produce carbon monoxide. It is also produced from tobacco smoke.

If you are thinking about selling your property this spring, you need to learn your options now and be prepared to have a detector installed.

And buyers listen up! If you are purchasing a bank-owned property, the property is not exempted from this law. Make sure that the home you are purchasing comes with a carbon monoxide detector.

We are advising our clients to make sure they have their carbon monoxide detector installed by a professional. This is essential for both safety and liability reasons.

If you have any questions about this new law as it might pertain to your personal situation please feel free to give us a call. You can reach Jennifer at (509) 947-5670 or Jessica at (509) 947-2230. We would happy to discuss your options with you.