Your Own Farm To Table Experience

Organic-Blog-Pic

The farm-to-table movement is growing, and you don’t have to drive to a farmers market to get fresh, organic produce!  Gardening is easier than you think and there are plenty of ways to get started with a small-scale garden.  If you don’t have time or space for a big garden, you can grow organic produce in containers, raised beds or in your windows!

Raised Beds

Unlike tilling up soil in a large patch of land, raised beds rely on soil that you bring in, which increases plant health and decreases tasks like weeding.  Creating a raised bed that is 4 by 4 feet is a good choice because you won’t have to step into it, to reach every plant.  Choose the place where the bed will go and fill it a third full with soil, add a layer of compost and organic fertilizer, and then fill the bed up to the lip with more soil.  Start planting!

Containers

Choose pots for your container garden based on plant requirements.  For example, blueberries do well in large pots.  If you grow root vegetables or leafy greens, the combinations that can grow together in containers are basically endless.  Plant one pot that contains several different herbs, and another pot with an assortment of greens.  If you want to try dwarf fruit trees, they require lots of sunlight and water.  Their pots will need to be larger, but you can easily create a decorative assortment of pots without digging up your yard!

Windowsill Garden

Herbs grow well indoors.  Herbs like chives, parsley and mint are good examples that will grow in pots on or near a window.  They just need sunlight and a well-drained soil mix.  Avoid over watering because herbs don’t like soggy soil!

No matter what your vision is for your home garden, you’ve got lots of options.  Have a wonderful summer full of fresh, healthy, home-grown meals!

Lockridge is a group on-your-own-land new home builders in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website, Facebook Page or email us.

Tax Benefits To Building Your New Home

Tax Return

 

If you’re on the fence trying to decide whether or not to get started building your new Lockridge home, consider this amazing tax deduction article written by Ashley Steel from NewHome Source!  She is a staff writer/editor for NewHome Source, a website where you can search for and get information on new homes. You can find her on Google+

“One of the great benefits of homeownership is the tax deductions that come with it. But what, if anything, distinguishes a newly built home from a resale home when it comes time to file your taxes?

While both forms of homeownership offer great benefits, there are some additional types of tax benefits of owning a newly built home that shoppers can attain. Let’s take a closer look:

Construction Loan

Some newly built homebuyers take out what is known as a construction loan, or, a loan that originates to cover the costs associated with the construction of a home, that later converts into a buyer’s permanent home mortgage when construction is complete.

With these types of loans, “you can deduct the interest you pay during the first 24 months of the loan,” says Jayson Mullins, CEO at Top Tax Defenders, a tax resolution firm in Houston, Texas.

It’s important to note however, that this type of deduction doesn’t apply in all circumstances. For instance, the home in question must be your primary or secondary residence to qualify. “Furthermore, the deduction applies only to the first $1 million in total loan proceeds, including interest,” says Mullins. “This limit is reduced to $500,000 if you are married and filing separately.”

Mortgage Deductions

While not unique to newly built homes, mortgage deductions are a significant part of helping you get a return on your taxes. Mortgage deductions occur across the following categories:

Mortgage Interest

The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct both their mortgage interest up to $1 million ($500,000, if married and filing separately).

Mortgage Points

A mortgage point is prepaid interest equal to 1 percent of the value of a mortgage. Mortgage points can only be purchased at the time of loan origination.

These points are tax deductible in the year they are paid, but only if they meet the following home mortgage points criteria from the IRS.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums

For tax purposes, qualified mortgage insurance premiums are considered mortgage interest and, therefore, deducted within the $1 million limit.

Energy Efficiency

“An energy credit is available called the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit,” says Mullins. Certain energy saving features — or improvements in the case of a resale home — allow homeowners to save as much as 30 percent of the cost of installation.

“Taxpayers should know that not all high-efficiency products qualify as a tax credit,” says Mullins. Products only qualify if they come with a manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement, usually found in the product packaging or on the manufacturer’s website.

The advantage when it comes to newly built homes is that they already come outfitted with the latest in green technology, which gives you a greater chance of earning the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit without having to do much.

Property Taxes

The IRS allows taxpayer to deduct their property taxes as well. Depending on the state, resale homes typically have lower property taxes, says Mullins.

However, newly built homeowners can deduct property taxes they incur while their new home is being built. “The taxes are based on the property assessed value,” say Mullins. “In order for taxpayers to qualify for this deduction, it has to be paid within the same tax year.”

While most types of tax benefits apply to both new and resale homes, there is a higher likelihood of securing these benefits in a newly built home. Construction loans and property taxes allow homebuyers to reap the benefits of tax returns before even moving in, while the increased energy efficiency of new homes is likely to yield credit as well.”

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Walk-Throughs & Punch Lists

Final Walk Through Picture

Construction is finished and it’s time for your final walk-through (also called your New Home Orientation).

The walk-through is really important for you as the proud owner of a new Lockridge home and includes inspections & demonstrations of all the things that keep your home running smoothly. Your construction supervisor will show you how to operate the heating and air conditioning unit, thermostat, appliances, electrical circuit breakers, plumbing shut-off valves, lights, and other equipment. You’ll also review owner’s maintenance responsibilities and warranties. The walk-through is another opportunity for you and your construction manager to confirm that the home has been completed with all your selections installed as requested.

You and your construction manager will inspect surfaces like floors, walls, window glass, mirrors, appliances and counter tops to make sure there are no chips, scratches or other noticeable damage. It’s a good idea to pay close attention during this inspection, and any items that need attention must be noted in writing on a checklist, called a punch list.

After closing there’s no way to tell if any cosmetic damage was caused during the construction process or it was the result of damage done during your moving-in process!

Paint touch-ups are probably the most frequently noted items on a walk-through. You will also check hardwood flooring, drywall, cabinets, bathtubs, showers, tile work and so on. Walk around the outside of the house as well, looking at the siding, brickwork and foundation crevices.

You will receive documents including a list of trade partners (such as heating and plumbing) who may warranty their own work and materials. You will also receive the manufacturers’ literature for the furnace, water heater, appliances and other products.

Your construction manager’s goal is to complete all items noted on the Punch List during the time before you move in. If there are any outstanding items when your closing date arrives, your construction manager will coordinate completion of the work in the same way a warranty request would be handled, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Take your time during the walk-through and point out any issue you see.  It’s better to fix a small thing right away, before it becomes a bigger problem. Also remember to initial and sign your punch list form.

Tips for your walk-through:

  • Make a list in advance of any questions you have about maintenance and warranty procedures
  • Bring your purchase agreement, and selection sheets
  • Wear clothing that is appropriate for walking a construction site, including closed-toe shoes.
  • Verify the expected dates for completion of repairs, if any are needed, and get a copy of the punch list
  • Don’t be late builders have busy schedules and may have appointments with other customers on the same day.
  • Don’t bring pets, children or friends. You’ll need to focus your attention on what is being presented.
  • Don’t rush through the walk-through & ask a lot of questions.

Lockridge is a group on-your-own-land new home builders in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website, Facebook Page or email us. 

9th Highest Builder!

New home construction framing

Congratulations CVA Builders! Our Lockridge builder in Virginia was listed 9th highest builder in the Greater Richmond Virginia Area by Richmond BizSense.

It was an up-and-down year for home builders in 2014 and according to a recent semi-annual report by the HBAR, the Richmond area remains “far from an optimal market” noting new home construction in 2014 totaled 45 percent of the number of homes built during the pre-boom market.

This is attributed to a number of factors including high costs of building materials, increased regulations and uncertain economic conditions, according to the report.  Though expectations for 2015 are bright! #RVA

Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website, Facebook Page or email us. 

Meet Our Charleston South Carolina Team

Tex and Nancy

 Meet the newest member of our Charleston, SC team, Nancy Curtis pictured here with another member of the team – her husband Tex!  Get to know this dynamic duo in this charming interview, and stop by the model to meet them in person! They’ve got deep roots in the Charleston area and can help your build your new Lockridge home! #Charleston

  • What’s the best part of working together?  Before coming on board with Lockridge, Tex and I have had the awesome privilege of working together for the past 30 years!   I wouldn’t trade the memories of those days for anything.  We have a wonderful working relationship at the office, and at home.  The best part of working together is knowing that we share a commitment to the same goals of success in life, our family, and business.  We love working together here at Lockridge!   I also love our drive together in the mornings sipping on a cup of coffee, driving through historical Summerville planning out our day together.
  • What’s your favorite thing about living in Charleston? Charleston, South Carolina.  Charleston, in our opinion, is one of the most beautiful, most romantic, and most charming of all historical Southern Cities.  In as little as 45 minutes from our front door we can be on the beach basking in the sun, or in an hour we can be at one of our beautiful lakes that adorn our states interiors.  Within a couple of hours we can be in the midst of some to the most beautiful mountains in the Eastern part of the United States.  If ever there was a perfect place to live, it would have to be Charleston, SC.  We are, as you may know, the number 2 wedding destination, and according to AAA the most sought after vacation destination in the Country.  We love it here!
  • What is your #1 hobby – one each please! That’s an easy answer for Nancy – she says without a second thought…….Grandbabies!!  Our youngest daughter just had a baby girl, which now brings the total grand-baby count to 5.  If you ever want to find Nancy, and she is not at the office…….you got it….she’s with the grand-babies. Tex has have been a musician since his early teen years playing the drums. Now some 50 years later, he continues to play almost every weekend around the Charleston area with his band the Strumdogs.  Musicians never grow old, they just season with age!
  • What is your favorite Lockridge floor plan?  While there are many of the Lockridge plans that we love, we both agree that certainly one of our favorites has got to be the Hatteras.  Since we make our home on the Carolina Coastline, the Hatteras fits in perfectly with its beautiful 30’ up and down porches, perfect for an afternoon cocktail as you gaze over one of our gorgeous tidal marsh views, or enjoying the serenity of ocean waves as they break on the beach.  With the extensive Lockridge portfolio of home designs, we’ll help you find a home that fits your personal needs and tastes!

Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website, Facebook Page or email us. 

New Location In Greenville South Carolina

Greenville SC 1

Greenville, South Carolina has been voted one of America’s Ten Best downtowns by Forbes Magazine and in the top 5 Most Fun and Affordable Cities by Bloomberg Business Week! This area’s natural beauty that begins with Falls Park and continues to the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s plenty of outdoor adventure for the whole family. It’s also one of the fastest growing areas and we are so excited about our new location in Greenville!   Come visit us at 3531 Pelham Rd, Suite 101 Greenville, SC 29615 or call 864-881-1568.  We’re ready to build your new dream home!

Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website, Facebook Page or email us.

Winter Wonderland

Snow Storm 2015

Winter can be a magical time of year, full of warm memories around the fireplace, great food, and family gatherings. But with all the recent snow and ice we’re passing along some tips to keep your home safe, and give you peace of mind during the low temperatures and storms!

  1. Clear your gutters of leaves and debris, so water doesn’t back up and freeze inside the gutters.
  2.  Make sure your downspouts are directed away from the house.   When the snow begins to melt on your roof and in your gutters, the water will drain away from your home.
  3. Seal any cracks or holes in your outside walls and your homes’ foundation.
  4. Keep your attic cool!  When you maintain the temperature of your attic at 5-10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature, you can help protect your roof from ice-dam damage.  This damage occurs when the heat from your home causes snow to melt at the middle of your roof, and then it refreeze at its edges.
  5.  During extreme cold temperatures, protect your pipes!  Wrap exposed pipes in insulation, and keep water trickling through them regularly.  Moving water is much less likely to freeze.  You can also leave your kitchen cabinet or bathroom vanity doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  6. Protect your home from flooding.  If snow is building up around your home, remove the snow from doorways, window wells, and walls.  When the built up snow melts, it can cause water damage to your home.

We want you and your home to be safe and warm for the rest of the winter.

Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website, Facebook Page or email us.

In Gratitude To All Who Serve

Veterans-Day-FB

 

To all those who served our Country in times of conflict and peace, to all our military members who are serving, protecting and working to make the world a better and safer place, thank you.

We remember and honor veterans from past generations, a new generation of veterans back from war, and all those who are still serving at home and abroad this Veterans Day.

A grateful nation, and all of us at Lockridge thank you for your sacrifice and bravery.

 

Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website or email us.

Have A Safe Sparkly Halloween

Glitter Pumpkins

Get creative when you decorate your house this Halloween!  You don’t need master carving skills to create beautifully spooky (or just beautiful) pumpkins this year.  With these tips, you also won’t need to worry about lighting candles inside your decorations.

Plain school glue and some black glitter are all you need to give pumpkins a new and chic Halloween look.  Pick an easy pattern, try a monogram or create the spookiest spider web.

First clean and dry your pumpkin.  Choose a Halloween-themed design or graphic and scale it to fit on your pumpkin.  Print the design on standard printer paper.  Cut excess paper around the image to make it more manageable and tape it to your pumpkin where you want the design to go.  Gently trace the outline of the design with a sharp pencil or pen to make an outline on the skin of your pumpkin.  Check under the paper that’s taped to your pumpkin to make sure the outline tracing is successful.

Simple graphics like the silhouette of a cat, spider or monogram initial is best for this project.

Remove the paper and look at the outline – if you’re satisfied – apply glue inside the outline of your graphic.  Example  –  if you traced the outline of a spider – put glue inside the traced lines to fill in the spider.

Use a spoon to sprinkle black (or other colored) glitter over the wet glue.  Tip the pumpkin to get excess glitter off.  Reapply the glitter until the entire glued area is coated.

Wait until it’s dry – and you’ve got a sparkly and safe Halloween decoration!

.Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website or email us.

 

Your Perfect Spot

TN Fair

 

You don’t have to choose between the perfect neighborhood and your perfect home.  Lockridge Homes can help you get the perfect fit.  If you don’t already own property, it starts with finding a lot and buying land.

Looking For Land

Find properties in the area where you’re most interested in living, then get as much information on each property as possible.  That means using resources, or a Realtor, to find which properties are available and if there are zoning requirements, deed restrictions or other issues that might affect purchasing the land.

If this is your first time buying land our Representatives can help point you in the right direction.  Lockridge may also have lots available where you want to live. Other resources include:

  • Online Real Estate Sites –  www.realtor.com   www.zillow.com   let you search for land only, by price, size and location.
  • Plat Directories – Check your local Chamber of Commerce or county auditor’s website for community plat directories.
  • County Courthouse – they can answer land ownership questions, tell you who owns each parcel of land and let you know about local laws.
  • Visit the Community – if you want to live in a planned community instead of a more private property go to a community event or visit a dog park in the neighborhood you like.  The homeowners are a great resource and will tell you what they like and don’t like about living there.

Pick Your Location

Choosing your right location is a process. Maybe you already know you want conveniences close by and space for your kids to play, but there are other factors you may want to consider.

  • Prioritize – Do you dream of have a gas station, grocery store and restaurants close by? You might not get all of them within a few minutes’ drive, so look at your preferences and prioritize them. If proximity to the grocery store is your number-one priority, start your search around that. When you write down your “must haves” you can narrow your search.
  • Your Children – School districts are also a top priority when you have children. Land located in a good school district may be more expensive, but it will raise and retain the value of your new home. Visit greatschools.org to find out how local schools are rated. Their ratings are based on test scores and not the students’ experience at the school, so be sure to read the parent and student reviews on the website too.

The Nitty-Gritty

When you’ve found the property you love, here are some tips that will help you with the purchase and site work costs.

  • Property must be surveyed by a registered surveyor, and a plat on file with your County.
  • Contact your County office for septic or public utility information.
  • Make sure there aren’t any deed restrictions or liens on the property
  • Find out if the property is in a flood zone

Lockridge wants to build you the home of your dreams, in your perfect spot.  In some of our areas Lockridge can build on your land or ours.  Ask a local Lockridge Representative for more information or Ask Helen our online representative.

.Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more.  For more information visit our website or email us.