Outside Living!

Screened Porch

 

 

Feeling inspired by warm weather to make the most of your outdoor space?  We’re feeling inspired too!  Here are some ideas to help you create the backyard get-away you’ve always wanted.

Screened Porch  A great space to entertain friends and family where you won’t have to battle uninvited flying guests, is a screened porch.  It’s also wonderful because you don’t need to bring the party inside if the weather gets rainy.  You can enjoy the outdoors in almost any season from the protection of your covered screened in porch!  Add a ceiling fan, lights, and furniture – you’ve got your own oasis to enjoy with other or for quiet relaxation.

Start Planting  If you have summer-blooming shrubs, trees or flowers, it’s time to grab your gardening gloves and start pruning.  Clearing away any dead areas will help prevent disease and allow new growth and blossoms.  If you want to spruce up your back yard, flowering annuals are a beautiful way to do it.  A trip to your local home improvement store or nursery will provide you with plants, soil, and everything you need to get started!

Home Garden  A home garden is beautiful and healthy.  You can grow tomatoes, and herbs in pots on your deck or patio without undertaking an entire garden plot.  Or, you can create easy raised garden beds with the help of your local home improvement store.  Take a look at this handy calendar for a list of what to plant when for a summer garden.

No matter what your vision is for your perfect backyard get-away, we can help you create it with our deck, and porch options for your new Lockridge home.

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.

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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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Have A Safe Holiday Season

Happy-Holidays-blog-picThe Holiday Season is here and we know how much fun decorating can be this time of year.  Be as creative and inspired as possible, but also be safe.  The American Red Cross suggests the following tips on how to keep you, your family and your home, safe during the Holidays.

Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.  Folks bump into things, stuff tips over and decorations are often made of flammable material!  Keep lit candles where accidents are less likely to happen – or try LED candles this year!

While you’re cooking, check food regularly.  Make sure your Holiday feast doesn’t become a kitchen fire by keeping an eye on the food you’re preparing and don’t leave home with things on the stove, in the oven or on the grill. The kitchen is where everyone likes to hang out during the holidays – turn cooking into a festive event.

Christmas Trees  Choose a flame-retardant artificial tree, or if you have a live Christmas tree, make sure you water it every day.  Also remember to keep your Christmas tree at least 3 feet from any heat source (like your fireplace) and make sure it isn’t blocking an exit-way from your home.

Smoke Detectors  Now is definitely the time to check all the smoke detectors in your home and replace any batteries if needed.  Please don’t leave a portable heater or fireplace unattended.

Check your lights.  When you unwind your strands of lights this year check for worn or broken cords, and loose bulb connections.  Rule of thumb: don’t connect more than 3 strands of mini-light sets.

We want you and your family to have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season!  For more safety tips, visit the American Red Cross website.  

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.

Cold Temps Are Here

Polar VortexRemember the Polar Vortex that affected most of the country earlier this year?  Well cold temperatures are headed our way again, and we’ve got some tips to get your home ready for winter!

  • Gutters:  clean those gutters!  When you remove leaves and other debris you can prevent clogged downspout lines  and help stop formation of ice dams.
  • HVAC Check-Up:  a licensed heating contractor can come do a complete system check-up to make sure your heating system is working safely and efficiently.  Change the interior air filters and make sure all the vents are clean and free from blockage.
  • Drafts:  check your windows and doors for any cold drafty spaces.  If you find gaps, apply caulking to fill them in, and replace the sweep at the bottom of any exterior door if it’s worn.
  • Fireplace:  if you have a wood-burning fireplace it’s important to have the flue checked each winter by a professional.  You can remove logs and ash from the firebox, but remember to dispose of them safely to prevent a fire hazard.
  • Ceiling Fans:  reverse your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise, this will create an updraft that pushes warm air down and help make your rooms warmer.
  • Exterior Faucets:  drain and shut off any exterior faucets and disconnect your garden hoses.  You don’t want these to freeze!  If you have a sprinkler system, contact a professional to drain the lines of water.
  • Smoke & CO2 Detectors:  replace the batteries in all your smoke and CO2 detectors!  Even if your detectors are electrically hard-wired in your home, they probably have battery back-up.  Keep you and your family safe this winter!

We hope these hints help keep you a little warmer and safer this 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 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.

Financing Simplified

 

Financing

We’ve heard that home is where the heart is, and Lockridge agrees!  You’re going to fall in love with a new home that is built on your land, the way you want it.

At Lockridge Homes we make building a new home affordable, with floor plans and options that fit almost any budget.  For many people the idea of financing the construction of their new home can be a little overwhelming.

Questions we hear:

How does a construction loan work?

How does land financing work?

Can I use VA or FHA financing?

Do I make payments while my home is under construction?

Will I qualify for a construction loan?

The truth is, the answer to these and other financing questions will vary based on your specific situation.  Just like the Lockridge home you picked out is just right for you, the same will be true for your financing.

Lockridge thinks building a new home should be affordable, simple and fun.  That’s why we’ve partnered with several lenders who specialize in on-your-own-lot new home construction and they offer financing solutions that can work for you, including:

Construction loans that convert to your permanent loan once your home is completed.

FHA, VA and other loan programs.

Dedicated mortgage loan specialists who can walk you through each step of the process.

Get started by going to the My Budget section of your Lockridge Account!

Want to know more, or have questions about building a new Lockridge home?  You can Ask Helen our online liaison, contact your local Model Home or like us on Facebook

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.