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Feb 23
couple choosing home

California Home Builders Can Help When You and Your Spouse Have Different Tastes

Shopping for a new home can bring a spark into a marriage, while renovating an older one often causes marital friction. Although it’s fun to visit new model homes and talk to different California home builders about your dreams, what do you do when your spouse doesn’t have the same tastes in homes? According to an article by the Boston Globe, buying a home together is often like walking in a mine field for some couples. Buying a new construction home rather than a resale home can actually eliminate much of the stress involved. With a new construction home, you don’t have to worry about whether the seller is hiding a home with mold. Also, being able to customize a home can often solve the problem of opposite design tastes as long as there is some willingness to compromise.

Making it a smooth move

Experts point out that moving is one of life’s most stressful events. To reduce the stress of relocating, approach it as an adventure with your spouse. Go together as a team to visit new home communities such as hip, urban infill projects. Sit down with California home builders to find out the time line you can expect from the time you put down earnest money until closing.

Negotiating with your spouse

When buying a resale home, most people negotiate with the seller to get the best deal. When you set out to buy a new construction home in California, you negotiate with your spouse or other family members who will live in the home. It’s a good idea for you and your spouse to compile a must-have list. Decide the order of importance for every item on your list including number of bedrooms, size of the home and number of bathrooms. Do you want a rooftop deck or balcony? How important is a view? Decide what items are negotiable and what are non-negotiable.

Consulting with your builder

Before making assumptions about what’s available, consult with sales representatives for your builder and others who have insider knowledge of new homes. Before arguing with a spouse about the cost of putting in granite countertops or Shaker-style cabinetry, find out if those upgrades are already included in the kitchen. If your spouse objects to a home that’s not “green,” let a reputable builder explain the use of energy-saving radiant barrier roof sheathing, Low-E glass windows, energy efficient appliances and other perks.

Designating the man cave

Many men often joke about having a man cave in a new home, but everyone in the family deserves privacy and some personal space. Consider floor plans that will give you privacy as well as space for entertaining and family time. Some people eliminate arguments by decorating in an eclectic style. You can leave the decorating of different floors to different people in the home. If in doubt, use a transitional style which incorporates traditional and contemporary.

Thinking about the future

Many couples like living in multi-story homes because of their flexibility. If you plan to have a baby, consider an extra bedroom rather than a loft on the floor where you have your master suite.

Trumark Homes is a home builder with progressive urban infill projects in Northern and Southern California. With our SL70 community in Silver Lake, California, we build modern spaces with rooftop access and a great location to walk to all of what’s happening. In Northern California, we have new neighborhoods in Milpitas and Newark to explore in the best locations near transit, schools and everyday conveniences. For more information on homes that will please everyone in your family, please contact us.

Feb 16
rent or buy home

Is It Time to Stop Renting and Buy That First Home?

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, chances are you’re renting now.  And you might be wondering whether you’re better off buying a home or continuing to rent.

The truth is that there are advantages and downsides to both buying and renting, depending on your circumstances.  For example, renting might be better if you have a fast track career and have to move every couple of years.  On the other hand, your landlord can raise your rent every year when your lease is up.  Buying has the advantage of building equity and improving your credit score, but it also means paying taxes and homeowner’s insurance, and of course you’re responsible for maintenance.

To help decide if this is a good time to buy your first home, ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Will you be living there for at least 5 years?  There are costs that come with your home purchase, including a down payment and closing costs.  And it usually takes time to recover those costs because you don’t build much equity in the first few years of your mortgage.  If you’re able to remain in your new home for 5 years or more, buying is a good option.
  2. How much will you have to pay upfront?  There are upfront costs that come with both buying and renting.  If you rent, you’ll typically need to come up with first and last month’s rent and a security deposit.  If you buy, you’ll need to make a down payment, usually 20% of the purchase value, and you’ll have to pay closing costs, which typically run from 2 – 4% of the home’s value.  Before you make your decision, calculate all of your upfront costs to see which option is more affordable for you.
  3. Is your credit strong enough to secure an affordable mortgage?  There are many options for financing a new home, including some offered by the government to help first time home buyers.  In general however, you should have a solid credit score (figure at least 620) to qualify for a mortgage and get a good interest rate on your loan.  And lenders will probably also want to check factors like your debt-to-income ratio and salary before approving you for a loan.  Before you decide to buy, find out what your credit score is and what mortgage options you have.
  4. What are your personal preferences?  First-time home buyers are sometimes overjoyed at the prospect of ownership, right up until the time the roof starts to leak or the plumbing goes bad.  Home ownership carries new responsibilities that aren’t for everyone.  Before you decide to buy, decide whether you’re willing to make the commitment to stay in your home and maintain it properly.

Buying a first home can be one of the most joyous events in your life.  But it can also be one of the worst if you don’t do your homework and think about every aspect of ownership.  Your best bet is to work with an experienced real estate agent who can walk you through the process and help you make this important decision.

To help sort out your options and decide if it’s time to buy your first home, contact us today.

Feb 09
Moving into home

How to Move Smoothly Into Your New Home

Moving to that new home you just bought from Trumark Homes can be an exciting but tiring experience. It can also be highly stressful if you just rush right into it. Slow down, especially if you have a family in tow, and make the transition as smooth as possible by using the following tips.

Start with a plan. When you’re still packing at your old house, label each box with its contents and the name of the room it goes into. Attach a room label to every piece of furniture as well. When you get to your new home but before the movers arrive, label each room with a letter-sized sheet of paper or bigger. When the movers finally arrive, they will know exactly where to take each item that they unload.

Make sure the utilities at your new home come no later than the day you arrive. You’ll need to contact the service providers such as the electrical, water, and cable companies. Don’t forget to have the utilities turned off at your old place after the day you leave. Inform the Postal Service at your old place where to forward mail.

Unpack in this order at your new home. Start with the bathrooms and then unpack the children’s rooms so your kids have a place to be that’s out of the way of the movers and adults. Set up your own bedroom, including makeup and clothes, so you have a safe space to retreat to when the rest of the house is still disorganized. Finally, work on the kitchen, which can take a while to unpack because of the number of things it contains. Just remember you can eat at restaurants or fast food outlets before your kitchen is set up.

Maintenance Tools

You can still call professionals for large repairs, such as if your garbage disposal breaks down or all the power in a room shuts down. But you can fix minor problems if you have some basic tools. A hammer, saw, and a carpenter’s level can handle repairs involving wood, while electrical work typically involves pliers, screwdrivers with different types and sizes of blades, and a wire stripper. For plumbing, buy a wrench. You can organize your tools in a small chest with a carrying handle.

Gardening Equipment

If you have been living in an apartment or a rental home, your landscaping was taken care of by the management company. But unless you’re purchasing a townhome, home ownership comes with outdoor chores. If you have any kind of a grassy area, you’re going to need a lawnmower. A small yard can make do with an electric version while larger expanses need a gas-powered version. Even if your backyard is hardscaped, you need pruning shears and garden shovels to take care of container plants. Unless you have a sprinkler or drip system, your plants need water from a garden house or watering can. If you have a tree that drops its leaves seasonally, get a rake and outdoor broom to clean up.

If you need more tips on what you need to do to prepare for moving into a new house, or need help in buying one to begin with, please contact us.



Feb 02
4 tips for home buyers

4 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

When buying your first home, the whole process can seem stressful and scary. However, it doesn’t have to be, so long as you undestand these four tips for first time home buyers:

  1. Are You Ready?: Before you purchase your first home, you need to seriously ask yourself if you are ready for the responsibility. Remember that owning a home is expensive. It’s not just the cost of the home itself. You also have to consider the cost of homeowners insurance, extra utilities such as trash and water, taxes, and repairs. So, before the purchase a home, getting out of debt is a good idea, as well as setting up an emergency fund.
  2. Shop for a Loan: Once you determine that you are ready to buy a home, you will want to be sure that you begin shopping for a loan. Before you buy a home, you need to be pre-approved for a loan. You can use the help of a mortgage broker to get you rates from different companies. By finding the best rates, you will be able to look for homes that you know are within your price range.
  3. Pay Closing Costs Out of Pocket: Paying closing costs out of pocket is something that you will want to do because it can end up saving you a great deal of money in the long run as a homeowner. So if you are unable to save up for closing costs, the you should wait a while before you consider purchasing a home.
  4. Don’t Stretch Yourself: Yes, you may want the home that has the extra bedroom for a study, but if you cannot afford it, then you cannot afford it. It is much better to work within your budget rather than stretch yourself because then there is a chance that you could lose the house and that’s not worth putting yourself in such a stressful situation.

For more information about purchasing your new home, please contact us.