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What To Consider For House Hunting Success

The prospect of finding a new home is exciting, but the house hunting task should be approached with some degree of preparation.  Before you begin the search for the perfect property, take the time to define what it is you want in a home.  Here are some suggestions that will help to give your vision a little clarity, and ensure you use your time efficiently, only considering properties that are really a good fit for your needs.

Location Matters

One of the first points to address is what part of town you would like to call home.  Think about which neighborhoods would provide the range of features that you like.  Maybe that means being close to your favorite restaurants and shopping.  Or, would it be nice to live close enough to work that you can avoid the nightmare of rush hour traffic?  Perhaps you want the new home to be located within a certain school district or even close enough to the school so that your children can walk with ease.

Size and Layout

Choice PlansBefore you start house hunting, consider your family’s needs in terms of square footage for common areas like the living room, den, kitchen, and dining room.  These areas of your new home will likely be the main gathering places for the family, therefore it makes sense to ensure they are large enough for everyone and your furniture.

The general layout also matters. Perhaps you prefer an open floor plan with fewer walls making rooms feel larger. Consider how many bedrooms it would take for every family member to be comfortable. Do you need a guest room or in-law suite? Or maybe a loft? With Beazer’s Choice Plans you can personalize the kitchen, master-bath, and secondary areas based on how you want to live in them, for free!

Also think about the number of levels that will be best for you in the present and the future. If you’re an empty-nester looking to retire and live the rest of your life in your new dream home, you may want a house that is all one level. If it’s important for you that the living spaces be on the first floor, and the bedrooms on the second, make note of that for your home hunting checklist.

Nashville Back Porch

Outdoor Living

Not all of your concerns focus on what is happening inside the home.  Take the time to consider what you would like in terms of the yard.  Perhaps you like the idea of a smaller front yard that is mainly ornamental, and easy to keep up.  At the same time, you may want a larger back yard that has plenty of room for your kids and pets to play. If outdoor living is something that is important to you, be sure you’re hunting for houses that include a porch or a deck. Some homes even offer outdoor fireplaces or kitchens.

A new home is a major investment.  Take your time house hunting and decide exactly what you want in terms of location, size, and layout.  With some patience and planning, your next home can be your dream home! Read reviews by Beazer homeowners who did just that. Then, start the house hunting process on our website.

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We Want To Know Pinehurst Contest – Beazer Homes New Jersey

It’s a new year, and that means new homes for Beazer. We want to know which Pinehurst home exterior you like best in our Glouchester County, New Jersey Reserve at Woolwich community. Tell us on this Facebook post and you’ll be entered to win.

Reserve at Woolwich Beazer Homes

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Contest is for Facebook comments made on this New Jersey New Year post between 1/20/15 and 1/27/15.  Limit one entry per household.  Prize consists of one $25 Visa gift card randomly selected.  Winnings cannot be redeemed for cash.  Beazer Homes reserves the right to substitute item of comparable value.  Additional restrictions may apply.  See a New Home Counselor for complete details. Prizes must be claimed at the Reserve at Woolwich no later than 2/28/2015. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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Cleaning and Caring For Your Kitchen

As home design modernizes and stainless appliances and granite counter tops gain popularity, it’s important to understand how to properly care for these kitchen upgrades as they take a little more tender loving care then your standard kitchen appliances and counters.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Surfaces

Stainless steel can begin to look unsightly with streaks and finger prints if not cleaned.  Bringing them back to life, however, is a little trickier than you may think. These simple steps will keep these shiny, silver appliances looking new:

1)    You will need the following supplies on hand:
•    Liquid dish detergent
•    Several microfiber cloths
•    Mineral oil or baby oil

2)     Just like a piece of lumber, stainless steel has a grain in it. Find the grain and with cleaning solution applied to a microfiber cloth begin rubbing the surface of the stainless steel in the direction of the grain allowing for the cleaning solution to soak into the grain and remove dirty deposits.

3)    Once you have thoroughly cleaned the surfaces of your stainless steel the next step is to apply a thin coat of oil. Mineral oil or baby oil works fine. Don’t be tempted to buy expensive, commercial cans of stainless steel cleaners. Again, find the grain of the surface and using a microfiber cloth, begin rubbing in the oil along the grain. Once completed you should have a clean factory finish.

Caring for Granite Surfaces

While granite is one of the densest and hardest of stone surfaces, great care still needs to be taken to ensure that it lasts for years to come. Because granite is a stone, it is still somewhat porous and not impervious to staining and absorption. Keep this in mind before you start the cleaning process. First, test the surface with a drop of water. If liquid does not bead up, your granite may need to be sealed to keep it from absorbing liquid cleaners. This should be done once per year. Here are some tips on protecting your granite surface:

•    Don’t use acidic, citrus-based cleaners, vinegar, or ammonia
•    Avoid scouring compounds as they will scratch the surface
•    Use trivets when sitting hot pots and pans down to avoid surface discoloration
•    Use a mixture of baking soda and a small amount of water to try and lift mild stains

To avoid having to do an extensive cleaning on your granite services, the best way to keep your counters clean regularly is to wipe them down with mild dish detergent and water using a soft microfiber cloth. And, whenever you have a spill, clean it up quickly. Trying to use a variety of cleaning products overtime may cause more harm than good.

One of the many exciting steps in your home building process with Beazer Homes is your appointment with the design team. This is where you will have the opportunity to select the type of appliances, counter surfaces, fixtures, and more that will be incorporated into your brand new home. For more information on Beazer’s five simple steps that will lead you to your dream home please visit our website.

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The Many Possibilities For Your Home’s Loft Space

A blank loft space adds a variety of extra room possibilities in your new home. Don’t let the valuable living space that a loft provides go to waste without having a designated purpose. With a bit of brainstorming and some revamping, you can have a space ready for you and your family to use, enjoy, and create memories in. Here are just a few of the many possibilities for transforming your loft into the perfect living space:

•    An adult game room is the perfect place for gathering with family and friends. You can make your loft space a grown up play area. Bring in a pool table and add a large screen television with the latest video gaming equipment. A dartboard is an easy addition, and can be played with fewer participants, allowing you to have fun in your loft even when you don’t have visitors. Consider adding a small bar for convenience to refreshments.

•    If you have younger children, a playroom is a good place to organize all their toys in one location. You can make your loft colorful and educational. As the kids grow, so can your space. Over the years transform your loft into a study or lounge area for your kids to utilize.

•    A teen lounge is great if you have teens or pre-teens in the house.  Your homes loft space becomes theirs to gather with friends, perfect for sleepovers, hanging out on the weekends, and to use as a study on weekdays.

•    If you love being creative, transforming your loft into a craft room is a great choice. With some well-designed shelving and plenty of table space, you will have all the room you need to spread out and conquer those do-it-yourself projects you’ve always wanted to complete.

•    Guys like to have their own space to kick back with friends. Making a man cave out of your new homes loft space is a great solution. That room becomes his to do with what he pleases. It gives the man of the house a place to call all-his-own, watch sports, play cards with his buddies, and more.

•    If you work from home or need an extra space for working on various projects turn your loft into a home office. Add a desk, some filing cabinets, a computer, and office supplies to turn your new homes loft into a dedicated space for working, paying bills, writing your dream novel, or playing PC games.

•    A home theater can make that empty loft space into a place for family, friends, and the greatest movies ever made. Add some comfortable theater seating, a refreshment bar, a popcorn machine, and a state-of-the-art sound system to enjoy a good flick at home any day of the week.

•    A loft is the perfect space for the home gym you’ve always wanted. Set-up a weight bench in one corner, and an elliptical machine in the other. Add a television or stereo system for entertainment and start shedding those pounds.

With these endless possibilities in mind, turn your new homes loft space in to one you can enjoy for years to come. Tell us how you’ve transformed your loft space on Twitter and Facebook page. Looking for a new home with a loft? Learn more about how Beazer Homes gives you the options to allow your new homes floor plan to match the way you live with our Choice Plans differentiator.

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Ways To Add Color To Your Space Without Paint

Adding color to your living space doesn’t mean you need to break out the cans of paint, smocks, tape, and protective floor coverings. There are many simple tips you can follow, and small changes you can make, to add color to your home.

Accessorize

Adding accessories is the first step to adding pops of color to brighten up a space. Lighten up your rooms with bright pillows and a colorful throw.  A small splash of color can draw attention and make a big décor difference to any room.

Subtle accents can have the same effect. A colorful lamp, bright vase filled with flowers, or decorative candles can transform a room into a lively and bright space. With complimentary color schemes of accessories that fit nicely together, accents can easily add life to your living room without ever adding paint to the walls.

Wall Decals

To add some variety to a room without damaging the walls or going through the hassle of painting, you can apply removable wall decals. Available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and styles, you can find one that suits your home decorating taste. It’s the perfect way to add pops of the colors to your walls, add character to your space, and showcase your interior design preferences. Because wall decals are made to be easily removed without any consequences, it gives you the flexibility to change the design and feel of a room overtime.

Area Rugs

Your floors are more than just something to be walked on. Flooring contributes to the overall brightness of a room. Add area rugs with unique patterns or color schemes into your decor to draw some attention to a designated space of the room. In other, less important spaces of your room use  smaller rugs to contribute splashes of color. When adding multiple rugs into the same space be sure that the patterns and colors are compatible. Stand back, examine the room, and experience a new look and feel filled with color, without the mess and hassle of painting the walls.

A little touch of color can go a long way. Using accessories, wall decals, and area rugs to bring color into your space can give your home a welcoming and elegant feel with the flexibility to change overtime, without having to change paint colors. For more design tips for your new Beazer home, please follow us on Twitter.

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Beazer Homes Guess To Give Giveaway

Guess To Give To Toys For TotsBeazer Homes is donating a room full of toys worth thousands of dollars to Toys for Tots this Holiday Season, and all of our new home communities across the country will act as toy donation centers. We are getting our social media fans involved in this great cause as well. From November 24th through December 12th enter our Guess To Give contest on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest by guessing the number of toys pictured, using the hashtag #BeazerToys, for a chance to win a $250 Target gift card. For every social media like, favorite, and share the posts receive, we’ll be adding more toys to our donation.*

Start guessing! To make a donation please visit a Beazer Homes community sales center to donate new, unwrapped toys.  To locate a nearby donation center, please visit the Toys for Tots’ website.

*Beazer Homes will donate up to $2500 to Toys For Tots through toy and cash donation.  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Contest Rules:

•   Submission must be completed by commenting on the Guess To Give post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and/or Instagram and must include the hashtag #BeazerToys. Guesses submitted without the #BeazerToys hashtag will not be considered.

•    The person who guesses the correct number of toys, or if no one guesses the correct number, the person who guesses closest to the correct number, will be selected as the winner.

•    If there are multiple correct guesses or closest guesses, winner will be chosen from those who guessed correctly by random draw.

•    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

•    Guesses must be received between 11/24/2014 -12/12/2014.

•    Odds of winning depend on the number of guesses received.

•    Entrants must have a valid Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram account at time of entry, and be at least 18 years of age.

•    Entrants may not be employees, agents, or officers of Beazer Homes or its affiliates, or subsidiaries, or immediate family members or persons living in the same household as any of the persons identified above.

•    Winner’s name will be announced across all Beazer Homes social network once prize is claimed.

•    Beazer Homes will contact and verify the winner through the social media network from which the winning submission was received.

•    Winner will receive the prize in the form of an electronic gift card in the amount of $250 emailed to the email address provided.

•    Only the prize specified above will be awarded.  All federal, state and local taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winner.

•    By participating in this Giveaway, entrants agree to release any and all claims against Beazer and all related parties for any and all liability whatsoever arising from participation in the Giveaway.

•    All issues and questions concerning the Giveaway and the enforceability of these Rules and Eligibility, or the rights and obligations of entrants and Beazer in connection with this Giveaway, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the substantive laws of the State of Georgia, without regard to its conflicts of laws principles.

Any disputes arising under the aforementioned criteria will be resolved by Beazer Homes in it’s discretion.

Beazer Homes, 1000 Abernathy Road, Suite 260, Atlanta, Georgia 30328.

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Simple Tips For Saving Energy Around The House

Not only are we becoming a more eco-friendly society, but we’re also becoming more money conscious as the costs of almost everything has increased over time. While it’s hard to stir-away from the prices of everyday items like food, or gasoline to fuel automobiles, one way to save money is through energy efficiency usage. Here are a few tips for saving energy around the house to assist in lowering some of your bills:

saving energy

1) Change all of the light bulbs in your house to energy efficient light bulbs. Because energy efficient bulbs cost more, people tend to avoid buying them. However, even though you will be spending a couple more dollars at the store now, energy efficient bulbs help you to save much more over time because they last eight to 15 times longer than regular bulbs. And, not only will you save money, but these bulbs are also better for the environment!

2) Reduce the amount of water you use is one of the best ways to save energy in your household. Your home has many different sources of water, making it easy to save the amount you’re using:

  • Don’t leave the faucet running when you brush your teeth. This may not seem like much, but it will save you thousands of gallons of water a year – bringing your bills and your energy usage down.
  • Take shorter showers. Showering can use between 6 to 45 liters of water per minute, and costs you a lot of money.
  • Fix any leaking faucets. A leaking faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water a year.
  • Use a watering can to water your plants rather than an outdoor hose. This will use less water and will prevent you from drowning your plants.

3) Think before you switch on the air conditioning. Needlessly using your AC is one of the main energy wasters. Turn on your ceiling fan first. If it is too cold, put on a sweater, or wrap yourself up in a blanket before cranking up the heat. Closing the curtains is also a great way to keep the outside temperature out, leaving your home to either stay cool in the hot summer months or warmer during cold, harsh winters. To maximize the effect of curtains, try placing a chair or other item of furniture against the window to eliminate gaps on the side of the curtain where your homes heating or air source may be escaping.

4) Set and run a schedule with a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to control costs. With a programmable thermostat you can set times of day that you want the heat or air conditioning to run. If you and your family are often gone during the day you can program the thermostat to be a fixed degree, preventing it from running frequently while the home is empty. No more rushing out of the house and forgetting to change the temperature for the day!

5) Unplug electrical devices you aren’t using. Small electronics such as coffee makers, home entertainment equipment, cable/satellite/ DVR receivers, televisions, cell phone and tablet chargers, home computers, monitors, and printers are all draw phantom energy – energy your electronics are consuming even when switched to the stand-by or off position – energy when they aren’t in use. While individually these devices only use a small amount of energy when in the off or standby position, overtime the total of all the electrical consumption you could be saving by unplugging these items is significant.

For more every day energy savings tips please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also, learn about how you can save big year-over-year when you live in an ENERGYSTAR ® certified Beazer home.

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Helpful Fall Home Care Tips

fall home careYou’ve probably heard the adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’  The saying rings true when it comes to optimizing your home maintenance for the season to come.  With the air turning crisp, now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the coming cool seasons.  Completing these few quick home care tasks over the weeks to come can help ensure your home remains comfortable no matter what the season brings.

Fall Home Care Tips:

1. Take summer yard equipment and recreational furniture inside to protect them against the elements.

2. Trim overgrown trees, bushes and shrubbery before they become a menace when laden with ice or snow.

3. Using a safety ladder, and a spotter if necessary, clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and limbs.  Accumulating debris may prevent water from draining and make your gutters susceptible to ice damming.

4. Remove all items from the garage that cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. Liquids, such as garden sprays, or cleaners in plastic bottles can freeze and containers may crack or explode.

5. Insulate pipes if the home’s main water supply is located in the garage.  Use a water heater blanket or insulation wrap if your water heater is also located out in the garage.

A major benefit of living in a new home is avoiding the potentially costly maintenance measures required for repairing and maintaining older, existing homes.  Following these tips can help further extend the life of your new home’s equipment and exterior.  You can download a comprehensive list of new home maintenance tips here.  If you are a Beazer homeowner, and have an issue arise, please contact our warranty center.

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Free Thanksgiving Turkey Voucher

HARVEST, HOME & HELPING HANDS: Visit any Nashville or Atlanta area community for the first time during the month of November to get a FREE turkey voucher for your family’s feast, while supplies last.* In turn, Beazer will donate a holiday meal to a family in need.

We are also holding food drives at all Nashville and Atlanta area communities throughout November, so please drop off non-perishable food items to help fight hunger in our own backyard.

In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, Beazer Homes is proud to give back this harvest season. After all, being good neighbors is what Beazer is all about.

*Free turkey is in the form of a voucher, while supplies last. Limit 1 turkey/NEW registration from 11/1/14-11/30/14, regardless of number of communities visited. Limit 1 registration/family or buying unit. No exceptions. You must register at a community you have not been to before. Donation to Second Harvest Food Bank will be made per turkey distributed. No cash or exchange value. Subject to availability. All food drive donations will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Pricing and availability subject to change without notice. See New Home Counselor for complete details. © 2014 Beazer Homes

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6 Steps To Prepare Your Credit For Buying A Home

Credit ScoreIf one of your future goals is to purchase a home, it’s never too early to start preparing yourself financially. One of the major factors that goes into getting approved for a home mortgage is your credit score and credit history. All lenders will look at your credit worthiness to determine how much they will lend to you. The following are steps you can start taking now to prepare your credit for buying a home in the future.

1. Check and update your credit report: Consumers are guaranteed at least one free credit report a year; get a copy of yours to see where you stand. If you find errors, you can contact the creditor or the bureaus to address any invalid information.

2. Make payments on time: Your credit report shows your current creditors and your payment history with them. Payment histories are one of the most important components of your credit score, so it’s important to maintain on-time payments with all of your creditors.

3. Pay down high accounts: Making payments on time is only one aspect of credit worthiness. The amount of outstanding debt, and the percentage of your available credit that is outstanding, are equally important.  If you have credit cards that have been maxed out that can affect your credit score, whether you’re making payments on time or not. Focus on paying down accounts with the highest percentage of credit used.  Getting these outstanding balances below 35% of the available credit line can improve your credit score.

4. Take care of existing liens or judgments: If you have any liens or judgments, you may want to pay them off or try to settle them before you apply for a home loan. Lenders will consider you if you have an outstanding lien or judgment, however, they’ll likely require it be satisfied before the loan is finalized. Therefore, avoid the headache and go ahead and take care of those in advance.

5. Avoid opening new accounts: New accounts can be a red flag – lenders want to see a history of payments, and new accounts mean you have a new need for credit. However, if you don’t have credit yet, this is an exception. A couple of credit cards with low balances and on time payments often times can appear better than no credit cards at all. But, avoid making a big purchase like a car just before applying for a home loan – a recent large purchase can alter your overall financial picture.

6. Talk to a lender and get pre-qualified now: This will help you understand how much home you can afford, and what steps you can take to increase your purchasing power.  If there are any issues with your credit history or your credit score, the lender may be able to show you what you can do to improve your situation.

Taking steps in advance to improve your credit score will help ensure lower rates and better terms which may mean huge savings for you during the life of your home loan. When you’re ready to explore your home loan options, Beazer Homes has a group of preferred lenders who are ready to help you find the best way to finance your first home.

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