Let’s Move: Your Essential Moving Checklist

Posted: October 20, 2017 at 11:55 am by: NewHomesGuide

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Congratulations! You’re shopping for your new home, the really fun part of this next stage in your life. Soon you will be packing up your cherished belongings and moving everything you own to a new home. Here are some tips on using a moving company to help in your move.

Research

Check out some reputable sources, such as WTOP and The Washington Post, to identify some local moving companies and larger national companies. Yelp will also have reviews on who you might select. Make appointments with 2 or 3 of them to have estimates done at your current residence.

The time and effort put into this early on will come back to you in a better moving experience. Review your estimates, read the fine print and make your choice. Remember, this is only an estimate and there can be some details which will cause that number to go up.

Weight

One instance where an estimate might not match your final bill can be extra weight. Your quote is based on the weight of the shipment. If the movers pick up your belongings and they weigh more than quoted, a re-weigh can be issued. This could cause your charges to increase. Special items such as pianos, pool tables and extra-large furniture will also add some cost to your move.

Levels

Inform your movers about stairs at the new home. There may be a charge per staircase/flight of stairs. This could be $100 or less per level. It’s best to be upfront about this detail.

Packing

If you are having the movers pack and crate your belongings, they will add that into your estimate from the start. If you are packing yourself, be sure that you have done so by your scheduled move date. Not being prepared for moving day could throw everyone’s plan off track. If there are items which are not packed or crated and the moving company has to do it for you, there will be extra charges for that.

Many movers use a color code system to organize box labels for quick identification during the move. While packing, never pack important documents such as passports, ID cards, blank checks and settlement papers into boxes or crates. Keep these near you or clearly marked, and hand-carry yourself.

Accessibility

Also be upfront about explaining your new home’s entrance accessibility. Are you located on a busy street? Is your new driveway unusually long? Will there be a problem parking a large moving van? All these details could result in additional charges.

A few other ideas for a successful move include making a list of all the services you currently use at your home such as babysitters, cleaning help, gardeners and other regularly scheduled assistance. Make a list and contact all of them promptly. It’s also a great idea to pack a quick need bag for you and your family which would include toothbrushes and paste, prescriptions, eye care items and pet supplies. Lastly, it might be useful to gather a bag of items, to keep the kids busy on both ends, such as books, markers and paper or small toys.

Want more homebuying and moving tips? Be sure to check out the resources section our website!

Which New Homes Guide Rewards Program is Right for You?

Posted: October 17, 2017 at 9:59 am by: NewHomesGuide

NHG Rewards Cards

At New Homes Guide, we aim to make your new home shopping experience as easy and rewarding as possible. We know that an informed new home shopper is a confident new home shopper, so we gather information for every new home community in the Mid-Atlantic region and include it on our website as well as in the print edition of our magazine.

When it comes to rewarding you for your experience using New Homes Guide, that’s where our two rewards program come in. These programs are available exclusively to our subscribers and offer additional value throughout your new home search. Here’s a quick explanation of how each program works:

Rewards for Shoppers

Our Rewards for Shoppers program is specifically designed for those who are still looking for the perfect place to call home. As you use New Homes Guide throughout your search, you can earn a $50 gift card just by completing four community visits and having sales agents sign off on your NHG Rewards Form.

If you’re going to be shopping for a new home, there’s no reason not to sign up! Visit our website for more information and to download your form now.

Rewards for Buyers

The Rewards for Buyers program rewards those who found their dream home with the help of New Homes Guide. Did a home you found inside our magazine eventually become your new home? You could earn a $100 gift card! Simply register on our website to claim your reward.

Which Program is Right for You?

Our recommendation? Both! When you use New Homes Guide to shop for a new home in the Mid-Atlantic region, we have no doubt that your shopping experience will be better for it. And when you use these two rewards programs in tandem, we’re sure you’ll think the same thing.

Evergreene Homes: A Homebuilder That’s “Rooted in Quality.”

Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:10 am by: NewHomesGuide

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In the pages of every issue of New Homes Guide, we feature the most respected homebuilders and land developers that you can find in the Mid-Atlantic region. But you can also find the area’s premier builders on the outside of our guide, too!

We recently highlighted CalAtlantic Homes, which is featured on the front cover of the September/October issue of New Homes Guide. And now, we’re taking a look at the back, which showcases local luxury builder Evergreene Homes.

Building beautiful single-family homes, villas and townhomes throughout Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, Evergreene has established itself as a high-quality homebuilder that places an emphasis on building in the best neighborhoods. It’s all part of their mission to create places where families can grow their roots for years to come.

That’s why they note on our back cover that their homes are “Rooted in quality. Framed in design.”

But you don’t have to just see the back cover of New Homes Guide to get a closer look at all of Evergreene’s homes and communities. They’re inside the pages of our latest issue, which you can order now or pick up at your local newsbox, Harris Teeter or Safeway today!

6 Exceptional New Home Offers Worth Checking Out This Fall

Posted: October 4, 2017 at 10:54 am by: NewHomesGuide

Fall Homebuilder Incentives

Shopping for a new home this fall? It’s a great time of year to be looking. In addition to the cool, crisp weather, several homebuilders are offering the year’s best incentives on their new homes right now. Which builders are worth checking out? Take a look below (please contact builders or visit builder websites for offer/incentive details, terms and conditions).

Brookfield Residential

Until November 15, Brookfield Residential is offering its best incentives across its communities in the DC metro area. You can save even more by choosing a Move-In-Now single-family home or townhome from “The Mid-Atlantic’s Most Innovative Homebuilder” at select communities in Maryland, Virginia and even Delaware.

Christopher Companies

When you purchase a to-be-built home at select Christopher Companies communities by October 31, you can take advantage of special fall incentives. You could get half off your dream kitchen or even a free rec room included in the price of your home. You can start your search on the Christopher Companies website now.

K. Hovnanian® Homes

Nationally recognized homebuilder K. Hovnanian® Homes wants you to feel instantly home from the moment you step inside one of its Quick Move-In Homes in Maryland, Virginia or Delaware. Find your new home before October 15 and you’ll feel even happier knowing that you saved big, too.

M/I Homes

This month, M/I Homes invites you to “Dream Big” during its nationwide sales event. From now until October 15, your new home could include 50% off options as well as up to $15,000 in closing costs. Start your search on the M/I Homes website now, and contact SalesVirginia@mihomes.com for more information.

Mid-Atlantic Builders

For a limited time, Mid-Atlantic Builders, which crafts custom-fit homes throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia, is offering special closing cost assistance on select Move-In-Now Homes. For just $100, you could be inside a beautiful new single-family home or townhome in a conveniently located community. Check out the Mid-Atlantic Builders website to find your home today.

Winchester Homes

“Now You See It. Now It’s Home.” That’s the idea behind Winchester Homes’ fall incentives. Through October 15, Winchester is offering thousands in savings on its exceptional selection of Move-In-Ready Homes in Northern Virginia and Maryland. But you’ll have to act fast because there’s no telling how quickly your dream home could disappear if someone else gets there first!

Choosing the Right Window Coverings

Posted: September 27, 2017 at 11:23 am by: NewHomesGuide

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Fundamentally, blinds, shades, and shutters all serve the same purpose. They control sunlight or privacy — or both. Window coverings also play an important role in interior design. But which makes the most sense for you? Well, that is entirely dependent on a few key factors: personal preference, budget, and placement.

Blinds

In terms of functionality, blinds tend to provide the greatest level of light control. These window coverings consist of slats or vanes that can be tilted at various angles to regulate light flow. The entire window treatment can also be raised or lowered, furthering light control and privacy.

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Our Recommendation: Wood blinds are at home in almost any room, but are best suited for the dining room or living room, areas where light control and aesthetic appeal are most important. Faux wood blinds, made from vinyl, are also an excellent choice for the kitchens and bathrooms as they provide a superb simulation of real wood. The The vinyl material is better able to stand up to high moisture environments like kitchens and bathrooms.

Shades

The term “shades” refers to a wide range of stylish window coverings, such as roman shades, honeycomb shades (cellular shades), roller shades, and pleated shades. However, each operates is fundamentally the same manner – you raise or lower the window treatment to regulate light flow.

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Our Recommendation: Shades tend to work best in rooms where privacy is the biggest concern – like the bedroom or bathroom. Honeycomb Shades are a favorite for bedrooms due to opacity options like room darkening and lift options like top down/top down bottom up. The Top down/ bottom up lift option lets in light without sacrificing privacy.  These window treatments allow more privacy by giving users a choice of opening window shades from the bottom up (the traditional method), or from the top down. The latter permits light to enter without giving up any privacy.

Shutters

High-quality Hardwood Shutters are like furniture for your windows-especially when made by Next Day Blinds. From casual to elegant, traditional to contemporary, the style of almost any room can be enhanced with Shutters.

Our Recommendation: The truth is that shutters, whether wood or vinyl, work in just about every room. From wood shutters that seamlessly integrate with your millwork and window trim to vinyl shutters perfect for high-moisture areas.

 

About Next Day Blinds
Founded in 1993, Next Day Blinds is a local business devoted to providing premium-quality, fully custom window coverings. Our headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility are located in Jessup, MD, just about 25 miles from Washington, D.C., and 15 miles from Baltimore, MD. With our fully integrated, end-to-end business model, we are able to provide a more customer-focused experience. This level of integration is designed to ensure your ongoing happiness, and it helps us match our passion for high-quality products with an uncompromised dedication to customer service. These are the values that matter to you, and to us. www.NextDayBlinds.com

The Future is Here: Using Virtual Reality to Shop for Your New Home

Posted: September 22, 2017 at 9:58 am by: NewHomesGuide

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If you have shopped for a new home recently, you probably started online looking at photos and floor plans and then transitioned into visiting physical model homes. But the way people shop for homes is starting to change. In fact, in a startling survey in May 2017, the Redfin real estate brokerage found that one-third of homebuyers purchased a home sight unseen. That’s a big jump compared to the 19 percent of buyers who bought a home before they visited it in 2016. Millennials are even more likely to make an offer on a home they haven’t seen at 41 percent of those surveyed.

Chances are, at least some of those buyers used virtual reality or augmented reality to preview their new home. Technology is rapidly advancing the way builders can showcase their homes to prospective buyers. Instead of looking at renderings or photos of a model home, you can look online at 3D images that allow you to click on rooms for a more accurate view of the space. Augmented reality also provides buyers with the opportunity to change the way a room looks with different furniture and finishes by superimposing changes onto photos of existing rooms.

Virtual reality refers to images of places that don’t actually exist, similar to what people see when playing video games. You can use a headset like Oculus or a cardboard headset to see images on a screen at a builder’s sales office or on an app on your smartphone.

Most buyers are open to the idea of virtual reality. A recent study by Realtor.com found that 89 percent of those surveyed thought virtual reality could be very helpful; 70 percent said they were somewhat or very likely to use virtual reality when buying a home.

Buyers who have already experienced virtual reality to play a game or watch a movie or to take a simulated bike ride or climb a mountain are likely to be comfortable touring a house with this technology. But even novices can quickly grasp the advantage of being able move around and see a kitchen from several different angles and to get a sense of the size of the family room windows and to check out the master bathroom.

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Floor plan vs. a virtual walk-through

While most buyers like to visit a model home to see and touch the home in person, if you’re relocating or just want to save time by screening out some potential homes, virtual reality can give you a better experience than simply looking at a floor plan or a drawing. Many people have trouble visualizing the size of a room or the ceiling height from numbers on a floor plan and they can’t always get a sense of the flow of rooms or the light that can come into the space. Unlike watching a video, virtual reality mimics the experience of moving from room to room.

Long-distance buyers can benefit most from virtual reality since they can feel as if they have walked through a property even though they are thousands of miles away. Local buyers can use the technology to check out multiple model homes and choose the one they like even if it hasn’t been built in their area. In addition, they can avoid driving to multiple model homes at different communities.

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Virtual reality provides moving 3D images so buyers can get a better feel for the proportions of a house.

How builders are using virtual reality

While the most common way to experience virtual reality is to look at a model home that hasn’t been built, builders can design entire communities and showcase planned amenities with virtual reality. Buyers can check out the tennis courts and look at the fitness room and the community center even before they are built. The technology can be so lifelike that you can see ripples in the surface of the swimming pool and rustling leaves in the trees.

Eventually, builders are likely to start using virtual reality when they want to apply for permits to develop a new community to make it easier for government staffers to visualize what the new neighborhood can look like.

Builders are already beginning to use virtual reality with focus groups to help them design and tweak their home designs. It’s much less costly for builders to develop several virtual models and ask potential buyers to compare them rather than to build actual models of every floor plan.

While most builders plan to continue building at least one model home to showcase the quality of their homes, virtual technology is anticipated to eventually allow them to produce multiple versions of model homes virtually.

Some builders who are using the technology now say it gives them the opportunity to pre-sell more homes while they prepare the site and begin construction on model homes.

Choosing options with the help of virtual reality

If you’ve sat in a design center or at home with paint chips, a small chunk of granite, a piece of tile and a tiny square of wood in your hand and wondered how they would all look together, you may be ready to embrace virtual reality. The ability to truly see what various combinations of finishes look like together can relieve the pressure of choosing options, particularly for people who have trouble narrowing their choices.

Many builders offer video walkthroughs of a kitchen that buyers can watch with the option of  changing cabinet colors, counters and flooring. Virtual technology takes that experience a step further to allow buyers to feel as if they are standing in their kitchen and looking at it from every direction.

While not all builders offer augmented or virtual reality yet, Toll Brothers recently announced a pilot program called Kitchen 360 that allows buyers to create millions of combinations when designing their kitchen. Buyers can start by personalizing features within their floor plan on a tablet and then put on an HTC Vive headset to walk through their kitchen to see what their choices look like, including appliances, cabinets, finishes, flooring, counter tops and paint colors.

Whether you want to virtually visit multiple model homes, experiment with options or buy a home sight unseen, virtual reality can give you even greater confidence that you know what you will get when you buy a new home.

Breaking Down the Exterior Evolution of New Homes

Posted: September 19, 2017 at 8:56 am by: NewHomesGuide

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The Bradbury Model from Toll Brothers

Exterior elements and connection points are among the most popular interior design trends to date. Ironic, isn’t it? Homebuyers are yearning for simplicity more than ever as technology untethers us from traditional spaces, and our natural instincts draw us back to the serene outdoors.

Interior trends are influencing exterior design while exterior features are influencing interior design – Are you still following? Good. They’re essentially breaking down each other’s boundaries so that every square foot is tailored by an uninterrupted flow of design.

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Let’s break down the interior walls and talk about the exterior evolution happening in home design:

  • Fit and finishes feature natural elements, but with a modern twist.
  • Interior refinement is moving outdoors with more elegant lighting and new dining hubs.
  • Flooring is breaking the boundaries and extending from the indoors to the outdoors in a seamless fashion.
  • Walls are losing space to windows to provide more natural light.
  • Movable walls are becoming increasingly popular.

Two of the four top macros inspiring home design is converged living and escapism needs. These are the driving factors that are making outdoor spaces so important to homebuyers. Master bedroom balconies, backyard porches, multiple entrances, side yard living and rooftop living are the most desired outdoor connection points according to new consumers.

No acreage? No problem. Rooftop/patio living is a great solution for townhomes and condominiums that have minimal land (As seen in the Bradbury Model by Toll Brothers).

Even more so then just the connection points, outdoor design makes a significant impact on a home buyers decision. These trends can not only make a visual impact but can also increase the overall value of a home:

Poolside Fireplace

What started as a trend in the multifamily industry has now moved to our very own backyard – quite literally. Pools are often the centerpiece of a backyard surrounded by lounge seating, grills, gardens and now fire features. The juxtaposition of fire and water brings a beautiful aesthetic to outdoor spaces and will keep your backyard feeling warm and cozy. Consider a linear style fireplace for a more modern outdoor design.

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The Arlington model at Arundel Grove by Craftmark Homes. Designed by Builders Design.

Outdoor Kitchen

According to NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) outdoor kitchens are one of the ‘hottest housing trends’ in the industry and can increase the homes overall value. Much like the interior kitchen, an outdoor kitchen is an entertainment feature where family or friends could gather with guests. Don’t forget the finishing touches when creating your outdoor haven – Establish a living room that extends beyond the kitchen complete with comfortable seating. (As seen in Craftmark Homes, Arundel Mills Model, Design by Builders Design).

Additionally, to not interrupt the flow of design, create a symmetry between the indoor and outdoor kitchen. Use materials that are compatible with the home’s architecture and landscape, pending on their durability (Ask yourself: “Are highly resistant to grease stains? Can the material withstand high temperatures?”). And lastly, increase the function of an outdoor kitchen by incorporating heaters and rain protection to ensure year-around use.

Written by Marnee Duffus, a sales and marketing specialist with Builders Design, this story originally appeared in the September/October issue of New Homes Guide. Order your free copy of New Homes Guide for more tips, advice and trends.

Get the Ultimate Guide to the Area’s Top Planned Communities

Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:35 am by: NewHomesGuide

planned-comm_cover_so17Could you see yourself living at a resort all year long?

We know, it’s a tough question. But if you answered “yes,” a planned community might be exactly what you’re looking for during your new home search. Read on to learn more about these extraordinary places to call home and how to find them in the DC metro area.

What is a planned community?

Even more than traditional new home communities, planned communities are defined by the exceptional amenities they offer. These all-inclusive destinations often feature sought-after amenities such as pools, sports courts, open spaces and fields, trails, in-community shopping, dining and more.

These popular communities are formed when homebuilders and land developers work together to create amenity-rich neighborhoods that often resemble small towns — all for the benefit of homebuyers.

How to find the perfect planned community.

Make no mistake, not all planned communities are created equal, but you don’t have to rely on a search on the internet to help you find the perfect one to call home.

With The Planned Community Lifestyle, a free supplement we offer in addition to your complimentary copy of New Homes Guide, you can learn more about the features, benefits, pricing and amenities you can expect to find at the best planned communities in Maryland and Virginia. And once one of the communities listed in this free guide catches your eye, you can dig deeper into the details about what makes it such a great place to call home.

It’s easier than ever to find the ideal planned community in your area — you just have to start your search! Place your order for your free copy today, or start exploring The Planned Community Lifestyle now with our digital edition.

CalAtlantic Homes Headlines the Latest Issue of New Homes Guide

Posted: September 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm by: NewHomesGuide

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We’re continuing our tradition of showcasing some of the most accomplished homebuilders on the front cover of the print editions of New Homes Guide. For this issue, new for September 2017, CalAtlantic Homes is in the spotlight, and we couldn’t be more excited to highlight this respected builder.

Formed in 2015 as a merger between Standard Pacific and Ryland Homes — both nationally recognized companies — CalAtlantic Homes now serves 43 major markets around the country, including the DC and Baltimore metro areas. The company’s formation proved beneficial for area new home shoppers, thanks in large part to the combination of more than five decades of land acquisition, development and building expertise.

With more than 30 communities spread across Maryland and Virginia, CalAtlantic Homes offers area new home shoppers extraordinary choice in addition to energy-efficient options and stylish, flexible design options.

CalAtlantic’s focus on quality craftsmanship, an outstanding customer experience and thoughtfully designed communities that appeal to a wide range of interests has helped it earn an exceptional reputation among homebuyers and industry experts alike.

You can get a closer look at all of CalAtlantic Homes’ DC-area and Baltimore-area homes on our website and inside the pages of New Homes Guide. Reserve your free copy now, or pick it up at your local newsbox, Harris Teeter or Safeway today!

What It’s Like to Live in Prince George’s County

Posted: August 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm by: NewHomesGuide

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National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination on the banks of the Potomac River.

Prince George’s County, established in 1696 from land in adjacent Calvert and Charles counties, was named for Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Princess Anne, the heir to the throne of England. Today the county, which has a population of more than 900,000, rests in a prime location bordering Washington, D.C. and just 37 miles south of Baltimore.

The nearly 500-square mile county is home to the University of Maryland, Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and numerous federal government agencies including the Census Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Internal Revenue Service.

While many residents of Prince George’s County work in the county, the location is also conducive to commuting into Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis and to Northern Virginia. A 2015 study by the Census Bureau found that approximately 140,000 people commute daily from the county into D.C., 34 percent by public transportation and 10 percent via carpool. Transportation options are abundant, including access to I-95, the Beltway, Route 1, Route 50 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway by car and bus. In addition to Metrobus, residents can ride commuter buses, Metrorail, MARC trains and Amtrak.

Prince George’s County is home to National Harbor, a 300.acre waterfront destination along 1.5 miles of Potomac riverfront land minutes from downtown D.C. and Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. National Harbor includes a marina with water taxi service and cruises, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, several additional hotels, shops, restaurants, a seasonal farmers market and entertainment venues. The Capital Wheel, a 175-foot high Ferris wheel, operates year-round and offers views of the Potomac, the White House, Arlington Cemetery and the National Mall. MGM National Harbor, a resort casino with more than 140 table games and 3,200 slot machines, includes entertainment venues, luxury shops, an upscale hotel and spa and seven restaurants from celebrity chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Jose Andres, the Voltaggio Brothers and Gina & Pat Neely’s BBQ Parlor from the Food Network.

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MGM National Harbor is a luxury resort, retail, dining, entertainment and gaming experience.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park offers another venue with approximately 1,000 events in every performing arts discipline including theater, dance and music. (more…)

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