backyard design style ideas
It’s nearly summer, and there’s no better time than the present to get outside and enjoy the season. Spending time outdoors has garnered a new sense of appreciation, as Americans emerge from their homes following quarantines and stay-at-home orders. We look forward to spending our days at the beach, on a restaurant patio or taking in the sights and sounds of a sporting event.

You can also get a healthy dose of vitamin D and enjoy the season without having to leave your house. For the first time, homeowners are taking a long, hard look at their properties and determining how to utilize every square inch of yard space. The challenge though is how to maximize what you have to work with while creating the ultimate outdoor setting. To help you get started, we’re sharing with you some of our favorite projects and design tricks to turn your space, whether that’s an intimate patio or several acres of land, into an outdoor retreat. Continue reading

City real estate market
As a result of the pandemic, many are now considering a move from densely populated cities and regions to the more spacious suburban and rural neighborhoods in the U.S.

According to findings from a recent Harris Poll, approximately one-third of Americans are now considering a move to less-populated areas, signaling a shift that would have a major impact on residential sales and home prices. Continue reading

Summer Home Buying Season
Warmer weather is back in the forecast, and a rebound in mortgage applications for home purchases may not be far off as well.

That’s according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which reported a 9% increase in purchase applications last week – the sixth consecutive weekly increase – representing an increase of more than 54% since the beginning of April. Continue reading

One of the best ways to put a cramp in your summertime fun is to hold off on fixing small issues and letting them grow into big problems. And with the summer months bringing heavy downpours and thunderstorms along with plenty of sunshine, those long-neglected gutters could mean a lack of defense against wet basements and crawlspaces. Continue reading

We’ve talked a little bit before about cleaning and repairing your gutters, which is very beneficial during the rains of summer, but also as the seasons change into fall and winter.

And yes, we get it. Nobody wants to think about fall, or especially winter right now. But, the only thing worse than doing fall home improvements now is doing them when the cold weather sets in…or when the lack of preventative maintenance leads to costly repairs in the dead of winter.

We’ve put together a checklist for you to start knocking these things out now, so when your neighbors are all outside grumbling in the cold weather, you’ll be inside sipping hot chocolate and planning next year’s summer vacation. Continue reading

Key takeaways

  • Separate what you need from what you want
  • Do your homework on what the market wants
  • Budget, budget, budget!

Boost Your Home’s Value with a Little Investment

Nice big tax return this year? Lucky you! If you have a nice, strong savings account, you might want to think about putting some of that tax return into your home.

And no. We’re not talking about installing an in-ground swimming pool or adding a new air hockey table in the basement. Investing in your home is about putting money toward what you need, not what you want. Not everybody likes air hockey, but everybody loves a roof that doesn’t leak!

The first step is getting online and checking out some real estate websites to see what’s hot. Nowadays, smart homes are the hot topic. But unless you’re pulling in buckets of money, stick with these tried and true renovations to add value to your home. Continue reading

Shipping-Container-Life

Shipping containers; you seem them, a lot. From on the road to rail and water, these large steel containers appear as giant Lego blocks, packed with goods that keep us and the world moving. It brings us to the question, have you thought about what’s inside of them? Or better yet, did you ever imagine living inside of one? Okay, chances are the idea has never crossed your mind, but calling a container home is very real.

Continue reading

FHA 203k: Before and After

FHA 203k: Before and After

After looking at numerous homes and not finding “the one,” first-time homebuyers Nick and Veronica Getsy were all but resolved to settle on something that was nice…but not perfect. It’s easy to get discouraged when you feel that the market has essentially priced you out of buying your first home.

Our office showed them that they can take a house they like, and turn it into a home they love. With the FHA 203k loan, the Getsy’s were able to find a home that had potential and make renovations that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to accomplish. Renovations included putting in a new air-conditioner, new energy-efficient windows, all new appliances, a new deck, new fence for the backyard, new carpet, and fresh paint throughout the whole house.

Watch this video to hear their story.

Early this morning, as I shoveled the overnight delivery from Winter Storm Rex, I find myself reflecting on all the reasons I detest winter – and they are many.

Getting out of a nice warm bed earlier to dig my car out from the snow, then chiseling off all the ice that accumulated overnight just so I can join the long parade of horrible drivers ranks pretty high on that list. But if I had to pick my personal Winter Enemy No. 1, it’s gotta be those high utility bills.

If ever there was a good enough reason to invest in some eco-friendly alternatives to generating energy for my house, the wintertime gas bill is it. And while “Going Green” with such sustainable energy upgrades like fuel cells, solar panels or wind turbines isn’t a novel concept, few have made the investment because, let’s face it, the cost is usually more than the average American homeowner can handle.

Fortunately, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has rolled out the PowerSaver Grant. It’s an FHA-approved grant that allows AmeriFirst to cover some closing costs when a buyer makes specific eco-friendly home improvements with the FHA 203k loan. But what does that mean?

Continue reading