Archives for the month of: June2015

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The Big Day has arrived! You’ve found “The House” – the one where you’re going to put down roots and build a life together with family and friends and backyard BBQ’s. Congratulations!

Now, your homebuilder asks you to come to their design center to ‘make your selections.’ It sounds like a simple thing to do, but when you get there you discover that there are more than a few choices to make. From cabinet colors to countertop preferences, and should you turn a den into a bedroom, or a garage into an office? Then there’s flooring and security systems, and, “Oh my gosh – I wish I could buy it all! How do I know what’s most important to get now?”

Don’t worry – that a question asked every day by new home buyers. But there are a few basic considerations that will help you decide what you should get now – and the rest can wait until later (when the wallet allows).

First rule of thumb: Think “Everyday Convenience”

Everyone has unique lifestyle needs, so the best place to start is by taking a look at your current home and make note of a few things.

Remodeling = Pain

For many couples, at least one person claims the kitchen as their favorite room of the house. If you spend a lot of time in there, it’s best to splurge in this space – from the countertops, appliances and plumbing fixtures that you’re offered. Countertops especially can be a mess and expensive to change – so buying a little bit of granite or stone now will not only be a money-saver down the road – but it ups the value of your home, too. The same goes for added cabinetry, which is generally a smaller outlay at this point, rather than buying retail after-the-fact (and then there’s the ‘color-match’ issue). Appliances – sometimes, it just makes sense to use your builder’s credit on the standard appliances to put towards that upgraded range or refrigerator you love.


Wires everywhere? If you’re like most people, you’re powering up computers, scanners, chargers, lighting, accessories – and that’s before you even get to the entertainment center. So talk to you builder about adding electrical outlets where they make sense for how you live. A simple thing like extra outlets at desk-height can make life a whole lot easier in a home office. The same thing with cable or satellite outlets. You want to consider how to avoid that 20′ cable that ‘tries’ to hide by the baseboard in your bedroom as it heads from one wall to the other. Think “electrical convenience,” and you’re going to be happy you did.

Upgrade your Flooring

If you haven’t shopped for flooring lately, you’re in for a surprise. The industry has exploded with new materials thanks to technology, and a look that you might have thought was out of reach is now quite affordable – and durable. We’ve all been there – and we know that cheap flooring doesn’t last long. So avoid the expense and hassle of replacing worn out carpeting by putting hard surface floors in traffic areas – and get that beautiful berber carpet you love. It will last for years, and nice flooring has a way of just making you feel happier when you walk in the door at the end of the day.

If you’ve ever purchased a new home before, you know that this is a short list of the decisions you have to make in the process. Just keep in mind, this is your chance to make your new home “uniquely yours.” Spend wisely – and enjoy it more.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


A place to call home – it’s different these days. Between changing family dynamics, lifestyles, technology, and multi-generations living under one roof, new building trends have evolved – in our opinion, for the better. Take a look at some of the features and uses that builders are increasingly incorporating into home designs, and tell us what you think about them.

Universal Design

One element on the rise is comfort and accessibility for people of all ages. Single-story residential communities are more and more popular, with features such as wide doors and hallways, flexible floorplans, creative storage and sleeker design for items such as grab bars, shower seating, and cabinet and closet pull-downs. Forward planning like this makes it possible for homeowners to not only accommodate multiple generations living longer under one roof, but allows them to age in their own home without sacrificing either independence or style.

Multi-Functional Rooms

Every inch counts these days, and it’s a popular philosophy in new homes. It’s possible to design stylishly yet practically, and builders are proving that more every day. Intimate pocket spaces such as nooks and alcoves, transition spaces that work with built-ins, versatile home offices, and even main-level laundry rooms that include with storage for art or craft hobbies. They’re changing the face of what we used to know about home use.

Outdoor Living

Bring that outdoors – in! We’re seeing it more every day with inspired indoor courtyards, extended verandas, patios, and decks that are replacing the traditional backyard. Outdoor kitchens, living rooms, fireplaces and gardens to relax, entertain, and dine in style are in demand, and builders are accommodating with style.

Smarter Storage

The square footage of homes might be shrinking a bit on average, but that only means that smarter storage is in even higher demand. Spaces that were previously overlooked and underutilized are being tapped for extra stowaway space, including stairways, window seats, and even walls.

Smart and Energy-Efficient

The next generation of millennial homebuyers is looking for technology that fits in with their lifestyle. And they also choose to be kinder to the planet – which puts energy-efficiency at the heart of the home, too. These two elements continue to evolve and intertwine, so builders are eager to include them both into homes that are easy to program and will also save resources.

We’re keeping our eyes open for what’s new in home design nationwide. We invite you to share with us the trends that inspire you.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

busting-myths-resized-600-250x188“I have a friend who’s a real estate agent, and they told me you should ALWAYS _______. ” Go ahead. Fill in the blank. We’ve all heard plenty of ‘facts’ about what to do, or not do, when it comes to buying and selling real estate. Some are very true, some not so much – and some not at all. In fact, there’s really a pretty lengthy list of things we’d like to help set the record straight about. But for this week, we’re going to share our top 3 topics. We’ll follow-up soon with more in future blogs.

Myth #1: Rental Property Will Always Make You Money.

The truth is, if you know the market and purchase wisely, you can more than likely come out in the black on your real estate rental investment. While people tend to think big number returns (10-14%), when you factor in local conditions that affect tenant turnover, rental down time, and maintenance or improvements required, a more likely figure is a 6-7% return on your initial investment. Pay close attention to that first sentence, though. Research values, economic conditions, and market trends before you buy. Or you could be unpleasantly surprised at year-end.

Myth #2: Adjustable Rate Loans Are Always A Bad Choice.

In fact, not so much. The devil, however, is in the details – so you want to make sure you read all the fine print and fully understand how the loan will work: When it will adjust, by how much and how often, what the rates are based on, early payoff penalties, etc. For some people, it’s actually an expedient solution. Getting a mortgage based on a lower front-end interest rate can be a good thing, especially if you don’t plan to be in the home when the rate adjusts upward.

Myth #3: My Real Estate Agent Is Making Too Much Money Off of My Home.

In our experience, there are 2 kinds of people in the world: Those who realize how hard a Realtor works on their behalf, and those who don’t. However, it’s not simply a matter of effort, which can be considerable. (They don’t just put up an MLS listing and forget about it. It takes marketing and networking, communicating with Realtors and their buyers, and much more.)

But it’s also about how commissions are split, and often split again before ever reaching your agent’s wallet. While buyers easily calculate in their heads lump sums in 6% increments, consider how far that money has to travel before reaching your agent. Half of it goes to the selling office, and half to the buying office. Then each agent usually has a 30-50% split with their broker, whittling their paycheck further. When you add expenses incurred to sell a property (advertising, fuel, licensing fees), then subtract taxes paid on that commission – what’s left is a considerable amount less than you imagine.

Yet even with all that, your Realtor is the one person you can count on to be on your side, legally and ethically required to protect your interests in the purchase or sale of real estate. In reality, it’s a great value for all the work they do to get you the best price for your home – whether you’re buying or selling.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

Untitled1It is waaaaay too nice outside to be spending your time cleaning and organizing. (Right?) Oh – but that’s one of the reasons you wanted a home in the first place, so you could have your own space decorated and organized exactly as you wanted it. Well then, if it has to be, maybe we can share a few shortcuts to help you get that unpleasant stuff done – then you can head out to enjoy some summer fun and leave your cleaning cares behind.

Plan Your Attack

Do a little each day. It may sound simple, but not every part of your home needs regular cleaning. Some areas can go months without a deep clean – such as window coverings or even the oven (unless roast turkeys are your dog’s best friend). For some people, it’s also easier to think about the job to be done if you handle the everyday maintenance regularly and plan just one big cleaning project each week. (And for those of you who “live to clean” – like Monica Geller-Bing on Friends – go away, this post is not for you!) After all, it’s not really procrastination if it’s on your schedule, right?

Gather Your Supplies

The keyword here is: Multi-function. Oh, and cost-effective, too. In fact, just make that “effective.” Because it doesn’t take a small fortune to accumulate the best cleaning supplies. With simple household products – like baking soda and vinegar – you’ll not only achieve great results, you’ll also do it with less toxic chemicals and odors. Talk about a win-win situation!

Here’s a couple of homemade cleaning supplies you can whip up yourself (and you’ll find plenty more with a quick Google search): Make your own cleaning wipes from dishwashing soap, vinegar and paper towels. (Just store them in a recycled coffee can and cut a pop-up slit in the lid!) A great all-purpose cleaning solution can be made from water, baking soda, castile soap, witch hazel and tea tree oil. (Just put it all in a spray bottle and you’re good to go.) A great make-your-own grout cleaner can be mixed up from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, with a dash of liquid dish soap. Lookie there – a clean house for less than you ever imagined!

For cleaning tools, a collection of microfiber cloths, or guess what – cloth baby diapers make great buffing pads! Be creative – look around and what’s already in your home and you’ll save both money and the planet (newspapers leave great, streak-free windows shining and clear). Oh – and one other thing that we love: Steam cleaners. Ever watched a burst of hot steam clean a countertop – or a yucky range? Less elbow grease, and eco-friendly. It will be your new best friend.

Start At The Top

One thing that you’ll learn from any cleaning pro is to always start at the top and work your way down. It might sound like a no-brainer, but let’s be honest. How many times did you vacuum the carpet first – and then clean the ceiling fan? We got ya, right? So we just think it’s worth a little reminder.

Also – plan your cleaning in grid-fashion. Not only will you work faster and more efficiently by not wasting ‘travel time’ across the house, but you also won’t be tracking dirt over areas you’ve already cleaned.

Keep It Tidy (aka, Sorta Organized)

Few things are more unsettling to an orderly mind than papers and “stuff” spread out all over the tops of counters or tables. Our suggestion? Gather it all up – yep, all of it – you heard us. Then put it all in one neat little pile. It doesn’t matter if the report cards are underneath the grocery store receipts, or if the dog’s toy is on top of it all. What does matter is that in just a few quick seconds, your living space has gone from “Oy – I have to clean this place up!” to “Hey – that’s not so bad. I CAN go to the pool!” The truth is, it’s easier to sort and toss and organize your things when they’re all together in one place. And for many people, it’s also much easier to be decisive about what to keep and what to jettison. Give it a shot next time, and let us know how it works for you.

Life is too short to spend it all cleaning and organizing. (On the other hand, a clean and organized life is pretty cool.) The good news is, there are ways to achieve both without making yourself crazy, or going broke. Or smelling harsh chemicals. Or having toxic things around your kids. Our suggestion? Go natural, and go easy on yourself!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


They call them “accidents” for a reason, but when it comes to pool safety, injuries or tragic outcomes are more often a matter of “inattention” than unexpected occurrences.

The fact is, most of us are already aware of what care needs to be taken around bodies of water. But familiarity and complacency often cause us to drop our guards and take safety for granted. That can not only cause an unpleasant occurrence to happen during an outing – it can also result in unfortunate life-changing events.

Let’s not let that happen this year.

If pool fun or other outdoor water sports are part of your summer experience, take the time to review these safety tips. And even better, make the time in your schedule to learn CPR and basic lifesaving skills. It’s one of the few things that can actually make the difference between life and death.

Constant Supervision

Can we say this enough? Probably not. But it is the simplest and easiest way to prevent swimming injuries or drowning. Kids can’t yell for help when they’re face down. So pay attention to your kids and don’t allow yourself to get distracted (be especially wary of cell phones for this).

Swimming Lessons & Flotation Devices

Statistics tell us that only 35% of Americans know how to swim, and only 2-7% of them do it well. It’s time to change those numbers – so why not enroll your kids in a swimming school? They’ll learn a skill that will serve them all their lives, and may even save someone else down the road (who knows?). You can enroll your kids in swimming lessons when they’re as young as 3 or 4, and there are other programs that will teach them other water exercises at an earlier age. Keep in mind, though, that teaching your kids to swim is not a foolproof method to prevent them from drowning.

Until you’re comfortable that they ‘know their stuff,’ be sure to keep proper flotation devices available for them. Don’t just shop for what’s cute or popular – do your research when buying “floaties” or swimsuits with built-in flotation devices. Make sure that they are appropriate for your child’s age and skill level – but again – and we can’t say this enough – never use them as a substitute for supervision.

Secure the Area

Ensuring that your pool is secured on all sides isn’t just a safety issue for your children, but pools are known to be ‘attractive nuisances’ and often children who shouldn’t even be in your yard will find their way to a pool. Because of this, it’s difficult to say that you can take precautions too far. In fact, we also recommend a pool cover that’s tight and secure, and surface or underwater alarms to alert you when there are waves or disturbances in the pool. And check the condition of these things often! Wear and tear can cause pool covers to loosen, for example. Keep gates locked when not in use, and even the door from your home to the pool area. Also, make sure toys aren’t left in or around the pool so children aren’t tempted to play with them and accidentally fall in.

Be Prepared

If a pool accident did happen – what would you do? Prepare yourself to be in a position to help, not just a bystander. Learn CPR so you can offer assistance while waiting for the EMT’s to arrive. And you can also learn the basics about handling emergency wounds until a professional can take over. These are life-saving skills that can make a difference in any injury outcome, and you’ll never regret acquiring them. Check with your local Red Cross or city/county agencies for training. (And keep a First-Aid Kit nearby, too!)

Educate Your Kids About Safety Rules

No doubt, we’re all at the pool to have a good time – but what’s “fun” for one person can be a hazard for someone else. Pushing friends into the pool or “cannonballs” can be dangerous, and children may not realize just how dangerous until you say it out loud. Don’t assume ‘everyone knows that’ — play it safe, not sorry.

By following just these few suggestions, the odds are in your favor that you (and your kids) will never have to deal with a serious injury around your pool. You’ll be able to enjoy your summer with peace of mind. Now – off to the water!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with their Las Vegas real estate needs. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!