DB Homes

Tips Category

2017 Design Trend: Bold Front Door

Say adios to plain old black. Get rid of that sad, boring straight-from-the-store wood. If you're eager to try something bold in 2017, try painting your front door.
Try one of those bold blues, or maybe a bright red. Or figure out what you want your door to say about you, and pick a color accordingly. If you hate it? Don't worry: You can always paint again.
A bold front door is a trend that never goes out of style.


Make A Statement With Your Trim Package

The type of trim you pick for your home can make quite a statement.

Craftman style trim is a clean square look that is traditional, will never go out of style, and will always look great.

 


Keep the Cook Center Stage

Kitchen islands are a great place for a main or even secondary sink. Putting the Sink in the Island Creates a Super-Efficient Work Area — and Keeps the Cook Centerstage. It helps with food prep and clean up (a good place for a second garbage disposal).  And when not in use cover with a decorative cutting board for more serving space.  


Add Some Drama, Add Tray Ceiling Accents

 

Tray ceilings add height to a room by drawing the eye up. This design feature turns a bland ceiling into a focal point. Consider a wood accent, and for some extra wow add uplighting in the crown molding!


The Entryway Setting the Tone for the Design of Your Home

  

 

The entry, like a powder room, is a compact place where you can have fun with design without blowing a budget. Homeowners will spend on average $2,500 to make over their entryway or mudroom that’s 150 square feet or more ($1,400 for a space that’s less than 150 square feet), according to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report.


Laundry Room Design Tricks

   

 

Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms get the big remodeling dollars, but many homeowners are seeing value in making every space look great. And laundry rooms in particular are seeing more love. Design tricks to bring in more light, smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize that since they spend a lot of time doing laundry, why not do it in a space that makes them feel good?


Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Tips to Help Prevent Water Damage to Your Home

With the crazy amount of rain we have seen this summer so far and more to come in the forecast,  I thought it would be helpful to pass along some suggestions that you can do to help prevent water damage from happening to your home.  Also as an FYI, most homeowners insurance policies cover basic water damage claims up to the purchased limit.  But you know what’s a lot easier than going through the claims process? Preventing the water damage in the first place! Check out these suggestions for preventing water damage:

Be careful where you plant

Some plants and trees have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines. Clean Out Roof Gutters You know it’s on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof (or call a professional if you rain gutters are too high) and check out your gutters. You want to make sure they are not blocked.   If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! Gutter guards can go a long way to control debris and leaves from entering but they can still become blocked.  Run your garden hose through them to make sure they drain properly.  Set up a schedule at least two or three times a year to check your rain gutters, clean out any debris and repair any problems. Extend Downspouts Away From Your Home Extend your down spout pipes 10 to 20 feet past your foundation. Try to empty them on a part of your property that slopes away from your home.  You can extend your down spouts underground as long as the end of the pipe comes out somewhere. You must be able to see the end of your gutter pipe for it to completely drain out.  Run water from your garden hose through the underground extensions at least once a year to flush out leaves, rodent nests and other debris. Screens don't work well on the end of underground gutter lines because they can trap leaves inside and become blocked up. Identify Potential Surface Water Problems Walk around the outside of your home after a storm to see where the surface water runs or collects.  Surface water should run around your home to a lower point where it will drain off and not cause problems. If water can't seep below the ground to drain away, you'll continue to have surface water problems. An experienced landscaper can usually do some minor surface contouring to control your surface water. Sometimes a contoured shallow trench or swale can direct your water away without a great expense. Set Your Dehumidifier To Run Automatically Your dehumidifier should be set at the desired humidity level and left alone. When humidity levels rise, your dehumidifier will automatically turn on and lower the humidity. If you have a collection pan that requires emptying periodically, you can get a drain hose attachment instead. Adding a drain hose is a minor investment, usually less than $10, and will ensure that your dehumidifier runs as often as necessary during more humid seasons. The water will simply run into a floor drain or sump pump. If you don't have a floor drain or sump pump, then set yourself reminders to empty the collection pan. Remember to Shut the Windows & Doors It is always nice to open the windows or doors to let some fresh air in.  And it is common sense to close the windows and doors during a storm but a good practice is to always leave your basement windows closed.  Because your basement is below ground level, it will stay naturally cooler than the upstairs or air outside.  Warmer air shrinks as it enters the basement and causes a higher humidity level and condensation problems. The higher humidity and condensation are readily absorbed into everything porous, creating unpleasant and unhealthy odors.  Keeping your doors and windows closed will also save you money on electricity because your dehumidifier will run less. So as we prepare for the next forecast of wet weather be sure to take the time to do these small tasks at your home so that you can feel secure in knowing you have done all you can to prevent water damage to your home...it will be time well spent!


Financing Checklist

So you have finally taken the plunge and you are going to build a new house.  HOW EXCITING! But how to best finance your new home?  Let’s face it there is only a very small group of homeowners that can bring an all cash offer to the table so then it becomes, Which lender to apply with? Who has the best rates….Will you qualify for these rates? Choosing a lender can become a very overwhelming process!  Hopefully after reading this blog we will have provided you with some useful information to help guide you during the mortgage application process. We at DB Homes are not lending experts but we work closely with local banks and have developed a relationship with the “experts” at these banks that we can direct our customers to if they should need this service.  The first step for our customers would be to reach out to your bank and find out what their current rates are or if they offer any incentives or lending programs.  If you are not happy with what your bank has to offer, shop around, different lenders offer different programs. You wouldn’t walk into one car dealership and buy the first car you like and you shouldn’t do that with your mortgage either.  Once you decided on a lender, to ensure that your application moves quickly toward an anticipated conditional approval, you will most likely need to to provide the items listed below in a timely manner since the application process begins once all of your documentation has been received. The following checklist will help you identify items required at the time of your initial application: Income: Primary and secondary income amounts Pay Stubs covering the last 30 days for all applicants W2’s for the last 2 years for all applicants Employment/Asset Verification: Name, phone numbers and addresses of employers for the past 2 years; if employed less than 2 years at current employer, please provide a written explanation Verification of all monthly debt payments (such as mortgages, credit cards, automobile payments, lines of credit, second liens, etc.) Current 60 day bank statements (include all pages even if blank) to provide documentation for amount and source of any deposit that is not direct payroll or social security Tax Documents: Complete signed Federal tax returns for the last 2 years If you are self employed, the last 2 years’ complete tax returns (personal and business), K1s for all partnerships and YTD profit and loss statements Identity: Current phone number or e-mail address, if preferred.  And all physical addresses for the last 2 years Government issued photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) Other: Purchase contract from DB Homes Copy of annual property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and if applicable, homeowner association dues   Typically these items can be sent directly to your processor using mail, email or faxed.  Once all the items have been received and reviewed, your loan processor will contact you if any additional information is needed and once a credit decision has been made, you will be contacted by the bank.  Keep in mind their goal is like yours they want to close your loan as quickly as possible too!  Once a decision has been made and if you are pre-qualified you will receive the amount that you are pre-qualified for, what your monthly mortgage payment would be and how long the pre-qualification is valid through. Final approval of your mortgage is subject to the following conditions: A fully executed purchase contract A satisfactory written appraisal Sufficient funds to close Confirmation of accuracy of information provided Standard underwriting and eligibility guidelines Other conditions may apply based on the loan program selected   Some helpful tips to remember: Any changes to the loan; loan amount, term or rate could change the APR (annual percentage rate) and possibly require a wait period before closing.  Please make sure if you do request these changes, it is at least 15 days prior to closing. Some borrowers may require PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).  PMI means, when you apply for a mortgage, the lender wants to make sure your home will have enough equity to pay off the loan balance should you default and go into foreclosure. But since foreclosed upon homes are often sold at a “discount,” lenders want a buffer of at least 20%. In other words, they want to be reasonably sure they can recoup the money they loaned you if the home has to be sold at a lower price than the original sales price.
  • Any changes to the loan amount and it affects the PMI, you could possibly have a wait period before closing
  • PMI monthly premiums can change if there is a change in circumstance; credit scores, LTV, term, loan amount, loan product etc.
Do not apply for any credit during your loan process, it may affect the approval of your loan. Remember you have a choice when it comes to your mortgage.  DB Homes can help direct you to local banks that can assist you in this important and exciting decision.  


Checklist Before Your Design Center Visit

You have finally chosen your dream home plan, now it is time to personalize your home.  The Design Center is your next stop, so come with great ideas!  Here are some tips to remember:

√ Know Your Budget

It is very easy to go outside your budget in a design center.
  • Know where you are willing to compromise and where you are not.
  • Make a list of items you absolutely must upgrade and stick to that list.
For example, flooring or countertops are usually some things that get upgraded, and if you are building a DB Home you can take part in our “Owner Builder Program” and decide if you want the builder to do it or if you know someone else or maybe even you can do it yourself to save some money. Get the measurements of the areas you want to upgrade and shop around. Most of the time the builder will be cheaper and even if it's within a few hundred dollars it is worth not having to deal with the hassle later.  

√ Get Organized

  • Start a “dream-book” either in a notebook or create a digital version on your laptop.
  • Start collecting pictures of rooms you like.  Pull ideas from magazines, decorating books, catalogs and the internet (Pinterest, Houzz, etc.).
  • Visit our website (www.db-homes.com) under the “Options” tab and the “Model Homes” tab to familiarize yourself with the products offered and options that are available at DB Homes.  You can start your color selection process before you come to your Design Center appointment by “Pinning” any products under our option tab directly to your Pinterest page and either email the board or print it out to and bring it with you to your visit.
  • Visit and walk through our Model Homes at our Corporate Office on Eisenhower Blvd., Johnstown, PA or explore your neighbor and friends homes and make notes about your favorite cabinets, flooring, lighting, fireplace mantels, countertops, bath fixtures and so on.
  • Print your floor plan and think about how you plan to use each room including traffic patterns and activities.  This will help to guide your decisions about cabinetry, flooring, and countertop etc. options.
 

√ Making the Most of Your Appointment

  • Allow enough time for your appointment.  Our staff will schedule a generous block of time-- up to 3 hours-- to thoroughly go through and help you select all of your products and color specifications for your new home.
  • Make sure the “Decision-maker” is at this appointment.  If you and your husband want to make decisions as a team, then you both need to be at the appointment.
  • Minimize distractions.  Officially block off your time.  Arrange for daycare, doggie care etc. so you can be focused.
  • Bring your dream-book with you.  You can share your pictures and notes with our staff at this appointment.  Remember to write down any questions you want to ask at your appointment (like which products are “green,” or if you can have more than one countertop in your kitchen, etc.).
  • Take an inventory of your existing furniture and decide what you would like to incorporate into your new dream home.  Bring a pillow from a sofa, sham from a comforter, plate from your dishes, take pictures of your furniture and area rugs etc.  These will all be helpful tools when selecting colors.
  • Don’t be shy about taking notes.  You’ll be covering a lot of information, and it’s a lot to remember.
  • At the conclusion of your appointment, bring home brochures and any other documentation of your samples.
 

√ Following up

  • File your paperwork and documentation our received at your appointment in your DB Homes binder.
  • Mark ongoing deadlines on your calendar and make sure you get your design decisions in on time.
  • Expect some variations.  Every home is different, and your finishes will take on their own distinctive look and feel in your home.
  At DB Homes our staff will assist you every step of the way.  Your home is a reflection of you.  DB Homes will help make your dream home a reality!


8 Ways to Connect and Learn about DB Homes

Researching home builders online can be overwhelming for home shoppers. Buyers can quickly get a case of “builder blindness,” in which homes and builders all start to look alike. A couple of strategies that DB Homes uses to humanize our brand and make us stand out includes the many ways you can connect  and learn about DB Homes. There are 8 ways to learn about DB Homes: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, DB Homes- homebuilder blog, website, email, phone, visit our sales center and model homes Facebook, Twitter, our home builder blog, and Pinterest are all non-committal ways to learn about DB Homes, no one on one interactions (unless you choose to message us) but yet in a instant you can learn a little about who we are.
  • Facebook
For those of you that may have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, facebook is an on-line social networking service that gives people the power to share and connect to open up the world around us.  When used in a business capacity Facebook allows us to put a “face to the name.”  By uploading images, potential customers can get a  quick “taste” of  what options  and types of homes we can offer through DB Homes.  Every month we will post the featured house of the month as well as the option of the month.  We also can connect by posting about upcoming events or by showcasing the local teams that we sponsor within the community. When you think about how many people are on Facebook (as of last year, 500 million people use facebook, with 250 million of those accessing it from their mobile device), the information put out on facebook can snowball!  Once someone Likes your page, this fact shows up on the Facebook news feeds of all their friends. And because people tend to trust recommendations from their friends, they may well click Like too. Follow DB Homes on facebook: www.facebook.com/DBHomesInc    
  • Twitter
  Twitter is similar in concept to Facebook in that it is an information network. However, the messages are made up of only 140-characters (can include images and videos) called Tweets. So it is short, sweet and to the point! It's an easy way to discover the latest news related to subjects you care about.  Messages from users you choose to follow will show up on your home page for you to read. It’s like being delivered a newspaper whose headlines you’ll always find interesting – you can discover news as it’s happening, learn more about topics that are important to you, and get the inside scoop in real time.  People also turn to Twitter to talk about their business and their industry. This gives us a powerful context to connect directly with present and future customers in real time. Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DBHomesInc    
  • Pinterest
  Pinterest is a website or mobile app that acts as a virtual bulletin board to “pin” images that you deem as “good stuff.” You can pin images or videos from anywhere around the web or right on Pinterest.  So for our DB Homes customers you can easily post images from our website to your Pinterest account using the “Pin it” button on our home options and finishes page on the DB Homes website (www.db-homes.com/home-building-options) or you can just browse our pages on the Pinterest platform to discover, like, or “repin” content from our recent projects that we have already posted about.  This allows you to build your virtual dream home before you even come in to visit our design center.  This helps to give our staff a clearer image of what your style is and what you are looking for your finished home to look like. Follow us on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dbhomes/    
  • DB Homes Blog
  Our blog is meant to be an informational resource about building a home.  We try to give insight on what to expect when building a home, different promotions/options/floor plans we may be featuring for that month, financial information or even information on what different neighborhoods may have to offer.   Our blog can be found on our website or our facebook page. http://db-homes.com/blog/   After connecting with us on all the above mentioned social media sites and checking out our website you may finally be ready to meet us in person and start the process of building your dream home.  When you feel ready to do that you are always welcome to call the office at 262-7525, email us through our website contact page or stop by our newly remodeled design center and model homes.  We work hard to keep up with the latest trends and offer a variety of home finishes to please all our customers.  There is no better way to make the difficult decision on what finishes you want in your home then to see them in person.  So stop by and learn all about the DB Home Difference!  

Build Smarter. Build Better. Build with DB Homes.


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