Going Solo on Buying a Home – Tips for Buying a Home by Yourself

Going solo - tips for buying a home by yourselfMarried couples are the most common homebuyers. It makes sense because it’s typically easier to afford a down payment and qualify for a larger home loan with two income streams. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you’ve walked down the aisle before becoming a homeowner!

There’s been an increase in single buyers making their way into the housing market. With the way the current market is, we may see more single people considering buying a home. Are you thinking of buying a home on your own? Here’s everything you’ll need to know to make your homeowner dreams a reality.

Identify your long-term goals

Be prepared to answer the question, “Why do you want to buy a home?” Are you tired of renting? Do you want to put down roots and eventually start a family? Are you looking for a long-term investment?

The home you ultimately buy will vary based on your current and future goals. Take a look at your lifestyle and your future goals to determine if buying a home makes sense. If you want to travel a lot and move around, buying may not be the best option right now.

There’s a lot of freedom and stability that comes with owning a home but there’s also a lot of responsibility as well. Be sure you’re ready before taking this big step.

Be realistic about your budget

Your budget will be your guiding force through the buying process; it’s important that you’re honest about your spending and what you can afford. Review your current income and monthly expenses to determine how much you can afford. Mortgage calculators can provide an estimated price range that fits your budget.

There are additional costs to homeownership than just the mortgage payment; you’ll also need to cover insurance, property taxes, and maintenance so include those costs when calculating your budget.

You can practice paying a mortgage each month to see if you can swing the payment. Set aside the difference between your estimate mortgage payment and your rent in your savings. This will give you a good idea if you can afford to buy a home and gives you some savings to start with!

Strengthen your finances

The key for single buyers is understanding their budget, income, and the stability of that income. Single buyers must show lenders that they’re capable of qualifying for and making the monthly mortgage payments on a single income. Taking time to strengthen your financial history will make you the best possible application, showing lenders you’re more than capable of managing this loan. You can accomplish this by saving money for a down payment, paying off debt, and improving your credit score.

Bulk up your emergency fund

As mentioned earlier, homeowners are responsible for every aspect of owning a home, including maintenance and repairs. Build your emergency fund to cover unexpected housing expenses. Having about three to six months’ worth of mortgage payments and living expenses is a good benchmark to achieve. Be sure to replenish it as you use it!

Make a priority list

One of the benefits of buying a home by yourself is not having to compromise with a partner. You can pick the house you love and want. But you still want to create a list the features you need in your home: size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, and any other important features you need (consider things that would be prohibitively expensive to add later or will affect your quality of life). Having a priority list will keep you focused on finding the right home and not get carried away by a home with nonessential features like walk-in closets or granite countertops. This home may not be your forever home and that’s okay! Buy what you can afford and need in this season of your life.

Buying a home as a single person can be intimidating but is also rewarding. Hopefully you feel more empowered to buy your own home. When you’re ready, visit us at Hayden-Homes.com to learn more about our new homes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. You can use our mortgage calculator to determine what you can afford, view our plans, and reserve your dream home online.

Simple Ways to Make Your Home a Sanctuary

Simple Ways to Make Your Home a SanctuaryOur homes have become a one-stop shop for everyday life. They have served as our offices, schools, and entertainment centers in addition to hosting regular tasks of eating, sleeping, and relaxing. With our homes serving multipurpose functions, it’s now more important than ever to have a calming space where you can slow down, relax, and let go. Here’s how you can turn your Hayden Home into a sanctuary.

Eliminate distracting clutter

The first step to creating a calming space is clearing distracting clutter. Clutter can increase your stress and anxiety. That’s why it’s difficult to truly relax when there’s toys and clothes scattered across the floor.  Spend some time going through each room in the house and put away anything that doesn’t belong in that room.

Bring the light and outside in

Filling your home with natural light and nature-inspired elements like flowers, greenery, or water features will instantly set your home for relaxation. Pull back the curtains and open the blinds during the day to let the sunshine fill your space. During the evening, using warmer toned lights will help put you at ease as you relax before bed.

Natural elements like flowers and plants are instant mood boosters. Filling your home with plants will put your mind at ease. If you’re worried about keeping them alive, you can experience the same feel-good vibes with artificial plants.

Use your senses

Tune into your sense of smell and touch to help you unwind after a long day. Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, and lemongrass are known for natural relief of stress and anxiety. Scented candles are another good option to use. Furnishing your home with soft and cozy pillows and blankets encourages relaxation.

Create a special space

Designate a specific space in your home solely for relaxation. Doing this will help create the habit of relaxing. Do your best to keep distractions, like your phone and household tasks out of this space. You want to only use this as a place for relaxation. Doing this every day, even if only for a few moments, will help your body to equate that space with relaxing so you’ll feel more at peace the second you step into that space.

Our homes are more than just a place to live; they should also be safe spaces where we can slow down, relax, and connect with ourselves and our loved ones. These simple tips will transform your home into a peaceful and comforting sanctuary you’ll feel good about and in – no matter what’s happening in the world outside your home.

Find a New Home Near You

Are you looking for a brand-new home to create the perfect sanctuary? We can help. Hayden Homes builds single-family homes for every stage in life in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Contact us to start your journey to a new home.

Why is Home Insurance Important?

Why is homeowners insurance importantYour home is more than just a roof over your head. It’s filled with your belongings, memories, and comforts. So, it makes sense to do everything you can to protect this invaluable possession. That’s what makes home insurance a smart investment; it provides a sense of security of knowing your home and belongings are protected.

Here’s why it’s important to have home insurance.

It may be required for your mortgage

You aren’t legally required to have home insurance but your lender may require it as a condition for securing a mortgage. Why is this? Even though you paid a down payment, your lender is on the hook for the majority of the purchase until you pay off the mortgage. Since they’re responsible for so much, having you get home insurance gives them the security in knowing their asset in protected. Think of it this way: if your home is damaged or lost in a fire or natural disaster, both you and your lender will lose out if you don’t have home insurance!

Your lender will determine the minimum amount of coverage you need.

It protects your most valuable asset

For most people, their home is their most valuable asset. Home insurance protects that investment by making it possible to pay for needed repairs or replacement caused by damage or loss due to a covered event. Your home insurance policy covers damage to your home and attached structures, like a deck, garage, or porch in addition to any standalone structures on your property, like a fence or shed.

Replaces your belongings

In addition to providing protection to your home, your belongings, like furniture, clothes, jewelry, electronics, etc., are covered as well if they’re stolen or damaged. This includes the belongings that are lost in another location!

Provides liability coverage

Another benefit of home insurance is the liability coverage it provides. Sometimes accidents happen and your policy may step in to cover costs if you, or a family member (including pets) damage another person’s property or injuring someone or if someone is injured on your property. This may include covering costs for repairs, legal fees, or medical bills.

Covers living expenses

If you’ve experienced damage to your home and need to stay somewhere else while it’s being repaired, your insurance policy may cover a portion of your living expenses.

Have questions? Talk to an insurance professional

Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your coverage needs may vary so work with a trusted insurance broker to discuss your unique situation. They will be able to customize a policy that works best to protect your investment. They will also be able to explain what’s covered, policy limits, how to file a claim and more.

When it comes to protecting your home, insurance is one of the best things to buy that you hope you never have to use.

If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Northwest, we have beautiful new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho you’ll be sure to love.  Reach out to us today!

Common New Homebuyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Essential Tips for First Time HomebuyersWe know that when you are buying your very first home, it’s an exciting and emotional time. We also know it can be stressful. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate some of these feelings and stress by educating yourself on these common mistakes, we see first time homebuyers make.

First, we’ll cover a few financial mistakes and ways to avoid them.


This is one of the most important mistakes that is easily avoidable and can make a huge impact how much you can afford. If you don’t work to build your credit, and you don’t check your credit score regularly, your score may be lower than you expect. This can affect the interest rates you are eligible for when you’re working on getting a loan. Even the difference of a few percentage points on a mortgage loan can cost or save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

How to avoid this mistake: Checking your score regularly (you can request a free credit report each year from each of the three main credit bureaus) can help you identify any errors that arise and ensure you get them taken care of and off your credit report quickly. This will not only give you peace of mind but, will help you build a good credit score.


If you’re in the market for your first home, there are quite a few things to learn. One of which, is there are multiple home loan options to choose from. These include VA loans, available for veterans, as well as Federal (FHA) loans and several others. For many first-time homebuyers, finding ways to minimize your down payment may be important, and some of the government programs make it easy to buy a home with zero or a minimal amount down.

How to avoid this mistake: Take some time to lean about the various loan programs and determine what your goals are prior to selecting a specific loan program. We have a blog that covers each loan type in more detail to help determine which home loan type is right for you. Be sure you discuss these options with your loan officer as they will be able to assist you in making the right decision.


This is an important one, and one that you may not have thought about. The period between when you apply for your mortgage and when you close your home is critical. You’ll want to leave your credit alone if possible.

Why? A lender’s decision to give you a mortgage is based on your debt-to-income ratio as well as your credit score. Each time you apply for, or use your credit card, your score takes a minor hit and how much income you have compared to your total credit (debt-to-income ratio) decreases. Which isn’t good from the lender’s perspective, when they are deciding whether to give you a mortgage or not.

How to avoid this mistake: Don’t make any large purchases or use your credit cards while you’re in the process of getting approved for a home loan.


Given the high demand for homes and the growing prices in many markets in which we build, this can be tough. However, it’s important to understand and really dive into how much house you can afford. If not, you could end up looking at houses that you can’t afford or visiting homes that are below your optimal price level.

For many first-time homebuyers, it’s important to buy a home and get a mortgage with a comfortable monthly payment. Sometimes it’s a good idea to aim low.

How to avoid this mistake: Use the mortgage affordability calculator on our website to help give you a sense of the price range that is affordable to you, what’s a stretch and what’s aggressive.

Next, here are a few common mistakes we see once you own your home and how to avoid them.


On the plus side, you’re considering purchasing a new home, which means you will have significantly less maintenance to do on your home than if you were purchasing a resale home. However, even new homes need a little TLC to help keep them in their best shape. This includes changing filters regularly, preparing your home for seasonal changes, and staying on top of routine maintenance.  This is the best way to ensure small problems don’t turn into major repairs.

How to avoid this mistake: Not sure what to do or when? Visit the home maintenance page on our website for videos and seasonal home maintenance checklists.


When you buy a new home, this is something you won’t have to worry about. However, in the event you do want to make some changes, as tempting as it might be to make immediate changes, doing so could be a decision you end up regretting.

How to avoid this mistake: Live in your house for a few months to get a better feeling of what you like and what you don’t. Then determine what are your priorities and come up with a plan and budget before making any major changes.

In conclusion, while there may be other common mistakes out there, these are a few of the top mistakes we see people making and how best to avoid them.  If you’re in the market for a new home or have additional questions, our team of highly educated and trained sales professionals can help. Contact us today to learn how you can turn your dreams of homeownership into reality!

How to Incorporate Pantone’s 2021 Colors of the Year Into Your Home

How to Incorporate Pantone's 2021 Colors of the Year Into Your HomeUsing color in your interior décor is a great way to try out new trends. This year’s Pantone Colors of Year, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, are “A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.” 

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, which is a bright yellow hue, are two independent colors that come together to support one another and we couldn’t agree more that these colors work perfectly together to do just that! Here are some ways you can incorporate these vibrant colors into your home.

Kitchen Backsplash or Cabinetry

If you want to go all in and make a bold statement, we love the idea of making your kitchen pop with yellow backsplash. Ultimate Gray can be used throughout your home, but it is perfect for an accent wall or even cabinetry. These colors will look fashionable for years to come so you won’t have to worry about repainting any time soon. Now, when you design a Hayden Home, we offer gray as an option when you’re selecting your cabinetry color selections!


Outfit your living room, bedrooms, or dining room with upholstered furniture. Ultimate Gray is a beautiful color on statement sofas, accent chairs, benches, ottomans, and more. Give them a pop of color, that will make you smile, by adding a throw blanket or yellow pillows.

Decorative Accents

Decorative accents like artwork and other smaller décor items (e.g. vases, lamps, bookends) are an easy way to add either Ultimate Gray or pops of color with Illuminating yellow, into your home in smaller doses. They’re easy to change out as trends, the season, or your design tastes evolves.

Rugs and Linens

Area rugs and linens like bedding, towels, and even curtains offer another less permanent way to enjoy this trend. While Ultimate Gray is a classic color here to stay, you can compliment this color with yellow accents that are perfect for the any room, because the color is ” Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” Think about using these colors in layers throughout your home with decorative pillows and throw blankets, a plush area rug, and duvet covers for the bed.

Kitchen Appliances and Cookware

Want to enjoy Illuminating yellow in your kitchen without committing to replacing your backsplash or walls? Colorful kitchen appliances and cookware are a great alternative, like a Dutch oven or even a stand mixer. Another option is looking out for serving platters and bowls in this delightful color.

Enjoy Your New Home!

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating yellow are two colors you will be sure to enjoy for years to come. If you’re looking for additional inspiration, check out our Pinterest board to get inspired by these colors. If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, we have homes for sale in WashingtonOregon, and Idaho. We are ready to help you, whether you’re buying your first home or purchasing your second or third. Contact us today to learn more!

Sisters High School 2020 Hayden Homes $2,500 Scholarship Recipient

It is Hayden Homes’ honor to partner with Sisters High School and the Sisters Arts Association to showcase the incredible talent of Sisters Country youth and contribute to the region’s vibrant arts scene with the $2,500 Hayden Homes Art Scholarship. Dan Schmidt, a 2020 Sisters High School graduate, created this year’s winning concept.

A team of judges from the Sisters Arts Association and Hayden homes reviewed several applications for this scholarship and chose Daniel’s piece to be commissioned by Hayden Homes for completion and placed on display at the model home in McKenzie Meadows Village.

“We know arts are an essential building block in the schools and are of great value to the Sisters community,” said Chris Davis, Regional Director for Hayden Homes.  “It is Hayden Homes’ honor to collaborate with Sisters High School and the Sisters Arts Association to showcase the incredible talent of Sisters Country youth through this scholarship. Daniel’s art adds the perfect touch to our model home, and we are excited to be able to showcase such a unique piece.”


For this piece, Dan chose to stick with his natural urge to depict motions of nature by showcasing the patterns of a snow drift. He was backcountry skiing when the idea suddenly struck him as he poked into an untouched meadow of beauteous wind drifts with an otherworldly visual energy. Dan thinks this is applicable to northwest landscape as it is one of the elements that makes the northwest so distinctive.


  • Kit Stafford – Sisters Arts Association
  • Bob Burgess -Sisters Arts Association
  • Bethany Gunnarson – Sisters High School Arts Teacher
  • Katie McGowan – Hayden Homes

Watch this video to learn more about Dan, his artwork, and what this scholarship means to him.

Dan’s art piece is currently on display at our McKenzie Meadow Village model home. We welcome you to come see it for yourself!

Are you or someone you know a Senior at Sisters High School? Apply now through February 27th for the 2021 Hayden Homes Art Scholarship. Visit the Sisters GRO website for more information and to apply.

Holiday Staging Tips and Ticks

We are thrilled to present some simple holiday staging tips and tricks to help you make the most of your space, when setting up for the holiday.

With Karie Bomstad, Owner and Stager at Staging Spaces and Design

Tips for Decorating Your Font Porch









Tips For Decorating The Front Porch

The front porch is an important space that welcomes all guests into your home. There many simple and beautiful ways to dress up your front porch. When decorating, outdoors, always keep in mind to use weather-resistance decor options. If you have front porch furniture, a fun way to incorporate decor is by using festive throw pillows or blankets to drape over chairs for a pop of color.

Dressing up your window plant shelf with greenery, lights, or even ornaments is another great way to pull in color to your front porch.

Don’t forget your front door. A wreath, tree, and doormat can work to bring the space together.

Tips for Decorating The Fireplace Mantel










Tips for Decorating The Fireplace Mantle

When decorating your fireplace mantle, keep in mind that your goal is to add height and dimension. You can do this by placing garland, ornaments and other items to the mantle.

How to hang garland damage free:

  • Lay the garland directly on top of the mantle or swag in front of the mantle
  • Secure the garland with command hooks for easy removal

Use real or pho greenery and add different accessories to add depth and texture.

Pro Tips – Pick a theme and stick with it. Adding a wreath over a mirror can help to add a simple, yet festive touch to your great room.

Decorating Your Tree for the Holidays








Tips for Decorating The Tree

The Tree is the star of the show. Here are some tips for how to decorate it like a professional.

  • Invest in a high quality tree, whether that’s real or artificial, and remember to shape the branches.
  • Spread the branches out to make them look more full and natural.
  • Keep to a color scheme. You can use bows and ribbon to make it feel chic and classy.
  • Before placing your lights on the tree, make sure they are all in working order.
    • If you’re using an artificial tree and you want to keep your lights for the following year, you can wrap them around each branch.
  • Consider a non-traditional tree skirt. Such as galvanized collars, wood crates, or a chunky throw.

Decorating Your Table for the Holidays








Tips for Decorating The Dining Room Table

Dress to impress with everyday practical decor. Bringing the outside in during the holidays is an effective and inexpensive way to make your table decorations more festive. Try strewing your table with branches, stems and pinecones and add chargers and placemats to bring the space together.

Pillows add a pop of color for holiday decor











Bonus Tip for An Added Pop of Fun and Color

If you have any books laying around, you can wrap them in wrapping paper and lay them on your coffee table. The same goes for empty boxes! Wrap them up, and put them on display.

From all of us Hayden Homes and Staging SPaces & Design we thank you and we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. We hope you enjoyed these holiday decorating tips for your home.

Eat, Drink, Give & Support Local

Support Local Holiday Guide Key

We know the holiday shopping season looks different this year. We also know our local businesses and community members need our support.  They are an integral part of making our communities great, unique places to live. We hope our holiday guide helps you find meaningful ways to connect with local business and nonprofits, which in turn, builds a strong community.  Our holiday guide includes local recommendations in the communities in which build.

Whether you’re looking for a way to give, eat, play, shop or relax, we have you covered! Explore our local shopping guides in any of the following regions:




We realize there are many other great local businesses in these communities and encourage you to explore online to find more! If you have a favorite, you’d like us to include in the list, we’d love to hear from you! Please email us at info@hayden-homes.com and we will do our best to include your favorites.


How to Save for a New Home While Renting

How to Save for a New Home While RentingAre you currently renting but dream of owning your own home? You’re not alone! There are a lot of benefits of owning your own home but it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out how to save.

How do renters make the leap to home ownership? While the answer depends on each individual person, you can use these general tips to create a plan that can work for your situation.

Determine how much you need to save

The first step to saving is knowing what your target number is. There are a lot of costs involved in buying home, one of the largest being the down payment. You may have heard that you need a 20% down payment but that isn’t required. Depending on the type of mortgage you receive, you may be able to buy a home with as little as 3.5%*.

Explore our mortgage calculator to play with some numbers and figure out how much of a down payment you may want to save. Mortgage calculators are a great way to estimate how much your monthly mortgage payments can be and how your down payment can affect the amount.

Review your budget

You can’t plan for the future without knowing where you’re at now. Once you’ve set your target savings amount, its time to review your budget to see where your money is currently going and identify areas you can cut back.

It can sometimes feel impossible to save money without feeling deprived but by looking at your budget, you may be able to find ways to save money while still enjoying your daily coffee shop visit. If you’ve never created a budget before, the 50/30/20 budget plan is an easy place to start.

Set a realistic savings goal

Keep your ambition in check when creating a savings goal. You may want to fast track your nest egg and set aside a large amount each month, but if you find it difficult to consistently set aside that large amount, you may end up more discouraged. Instead, choose a sustainable savings amount you know you can meet each month. It may mean being a renter a little longer but your finances and well-being will be in a much better state.

Reduce spending

Find realistic ways to cut back on spending and discretionary purchases. While going without heat during the winter may save you plenty of money, trying to survive a Northwestern winter without heat is miserable! Instead, consider opting out of cable to a streaming service. You can look for an affordable apartment or take on a roommate to help with the costs. Take a close look at your expenses and see if you’re paying for services you no longer use. Cancel the service and reroute that money towards your savings!

Pay down debt

One of the best ways to free up money for savings is dealing with high-interest debt like credit cards. Find a repayment plan that helps you tackle your debt as quickly as possible. Not only does paying debt increase cash flow, it also raises your credit score and balances your debt-to-income ratio, two things mortgage lenders use to determine your loan eligibility.

Save windfalls

Unexpected money is always a treat so funnel those windfalls like tax returns, bonuses, or cash gifts towards your down payment fund instead of spending it. Every little bit helps and shortens your waiting time. If you get a raise, stomp out lifestyle creep by depositing the extra money into your savings and continue to live off your old income level.

Automate your savings

Make saving easy by setting up automatic transfers into your savings account so you’re not tempted to spend your hard-saved money.

Scale back on large expenses

It may be necessary to scale back on large expenses while saving for a home. Instead of taking big vacations or giving elaborate holiday gifts, find ways to cut back on those expenses. Depending on how much you spend on vacations, consider either taking shorter and more affordable trips or skipping one for the cause. Likewise, instead of giving extravagant and expensive gifts, stick to a budget.

Research down payment assistance programs

Down payment assistance programs are available to help first-time home buyers secure grants or low-interest loans. These programs are available at the federal, state, and city level so program qualifications and requirements vary. Check with the state housing authority to find out more.

Start saving for a down payment today!

Creating a solid savings plan will make home ownership is possible and within reach, even when you’re renting. These tips will allow you to successfully save money while still enjoying life.

Once you’ve hit your down payment savings goal, visit us to learn more about our homes. Hayden Homes builds new single-family homes in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington for every stage of life. We can’t wait to welcome you home!

Discover the Benefits of Homeownership

DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF HOMEOWNERSHIPFor many, homeownership is the pinnacle of the American Dream. It’s a milestone we look forward too even with all of the responsibilities that are associated with owning your own home. However, there are plenty of benefits that come along with it! If you’re renting, or in the market for a new home and you’re wondering what are the benefits of homeownership, here are some of the benefits you can plan for when you own a home.

It’s generally a good investment

Owning a home has always been described as a savvy financial investment since it’s one of the main ways of accumulating wealth, as long as you purchase a home you can afford. As your property value increases over time, you set yourself to get a substantial return when its time to sell.

Build equity

Equity is what you can sell your home for minus what you owe. You own a little more of your home with each mortgage payment, decreasing the amount you owe and increasing your equity. There are two ways to build equity, usually at the same time:

  1. Reducing how much you owe and
  2. Increasing your home’s value, whether through home improvements or just waiting it out.

Enjoy tax benefits

Homeowners enjoy a number of tax breaks, most notably deducting mortgage interest and property tax payments (the latter if you itemize). You may also be able to deduct some closing cost expenses the first year you own your home. Another handy tax benefit comes when you sell: if your home has been your primary residence for more than two years, you’ll be exempt from capital gains taxes up to $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing jointly) when you sell.

Predictable housing costs

Unlike renters, home owners will know their monthly mortgage payments will stay relatively the same, especially if you have a fixed rate mortgage. You won’t have to worry about increasing rent potentially pricing you out of your home and neighborhood.

Create the home you want

Owning your own home means you can create the home you’ve always wanted. You can own pets without the costly pet rent or deposit, paint rooms whatever color you want, change the flooring or hardware, make updates. The possibilities are endless when you no longer have to get permission or change everything back when it’s time to move.


Living in a detached home gives you the privacy you don’t get in an apartment. No more dealing with thin walls and noisy neighbors stomping around above you.

For some, experiencing the feeling of accomplishment that comes with owning a home is the ultimate goal; to have a place to create new memories, enjoy celebrations, and share life with family and friends. Simply put, there’s no place like home!

We’re ready to help whenever you’re ready to experience the benefits of homeownership! We build new homes for every stage in life in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Contact us to get started with building your own brand new home!