How to Budget for a New Home

Young couple working on budgeting for their new homeBuying a new home is one of the largest purchases we make in our lifetimes. Since it’s such a huge financial decision, it’s best to do your due diligence to determine how much you can afford before going to your first open house.

Reviewing and adjusting your finances is an important first step towards homeownership. Here are some great tips on how to budget for a new home.

Review your income

The key to creating a budget is knowing how much you have to spend. Add up your after-tax income sources for the month. Use this final number to build your budget around.

Write down current monthly expenses

List all of your monthly expenses so you can see where your dollars go each month, including any debt payments. Once you have your expenses figured out, you can calculate how much you’ll have remaining for housing costs.

List new regular expenses

In addition to your usual household expenses like mortgage and utilities, you’ll be responsible for some additional costs as a homeowner that you weren’t previously.

  • Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance: Check to see if these payments are included in your monthly mortgage payment. If you need to make separate payments, you’ll want to include that into your budget so you’re not surprised when the bill arrives. If they are included with your mortgage payment, be aware that your payment amount may vary by the year due to changes in property taxes and insurance premiums.
  • Homeowners association fees: Homeowners association (HOAs) dues are fees collected to maintain common areas in a neighborhood. Some fees are collected monthly while others are collected yearly. Its best to set some money aside each month so you’re not blindsided by a large payment all at once. Thankfully, Hayden Homes’ communities don’t have homeowners association fees.
  • Home maintenance: If you’re purchasing an existing (or used) home, home maintenance should be top of mind. A good rule of thumb is setting aside 1 to 2% of the value of your home each year for upkeep. One of the benefits of buying a brand new home is not having to worry about typical home maintenance. We offer each Hayden homebuyer one of the most comprehensive homeowner warranty programs. Each Hayden home comes with a one-year builder warranty on our work so the first year in your new home will be worry free!

Make adjustments

Once you have your expenses written down, review them to see if there are any areas you adjust your spending so you can save money or increase your allowable housing costs and/or paying down debt.

Save for a down payment

Many first-time homebuyers find saving for a down payment is typically the biggest challenge to overcome. Find out how much of a down payment you’ll need by getting pre-qualified for a mortgage and then create a savings plan.

Roll with the financial punches

Budgets are living breathing things so it’s okay to revisit your budget and make adjustments as your financial situation changes. Make sure you’re still building an emergency fund (ideally, you’ll have enough set aside to cover three to six months of expenses).

Find your dream home with Hayden Homes

If you have more questions on how to budget for a new home, our team is here to help and are available to get you in touch with a loan officer to go deeper into this topic with you. So when you’re ready to start the homebuying process, we’re ready to help you find your dream home. We have brand new homes for sale in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find your new home.

How to Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

How to Get Your Yard Ready for SummerSummer is just on the horizon and now is a great time to start getting your yard ready for the warm summer months. Regular lawn maintenance is the key to a healthy and happy lawn. Use this guide to help you keep track of how you can prepare and keep your yard looking lush during the summer months in the Pacific Northwest.

Aerate your lawn

Aerating your lawn allows water, oxygen, and vital nutrients to better reach the root system. Over time, lawns become compacted thanks to everyday activities that occur in our yards. This compression can make it difficult for grass to grow properly because the roots don’t make much room. For our homeowners in the Pacific Northwest, an ideal time to aerate the lawn is during the spring while the grass has started growing. Most experts recommend aerating your lawn every one to three years, but if your yard gets a lot of action, you may want to aerate more often.

Fertilize the grass

Fertilizing your lawn twice a year is usually all you need, with a light application in the spring and fall months. Opt for a slow-release or organic fertilizer (just be aware that you may need to apply more fertilizer if you use an organic one). You can also use compost or manure if you prefer.

Mow right and as often as needed

Mowing is the core maintenance task that can make or break your lawn. Many homeowners make the mistake of cutting the blades too short. Instead of giving your grass a buzzcut, try to remove no more than one-third of the grass. Two inches is a perfectly acceptable height for most grasses. Longer grass blades provides shade to the soil, keeping it moist. You may need to only mow your lawn once every two or three weeks (or once your grass reaches at least three inches in height).

Make sure your mower’s blades are sharp and well maintained. Dull blades will damage the grass by ripping or tearing it instead of cutting cleaning.

Water wisely

Most homeowners are wary of under-watering their yard; however, over-watering can be just as harmful. When it comes to summer watering, consider watering deeper and less frequently. Most experts recommend watering 1 inch of water once a week instead of sticking to a specific amount of time. If you don’t know how long it takes to lay down an inch of water, place a rain gauge or plastic cup to measure how much water you’re putting on. This will cause the grass roots to grow deeper into the soil, making it possible for it to sustain itself during periods of drought.

Try to water your grass during the early morning or late evening hours to allow the lawn the best chance at absorbing the moisture instead of being quickly evaporated by the summer heat.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your yard ready for summer so you can enjoy your lawn well into the summer season.

For other seasonal tips and videos take a look at our homeowner maintenance page here. 

Sweet and Special Ways to Spend Mother’s Day

Young Child Giving Mom a Gift for Mother's DayThis Mother’s Day, why not get the family together to treat Mom to a day that’s all about her! Moms spend a lot of time and effort making our lives better and it’s great to take some time to show the mom in your life just how much you appreciate her. Whether she likes to stay in and relax or go out and explore, these fun and sweet activities will make her Mother’s Day extra sweet.

Host brunch or dinner at home

Mother’s Day tends to be a very busy day at restaurants as families clamber to give Mom a break from cooking duties. Instead of fighting for a table, host a meal at home! Keep the meal simple and feel free to use store bought items to make it even easier. You can even make it a bigger celebration by inviting other family members and friends to join the fun.

Explore the great outdoors

The weather is usually nice around this time so take advantage and head outside for some quality family time. Whether you’re talking a causal walk around the neighborhood or heading out for a long hike, getting outside and moving will make everyone feel good. Make a day out of it by packing a picnic lunch!

Take her to her favorite places

Let your mom’s interests set the agenda for the day. If she has a favorite museum, store, or activity she likes to do, share it as a family!

Have a relaxing day in

If the mom in your life is usually on the go, take a break from the hustle and bustle of her usual schedule and have a relaxing day in. Have dad and the kids handle any requests and chores. Let her start the day by sleeping in, enjoy an at-home spa day or some coveted alone time, and then finish up the evening with a family game or movie night.

Make a difference together

Mother’s Day is a great time to give back to others. Consider donating some clothes to a local charity or women’s shelter or volunteering together in the community. You can also pick a cause or program she’s passionate about to make a donation in her name.

Whichever activity you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day, your efforts will be greatly appreciated. Even simple gifts and tokens of your love and gratitude will fill your mom’s heart. These sweet activities will make this special day one to remember.

New Construction Homes and Communities in Dallas, OR

Building a new home in Dallas, OregonLooking to move to Dallas, Oregon? Here at Hayden Homes, we’ve got everything you need to know about why Dallas is a great place to live. Whether you’re drawn to the outdoor activities, laid-back lifestyle, or Willamette Valley’s wine country, there’s something for everyone here.

Living in Dallas

Ideally located among vineyards and rolling hills, Dallas has a small-town charm and a rich history that makes it the perfect place to call home. Visit the locally-owned shops in the historic downtown area, explore the parks connected through the Rickreall Creek Trail, or enjoy Oregon’s growing wine country. If you’re looking for a new home in Dallas, explore our new home opportunities.

Dallas Real Estate Market

There are plenty of options for those looking for a new home in Dallas, Oregon. Not only are you able to enjoy the “big city” amenities of nearby Portland without the hustle, you’ll enjoy a small-town flavor that’s only available in Dallas. According to a Zillow Market Overview, the current median home sale price is $281,100 and Hayden Homes is offering brand new homes in our Orchard Gleanns community starting at $247,990! Zillow is also predicting a 7.4% increase in home values in the next year. If you’re looking to buy, now is a great time!

Orchard Gleanns – New Homes in Dallas, Oregon

Orchard Gleanns features new single-family homes with three bedrooms between approximately 1148 to 2026 square feet of living space. Orchard Gleanns is a well-situated community close to shopping, dining, and a great school district. It’s the perfect community to build a life for your growing, or future, family

You’ll enjoy your new home by Hayden Homes. Our new construction homes feature everything today’s buyers are looking for: contemporary designs and modern features, energy-efficient appliances, a new home warranty, and incredible value. You can rest assured that your new home has been built with the highest commitment to quality and attention to detail.

Find Your Dream Home Today

Finding your dream home is an exciting process and we want to help you find yours. We invite you to visit our Orchard Gleanns community in Dallas. We also have several communities throughout the Willamette Valley as well. Contact our team of talented, knowledgeable Community Managers to discuss your financing options, and available homes and communities. We can’t wait to welcome you to your new home!

Top Reasons Why We Choose to Move

Top Reasons Why We Choose to MoveAre you planning on moving soon? If so, you’re not alone! On average, Americans move about every five to seven years. From new jobs to changing familial relationships, there are lots of different reasons why people move.

With the summer months coming up, more families will be packing up and moving into a new home. Coincidentally a lot of the moves happen in May, which is why it’s National Moving Month. Here are some of the top five reasons why we choose to move:

For a better home

According to 2017 American Housing Survey, over half of recent homebuyers (55%) moved for a better home. First-time buyers are making the leap from renting to owning and some move-up buyers simply outgrow their “starter home” as their families grow.

Or perhaps you stopped loving (or tolerating) the quirks of your current home. Maybe the street noise turned out to be louder than expected, or you need more storage space. Whatever the reason, sometimes moving to a new and larger home is in order.

For a better neighborhood

46% of homebuyers moved for a better neighborhood. Neighborhoods change over time. Your neighborhood could have been a quiet, sleepy bedroom community when you moved in, but thanks to area development projects, has become too commercial and busy for your liking. Likewise, if you have children (or plan to start a family), you may desire to move to be in a better school district.

To form a household

About 39% on homebuyers (and an astounding 61% of first-time buyers) listed forming their own household as the reason why they moved. Whether you’re getting married or having kids, getting a home to call your own was part of the process.

To be closer to family

22% of homebuyers moved so they could be closer to family. This is common as we age; parents desire to be closer to their children and grandchildren, and sometimes grown children move closer to home for the same reasons, especially if they want help taking care of the kids!

To reduce housing costs

19% of homebuyers claimed reducing housing costs as their prime reason for moving. Some are downsizing into a smaller home (which means smaller utility bills, home insurance, and property taxes) or relocating from a location with a higher cost of living location to one with a lower cost of living. Many residents of states with higher costs of living, like California, find they have more buying power in other states like Idaho, Washington and Oregon than they otherwise would. Which means they can afford a much larger home.

Some other reasons for moving also include: a change in household composition (18%), getting a new job (14%), and reducing commute times (12%).

Let Hayden Homes help you with your next move

Whatever your reason for moving to a new home, Hayden Homes is here to help. With new home communities throughout Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, you’ll find plenty of options for quality, affordable homes for every stage in life. View the benefits of buying new to learn what makes a Hayden Home the right new home for both you and the entire Pacific Northwest.

Tips for Designing a Hip and Creative Kid’s Room

Tips for Designing a Hip and Creative Kid's RoomDecorating your child’s bedroom poses an interesting challenge: not only do you want to create a space that reflects your kid’s personality, you also don’t want to redecorate every few years whenever their interests (inevitably) change.

The trick to designing a hip and creative kid’s room is balancing the functional aspects with the design motifs that make a room feel fresh. Since your child’s bedroom serves multiple purposes; not only is it where they sleep or relax, it’s also where they can play, study, or just hang out, you’ll need to keep all that in mind when decorating.

Use these tips to create a bedroom your kid is sure to love and will happily grow with them.

Plan the space

Before you begin, talk with your kids about how they use their rooms. Remember, their bedrooms are more than just places to sleep: it’s also where they hang out with friends, relax on their own, play or study. You’ll want to create zones in the room to accommodate each way they use their rooms. Toddlers and younger kids will need lots of floor space to play while teens will need space to hang out with their friends.

Keep the overall design simple

It’s easy to get excited about creating a room that perfectly encapsulate your child’s interests but kids are also notoriously fickle, trading interests as quickly as they outgrow their clothes. Instead of creating an overly themed room complete with kid-sized furniture, keep the design simple by using accessories to tie in your kids’ interests and purchasing furniture and accent pieces that can be used by someone of any age. This will save you from having to purchase new furniture as your kid grows.

Use versatile pieces

When designing a nursery, instead of purchasing single-purpose furniture like a changing table, opt for a dresser or chest of drawers that can double as a changing table and then reverted to its original purpose once the diaper stage is behind you. Likewise, opt for cribs that convert to different bed types or select a bed with built-in storage space for additional storage options.

Define each space

Now that you know how your kid will use their rooms, define each zone with appropriate furniture or accessories. Encourage studying or creative play with a desk or table and chairs; set up a reading space with bean bags, a hanging chair, or papasan chair; or create a bright area with your child’s toys for playtime.

Get funky with accessories

As mentioned before, having fun with accessories is the best way to introduce a trend or express your child’s interests since they’re relatively easy to replace since they’re relatively inexpensive. Soft furnishings like rugs, curtains, and bedding are fantastic ways to introduce patterns, colors, and textures. Wall stickers are also a great way to add some fun to their room; bonus points: they’re easily removed as their interests change!

Let your kids have a say

Don’t forget to get input from your kid! This is their room and they should be allowed to choose some of the furniture, accessories, and colors. Be sure to explain that while you still hold parental veto rights (this will save you from having to paint the walls black), your child can select some items for their room.

One of the best things about owning your home is the freedom you have to decorate as you please. You can create the bedroom of your kid’s dreams and help their transition into a new home. If you’re ready to say hello to a new home in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and all throughout the Northwest, contact us today to find the home that’s right for you.

How the Recent Unchanged Federal Reserve Interest Rate Improves Mortgage Rates

Federal-Reserve-announces-they-will-not-increase-interest-rates-good-for-mortgagesA year ago, it was predicted that Federal Reserve Interest Rates (national interest rates) were going to continue to climb all through 2018 and carry into 2019 as the economy showed great signs of improvement. Then, as you may have heard, the Federal Reserve announced that they will hold rates steady for the remainder of the year. This is good news for those looking to purchase a new home. How, you may be wondering? First let’s briefly explain how interest rates affect your purchasing power as a current or future homebuyer.

If you’re going to use a home loan to purchase your new home, the question of how much you can afford can also be called your ‘purchasing power’. Any change in the national interest rates can either improve this power or make it harder for you to buy a home. The higher the interest rates the more expensive your home will become and the higher your monthly mortgage payment in terms of Principal and Interest, (P&I only), will be. This is not factoring in homeowner’s insurance or property taxes, since those vary depending on the home’s location and your personal coverage options.

These lower rates can make a huge impact on home affordability & purchasing power. The difference between 1% in rates on a $250,000 home mortgage can save you nearly $150 per month and over $42,000 in interest over the life of your loan! That’s a lot of money saved in the long run.

Back in November rates we’re higher than we’ve seen since March of 2011. And they are back to the lowest we’ve seen since February of 2018. Since the Federal Reserve announced that they will hold rates steady for the remainder of the year and if you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a home, now is the time to make a move and get into that new home.

Before you start looking at new home communities, make sure you get your pre-approval for a mortgage. This will help you confirm that the amount you think you can pay is in line with what you will qualify for. With new homes throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho, contact a Community Manager today and we can get you in touch with a Loan Officer to get pre-approved and get started down the path of buying the new home of your dreams.

Freddie Mac Source: http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms30.html

**Written as of 3/21/2019. Rates may change at any time. Please consult a Loan Officer for specific details on current interest rates and to get pre-approved for a home loan.

Homebuying 101: Understanding Credit Scores

Homebuying 101: Understanding Credit ScoresYour credit score is one of the most important numbers of your financial life. This three-digit number can be the difference between getting the loan you need to buy a new home or car, or even qualify for a credit card with a good interest rate. While credit scores play a strong role in our financial life, they’re also a bit misunderstood. Here’s a quick guide to understanding credit scores.
What is a credit score?
Your credit score is the number rating used by banks to determine how likely you are to repay a loan. Each credit bureau has their own way of calculating credit scores, but typically your score is based on the following factors:
  • Payment history
  • Age of credit
  • Credit card utilization (the amount of credit available and how much you’re using)
  • Types of credit (i.e. credit cards, auto, student, personal or mortgage loans, etc.)
  • Hard credit inquiries (credit checks requested by lenders when you apply for credit/loan)
After reviewing your credit history, a three-digit number between 300 and 850 will be assigned. The higher the score on this scale, the better your credit is. It’s common to have a slightly different score at the same time. Each credit bureau uses their own calculation model to determine your credit score, and sometimes lenders don’t report to all three credit bureaus.
What’s a ‘good’ credit score?
Your credit score will fall into one of four categories: Very Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good or Excellent. Here’s the range for scores lenders use (this range is typically for VantageScore, which is used by the 3 major credit bureaus):
  • Very Poor: any credit score under 549
  • Fair: credit score between 550 and 649
  • Good: credit score between 650 and 749
  • Very Good: credit score between 750 and 749
  • Excellent: any credit score 750 and above
How credit scores affect homebuying
Your credit score is the key to buying a new home. When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will review your credit report to determine whether or not to approve you for a loan, but also how much you’ll qualify to borrow, your mortgage rate, the type of loan you can get, and, in some cases, how much private mortgage insurance you’ll pay.
There’s no minimum credit score needed to apply for most loans, there are some mortgage providers, like FHA, have general guidelines for people with lower credit scores.
Not only that, but your credit score also affects your interest rate. Most lenders will provide more favorable interest rates to people with higher credit scores, which can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!
Checking your credit score
Not only should you check your credit score before you begin the mortgage process, you should regularly review your credit report to make sure the information is accurate and to check your progress if you’re working to improve your score. Don’t worry: checking your credit report won’t affect your credit score! You can request a free credit report each year or use one a service like CreditKarma.com to check your credit score.

Congratulations Michaela Corcoran-Hall, Realtor! Hayden Homes MVR

Congratulations Michaela Corcoran-Hall, Realtor! Hayden Homes MVRWe are excited to announce that Michaela Corcoran-Hall, one of our respected Real Estate Partners, with Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty, in North Idaho, has been elevated to Hayden Homes Most Valuable Realtor (MVR) status!

A little about Michaela: 

Michaela Corcoran-Hall is a consummate real estate professional, who not only understands the art of deal-making, but also the art of relationships. She makes the process of buying and selling homes an experience that her clients praise her for. Michaela has a tremendous appreciation for Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding areas, its rich history, and communities. Her knowledge of the real estate market and market trends is unparalleled, and highly respected by her peers and clients. Michaela began her successful career in 2004 with Re/Max by the Lake in Coeur d Alene, where she was awarded 2004 Rookie of the Year in Kootenai County and now 15 years later being the Top Female Agent at Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty. With 15 years in the Real Estate business, she brings a balanced perspective to residential real estate marketing and sales, including Top Listing Agent, Top Buyers Agent, Residential Home Sales, Home Buyers, Resort Properties, Second Homes, Lake Properties and Investments. Real estate negotiation is where she found her true calling….Representing Her Clients!

Michaela’s expertise is marketing up-scale homes in Northern Idaho to local, national and global buyers, across all major media channels and through her extensive, personal international network of contacts. Clearly, Michaela’s core competence is the art of cultivating relationships through personal contact, social media, and her extensive client base.

When Michaela represents her clients, she presents all viable options to her clients, knowing that this may be the largest investment of their lives. She is with them through every step of their sale or purchase.

Thank you and congratulations to Michaela, we look forward to continuing our wonderful partnership in the future! To learn more about our MVR program CLICK HERE.

Congratulations Cody Spencer, Realtor! Hayden Homes MVR

Cody Spencer, Realtor and Hayden Homes MVRWe are excited to announce that Cody Spencer, Realtor, one of our respected Real Estate Partners, with Embrace Real Estate, has been elevated to Hayden Homes Most Valuable Realtor (MVR) status!

A little about Cody,

Cody moved to the great city of Coeur D’alene, ID at the age of 10 years old and has fallen in love with the the community, the lakes, the people and the great local small town feel that it offers. He says that it’s the people of Coeur D’alene that make it so special! He has been in Real Estate for 3 years and he loves serving people with one of the biggest decisions they will make in their life – buying a home. His goal has always been centered around helping people live their best life! He believes that God has shown him such an amazing love that it just oozes out of him.

Cody is married to Nikki Spencer and has an amazing and funny one-year-old son named Zane. Cody’s motto in life is to LIVE extraordinary GIVE extraordinary and BE extraordinary.

Thank you and congratulations to Cody, we look forward to continuing our wonderful partnership in the future! To learn more about our MVR program CLICK HERE.