7 Tips for Reducing Your Home’s Energy Consumption This Summer

With these 7 simple changes to your daily habits, you could reduce the amount of energy you and your home consume, while keeping your home comfortable. Here are 7 easy ways you can save energy this summer.Summer means warm weather, barbeques, water sports, and high energy bills. Electricity use and costs rise every year between June and September. When this time of the year comes around we are often asking ourselves, or being asked, “How do I reduce my home’s energy consumption, especially in the summer?” With these 7 simple changes to your daily habits, you could reduce the amount of energy you and your home consume, while keeping your home comfortable. Here are 7 easy ways you can save energy this summer.

1. Be smart with your thermostat

There’s no denying how good that burst of cool air feels when you step inside an air-conditioned building after being outside. However, that good feeling disappears when you receive that bill at the end of the month. Set the thermostat to at least 75F (the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 78F) when you’re at home and higher overnight or when you’re away.

Those temperatures may sound warm but if you couple that with a few of these other energy saving tips, you won’t break a sweat. Every degree above 78F can save you up to 8% on your utility bill. Programmable or smart thermostats make this a breeze by allowing you to create custom schedules and, if you have a smart thermostat, control the temperature from your phone.

2. Keep it breezy

Double up on the cooling power of the air conditioner by running ceiling or portable fans. Fans do a great job at circulating air so turning on the ceiling fan or placing a fan by an A/C will quickly cool your space. Using fans in your home will allow you to keep the thermostat set at that target 75-78F without feeling overheated. If you have a ceiling fan, set it to rotate counterclockwise to create a cool downdraft.

Once the sun begins to set, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows to invite the cooler evening air into your home.

3. Block the light

Sun shining into your windows can increase energy costs and warm your home. Keep curtains and blinds drawn during the hottest parts of the day, typically between noon and 4pm. This blocks the sun and keeps your room cooler, especially if you have southern or western facing windows.

4. Consider LED lighting

Did you know regular incandescent lights can make a room warmer? It’s true! 90% of the energy an incandescent bulb uses is released into the air as heat. Instead of using inefficient incandescent bulbs, consider switching to more efficient LED or CFL light bulbs. Not only do these bulbs use less energy to light a space, they don’t release as much heat, keeping your room cooler.

5. Rethink appliance usage

Heat-generating appliances like the oven and stove, dishwasher, and washer and dryer are common culprits in rising energy costs. In fact, the oven and stove can raise your kitchen’s temperature by 10 degrees! Instead of firing up the stove, cook with energy-efficient cooking appliances like the microwave, ary fryer, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. You can even cook outside or take full advantage of warmer weather by ordering in or going out to eat.

Dishwashers tend to be more efficient than handwashing but you can still save a bit more energy. Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher and let your dishes air dry instead of using the heated drying option.

You may not be able to outsource the laundry but the same idea applies. Wash full loads of laundry in cold or warm water, air dry when possible or dry right-sized loads for your machine (overstuffed loads take longer to dry). Another drying tip: separate towels and heavier cottons from lighter-weight clothes when drying. Since towels and heavier cottons take longer to dry, your lighter-weight items will be over dried by the end of the cycle.

6. Stay low

Heat rises so if you have a two-story home, consider staying downstairs for most of the day.

7. Keep track of your electronics

Any device or appliance that uses electricity generates heat, albeit some less than others, which can derail your cooling strategy. Keep heat-generating electronics like lamps and televisions away from thermostats. The heat they generate can trick the thermostat’s sensors into thinking the room is warmer than it actually is, causing it to spend more time and energy cooling the room.

While you’re being mindful of where you place these electronics, make sure you turn off any items when not in use.

Knowing how to save energy during the summer months means you can stay cool at home while lowering your monthly utility bills.

If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, we have homes for sale in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We are ready to meet with you! We work with those at every stage in the home-buying process, whether you’re buying your first home or purchasing your second or third. Contact us today to learn more!

How to Save for a House and a Wedding at the Same Time

How to Save for a House and a Wedding at the Same TimeGetting married and buying a house are two huge financial milestones that often occur around the same time. These milestones often compete with each other but it doesn’t have to come down to ‘down payment or dream wedding.’ With a good financial plan, you can turn your dreams of a wedding and a new home into a reality. Here’s how.

Set your priorities

Your first task is figuring where you stand together. Have an honest conversation with your partner to discuss what your greatest priorities are and how they relate to the way you allocate your money. It’s okay if your priorities don’t match; what’s important is discussing what compromises you’re willing to make to achieve both goals. It can be difficult to save for a big wedding and a home at the same time so you may need to adjust your expectations.

Create a budget

Settled on your priorities? Great! Now it’s time to create a realistic budget for both the house and wedding. Review your combined incomes and expenses to determine how much extra income you have (if you haven’t already, having a regular monthly budget is helpful). Take a hard look at your discretionary spending and see where you can cut back.

Once you know how much you can save each month, you need to figure out how much you need to save for each event.

Saving for a house: determine how much home you can afford. Check out home prices in your areas and consider getting prequalified from a lender. Prequalification is a basic review of your creditworthiness to give you an estimated amount of how much you can be qualified to borrow. It’s not binding but it’s a good starting point. In addition to getting prequalified, it’s smart to review your actual budget to determine how much you’re comfortable borrowing.

We have some additional resources on how to budget for a new home and saving for a down payment.

Saving for a wedding: determine who will be contributing to the wedding. Most couples pay for the wedding themselves but sometimes their families may cover some of the costs. The next step is discussing the type of wedding you want. Do you want a big, elaborate party, an intimate elopement, or something in between? How many guests do you plan on having? The number of guests will have a big impact on your total wedding budget.

You can get a little creative to save some additional money on your wedding:

  • reduce the guest list
  • choose a more affordable venue
  • choose an off-season date or get married on a Sunday
  • use in-season flowers and find ways to repurpose flowers (i.e. use wedding ceremony flowers to decorate the reception site)

Keep savings separate

Create separate savings accounts for the wedding and your down payment. This will reduce the temptation to dip into the account and use funds earmarked for house for the wedding and vice versa. Having separate accounts also makes it easier to keep track of your progress and of your spending.

Avoid taking on new debt

Having a strong credit score is key to getting the best possible mortgage package. In order to land a favorable interest rate, you’ll want to avoid taking on new debt, especially if you’re paying for a wedding at the same time. If you need to put some wedding costs on a credit card, be sure to pay them off each month to keep your credit utilization rate and debt-to-income ratio low.

Adjust your timeline

Your budget for your wedding and down payment will determine your timeline. Break down the total amounts into monthly savings goals to figure out a workable timeline. If you’re feeling pinched saving for both events, consider pushing your timeline back to give yourself additional time to save and more breathing room.

This is an exciting moment in your life! Setting your priorities and creating a plan will help you start off your new life on the right foot.

Find your happily ever after in a new Hayden home. We’re excited to help you find the home that’s just right for you. Visit us online to learn more about our homes and new home communities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

New Construction Homes in Lebanon, Oregon

A lesser-known city in Oregon, located just west of the Willamette National Forest, near the larger cities of Corvallis, Albany and Salem and a short drive from Portland, is a place called Lebanon. Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Coastal Range, there is an abundance of outdoor recreation nearby. The population was approximately 15,518 at the 2010 census. If you are looking for a new home in this wonderful city, we’ve got you covered, 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 Lebanon

Lebanon sits beside the South Santiam River on the eastern edge of the Willamette Valley, close to the Cascade Range and a 25-minute drive to either of the larger cities of Corvallis and Albany. Lebanon is known for its foot-and-bike trails, its waterside parks, and its small-town character. A few of our favorite attractions that can be found in Lebanon include: the Japanese garden, Boulder Falls Inn, a historic and  quaint downtown full of local shops and restaurants. While this city may be on the smaller side, it is bustling with events such as the Lebanon Strawberry Festival, which started in 1909.

Lebanon Real Estate Market

There are plenty of options for those looking for a new home in Lebanon, Oregon. Not only are you able to enjoy the “big city” amenities nearby, without the hustle and bustle, you’ll enjoy a small-town flavor that’s only available in Lebanon. According to a Zillow Market Overview, the current median home sale price, as of March 15th, 2021, is in the low $300’s and Hayden Homes is offering brand new homes in our River Place community starting in the low $300’s. Zillow is also reporting that the home values have gone up 11.6% over the past year and should continue to grow.

River Place – New Home Community in Lebanon, Oregon

River Place features new single-family homes with a variety of single- and two-story home plans, ranging in size from 1,235 – – 2,211 square feet. At River Place, you will enjoy the convenient location to all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer as well as access to three local schools, which boast dedicated teachers and administrators, and a supportive community.

Let Us Help You Find Your New Home

Finding your dream home is an exciting process and we want to help you find yours. We invite you to visit our River Place community in Lebanon. We also have several communities throughout the Willamette Valley as well, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, we may have something else that fits your needs.

Contact our team of talented, knowledgeable Community Managers to discuss your financing options, and available homes and communities. We cannot wait to welcome you to your new home!

5 Budget Friendly Ways to Update Your Yard this Summer

5 Budget Friendly Ways to Update Your Yard this SummerOne of the best things about backyards is that they give us the perfect place to relax and entertain that isn’t inside the house. Are you dreaming of relaxing and enjoying warm summer days and cool evenings in your backyard? Here are some simple and affordable ways to update your yard for the summer.

1. Tidy up

We say this a lot but it’s true; your first step to refresh any space is cleaning up. This gives you a fresh canvas to work with and fully understand what you have to work with.

Give your patio or deck a good rinse to remove any built-up dirt and grime. You can use any commercial cleaning solution and a scrub brush to clean smaller areas. If you have a large area to clean, power washers are a good option.

Next up is getting your lawn and garden in shape. Remove weeds and dead plants and bushes, prune back any overgrown plants and branches. Here are some other ways you can get your lawn summer-ready. You’ll be surprised how good your backyard will look with just this first step.

2. Add some new flowers and plants

You can never go wrong with flowers and plants! Revitalize your landscaping by adding some new plants, either planted into the ground or potted. Consider planting colorful perennials, which live for several years. This will save you time and money having to replant annuals and biennials each season. Ask your local garden nursery for help and recommendations if you’re not sure where to start or what plants work best for your area.

3. Update textiles

Want to jazz up your space without the hard work of a full renovation? Change up your cushions, pillows, rugs, and other textiles on your patio. Backyards have become an extension of our living rooms so it makes sense to use similar decorating tips.

If new patio furniture is not in the budget this year, spruce up your pieces with a fresh coat of paint and new cushions and pillows. Rugs add coziness to any space, inside and out. They can also make an impact even if it’s the only thing you change. Outdoor rugs a great way to tie a seating area together or anchor an open space.

Breezy, sheer outdoor curtains add a lot to your space. Create a cabana by hanging some from a covered patio or pergola. Not only will they block the sun and keep your space cool, it’ll also add a bit of privacy.

4. Add light

Refresh your yard’s ambiance with outdoor lighting. They fill your space with a warm glow that makes for a fun evening. Drape string lights from a pergola, across a covered patio, or around the trunks of your trees. Use inexpensive solar lights to line the perimeter of the yard or along pathways to brighten the backyard space during the evening hours.

5. Take your time

This is a project that doesn’t have to be completed all at once. It can become overwhelming trying to incorporate all of these things at once. Instead, create a vision of your dream backyard and add to it a little at a time. Decide what you need for your backyard now and what can wait for next summer. If you can wait, you can take advantage of summer sales, especially end of season sales, to find some great deals.

Getting your backyard summer-ready will get you excited for a season of outdoor fun. These budget-friendly tips will help you create the perfect area to chill out with friends and family.

If you’re dreaming of a new home with more backyard space, Hayden Homes can help.  We have new homes for sale in communities throughout the Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. When you’re ready, contact us to learn more about our homes and communities. We can’t wait to help you find your new home!

Ideas to Transform Your Bedroom into a Retreat

Transform your main bedroom into a personal retreat with these simple tips and tricks.Sometimes main bedrooms sometimes get overlooked. Most people focus on decorating the living room or setting up the perfect kitchen, turning the bedroom into an afterthought. Our bedrooms hold a special role in our lives. They’re where we can unwind after a long day and get recharged so we can do it all again the next day. This vital room deserves some attention! Transform your main bedroom into a personal retreat with these simple tips and tricks.

Cut the clutter

The main reason why you instantly feel at peace when walking into a hotel room is because everything is in its proper place. The counters are cleared, there are no clothes piled on the floor, and the bed is made to perfection.

Clutter can make you feel anxious and uncomfortable. Seeing piles around the room or full counters primes your brain to think of everything you should be doing. Spend some time decluttering your room, removing anything that belong in another part of the home, and finding a home for the items that will now live in the bedroom. Once you’ve decluttered, spend a few minutes every day maintaining your hard work by putting away anything you used that day and making your bed. Your room will start feeling more like a peaceful oasis.

Make a comfortable bed

Your bedroom is primarily used for rest and sleeping so you should invest in making your bed comfortable. Start with a supportive mattress that fits your specific needs. Thankfully there are a lot of options in every price range. Take your time and research possibilities within your budget and find a mattress you’ll love laying on for years.

After finding the right mattress, complete your dream bed by selecting luxurious bedding. You can have fun with the prints but overall, choose sheets that feel soft against the skin, blankets and comforters that keep you warm and comfortable, and pillows that support your head and neck.

Light it right

Layer different types of lighting options to create a relaxing atmosphere. Softer watt light bulbs are essential for producing a peaceful space. These lights are great during the evenings to prepare your mind and body for bed. In addition, add some task lighting to provide ample light for activities like reading.

Keep it focused

Many people mistakenly turn their bedrooms into a multipurpose room, pushing in workout equipment, an office, or entertainment space. It’s difficult to relax in a space where you’re doing activities that keep your mind busy. Banish these items from your bedroom if possible and reserve the room strictly for relaxing activities.

Find a New Home Near You

You can create the bedroom of your dreams that you’ll look forward to relaxing in each night in a new Hayden home. If you’re ready to say hello to a new home in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington contact us today to find the home that’s right for you.

7 Inspiring and Creative Ways to Use an Extra Room

Inspiring and Creative Ways to Use an Extra RoomDo you have an extra room in your home that you’re not sure what to do with? Are you wondering, how best to use an extra room in your new home? Whether you call it a flex room, bonus space, or spare room, an extra room is a blank canvas that has potential to be anything you can imagine. It’s common to see extra rooms converted to a home office or guest bedroom but if you don’t need an office or host a lot of guests, why let that room sit unused most of the year?

If you’re lucky enough to have an extra room, let your imagination go wild! Rethink how you can use this extra space to best fit your family. Here are seven ways you can use that extra room that isn’t just a home office or guest bedroom.

1. Workout Space

Turning your extra room into a workout space is a good way to staying fit without having to pay those annoying gym fees. Whether you like to lift weights, do cardio, or prefer yoga, you can create a home gym you actually want to use. Put together a list of the essentials you need for your workouts: mats, weight set, yoga blocks, resistance bands, specialized equipment like treadmills or stationary bikes, and the like.

2. Creative Studio

Give your creative passions a dedicated place to flow freely with a studio. Create your dream space to practice your hobby. Soundproof panels will let you practice and play music without bothering the rest of house. A desk and a cozy thinking area are perfect for a writer, or set up your paints and easel without worrying about packing everything back up after each painting session.

3. Library/Reading Room

If the library was your favorite part of Beauty and the Beast, you can recreate a piece of that with your own library and reading room. You don’t need much to make this room, just a few freestanding bookshelves for your collection of books, comfy seating, lamps, and side tables so you can read any time of day or night.

4. Lounge Space

Want a private space to unwind after a long day that’s not your bedroom? Then a private lounge space is just the ticket. This bonus living room can be a great place to nap, read, or watch a movie without having to fight over the remote with the rest of the family. You can even set up a discreet bar area as well to give you another option for hosting guests.

5. Fun Zone

Tired of collecting your kids’ toys from all over the house? Designate a play room for them. Kids of all ages enjoy having a unique space to play that’s just for them. Include plenty of storage for their toys, games, and books and small furniture items like tables, bean bag chairs or cushions, and they’ll be occupied for hours on end. As the kids get older, this room can be transformed into a hang out area. With some fun, comfy seating, gaming systems, and a television, you can create a space your kids and their friends can enjoy without tearing your living apart.

6. Pet Room

Do you want a space just for your pets? Consider turning the extra room into your pet’s room! Having a dedicated space your pets not only give them a quiet and cozy place to relax but it also keeps the rest of your home clear of pet stuff. Make sure the space is functional: include a bed, storage for toys, food, medication, a place for leashes and other anything else they need. Choose washable fabrics and flooring that’s easy to clean to keep pet odors at bay. If you’re low on space, you can use a nook area to create a smaller scale version for your furry family member.

7. Combination Space

Whether you need your extra room to fill multiple functions or you can’t pick one option, you can combine ideas to create the ultimate space. Divide the room into zones based on desired activities you want to use it for.

Flex rooms offer plenty of advantages to homeowners. They give you the ability to create a custom living space without the need for expensive and extensive renovations and can increase your home’s value. Plus, you can easily transform the room when you need it for something else. When it comes to ideas for your extra room, your only limit is your imagination!

Hayden Homes has been the first choice for more than 20,000 homeowners across the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. We build new construction homes for every stage in life with plenty of flexible space so you can create the perfect home. Contact us today to get started building your dream home.

How Your New Home Can Support Your Healthy Habits

How Your New Home Can Support Your Healthy HabitsDid you know your new home can be your greatest ally in developing and maintaining healthy habits? Making a few key changes to your surroundings can make a big difference in your ability to keep these new habits. Here are some ideas on how to set up your new home so you can make (and keep) your new healthy habits.

Healthy habit: Improved nutrition

Setting up your kitchen for nutritional wins is easy. Get ahead of those snack cravings by placing the food you’d rather eat occasionally on higher shelves and healthier snack options at eye-level so you’re more likely to eat them. Organize your fridge and pantry so it’s easy to find the ingredients you need to cook with so you don’t need to rely on less nutritious options. Reorganize your kitchen and review your cooking utensils and tools, removing things you don’t need or use and replacing worn items. Cooking is more enjoyable when you have the tools you need.

Healthy habit: Exercise more

If your goal is to work out several times a week, make it easier by designating a space in your home for exercising. This can be a corner in the garage, a spare room, or even storing any equipment you need in an easily accessible area so it’s easy to grab and go. If you like to run or walk, keep sunscreen, hat, gloves, sunglass – anything you need, next to the door. Store your workout gear in one area in the closet so you can quickly find what you need. Baskets are great ways to store rolled yoga mats and resistance bands. Remove common barriers to working out by prepacking your gym bag or setting out your workout so they’re ready when you are.

Healthy habit: Focus on building relationships

Developing strong and positive relationships with family help us feel happier and more secure. But with work, school, and activities, connecting with each other daily can be difficult. Bring back family dinners at least a few nights a week, start a weekly family night for a movie, board game, or a special dinner out (or in), explore the outdoors together, or whatever activity your family enjoys doing together.

Healthy habit: Get more sleep

Do you constantly tell yourself tonight will be the night you’ll go to bed at a reasonable time only to find yourself scrolling away on your phone well into early morning hours? Getting enough sleep in the foundation for good health and having a bedroom that feels peaceful will help your mind and body shift into rest.

This start with decluttering your bedroom. Clutter is the enemy of a relaxed mind. If you’ve ever felt anxious in a cluttered room you’ll understand. it’s a visual reminder of all the things must be done! It’s difficult to relax when your mind is jumping from one place to the next. Remove items that belong somewhere else in the house, leaving only the necessities. This doesn’t mean you have to live in an empty room though! Add small touches of color and patterns add a visual interest and a few treasured pieces and photos that make you feel good when you see them.  Make you bed an inviting place with luxurious, comfortable bedding and a quality mattress so you’re excited to turn down every night.

Healthy habit: Have more down time

Our lives have gotten busier and it’s easy to forget to sit down and rest. Personal time is good for everyone but it can be difficult to find room in our schedules. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to slow down and have more down time during the day. Encourage this habit by scheduling daily downtime (even if it’s only for a few minutes) and honor the appointment!

Creating a sanctuary space in your home is another great way to develop a habit of taking down time during the day. You can start by choosing an area in your home to serve as your sanctuary and create a calming atmosphere there with the tips we shared.

It takes a lot of work to build lifelong healthy habits but worth the effort. Use your home to your advantage by creating a supportive environment for achieving your goals.

Ready to Make Your Move Into a New Home You Love?

Looking to start fresh in a new home? Contact us today to learn more about our new homes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. We’re ready to help you find your dream home.

Celebrating 20,000 Happy Hayden Homeowners and Counting

Hayden Homes Celebrates 20000 Homeowners

This summer we are celebrating a milestone – 20,000 families creating memories in our homes! We’re humbled and thankful for each of you. It’s a milestone that you are at the heart of and we invite you to join us in celebrating!

We are grateful for the opportunity to unlock doors, put smiles on faces and help create memories for years to come. Without our homeowners, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It is truly an honor to be a part of your journey, and we thank you for being a part of ours.

 

Hayden Homeowner Testimonial

From day one, our focus has been on providing quality homes and building a strong community. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to build throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and to give over 32 million dollars in charitable contributions throughout the communities in which we build. We call it Give As You Go™. It connects us to each other and as it turns out, helps build up our community.


May Celebrations

To kick off this summer’s celebrations, our teams delivered cookies to a few of our communities, across Oregon, Washington and Idaho, to celebrate 20,000 homeowners living and making memories in our homes!

 

Hayden Homes celebrates 20,000 Homeowners with cookie drops

 


June Celebrations

In June we had a blast celebrating our homeowners around the regions with cold treats to beat the heat!

 

Hayden Homes 20K Kona Ice Celebration

 

In June we teamed up with Addy Mac’s and had a blast touring Bend, Redmond and Sisters and enjoyed a cup of delicious ice cream with our homeowners and community members throughout the region.

Central Oregon Ice Cream Truck Tour

 

 

We celebrated our wonderful I-5 homeowners with ice cream time, at a few of our communities, and of course, lots of fun!

I-5 Ice Cream Events


July Celebrations

In July we continued our celebrations with a variety of fun-filled events, including a drive-in movie for our South Idaho homeowners.

In Central Oregon, we celebrated our homeowner’s with a block party at our Arena Acres community in Bend.

 

Central Oregon Homeowner Block Part


August Give As You Go $20K Giveaway Celebrations

To conclude our summer homeowner celebration fun, we launched the Hayden Homes and First Story Give As You Go™ $20,000 Giveaway. In honor of our homeowners, we accepted nominations for deserving local nonprofits throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho to receive a portion of these dollars to further their mission and the good work they do for our community. In August, we had the incredible honor of celebrating, alongside our homeowners, in giving these funds to several very deserving organizations to further their efforts – (plus there was an extra surprise – $20,000 for St. Vincent de Paul in Bend, Oregon)!

Hayden Homes $20K Giveaway

 

All summer, we’ve had a blast being able to celebrate alongside our incredible homeowners and community members and we are grateful for each every one of you! Cheers to 20,000 more!

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.