Home Size – the Ideal Square Footage for Your Family

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 14, 2019 | Comments Off on Home Size – the Ideal Square Footage for Your Family

When it comes to buying a new home, bigger is better, right? If you look around you, the latest trend in homebuilding seems to be a larger home, one with more bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, larger living space and bonus rooms. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of a new home built in the United States jumped from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to an amazing 2,687 square feet in 2015, a whopping 62% increase.

Many buyers are attracted to the “elbow room” a larger home can give. Other advantages to a larger space include more room for storage, multiple dining area options and less stress among family members when they have to share spaces such as bedrooms or bathrooms.

However, there are downsides to a larger home. Initial cost, certainly, is a big issue. You also need to keep in mind that larger homes are more expensive to heat and cool, require more furnishings and of course, are harder to maintain and keep clean. Not every family finds a larger home to their liking.

So how do you determine the ideal size home for your family?

The answer often lies in combination of lifestyle and functionality. A general rule of thumb for many homebuilders is the ratio between bedrooms and living space. Many new homes are built to provide two places for a person to sit in dining or living areas for every bedroom. If you have three bedrooms in the house, you can expect to find seating space for a minimum of six people. The more bedrooms a house has, the larger the living and dining spaces need to be to establish a comfortable ratio of space.

It’s also a great idea for each generation living in the home to have their own “away space”, that offers privacy from other family members. Most suburban homes are built to accommodate this ideal, with rooms set aside as playrooms, craft rooms, home gyms or offices, or even libraries.

The design and style of the home also comes into play when you’re deciding how much space you need. The layout and flow of the home can maximize or diminish the functionality of the space. A smaller home may actually be more practical if the floorplan allows for maximum use of the square footage. For example, smaller homes that successfully combine kitchen and dining areas save on space without sacrificing efficiency or style. Fewer, but larger bedrooms can also serve this purpose; use part of your master suite for a reading corner or small office, or put a gaming center in your extra bedroom, furnished with a sleeper sofa for occasional overnight guests.

There are some considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a new home. If you’re currently satisfied with how the house you’re living in now fits your lifestyle, you’re golden. Look for a house similar to the one you currently have in the number of bedrooms and square footage. More than likely, however, one of the reasons you’re looking for a new home is that it’s too small or too large for your family. If you need to make a change, here are some things to keep in mind.

How do you use your space? Do you work from home and need office space? Are you away from home often because you travel frequently? How often do you entertain, and for how many people at a time?

What are your goals when it comes to family? Do you have children? If not, do you plan to have kids while staying in the same home? Are there other relatives who live with you or may in the future?

Where does your family spend most of their time? If certain rooms see little “face time”, you can make better use of square footage elsewhere. Not every family uses a dedicated dining or living room; many use seating in the kitchen and a comfortable family room instead of these more formal spaces.

Look to your future – Do you plan to stay in this house for many years? What are your savings goals?

This may sound daunting, but really, it isn’t. It can even be fun to sit down and figure out exactly how much space you really need. Just ask Dan Maginn. He put together a great exercise called Square Feat: Foot Steps that makes it easy. See what he did, and give it a try!

At Ernest Homes, we know that every family is different, and there’s a perfect house for each one. We’ve put together a wide variety of floorplans at almost every size to meet the needs of families looking for a new home in the Savannah, GA area. Whether you want to upsize, downsize or comfort-size, we have the ideal home for you. To learn more about our homes, call us at (912) 756-4135 or send us a message today!

Welcome Winter with Fireplaces!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 30, 2019 | Comments Off on Welcome Winter with Fireplaces!

Thinking about a fireplace for your next home? This is the time of year where the idea is particularly appealing…crisp, cooler days and chilly nights bring thoughts of crackling fires and warm times spent together. There’s a lot of great reasons to bring a fireplace into your home – whether it’s an indoor model or a creative chiminea or outdoor unit to accent to your yard.

Working with Wood…

The Cozy Factor

No matter how you slice it, nothing says cozy like a fire. The dancing flames are not only fun to watch, the warmth they give promotes comfort, cheer and relaxation. Pull out a good book, knitting, puzzles or games and devote an hour or two to family time or personal hobbies. Spirits rise and cares float away when you add a fireplace to your great room, family room or living room. Find a sitter for the kids, open a bottle of wine, and create your own intimate, romantic date night without leaving home. And if you love the aroma of a burning fire, it’s fantastic to know you can experience it any time you like.

It Has the Power…

To keep you warm and fed if necessary. If you have electric heat, a fireplace is a lifesaver during storms or power outages. You may need to add an extra pair of socks or another sweater, but you won’t experience bone-chilling cold with a fireplace to keep you company. Roast hot dogs or sausages over an open flame, finish with toasted marshmallows and chocolate on graham crackers, and you have the ultimate picnic meal right in your living room. Outdoor units can be outfitted with grill tops as well, allowing for a greater range of food preparation.

Adds Elegance to Your Room or Yard

A fireplace instantly “ups the ante” on fashion and flair when added to a room. With a variety of styles and accessories available, it’s a great way to personalize the décor of your home and show off your interior design skills. When it comes to entertaining during the cooler months, move the crowd outside and gather around your outdoor fireplace, warm the cider and create your own bonfire!

Lighten Up on Energy Consumption

Unlike fossil fuels, firewood is a sustainable source of energy. It leaves no carbon footprint and in most areas, the cost of firewood is low. Use firewood to replace some of your other fuel sources, and you’ll likely notice a drop in your heating costs.

And don’t forget gas fireplaces!

They provide the energy savings, warmth, elegance and flair of their wood-burning cousins, but offer a few other pluses:


Easier to start and more consistent, gas fireplaces now have great features such as remote controls, timers that automatically shut off the unit and blowers and fans that can circulate warm air into areas other than those where the unit is located. You don’t have to store logs or lug them from place to place. Gas fireplaces also don’t require nearly as much cleanup and maintenance as their wood fire counterparts.

Love Your Air

Natural gas fireplaces won’t release particles or fumes into your home, which is a definite advantage for those with breathing difficulties or allergies.

Go Chimney Free

Some models of gas fireplaces don’t require a chimney, saving you time and money when it comes to the recommended yearly inspection of the chimney of a working wood-burning fireplace.


Depending on the style you choose, many gas-powered fireplaces cost less to install than a comparable wood-burning unit.

Buying a New Home – a Guide for Home-Based Entrepreneurs

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 24, 2019 | Comments Off on Buying a New Home – a Guide for Home-Based Entrepreneurs

You’ve been running your successful home-based business for some time now, but your life situation has changed and the home you own no longer meets your needs. You’re in the market to buy…but have you considered whether your new home will qualify as a place of business as well as a residence? Can you continue to run your business out of your new home?

Often when entrepreneurs are shopping for their new digs, they forget to inquire about potential hot-button items for home-based businesses. By keeping these requirements in your sights, you’ll be settled in – within the law – in no time.

Get in the Zone

The zoning office, that is. Your first stop should always be the zoning office for your new property. Ask for copies of all ordinances that apply to home occupations. It’s a good idea to avoid the word “business” during these inquiries. The word “business” can raise red flags for zoning officials; the words “home occupations” or “home workers” are much less inflammatory. Remember to ask for regulations that apply to all aspects of home employment; you don’t only need to worry about zoning requirements, but also about fire, vendor and mercantile regulations as well.

Your county and municipal government offices will also be able to provide you with a list of any possible roadblocks to your home-based business that may pop up. Often this information is posted to the government office’s website, making it more convenient to get the information you need. If you do need to make a phone call, it’s best to use a cell phone or a landline not associated with a property in that town or municipality. Explain to the staff member that you’re considering a move to their area and need to know what regulations apply to your specific home occupation. Be prepared to describe your work in detail. In most cases, the person you speak to will be able to tell you during that call if you’ll be in the clear with your work, or if you’ll need special permission (known as a variance) to set up your business in their area.

You also need to check with the homeowner’s association of the community, if one exists. HOA’s may have limitations on home-based businesses that could affect your ability to work from home.

If the local government or your HOA prohibits the type of home-based business you run, you can request a hearing for a special exception from your HOA or a variance from your local government. There’s a good chance a special exception hearing brought before your HOA may be successful, especially if your business doesn’t require foot traffic in and out of the residence or signage of any type. The lower the impact of your business on the daily lives of the local community, the more likely it is to be granted. Variances are much more difficult and expensive to obtain at the governmental level. They are usually time-consuming, costly and often denied.

If you do obtain a variance, be aware that this “win” will also convert your home to a commercial property. This means that fire safety inspections can be called for at any time, without a warrant or warning. You’ll also need to comply with any applicable ADA, OSHA and commercial laws. Differences in tax assessments may also apply. Keep in mind that variances are also completely revocable at any time, for any reasonable complaint. If, by chance, your neighbor complains about excessive deliveries of products and supplies for your business to the local authorities, your variance could disappear in an instant. You will have no recourse – there are no promises given when variances are issued.

“Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell?”

Many owners of home-based businesses may think it’s wise to operate under the radar; hoping that what their neighbors and local government officials don’t know won’t hurt them. It’s a risky proposition, but it happens every day. Many local government officials such as mayors, committee members and elected officials know that this situation exists, and realize as many as 40% of their community residents may be running a business out of their homes. It is true that many will choose to look the other way as long as there are no complaints or incidents that arise from the existence of a home-based business. However, if issues do arise, it will always be on the shoulders of the home-business owner to explain why they didn’t investigate the current regulations and comply with them. Legal issues, fines and even the closure of the business could be the result.

While zoning laws and local regulations for your home-based business may seem designed to make it next to impossible for you to follow your dreams, keep in mind that they’re actually there to protect the community as a whole. These regulations help limit noise, traffic and other issues that can affect the safety and desirability of the neighborhood where you live. Try to look at your business objectively; does what you do put your neighbors at higher risk of injury or diminish their enjoyment of their home? While most home-based businesses don’t, there are exceptions. It’s best to have the approval of your HOA or local government, just in case. You’ll need to be sure the new residence you buy will be not only the ideal home for your family, but for your business as well.

The Cleaning Wars – Neat vs. Messy

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 17, 2019 | Comments Off on The Cleaning Wars – Neat vs. Messy

If your family is like many others, there’s a certain level of…well…disagreement about how tidy to keep your house. It’s highly unusual to have every family member be on the exact same page when it comes to controlling clutter and organizing their stuff. Living in harmony with neatniks or messmeisters can be difficult for those in the other camp, but it isn’t impossible. You can negotiate a peace treaty by following a few simple steps.

  1. Stay Calm

Anxiety and stress can flare to dangerous levels when people feel out of their element. Neat people bristle when confronted by clutter and their messy counterparts feel confined by what they consider restrictive tidiness. Nagging is a common response when people don’t agree, but it usually creates the opposite reaction than expected. Rather than making a concerted effort to change their habits, those on the receiving end of endless complaints tend to be dismissive at best or defensive at their worst. They’ll dig in their heels and stubbornly refuse to bend. Ignoring the problem will only make things more difficult, so setting a time to discuss the issue calmly is the key to a compromise. It’s important to set group goals for your family when it comes to housekeeping. Make sure that during the discussion, everyone gets a chance to present his or her case. Listen carefully to everyone’s opinions and avoid placing blame.

  1. Dirty or Messy?

Make sure everyone in your family knows where messy ends and dirty begins. Dirty is NEVER acceptable, as dirt attracts bugs and other critters, can cause mold or unpleasant odors and stain valuable possessions. Visible dirt or mud, leftover food, grime and goo all fit into the dirty category and will not be tolerated. Messy includes clutter caused by items without a place to “live” or items put away in the wrong places. While many neat-natured people use the terms messy and dirty interchangeably, they’re really two different things. Make sure everyone in your family has a detailed definition of what is considered “dirty” and promises to take immediate action to eliminate dirt.

  1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Take pictures of what is considered clean and tidy for each room. While this may be the ideal, compromise on what would be allowed or not allowed in day to day life. Is it okay to have magazines or books on the end of the sofa, shoes beside your favorite chair or mail on the table? Once everyone agrees on what’s considered normal, keep track of your progress by dividing up responsibilities for each room and making cleaning checklists.

  1. Give a Pass on Personal Spaces

While common areas are open to everyone and respect for others’ wants and needs should be the rule, be more lenient with personal bedrooms, craft rooms, workout areas, garages, etc. While the “dirt” regulations should be followed by all in every space, vow to close the door and walk away from cluttered messes that don’t affect you directly.

  1. Claim Your Happy Place

Wherever and whatever it is, select one place in the house that becomes yours to oversee. Whether it’s Mom’s kitchen, Dad’s den, Betsy’s bookshelf or Tommy’s playroom, make your area your sanctuary to tidy or not tidy as you please. Keep this space exactly how you prefer it to look, and realize that the comfort you take in this place is matched by the level of contentment your other family members feel in their “happy place” and the way it looks.

Your Home and How You Live – Psychology at Work!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: January 8, 2019 | Comments Off on Your Home and How You Live – Psychology at Work!

Have you ever been curious about what your house (and how you live in it) says about you? Hidden clues to your personality are everywhere, and you may not know how to identify them. Want some hints? Let’s take a look at what others see when they check out your house and what you do when you’re in it!

A Colorful Welcome

It’s true…a first impression is a lasting and meaningful thing! Your front door lets everyone who approaches your home know how you view the world. Are you outgoing, fun-loving, and don’t worry much about what others think? Chances are your front door is red. If it is green, you’re more likely to embrace traditional values. Blue doors are popular choices for people who are comfortable in their own skin; adaptable and likely to get along well with others. If your front door is black, you tend to be reserved, with a conservative, calm outlook.

Décor and More

Your wall art may be showing your hidden neuroses. Anxious, stressed-out people often decorate their walls with plaques and posters featuring inspirational quotes and calming photos of landscapes and animals. These “uplifters” help them through difficult days.

If you scatter throw pillows throughout your home, the patterns give visitors clues about your outlook as well. Big, bold floral prints show confidence and a tendency toward pushing boundaries in conversation. Polka-dots show your playful side, animal prints bring out your inner creativity and geometric designs are favored by a Type-A personalities.

Firmer seating surfaces are favored by those who like to haggle and always negotiate for a better deal. The softer the seats, the more likely it is that you’re dealing with someone who is more willing to compromise.

Purple, red and pink décor in the bedroom encourages intimacy, and can lead to a more active love life, while white and beige color schemes tend to put a chill on romance.

And can you tell instantly if a home is owned by a millennial? You sure can. Most millennials are more comfortable taking selfies and seeing themselves on social media, so they don’t have the reluctance to have a variety of photos of themselves scattered throughout their homes that other generations do. Older folks were raised to believe that displaying a lot of photos of themselves was a bit self-important…maybe even tacky.

Storage Tells All

Have you peeked under your bed lately? Most people have something under their beds, ranging from storage boxes to unpaired shoes to dust bunnies. If you’re one of the few that doesn’t, it could mean that you’re experiencing a higher level of anxiety than most people. The more anxious someone is, the more likely they are to want to have a higher level of control over their environment – including areas most never see.

If your closet is stuffed full of suits long after your office has gone business casual, you have the last five bridesmaid’s dresses you had to wear, and half the items you own no longer fit, you could be hanging on to fond memories associated with objects rather than being objective about their actual use. Snap a photo of your favorites and ship them off to your local charity shop.

Your sock drawer is the ultimate answer to just how detail-oriented you are. Studies show that the people who are most organized in their day to day lives tend to have the messiest sock drawers. Does this seem backwards? Not really. Psychologists say that highly organized people tend to prioritize their activities more successfully, using their energies and skills to streamline more important aspects of their lives.

Days of our Lives

Are you a creative type? Most people have better ideas when they’re surrounded by a messy or disorderly environment. But don’t worry if you prefer a clean and organized room – it leads to an increased level of generosity.

Do you make your bed every morning? If so, you’re more likely to enjoy your job and exercise more regularly than those who don’t. The popular explanation is that happy people tend to strive for a more organized life. (But I’m sure at least half of the people reading this don’t buy into this theory!)

Craving long showers or baths? You may be lonely and craving human contact. The warmth and comfort of warm water is often used to take the place of personal interaction.

Is your house full of books and magazines? It’s likely that your children tend to read at a higher level than their friends. Nothing is a better indicator of a child’s ability to excel at reading and writing than a home full of books – including income and education level. Children who live in homes with at least 100 books usually read 1.5 grade levels above those with only a few books in the house.

Celebrate the Holidays with These New Home Gifts!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: November 9, 2018 | Comments Off on Celebrate the Holidays with These New Home Gifts!

Are you having fantasies of crackling fires, decking the halls and family gathered around the dinner table? The end of the year is rolling our way faster than you think, but you still have a golden opportunity to come home for the holidays! If a new home is at the top of your wish list this season, don’t miss the most exciting holiday gifts Ernest Homes is offering!

Our family has been building affordable homes featuring practical designs, rich with stunning details and personalized touches, for over thirty years. We’re an integral part of the heart and soul of the Savannah, GA area, working with families just like yours to create the ideal place to live their best lives. During this time of comfort and joy, we’re looking forward to sharing in the excitement of matching you with your perfect home.

To top it off, we’re offering the perfect holiday gift to you this season – fabulous savings on new construction homes!

If you’re ready to settle in before the year’s end, you can take advantage not only of the tax credit you’ll get as a new homeowner, you can also choose from one of our quick move-in homes and be “housewarming” for the holidays. You’ll receive $3000 to put toward your closing costs and two special gifts. Make room for your new refrigerator and stylish window blinds – they’re a present from us! Explore the immediate opportunities open to you in Savannah, Richmond Hill and Guyton; you’re sure to find the perfect cozy nest for many holiday seasons to come.

If you’re planning to build a home from scratch, there’s a savings package under your tree as well. Sign your contract by the end of this month and you’ll receive $7000 in Design Center credit to outfit your new home. Choose premium flooring, innovative lighting, upgraded appliances or the elegant, relaxing bathroom of your dreams – it’s completely up to you! Browse our communities to find the perfect match for your family, no matter what the size.

It’s time to give everyone in your household the present they’re waiting for, so be sure to act before The Grinch ruins your holiday season! These spectacular holiday gifts end November 30, so there’s no time to waste. Remember, only one offer per customer, so pick the one that’s right for you. Call our sales team today at (912) 756-4135, and we’ll get started on making your season merry and bright! If you prefer, you can send us an email – either way, we’re here to make your holiday dreams come to life!

Cool Green Cleaning Products

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: October 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Cool Green Cleaning Products

How you choose to clean isn’t usually the first thing you think of when someone mentions ways to protect our planet, but which products you select can make a huge difference. Lucky for us, many manufacturers of cleaning products have embraced “going green”. If you check out the cleaning aisle in your local grocery, discount or home improvement store, you’ll find dozens of options designed to keep your house sparkling while you prevent toxins and chemicals from harming the environment. In fact, it may be tough to decide which ones do the best job.

So which ones do you choose? You ask the experts!

At Ernest Signature Custom Homes, we know houses inside and out. We always strive to protect what we build. We’ve found some fantastic products that have sky high ratings you’re sure to fall in love with! Pick one of our favorites, or a few, or even all of them – it’s up to you!

The Ultimate Towel and Wipe Solution

For long life, decreased paper waste and convenience, NatureZWay Bamboo Perforated Towels are your best bet for all your cleanup needs. Whether you’re scrubbing grime from your tub, swabbing greasy stove tops or wiping up spilled milk, these reusable towels perform like cloth, but are made of sustainable, renewable bamboo. Pick some up today at Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target.

Pumice Stone Toilet Scrubbers

Eliminate toilet bowl rings and stains on your porcelain in a snap with all-natural pumice stone. Check out a quick, easy solution to stubborn stains without chemicals with the Pumie Toilet Bowl Ring Remover or the Clorox Toilet and Bath Cleaning Stone.

Laundry Detergents

Wading through the choices when it comes to green laundry detergents can be time consuming and a little confusing. You’ll want to try one with natural ingredients that packs a powerful punch when it comes to removing stains, grime and odors. Purex Natural Elements and Tide PurClean are readily available brands that score well on effectiveness that you can pick up almost anywhere that sells laundry detergent. Looking for a non-detergent laundry detergent? Try the ecoegg Laundry Egg, which cleans using ceramic and mineral pellets instead of detergents. One egg will last 720 loads, with mineral pellet refills every 72 loads. Fragrance free, it’s great for babies and folks with sensitive skin.

Odor Removers

Strong odors require strong cleaners…especially if they’re the result of pet (or human) errors. Cleaning up is a breeze with Urine Off Odor and Stain Remover, Lysol Daily Cleanser or Clear the Air.

Multi-Product Lines

Several companies offer a full line of natural cleaning and home products to take care of your family with one handy order. Visit Method Home, Simple Green, Seventh Generation, Green Works, The Honest Company or Mrs. Meyer’s for ideas and inspiration!

Green cleaning your home also goes beyond the products you choose. There are helpful hints and tips here that go into detail on other ways you can keep your home fresh, natural and safe for your family.

Community Amenities – What Buyers Want to See

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: October 16, 2018 | Comments Off on Community Amenities – What Buyers Want to See

With new construction popping up in suburbs everywhere, the planned community is becoming the neighborhood of choice for many homeowners. And just like schools, fine wines and new cars, not all planned communities are created equal. Some communities focus on adding special touches during their planning process that can make them desirable to potential homebuyers. These high-demand amenities can make life a little more special for residents – and increase the value of the homes within.

Which of these “special extras” are on buyer’s wish lists? And how does your community stack up?

Plenty of Green Space

Communities designed with parks, ponds, playgrounds for children and community ball fields are popular wherever they are. Some communities have also added designated picnic areas with wooden tables and hard-mounted grills. Not only do these areas offer a sense of tranquility and promote a more relaxed outlook, they can encourage outdoor activity – especially when paired with…

Natural Trail Systems

While paved walkways and lanes for biking are a plus for many buyers, extra points are given to trails that are marked by gravel or packed earth. These choices blend better with the green spaces they inhabit and are more environmentally friendly.

“Village Centers”

Convenient for errands or a quick meal, these retail additions can be centrally located or stationed near the entrances and exits of the community. Some typical offerings include small cafes or breakfast stops, ice cream parlors, upscale convenience marts, dry cleaners or drug stores.

Community Pools

Potential residents love the idea of having a cool haven during warm weather – especially when the daily care and upkeep isn’t their direct responsibility. Communities have begun to update their pool offerings with “beach entry” pools that allow bathers to walk into the pool down a gentle slope rather than using ladders or stairs. It isn’t unusual for communities to offer children’s pools with shallow water or special “adults only” hours.

On-site Gyms

Thousands of people pay dues to a gym and go out of their way every day to have a comfortable place to work out. The convenience of having exercise machines, weight systems and other fitness equipment available 24 hours a day on site can be the deciding factor for many potential residents.

Pet Perks

Community dog parks, dog-washing stations, waste bag dispensers and dedicated disposal units are definite advantages for pet lovers. Pet sitting services are also handy, whether they’re doggie daycare offered during every work day or visiting sitters who drop by for feeding, exercise and companionship during your vacations and holidays. Some communities even ratchet it up a notch by offering pet spas, complete with grooming services, dog walking and medication administration services.

Getting Some Class

Planned learning and personal growth opportunities are a valuable bonus for many shopping for a new home. Morning and evening yoga classes, Zumba, tai chi or aerobics are a big draw for some, while pickle ball, bocce and video gaming tournaments will sway others. Some communities also host foreign language study, tutoring groups, cooking classes, crafting circles, book clubs or movie nights.

Community Rooms

For those who need a “place to entertain” solution, a rentable community room is a godsend.

Advanced Security Systems and Tech Treats

While gated communities have been popular for some time, technology upgrades promote further safety. Fingerprint or key card entry, security cameras in common areas such as pools and playgrounds, and motion-activated lighting on sidewalks and trails help keep residents safe. Communities have also started to offer free Wi-Fi in common areas, Facebook pages for community announcements and interaction and smartphone apps that allow residents to communicate with their homeowner’s associations quickly and easily.

Settle into the Roanoke

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: September 29, 2018 | Comments Off on Settle into the Roanoke

At Ernest Signature Custom Homes, we’re all about changing things up…offering choices…making your home a unique reflection of your family’s personality. We loved our Roanoke floor plan so much that we decided to offer two versions of this amazing home; each available with special touches that you’ll love!

Roanoke A is a gorgeous five bedroom home with 2,570 square feet of space for your active family. This two-story beauty makes morning routines easy, with two full baths, a powder room and dedicated breakfast nook.

Settle into family time each evening by preparing dinner in your large kitchen, complete with a handy island and pass bar, dual sinks, energy-saving appliances and a roomy pantry opening out to a full-size dining room. Afterward, move to the spacious family room for a movie or some TV – highlighted by an optional fireplace to add a warm glow to cool evenings.

Roanoke A offers a first floor office as well; a spot ideal for a work-at-home parent or homework central for the kids. Or choose to covert the office into a home gym or craft room – whatever your family prefers. When you choose the Roanoke, it’s entirely up to you!

The master suite offers parents a calming oasis away from the family when a little down time is needed. Relax in the secluded sitting room, take a long, calming soak in the garden tub or enjoy the spray of an oversized shower. His and hers sinks, ample closet space and an optional tray ceiling give you more room, more space and more style!

We also designed this floorplan with an eye to convenience – one look at our handy upstairs laundry tells that tale! All five bedrooms are on the second floor, reducing the need to move heavy loads of washing up and down stairs.

Feeling the need for even MORE space? Roanoke A offers an optional loft with additional sleeping space, storage and bath.

The Roanoke B floorplan allows for even more personalization and creativity when designing your living space. This 2,580 square foot floor plan gives you a larger open area on the ground floor, without a separate dining room and office. This “flex room” can be whatever you need (or want) it to be…use your imagination!

This plan features four bedrooms upstairs, as well as a second sitting room that can be converted into a children’s play room, family library or gaming room. Imagine the fun your kids can have when they invite their friends to a sleep-over in the “bonus room”!

Both models feature two car garages, covered entryways, back patios and optional extended porches. Personalize your exterior with your choice of siding or brick and siding, or choose carriage style garage doors with optional glass.

Excited to see and hear more? Contact our sales team today! Send us an email or call (912) 756-4135 to get more information on one of the hottest options available for new construction in Savannah, GA!

How to Save on Your Mortgage

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: September 22, 2018 | Comments Off on How to Save on Your Mortgage

If you’re like most of us, you’re always looking for ways to save on your monthly bills. Changing TV or cell phone providers, switching car insurances, joining shopping clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco…these are all ways we cut down on expenses. But one of the largest expenses you have – your mortgage – is usually the last place you consider when it’s time to trim down. Surprisingly enough, with a little bit of planning and effort, there are quite a few ways you can spend less on your mortgage.

Make 13 Payments a Year

This strategy saves you money in the long run, because the extra money you put toward your mortgage comes right off the top of the principal of the loan. When you commit to making an extra payment each year, you can shave as much as five years off the length of your loan, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Divide your monthly mortgage payment by twelve – this is the extra amount you’ll need to cover each month. You can either deposit the money into a savings account each month and make one extra payment at the end of the year, or add the additional amount to each of your monthly payments. Make sure your lender knows in advance that the additional money you’re sending should be applied to the principal of your loan.

Dump Your PMI

PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is required by lenders when you make a smaller down payment on a home than they would like. PMI is not your friend; it exists to protect the lender if you should default on the loan. Most lenders prefer a 20% down payment and will require PMI if you don’t have it. If you can find a way to put at least 20% down on your home, you can avoid PMI altogether. If not, be ready to act as soon as you have options. Once your mortgage balance is less than 80% of the market value of your home, you can ask your lender to drop your PMI. If you have an excellent payment history, many lenders will be willing to consider it. Also, if the value of your home has increased since you’ve bought it, you can also ask for a new appraisal to adjust the percentage of value you currently have in your home. You may have to pay for the appraisal out of pocket, but a few hundred dollars is a small sacrifice when you consider that dropping PMI can save you over $1200 a year.

Recast Your Mortgage

If, at some time, you come into a sum of money you weren’t expecting, consider a mortgage recast. Not every lender offers recasting, but if yours does, it may a great option for you. In a mortgage recast, your lender recalculates your monthly mortgage amount if you’re willing to drop a sizable sum on your principal balance. Unless you make other arrangements, your monthly payment remains the same regardless of how much of the principal you’ve paid. When you ask for a mortgage recast, your monthly payment requirement can be lowered because it is based on the new principal balance of your mortgage. If you want to leverage your savings, you can continue to make the old payment every month, with the additional funds continuing to reduce your principal.

Escrow Your Own Taxes and Insurance

Escrow accounts are set up by your mortgage company to collect the taxes and insurance payments due on your home as part of your monthly payment to them. Instead, set up a savings account that will cover your taxes and insurance. Pay your insurance and tax bills in full when the bill comes due. The mortgage company no longer earns interest on your money, you do.

Earmark the interest income for another principal payment to your mortgage, creating more long-term savings. Your lender may charge you a fee if you do not escrow your taxes and insurance with them, so make sure any charges won’t reduce your savings substantially before giving this a try.

Get Rewarded for Your Hard Work

If your life situation has changed for the better since you took out your mortgage, you may benefit from refinancing. Promotions, raises, noteworthy increases in your credit rating or sources of additional income can save you hundreds of dollars a year if they translate into lower a lower interest rate.

Your mortgage may be your largest monthly bill, but you don’t have to grit your teeth and bear it. You can use some of these strategies to reduce your payments, either in the short term or over the long haul. If you’ve come up with your own creative ways to find mortgage savings, drop us a line and let us know. We’d love to share your success story!

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