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December 29, 2014

New Year’s Resolutions for the Savvy Homeowner

If you’re like most people, the upcoming New Year is a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far and make plans for what you’re hoping to tackle in the near future. Most of us make New Year’s resolutions, and this year, we’re looking at some of the most popular ones that have to do with improving your life at home. Here are some of the top resolutions made by smart homeowners – perhaps a few of them will make your list as well!
  1. Increase Energy Efficiency
If you already own an Ernest Signature Custom Home, congratulations! You’ve already covered this base with one of our carefully designed energy efficiency packages, included in every home. If you’re shopping for a new home, remember that all of our homes are specially designed to reduce energy usage and protect our environment, so you can be confident that your new residence fulfills this popular resolution!
  1. De-cluttering and Improving Storage
This resolution is always popular! Think about upgrading your closets or modifying cabinets. By adding storage racks to your garage, you can find tidy homes for sporting equipment, luggage, or seasonal items. Ask the experts at our Design Studio, the Gallery at Ernest Signature Custom Homes, how you can maximize your storage opportunities.
  1. Get Your Finances in Order
By improving your credit score, you can usually lower your insurance premiums. Work hard to pay down debt, and pay your bills promptly. If possible, consider making additional mortgage payments. Remember, you don’t have to make an extra full payment to have it make a difference. By paying just a bit extra each month, you cut down on the outstanding balance, shrinking the term of your loan. If you think you would be eligible to refinance, check with your lender to see if it would be beneficial. Look critically at your property taxes. Sometimes a reassessment of your home’s current value can save you valuable dollars.
  1. Safety First
Do a safety check in your home to make sure you’re not inviting disaster! Test all smoke alarms, and replace batteries if needed. If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors, install one on each floor where there’s a bedroom. If your home hasn’t been tested for radon, make a small investment in a kit available at most hardware stores. For about $20, you can make sure your home is free from elevated levels of radon, a colorless, odorless gas which is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Make sure your water heater is set to a maximum of 120 degrees F to prevent scalding accidents. Clean out the vents and ducts behind your dryer – gobs of lint can collect there, where they become a fire hazard. If you don’t have an alarm system, consider having one installed. Many insurance carriers will lower your premiums if your home is protected by an alarm system. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a watch group, consider starting one.
  1. Get Handy
Instead of calling in the professionals, brush up on some elementary DIY skills. Painting, cleaning gutters, doing lawn work, caulking, weatherproofing, resurfacing or installing new hardware on cabinets, laying new flooring, replacing fixtures in the bath or other cosmetic changes will brighten up your home and your outlook while saving you money. However, don’t tackle the big jobs yourself. When dealing with electrical or plumbing issues, it’s best to turn it over to the experts. If there’s any way we can help you meet your 2015 resolutions, don’t hesitate to call! Whether it is buying a new home or adding features to your existing Ernest Signature Custom Home, we’re always here for you! Reach out to us at (912) 756-4135 or drop us an email today!

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