1. Your Builder Checklist!

    So, you are thinking about building a new home. Congratulations! Building your new home can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of your life; however it can also be one of the most stressful if you haven’t done your homework. Remember, all new home builders are NOT alike!

    To make the most out of your new home building experience, we recommend you focus on these 10 Tips to insure that your homebuilding experience is a smooth, seamless and sensational experience! It isn’t always about price when you are building a new home. There are far more important factors to consider before partnering with a home builder to build your dream home.

    1. Financial Stability – You want to be sure that your new home builder has the financial resources to complete your new home. Over the past few years many home builders have experienced economic upturns and downturns in the market. You want to work with a financially stable builder who is not affected by the inevitable ebbs and flows of the market.
    2. Longevity in the business – It is important to know how long the builder has been in the business and how many homes they have built. Experience and expertise are key factors when selecting your new home builder.
    3. Environmental commitment – Does the builder have a proven track record for protecting and enhancing the environment? Do their communities feature a harmonious balance between nature and man?
    4. Green building practices – Does the builder employ energy efficient packages and homebuyer education programs about energy use and conservation? Not only does this save you money but it also protects our environment and natural resources.
    5. Warranty Policy – What type of warranty does the builder offer and what is the time period? You want the security of knowing that someone will be there for you if anything goes wrong AFTER you move in to your new home.
    6. Home and home site options – Is the builder flexible with your home site footprint and design floor plans? One size DOES NOT fit all when it comes to your new home. Is your builder willing to work with you and make changes that accommodate your lifestyle?
    7. Builder accountability – Will your builder be involved in the process from ground breaking to completion of your home? Communication is imperative during the new home building process. You want to work with a builder that meets with you on a regular basis, keeping you informed every step of the way.
    8. Design integrity – How does the design process for your new home work? How customized is it to your individualized needs and interests? Does the builder offer you the opportunity to personalize your new home?
    9. Customer Satisfaction – What is the builder’s referral rate? Are you able to speak with other homeowners who worked with the builder? What is the customer satisfaction rate of the builder? If you really want to know what’s going on, ask the neighbors what they thought of the process. You may be surprised at what you hear.
    10. Attention to detail – Does the builder pay careful attention to the little things? Do they take pride in their workmanship? Drive around one of their construction sites and see what it looks like after everyone has gone home.
    As Southwest Florida’s most experienced homebuilder, Neal Communities is dedicated to making your home building experience a smooth, seamless, and sensational expereince. With a 98% customer satisfaction rate, we are ranked the highest of any local builder. After four decades of building more than 8,600 homes, we promise to exceed your expectations every step of your new home building journey.

  2. The Importance of a Home Owners Association: (The case of the purple house)

    Purchasing a new home is the most costly investment most people will ever make in their lives. They spend months researching to find the best builder, the most desirable community, and the ideal floor plan to accommodate their family. When moving day finally arrives there are no words to describe the excitement, satisfaction and joy experienced as the moving van pulls away from the driveway after unloading all the family treasures into the new home! Yahoo!!! This is ‘living the American dream’!

    Everything is perfect! The house, the yard, the neighbors, the neighborhood….life is good. You expect it to continue to be this way for many years to come. And as well you should! You have made a substantial investment not only in your new home, but in your new community as well. So, imagine the day you walk outside to discover that your next door neighbor’s teenage son has decided to start a rock band in his garage, and practice every day and night with the 8 other members of the band. And then the neighbor on the other side of your home erects an 8 “ pink fence around the entire perimeter of the property. And finally, you fun-loving neighbors from across the street paint their entire house bright purple! All of a sudden your little slice of paradise on earth has transformed into the ‘Land of the Misfit Toys’!

    If your new home community has a Homeowners Association (HOA), the exaggerated situation
    described above would probably never happen, or if by some off chance it did, it would be resolved very quickly by the HOA. HOA’s are formed in order to keep the neighborhood running in accordance with the Covenants, Codes and Restrictions of the community. In essence, they are protecting YOUR valuable investment! HOA’s can also represent the community on your behalf to resolve disputes that may occur among neighbors. In other words, HOA’s are protecting your valuable investment.

    There is a tremendous sense of pride that comes with new homeownership. The HOA works to preserve and protect that sense of pride for its community and its residents. Annual fees are paid by the homeowners to insure that the neighborhood stays in pristine condition, the amenities and common areas are maintained and well kept, the neighborhood retains its beauty and (most importantly) the homeowners retain their sense of pride in home ownership. The HOA acts as an additional insurance that protects the wellbeing of your community and insures that your neighbors keep their purple paint on the INSIDE of their home!

  3. It’s time to create your springtime landscaping masterpiece!

    Have you heard the news? It’s spring time! The days are longer, the sun is warmer and the flowers are in bloom! Have you planted new flowers and plants for spring? It’s time to create your springtime landscaping masterpiece. What are you waiting for?
    Let’s get started! First, imagine that your yard as a blank canvas and the plants and flowers are your colorful paint selections. You are the artist who is going to create the masterpiece! Even if you weren’t born with a green thumb, you can still make your yard look beautiful. Here are some simple tips to get you started.

    • Have a vision – Browse through gardening magazines and go on-line to gardening websites to get an overall idea of how you want your yard to look. There are many options to choose from. Get a clear vision of what you want the results to be.
    • Do your homework – Once you have your landscape vision in place, start doing your homework. Plants and flowers are unique. They have different requirements and needs. Some plants will thrive in the sun, while others will not. It’s important to understand what the specific needs of each plant or flower are.
    • Prepare your yard – This means getting your lawn and soil in top shape for planting – remove any old debris (leaves, foliage, and old mulch) and don’t forget to pull out the weeds!
    • Visit your favorite garden store – You are now ready to purchase your seeds, plants and flowers! Don’t be shy. Upon arrival at the garden center seek out an employee to help you with your selections. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they are the experts and will happily assist you.
    • Dig in the dirt – Time to roll up your sleeves and start planting!
    • Fertilize & Water – Don’t forget to feed and water your plants and flowers, especially in the initial weeks of planting.
    • Add fresh mulch – This will transform the look of your entire yard. Your mulch acts as the framework for your masterpiece.
    • Make time to ‘smell the roses’ (or whatever you have planted!) – Nothing is more satisfying that watching your yard shake off its subdued wintertime blanket to reveal a vibrant bouquet of springtime color!