Wednesday, July 27, 2016

12 Options You Should Add When Building a New Home

New construction has slowed dramatically over the past several years but people are still building new houses. If you happen to be one of them, here is a list of items that you should consider adding when you make your purchase. Many are not on your standard options list but, rest assured, they are available. Ask. You will have a meeting scheduled with both a representative from the builder’s construction team as well as the design team. Take this list with you and ask away.


Shower Lights: It is always an option to install a light in the shower. It may seem silly but it can get dark in there. If you have never lived in a house where there was a light in the shower, you are in for a treat.

Position of Switches: If you can, walk through the model and test the positioning of all the light switches. If one seems awkward to you, ask if you can re-locate it. I once had a switch in my master closet that was at an unbelievably odd angle. I kicked myself every single day for not noticing before I signed on the dotted line.

Overhead Ceiling Lights: Again, this is something that you don’t realize in the rush and excitement of building a new home. Most builders do not put overhead lights in the secondary bedrooms. Yup! No lights. If you don’t catch this, you will be resigned to using lamps only. Generally, it is $150-200 to add what is called a ceiling fan bracket. This just means that the electric is in the ceiling and ready for you to hook up an actual light.

Footlights: Another item often overlooked, footlights are small lights, near the floor. Most often they illuminate a long hallway or the stairs. It is nice to leave them on overnight so guests and small children can find their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Holidays: Imagine your family celebrating the holidays in your new house. Where will you put the Christmas tree? How will you hang the outdoor lights? Do you have a special display for the mantle? Make sure all of these locations have plugs. You can ask the builder to install a plug just above the mantle or add extra plugs outside, even at the roofline to make your life easier in the future. It is one of the many benefits to building a new house.


Extra Sink: You are always offered the opportunity to have a utility sink in the laundry room. However, if your family does a lot of messy projects in the garage, it may be more convenient to have an extra sink there. They won’t have to trek through your clean house every time they need to rinse off.

Kitchen: The recent trend in kitchens is the pot filler faucet. It’s the one that you see in design magazines above the stove. Cool? Yes. Necessary? No. What is a huge help, however, is a “step-on” faucet at the kitchen sink. Professional kitchens employ the sanitary device and so can you. It is a minor adjustment to the plumbing in the early planning stages of building a new house.

Laundry: Many times you do not have an option as to the location of your new laundry room. If you do have that opportunity, think long and hard about how you do laundry before making a decision. Obviously no one wants to go to the basement anymore but the 2nd floor trend isn’t much better. If you are single or an empty-nester, who does a load or two on a Saturday while cleaning, upstairs is fine. No sense in lugging the heavy basket up and down the stairs. If you are a stay-at-home mom, who is constantly switching loads and folding things at the kitchen table, it would be better to have the laundry room near the kitchen where you spend much of your day.

Water Heater: Get a tankless hot water heater. That bears repeating: get a tankless hot water heater. It is better, cheaper and greener. Enough said.


Insulation: Builders always offer great insulation as a standard feature in their homes. They pride themselves on their R factor. What they don’t let you know, however, is that they are more than willing to insulate interior walls. Ask them to put regular, pink insulation between all the interior walls of your home. It should cost you less than $1000 and it will make such a huge difference. It is not the same as sound proofing your home, but it will muffle a lot of the noise.

Basement Egress: Back in the day, anyone could “finish” a basement. Unfortunately it has become more of a fire hazard and laws are changing. You will soon be required to have a form of egress or exit for safety. You can talk to the builder about your options. It may be several thousand dollars to add a proper egress window now but if you want to enjoy that basement later, you need one.

Garage Size: Add any extra square footage to your garage that you possibly can. If your builder allows you to add 6 feet in length or width, or both, take him up on it. If he doesn’t, ask. Even if you are single and drive a compact car, add the extra feet. No one every regrets the extra space.

Many, if not all, of these options are not written down anywhere for you. You have to ask. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk to your builder about them. We once had a client working with our real estate team who required her builder to import special heated toilet seats from Japan for her new home. The builder never even blinked. Think about your needs and ask for them to be met. Many changes can be made in the initial planning stages with any builder, you just need to ask.

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12 South Park Quotes

South Park has been airing on television since 1997.The brainchild of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it follows a group of children living in South Park, Colorado. Its politically incorrect humor has been chastised by many, and loved by more. It has made fun of such topics as religion, politics, celebrities, and incessant Kenny-killing. If you are a South Park fan, here are 12 quotes that are sure to be someone’s favorite. If you aren’t a fan of South Park or its brand of humor which includes foul language and obscene material, I suggest not reading further;)

More information on South Park can be had at its website ( and at Comedy Central’s South Park section (

Timmy: TIMAH! And the Lords of the Underworld!

Chief Running Water: Your mother is what we Indians call, ‘Bear With Wide Canyon.’
Cartman: What do you mean?
Chief Running Water : She is ‘Doe Who Cannot Keep Legs Together.’
Cartman: Huh?
Chief Running Water: Your mom’s a slut.

Mrs. Cartman: Doctor, did you find out what’s wrong with him?
Doctor: I’m afraid he’s running out of time.
Mrs. Cartman: Why, what’s wrong with him?
Doctor: It’s his time. It’s running out.
Mrs. Cartman: What can we do?
Doctor: Well, I suppose we can try a time transplant. I’ll have to call a specialist.

Mr. Garrison: How would you like to go see the school counselor?
Cartman: How would you like to suck my balls?
Mr. Garrison: What did you just say?!
Cartman: Oh, I’m sorry (Clears throat and pulls out megaphone), actually what I said was, “How would you like to suck my balls, Mr. Garrison?”

Officer Barbrady: You can’t just lock 63 people in your basement.
Cartman: They’re not people, they’re hippies!

Cartman: “Kenny’s family is so poor that yesterday, they had to put their cardboard box up for a second mortgage.”

Cartman: “Too bad drinking scotch isn’t a paying job or Kenny’s dad would be a millionaire!”

Mr Garrison: “No, that’s wrong, Cartman. But don’t worry, there are no stupid answers, just stupid people.”

Chef: You know what they say: You can’t teach a gay dog straight tricks.

Kyle: Dude, Cartman, look! Your mom is on the cover of Crack Whore magazine

Stan: “Dude, dolphins are intelligent and friendly.”
Cartman: “Intelligent and friendly on rye bread with some mayonnaise.”

Chef: Don’t do drugs kids. There is a time and place for everything. It’s called college.

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12 Tips to Make Your Mornings Hassle Free

Making a few adjustments to your morning routine can make things fun, easy and quick. Use these twelve simple tips and tricks to get your kids off to school in no time.

Take the frozen juice out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight; it will be easier to mix in the morning.

Set the table at night, and get out the necessary items you’ll need for breakfast. For example, if you plan to fix waffles, put the waffle iron and the dry ingredients out on the counter.

Make sandwiches for lunch boxes the night before and store them in the fridge in self locking sandwich bags; add the lettuce and fresh vegetables in the morning.

If the kids need to do chores in the morning, make a list they can follow and give it to them the night before. Younger children sometimes just need an easy system to know who is supposed to bring in the paper and who should feed the cat.

Make a rotating schedule for the bathroom; this will help eliminate some of the hassles. A vanity with a mirror in a teenage girl’s room, where she can primp and put on makeup, can also spare bathroom bickering.

Purchase each school-age child an alarm clock with a pleasant tone or music. This helps children to learn to take responsibility for their own schedules.

If possible, allow enough time in the morning for an unrushed breakfast. This is a great time to communicate as a family about the upcoming events that day.

Encourage your children to prepare for the morning the night before. They can decide what they’ll wear and set it out. Designate an assigned place for school gear, so they don’t have to play hide and seek at the last minute to find books or gym shorts.

Exercise in the morning; it helps get those creative and mental juices flowing.

Don’t turn on the TV in the morning unless the older kids need to watch a special news report.

Make a sunshine jar for children who move slowly in the morning and tend to disrupt the schedule. Every day that they’re dressed and ready for school on time, drop a quarter in the jar. They can use the money collected during the week for a Friday afternoon treat.

Whether you drive your children to school or send them out the door to ride their bikes or meet the bus, be sure your last words are positive ones. Encourage your children and let them know you love them as you part ways.

By following these easy tips and tricks, you can make your mornings virtually hassle free. It’s all about preparedness and a positive attitude.

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