What to Look for in an Energy Efficient Home

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Posted on 19th October 2012 by Grand_Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Homebuyer Tips

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These days, most of us are trying to be more eco-concious. Whether it’s recycling paper or conserving water we have tried to find small ways to decrease our impact on the planet, and we want our houses to do the same.

If you have been shopping for green homes in Dallas you have probably noticed a dramatic increase in energy-efficient options over the last couple years.  Customers buying new homes in Dallas, and across the country, are becoming more environmentally savvy, and builders are making an effort to keep up with the times, creating both traditional and custom homes Dallas residents can be confident are energy-efficient and environmentally sound.  So what features should you be looking for when shopping for your next energy-efficient home?

  • Look for Energy Star Compliance.  Appliances, light fixtures and other electronic devices should be Energy Star compliant, and so should the building materials.
  • HVAC Systems.  A non-ozone depleting HVAC system is good for the environment, your family, and your budget.  A good HVAC system will be 16 SEER or higher.
  • Superior Insulation. Green homes must be insulated in a way that keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. R-22 wall insulation(R-19 Batts with R-3 Sheathing) does just that, and R-38 blown fiberglass insulation fills in the gaps and insulates the attic.
  • Radiant Barrier Roof Decking . A radiant barrier roof can deflect up to ninety-seven percent of the sun’s rays, lowering attic temperatures by about thirty degrees.
  • Energy-Efficient Windows. Super efficient, low-E, double paned, insulated vinyl windows are a must for green homes, because they use improved frames and protective coatings to reduce air infiltration and radiant heat flow. Windows should let in light, not heat.
  • Tankless Water Heater. Tankless hot water heaters can save you up to forty percent on your energy costs, while providing you with exactly as much hot water as you need, reducing wasted energy used when heating large amounts of water.
  • Digital Programmable Thermostats.  Save money with the touch of  a button by setting your thermostat based on your heating and cooling needs. You can save over thirty percent on your utility bills.

When it comes to custom homes, Grand Homes is a company with a longstanding reputation for excellence. With over twenty-five years of experience building new homes in Dallas-Fort Worth, Grand Homes is well versed in how to build energy efficient, eco-conscious homes.  Contact us today so we can help you achieve your green home!

Feature of the Week: Fireplaces

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Posted on 7th November 2011 by Grand_Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Homebuyer Tips

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With the cold weather upon us we decided it was the perfect time to showcase a few of the beautiful fireplace options Grand Homes has to offer in this week’s feature. Each Grand Home comes equipped with a fireplace, but with temperatures lowering this feature can be a deal-maker for potential homebuyers. So join us as we look at four different fireplaces that help make your house a home. (more…)

Extreme Cold Weather Tips for your Home

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Posted on 1st February 2011 by Grand Homes in Homeowner Tips

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Although we can’t change the extreme weather outside in Dallas/ Ft. Worth – you can take some precautions to minimize the threats to your new home. The following is a list of safety measures Grand Homes suggests homeowners do to help prevent damage to your home in extremely cold weather.

Locate your water main valve – In the event of a leak or ruptured pipe, you may need to shut off the entire water supply to your home.

On your outside water faucet, make sure to disconnect the hose from the bib. (more…)

New Homesites Released in Keller

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Posted on 29th September 2010 by Grand Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Grand Openings

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Nestled comfortably in the middle of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Keller is in high demand with its welcoming small-town feel, exemplary Keller ISD and ultimate quality of life. Due to the overwhelming response Newton Ranch in Keller has seen, Grand Homes is releasing a whole new array of homesites.

Limited selections of corner, cul-de-sac and oversized lots are available, offering more room to roam with the feeling of spacious, rural living. Make more space for a third car garage or extend your outdoor living space and backyard oasis. Added privacy is always a bonus. A limited time promotion is available on new lots as well, contact us to learn more.

Grand Homes Keller TX
For relocating families, Keller is especially sought after because of the highly acclaimed school district. Keller ISD is recognized for its excellence in public education and exemplary ratings.

Grand Homes community Newton Ranch is surrounded by pastoral greenways and boasts a serene setting with an abundance of trees, nearby parks and recreation. You’ll find every convenience is close at hand as well as major roadways.

All this and a small town flavor that has remained with Keller for generations, it’s no wonder Keller was ranked #7 in Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in America of 2009.

DFW and Houston Expected to Lead in Home Price Gains

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Posted on 28th September 2010 by Grand Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Real Estate News

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Dallas real estateSome good news for the Dallas real estate market – forecasts show Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston to expect the largest home price growth throughout the country in the upcoming year.

Estimates show North Texas prices will increase 2.7% in the next year. Houston prices are expected to increase 3.8%, according to Veros Real Estate Solutions, housing analysis firm.

“The primary reason for the strong Texas showing is that Texas cities did not have a huge run-up in prices that occurred with much of the rest of the country,” said Eric Fox, Veros’ vice president of statistical and economic modeling.” Unemployment rates in Houston, Dallas and other Texas cities are below the national unemployment rate.

“Also, the months’ supply of homes for sale in Texas is modest,” Fox said.

See the full article and where other markets rank, “Houston, D-FW will lead in home price gains, forecast says” By Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News.

Model Home for Sale in Plano!

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Posted on 21st September 2010 by Grand Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Real Estate News

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The Grand Empress exudes Mediterranean charm with its tiled roof, upstairs balcony and a courtyard entry. This 4 bed, 3 bath offers 4,226 square feet of living space, complete with outdoor living areas, room for entertaining and plenty of fireplaces (four!) to keep things cozy. Now reduced to $624,400!

A courtyard with outdoor fireplace greets you upon entry. A study opens with French doors to the courtyard, making it an ideal place for outdoor living and fresh air.

Step inside to a dramatic entrance with curved staircase open to the family and kitchen. The large gourmet kitchen overlooking the family room makes the perfect place to gather and entertain.

Upstairs there is room for everyone with the spacious gameroom with wet bar, private media room and convenient kids’ computer loft.

Living space is expanded to the backyard outdoor oasis. Here you’ll find the swimming pool, complete with pool BBQ and a second outdoor fireplace.

Now is your chance to own a model home with all the extras and special features! In the fantastic location of Regency Park in Plano, you’ll have easy access to major highways, business corridors and shopping & restaurant venues. Children will attend exemplary Frisco schools.

Take a virtual tour and see more photos of this home.

Take the Offensive for Your Kid’s Sake

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Posted on 19th August 2010 by Grand Homes in Homebuyer Tips |Homeowner Tips

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Every nook and cranny is a fascinating, yet potentially hazardous minefield when it comes to babes on the move.

What should every home absolutely have to keep children safe?

“A childproof kit and important phone numbers, such as Poison Control,” says Jesus Alderete, Injury Prevention Specialist at Children’s Medical Center. “Parents should implement safety tips as early as possible, so that by the time their children become mobile, they would have some type of seed planted in their minds about some do’s and don’ts.

“Children who just became mobile are exploring the world the best way they know how and one way is through their mouth.”

That bears watching. More than half of all poisonings treated in emergency rooms involve children under age 6, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center. Annually, more than 2 million children ages 5 and under are poisoned in the U.S.

In the same year, approximately 2,096 children ages 14 and under die as a result of a home injury, according to Safe Kids USA, a national network of coalitions that works to prevent “unintentional childhood injury,” such as fires, suffocation and drowning.

In Dallas, Children’s Medical Center is the lead organization for Safe Kids USA. Both organizations offer online information and advice to help parents keep their children out of the ER (www.childrens.com and www.safekids.org).

Childproofing a home takes time, but it isn’t difficult. First, create a checklist to refer to as you survey every room. You can download one and watch videos of people doing the work, if you like.

Safety devices are sold online and in baby-equipment stores. Read and follow the directions carefully and remember that no device is completely fail proof.

The to-buy list includes:

• Safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers. Stow medicines, cleaners, sharp objects, garden and laundry supplies and anything else that’s poisonous here. Remember: Child-resistant packaging isn’t childproof.
• Safety gates to keep children off staircases and away from dangerous areas. Make sure the “V” shape in older gates isn’t large enough for a child’s head and neck to fit into.
• Door knob covers to keep tykes from entering certain rooms. Covers should be sturdy, yet allow a door to be opened quickly by adults.
• Sliding plate outlet covers and plug-ins for outlet covers to help prevent electrical shock and electrocution.
• Safety guards for windows, balconies and decks can prevent falls. Screens often fail. Designate one window as your emergency exit.
• Tight-fitting corner and edge bumpers for sharp edges on furniture and fireplace hearths.
• Smoke detectors positioned near every bedroom. Change batteries yearly.
• Carbon monoxide detectors placed outside bedrooms and the garage. This gas can kill sleeping people and pets.

Next, do the things that don’t cost money:
• Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns.
• Tie up or cut window blind and drapery cords so small hands can’t reach them. Use window blind cord safety tassels.
• Stow potential choking hazards – buttons, beads, coins, pins and other small items – out of reach and out of sight of youngsters in the household.
• Post Poison Control’s number by every phone: 800-222-1222. Calls go to the local poison control center.

What’s the number one reason for childproofing your home?

“It might save your child’s life,” says Alderete.

By Rhona Schwartz/Dallas Morning News

Tax Free Weekend in Texas! Now Including School Supplies!

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Posted on 16th August 2010 by Grand Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Homebuyer Tips |Homeowner Tips

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August 20, 21 and 22 is the state’s annual tax holiday! Do your back to school shopping this weekend and get a break from state and local taxes!

Most clothing and footwear priced under $100 is exempt from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. Backpacks under $100 used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt.

As of this year, in addition to clothes, shoes and some backpacks, Texas shoppers can get a sales tax break on most school supplies priced less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.

School supply items include: binders, bookbags, calculators, crayons, folders, highlighters, lunch boxes, notebooks, scissors, pencil boxes and much more… For a complete list click here.

Click here for a complete list of tax-free clothing items and tax-able items click here.

CNBC’s Top States For Business 2010—And The Winner Is…

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Posted on 16th July 2010 by Grand Homes in Dallas Real Estate |Real Estate News

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They say everything in Texas is big, and that sure goes for its stature in business. With the biggest point total in the history of our study, Texas posts a big victory as America’s Top State for Business 2010.

Texas By The Numbers

Texas powers past the tough times on the strength of its economy—top-ranked in our Economy category four years in a row. The Texas economy is the 15th largest in the world, according to government figures; larger, for example, than all the Scandinavian nations combined.

The Lone Star State is home to 64 Fortune 500 companies, more than any other state, in a wide variety of industries. So while the state’s last win in 2008 came with oil at a record $145 a barrel—a natural tailwind for the largest industry in Texas—the state managed to do even better this year despite the fact that oil is trading at roughly half that price.

Texas has also managed to avoid the worst of the real estate crisis, according to reporter Ashanti Blaize of KXAS-TV. “While in other major cities we’ve seen condo high-rise projects either slowed or come to a screeching halt, in Dallas we’ve seen an influx of some of those projects,” says Blake.

America’s Top States for Business – A CNBC Special Report
See full article from CNBC here.

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