Save on dorm fees or apartment rent by buying a new home.

April 28, 2010

If you are a parent of a student heading off to college next fall for the first time, did you know that in the course of your child’s college career, you (or your student) will pay somewhere between $30,000-$50,000 in dorm fees and/or monthly rent for an apartment? When students head off to college, it’s natural to think about tuition and books. Sometimes room and board is a given because students are required to live on campus. But what if it isn’t? Paying upwards of $1,500 a month during an academic year for rent is simply throwing money away. You will never recoup the month to month rent or dorm fees. But you could. At Stylecraft Builders, we are experiencing an emerging trend in our area where parents are investing in a second home—a new home—where their college age children will live for the four to five years that they are in school. Instead of spending money on rent each month, they are investing it in a new home. Whether they choose to have their child pay a portion of “monthly rent” to begin to understand the value of money and hard work or not, they have found a creative way to invest their money, so that once their child graduates, they can sell the new home (which will only be about five years old) at a higher price than what they paid for it, and reap the benefits of the equity in the home as well. It’s an interesting investment concept and one that seems to be working. Why not pay yourself instead of a landlord? Chances are, your mortgage payment on the new home will be about the same as or even a bit less than paying monthly rent for some rundown, cramped college town apartment. You can use also use this as an opportunity to teach your young adult about the power of investing in real estate. It’s a win-win all around.

Stylecraft Builders – Central Texas’ New Home Builder

Proud to receive top marks.

April 21, 2010

I understand just as much as the next person that in today’s economic climate, your decision to build and buy a new home must be a thoughtful one. It’s not something you just jump into or take lightly. While our goal here is always to provide you with quality construction and exceptional style, we strive to go beyond that with our customers. Part of our core values here includes a fair and honest environment. We work transparently with our customers. While you may have a vision for your new home, if we believe we can create something that will suit your needs better—be it a home that is larger than you envisioned or smaller—we will collaborate with you so that your end result has your stamp on it.

So when the Better Business Bureau in Waco announced that Stylecraft Builders received an A+ accreditation rating last month, we were ecstatic. This rating simply confirmed our hard work in making a commitment to our customers’ needs. There’s nothing hidden behind the doors to your new home. We make that clear from the start and this BBB rating confirms this. Thank you for encouraging us to upholding the highest of standards with our customers. It is part of who we are and we are thankful to be recognized for that.

Stylecraft Builders

Do you know what your credit score really is?

April 15, 2010

Credit card fraud and identity theft are hot topics in the news these days—and with good reason. In 2008, nearly 10 million people were affected by identity theft. With more people shopping online, using debit cards freely, and even utilizing smartphones to do financial business, it’s no wonder that, for many, their credit scores are at risk as well.

Despite the fact that credit card fraud and identity theft are adding to the headaches of potential homebuyers looking to secure a loan, your credit score is still affected by the fundamentals that have always either made your scores sore or sink.

• Late payments to credit cards is the number one killer of a credit score. Just one late payment alone could drop your credit score by more than 100 points.

• Carrying a big balance on a credit card doesn’t help either.

• One surprising credit score killer is actually closing a line of credit. It may make sense to close one account if you never use it and have another credit card that is active. But it can change your debt to utilization ratio, ultimately affecting your score.

• The same holds true for opening a line of credit because now you are immediately at a higher risk.

• Defaulting on a loan is the biggie, which could bring your credit score down by as much as 200 points or more.

The bottom line is you must be a vigilant advocate for your credit score as you make various day-to-day financial transactions. Having an understanding of what increase your score versus decreasing it will help you to be better prepared when you’re ready to apply for a loan for your new home.

Stylecraft Builders

Stylecraft Builders – Central Texas’ New Home Builder

Existing homes sales may be dropping, but new home sales are on the rise.

April 7, 2010

The Washington Post recently reported on yet another real estate story, announcing that the National Association of Realtors said the sales of previously owned homes dropped again in February, marking the third month in a row of “gloom” for those following the real estate market. However, it’s interesting that there was no mention of new home sales, and how many of these markets across the country are actually growing. It’s difficult to get the facts straight in today’s news sometimes. Statistics can be used to show off or report a particular scenario, but they don’t always portray the overall or complete picture correctly. Such is the case with the real estate market these days. Large companies are posting quarterly losses. However, while it is clear that some areas of the real estate market are struggling to recover, new home sales isn’t one of them—at least not in our area!

It is clear that people are seeing the long-term value in purchasing a new home versus a resale, which is part of why the new home market is doing well even in the earliest stages of the country’s economic recovery. Add in the fact that first time buyers will receive a Federal Tax Credit of $8,000 if they close by April 30 ($6,500 to move-up/repeat buyers) and purchasing a new home now actually makes financial sense. If built in the right location and with a builder whose reputation and expertise are valuable in the area, purchasing a new home will hold its value much better than a resale.

Choosing to buy a new home delivers distinct advantages: the buyer can add personal touches that reflect his/her style and taste all while keeping the resale value in mind for years down the road. Many areas are seeing growth in jobs, new home sales, and business construction, despite the fact that much of the media would like you to think otherwise. Do your homework. Investigate the opportunities in your area. You may be pleasantly surprised at your new found investment opportunities.

Stylecraft Builders

Stylecraft Builders – Central Texas’ New Home Builder