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Guide to Maximizing Space in Your Custom Home

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Outdoor kitchen

Buying a custom home is an exciting time for any homeowner. You know you’re getting a residence that is unlike any other. It’s not easy to find the perfect home for sale in DeKalb County, IN, but once you fall in love with one, it seems like...

Outdoor kitchen

Buying a custom home is an exciting time for any homeowner. You know you’re getting a residence that is unlike any other. It’s not easy to find the perfect home for sale in DeKalb County, IN, but once you fall in love with one, it seems like you can’t move in quickly enough. Moving your life from one home to another is always a chore, but when you’re moving into your very own custom-built house, the hassle of moving becomes a mere formality. 

If you have a growing family, you know that maximizing the space available in any home is a real challenge. It can seem like no matter how much square footage you have there’s just never enough room to accommodate the people in your life and their things in a comfortable manner. Therefore, it’s up to wise homeowners to devise and implement strategies for stretching the existing space in a custom home to its maximum capacity without creating a cluttered environment. Keep reading to learn how you can maximize your space in your new custom home.

Maximize Floor Space

One way to maximize space, at least in terms of perception, is to keep your floors clear and visible. That means making sure that everyone in the family puts things in their proper places instead of tossing them on the floor. It also involves limiting heavy furnishings when possible to create a look of spaciousness. For example, why take up valuable floor space by installing a bookcase when you can accomplish the same goal with wall-hung shelving? Make sure that anything that takes up space on your floor has a purpose.

Get (and Stay) Organized

Anyone who has the task of managing a family’s habits knows that getting everyone organized is a monumental task. Even if you’re lucky enough to guide everyone to organize their things, keeping that organization in place during the everyday hustle is even more difficult. However, staying organized is a key strategy when maximizing space in your custom home. If you’re fortunate, you may have an expanse of built-in cabinetry, racks, and shelving that can set the stage for an organized life. If not, there are many strategies you can use to create a place for everything that’s easily accessible and simple to maintain.

Take It Outside

Another great way to expand your functional square footage is to develop an outdoor space for entertaining, relaxing, and even cooking. Outdoor kitchens are all the rage, and it’s easy to convert a patio or porch into a functional cooking area where meals can be prepared in fair weather. It also gives you extra storage and an excellent spot for entertaining friends and family without feeling confined. Even if an outdoor kitchen isn’t your thing, you can create lounging space on the porch with comfortable furniture and amenities such as weatherproof AV gear. That will effectively add usable square footage to your home’s footprint.

Let the View In

Window treatments can play a big role in the feel of an interior space. They can be used to create the perception of space even in tight quarters. For example, large windows with minimal coverings will make an interior space look much larger than it is. That also allows additional light into the room, and natural light can also make a room look more open and spacious.

When searching for the perfect single-family home for sale in DeKalb County, IN, consider how you’ll make the most of the space provided. Look for built-in storage for organization, large windows, and outdoor amenities that will expand your square footage and make the home appear more open. If you’re ready to design and build your custom dream home, contact Lancia Homes at (260) 489-4433.

Buying Your First Home? Avoid These Mistakes

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Buying your first home is a major milestone. It can also be one of the most stressful things you ever do, according to a survey of homebuyers. While you might not be able to eliminate all of the stress of buying a home, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable overall and to reduce any feelings of remorse after all is ...

Buying your first home is a major milestone. It can also be one of the most stressful things you ever do, according to a survey of homebuyers. While you might not be able to eliminate all of the stress of buying a home, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable overall and to reduce any feelings of remorse after all is said and done. As you go through the process of buying your first home, here are some mistakes to avoid. 

Not Shopping Around for a Mortgage

You have a lot of options when it comes to getting a mortgage, so it really does pay to shop around. The interest you get offered by one lender or bank might be significantly less than the rate offered by another, leading to a considerable amount of savings over the life of your home loan.

There are also a variety of mortgages available, and you might qualify for one that lets you make a smaller down payment or that offers other advantages. Talk to your real estate agent to get an idea of what's out there and to help you make the right decision when it comes to financing your home. 

Not Knowing Your Price Limit

The amount a lender says you can borrow might not line up with the amount you're comfortable paying each month for your home. It's a good idea to go over your finances and review your budget before you set a price limit for yourself. If you have other loans, such as student loans, or have higher-than-average monthly expenses, you might want to buy a less expensive home compared to someone with a similar income and fewer monthly obligations.

Knowing your budget before you start shopping around for a home will also keep you from falling in love with a property that doesn't work for you financially.

Not Knowing the Difference Between Wants and Needs

If you've ever seen an episode of "House Hunters," you know it's all too easy for homebuyers to confuse "wants" and "needs" when they look at properties. A bathroom with blue walls is an example of a "want" while a house with two full bathrooms is an example of a "need." You can easily paint the walls blue after your purchase but it can be more challenging to add a second bath to a house once construction is complete.

Skipping the Home Inspection

Even if the house you're buying is completely new, it's a smart idea to schedule a home inspection before you finalize the sale. Some first-time buyers skip the inspection, assuming that everything will be fine with the property. 

The most important thing a home inspection does is let you catch issues that you can fix before you close on the sale. It takes time and costs money but scheduling one will help you save money in the long run.

Not Asking Questions

When you're a first-time homebuyer, no one expects you to know everything or to have all the answers. In fact, the people you work with, from your real estate agent to the custom home builder, are likely expecting you to have questions. 

No question is too dumb or insignificant when you're buying a house, so go ahead and ask away. Your home buying team should be all too happy to answer you and guide you through the process.

Lancia Homes has been one of the best home builders in Fort Wayne, IN since the mid-1970s. If you're about to embark on a homebuying journey for the first time, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you get into your custom home.

Why Custom Homes Are Energy Efficient

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Who doesn't want to save money? Older homes might have their charms, but they usually come with high utility bills. They also often have outdated heating systems, drafty windows, and little to no insulation. When you build a custom home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, you have the chance to make it as energy efficient as possible, reducing your costs and making your home much more comfortable. Learn more about the features that make custom homes

Who doesn't want to save money? Older homes might have their charms, but they usually come with high utility bills. They also often have outdated heating systems, drafty windows, and little to no insulation. When you build a custom home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, you have the chance to make it as energy efficient as possible, reducing your costs and making your home much more comfortable. Learn more about the features that make custom homes energy efficient.

Energy-Efficient Windows

The windows of your home let in light and air. Controlling the amount of air and light that gets in through the windows can help you maintain the comfort level in your house. 

Several features determine the energy-efficiency of a window. The frame material plays a part. Some materials, such as aluminum and other metals, provide limited insulation while fiberglass or insulated vinyl frames offer superior insulation. 

The composition of a window's glass also affects its energy efficiency. Lancia Homes have argon-filled, low-E windows. Argon is a non-toxic, clear gas that reduces heat transfer. A low-emissivity (Low-E) coating on a window also reduces heat transfer.

Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling

In the average home, more than half of all energy used goes toward heating and cooling. Finding ways to make your home's heating and cooling systems more energy-efficient can mean big savings for you and a much smaller eco-footprint for your home.

When you build a custom home, you have several options for making the most of energy efficiency. A smart thermostat lets you avoid over-cooling or over-heating your home when no one is around. You can program the thermostat to raise or lower the temperature based on your family's schedule. It will also learn your household's habits over time and will adjust the temperature as needed. Even small adjustments to the temperature inside your house can mean a significant reduction in your energy bills.

A smart thermostat is just one way to improve the energy efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. Installing a system that is designed to be energy-efficient is another. Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rates the efficiency of a furnace. Furnaces with AFUE ratings above 90% are among the most efficient ones available. Lancie Homes include gas, forced-air furnaces with an AFUE of 96.2%.

Insulation

A well-insulated home stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Many older, pre-existing homes either don't have insulation or don't have enough insulation to properly control heat flow. Lancia's custom homes include attic and wall insulation as well as insulated fiberglass doors.

The HERS Index

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is the index used across the home-building industry to measure energy-efficiency. The lower the HERS number, the more energy-efficient the home is. Most existing homes have a HERS rating of 130 while newer homes have an average rating of 100. Lancia's homes have an average rating of 64. That means that if you build a Lancia home, you end up paying half of what the average homeowner pays in energy costs.

If you're ready to make a custom home your own, browse our custom home plans available in Fort Wayne, Indiana to see what's available. To learn more about the process of building your custom, energy-efficient home, contact us today.

What is a Villa Style Home?

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The word "villa" is frequently used when describing home styles and design trends – so frequently, in fact, that it can be difficult to know exactly what it means. Our FAQ will go over what a villa residence is, where the term comes from, and how you can make plans for villa style homes. Anyone interested in building a home or making important renovations on a beloved...

The word "villa" is frequently used when describing home styles and design trends – so frequently, in fact, that it can be difficult to know exactly what it means. Our FAQ will go over what a villa residence is, where the term comes from, and how you can make plans for villa style homes. Anyone interested in building a home or making important renovations on a beloved property should take a look!

What is a Villa Home?

A villa style house is traditionally a more secluded house, often single-level, designed to be a home for a single family, usually on spacious property that puts it at a distance from other houses – or at least come with a private courtyard or other areas that solely belongs to the property owners. These homes often have lengthy driveways that help set them back from the road a bit for more privacy.

However, villa has also become a common term to describe residential property of all kinds and has been used so much that there are a number of competing definitions in the United States! Villas can have many different appearances and price ranges, but they are generally associated with privacy. The term villa may also be used to describe property made for vacations or vacation rentals.

Where Does the Villa Floor Design Come From?

The name villa comes from ancient Rome, where it described a residence owned by wealthy citizens that served as a retreat from the populace, or a vacation estate on rich land. They were specifically designed to be as self-sufficient as possible and were frequently the site of vineyards or other important crops. Even today, the word villa is often associated with resorts, luxury, and getting away from everyday life.

What is the Difference Between Villa Homes and Townhouses?

A townhouse is generally a smaller home designed as an attached unit also called patio homes, with two to four townhouse units per building. Unlike a traditional villa plan, a townhouse is not freestanding, but may be more affordable – and townhouses are easier to find closer to city centers for those who prefer to be near activity.

However, as we mentioned, the word villa has many different connotations: In some areas, townhouses are called "attached villas," which doesn't mean much, but is used as a way to differentiate them from condos and apartments, since townhouses frequently have yards and other amenities associated with freestanding houses. Townhouses, like villas, are also individually owned.

Do Villa Home Communities Exist?

A villa community may sound like an oxymoron – but you can find (villa communities in Fort Wayne, IN, where property lots are large and planned so that single family homes can be more set back and secluded. Because of this, villas are less likely to be associated with HOAs or other community requirements…although, again, this can vary. Villa communities may also be more associated with retirement homes or vacation/resort homes, although this isn't a requirement.

Are Villas More Expensive Than Other Homes?

They can be. While historical villas were often large manors, villas today can be many different sizes. However, villas are still associated with more property space for that special, secluded feeling, which can also be more expensive to purchase. Those interested in building the villa of their dreams may want to consider finding the right property lot with plenty of room first and planning their villa home around it.

Can You Build a Custom Villa Home?

Absolutely. There is no set style that villas have to resemble. Some people create villas to mimic Italian architecture and the "vineyard" feel as much as possible, but this is certainly not a requirement. When you think about what style makes a home feel secluded, idyllic, and beautiful, that's probably what a villa should look like for you.

While a villa construction plan is easy to personalize, some lots are better for villas than others: More spacious lots provide more privacy, and make it easier to plan for villa-friendly additions such as terraces, courtyards, large patios, luxurious gardens, and similar features. However, even smaller lots can be creatively customized for a villa style, especially with walls or trees that help provide seclusion.

Can You Convert a Home to a Villa?

There are many renovations that can make a house feel more like a villa when it comes to privacy and luxury. Villa renovations are especially effective on farmhouses and other homes that sit on larger lots, but can be applied to any home.

How Do I Get Started on Villa Model House Plans?

Contact us! Lancia Homes will be happy to talk about your Villa house plans, and what sort of project you have in mind. We offer safe Zoom meetings for those who prefer it and can go over design and renovation processes, so you know exactly what to expect. Send us a message today, take a look at the latest tour dates, and we will contact you for further arrangements! 

What Size House Is Right for Your Family?

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Across the U.S., the median new home size is 2,301-square-feet, according to the Census Bureau. Depending on the number of people you live with and how you use your home, 2,301-square-feet might seem massive or tiny.

When you're reviewing custom home design plans in Fort Wayne, IN, how can you determine the size of a house that will work for your family? It can be helpful to look beyond square fo...

Across the U.S., the median new home size is 2,301-square-feet, according to the Census Bureau. Depending on the number of people you live with and how you use your home, 2,301-square-feet might seem massive or tiny.

When you're reviewing custom home design plans in Fort Wayne, IN, how can you determine the size of a house that will work for your family? It can be helpful to look beyond square footage and to examine the layout of the house and what each room is meant to be used for when deciding how much home is right for you.

How Many People Will Live in the House?

Your new home should have enough space for each member of your family. Whether that means each person gets their own bedroom or children share bedrooms is up to you. If you have older children, such as preteens or teenagers, you might want to give them each their own rooms, to keep the peace in your home as much as possible.

The number of people in the house also influences the number of bathrooms you have. If more than two people live in the home, having more than one bathroom often becomes a necessity. Otherwise, you'll have to create a bathroom use schedule and start timing showers so that everyone can get to school and work on time.

How Will You Use Your Home?

How you use your home also determines the size that is right for you and the number of rooms you need. Some houses include formal dining rooms and two living rooms, one for everyday use and one for formal entertaining. But many people eat in their kitchen, even when they have family or friends over and few use the "formal" living room in the home.

As more and more people work from home, having a separate home office becomes more important. If at least one person in your household works from home, you might consider buying a house that has a separate workspace for them so they aren't stuck working in the kitchen or living room. If you have kids who need to study or attend an online school, it can be helpful to have a separate study room for them.

Another thing to consider when choosing the size and layout of your home is how often you have overnight guests. If all of your children are grown but still stay with you over the holidays, you might need to have enough bedrooms to accommodate them. Even if you don't have regular overnight visits from your kids, you might want at least one extra bedroom so you have a place to offer guests. 

What Does Your Future Look Like?

When choosing your home, think of your current situation as well as what your future family might look like. If you plan on having kids or growing your family, you might want to buy a house that has room to grow in. If you anticipate your kids moving out of the home within the next few years, think about how you'll use their bedrooms once they've moved on.

A custom home allows you to get all the amenities and features you need in a house and nothing you don't. You also have more of a say over the size of the home when you work with a custom builder in Fort Wayne, IN. Contact Lancia Homes today to learn more about our floor plans and custom home amenities.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying New Construction Homes

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New homebuyers looking to move into a new area or upgrade their living situation face the question of whether to focus on a new home site or look at more established homes. It's an important factor that buyers need to decide early on in their search, which is why we've developed a guide with everything you should know about how to buy a new const...

New homebuyers looking to move into a new area or upgrade their living situation face the question of whether to focus on a new home site or look at more established homes. It's an important factor that buyers need to decide early on in their search, which is why we've developed a guide with everything you should know about how to buy a new construction home.

Should You Buy a New Construction Home?

One of the oldest sayings about shopping for a home is "location, location, location." Location is king when deciding which home to buy, from proximity to work to what school your children will be attending. But a new-build home offers an alternative: Picking out a residential location that's only recently come into being, like a new neighborhood with new options. This can be an ideal solution in growing areas since new home developments are on the rise and buyers have a number of new locations to look at – locations that may fit their plans or budgets better than existing areas.

But buying new construction also includes different risks from buying an existing home, so it's important to understand that your research will also need to adapt to this possibility. Let's take a closer look at what to do.

Tips for Buying New Construction Homes

Focus on the builder's history and reputation.

Not all new home developments are made equal – don't just search "new construction homes near me" and pick an area at random! Builders can vary greatly in quality, which contractors they hire and other important factors. When looking at a home or lot under construction, always check who is building those homes and their history of work. Many builders will also have other finished developments in the area you can drive through to check out their work. If hiring a builder, ask for references first.

Start meeting with lenders for a mortgage.

You cannot start this process too early, especially if you want to purchase one of the best homes in the new development. Arranging a loan can take months even if everything goes smoothly. Fortunately, most lenders will offer pre-approval and other options to lock in good interest rates for a period and make it easier to move quickly on purchase.

You should still look for a realtor.

Realtors can still play an important role in helping you find the right home, setting up meetings with the builder or owner and helping prepare all documentation. Builders will also have realtors working for them to represent their developments. Finding a lender of your own can also be a good idea.

Some negotiation is still involved.

When purchasing a privately-owned home, there may be plenty of back-and-forth for negotiations and counteroffers. Builders tend to be less flexible when it comes to the actual amount they are asking for the home, but there are also additional negotiation options, including future upgrades as they build the house. Always get everything in a contract when negotiating.

Know that the model home will be different than your home.

The model home is usually an early version of the homes in the neighborhood that's quickly constructed up first so that potential buyers know what it will look like. But the model home is not an exact representation of every home in the development, so use the floor plans or ask your realtor to draw up what your specific home will look like. At Lancia Homes, you’ll be able to use our virtual design studio to see in 3D what your home would look like.

You should still use a home inspector.

Just because a home is new doesn't mean you shouldn't arrange for a thorough home inspection before finalizing the purchase. This isn’t necessarily because a builder may have made mistakes, but because of other concerns like radon.

Benefits of Buying or Building a New Home

It's reasonable for buyers to want to learn all the pros and cons of buying a new construction house. Some buyers are interested in buying a "fixer-upper" and investing more in renovation or have their eyes on an established neighborhood with certain amenities. That's a valid choice, too – but here are the top reasons we think homebuyers should consider new construction as well.

1. New homes have the latest tech and equipment.

New construction is much more likely to include the latest smart security and safety technology. They will also have the latest and most efficient HVAC units, which makes it easier to save money on energy bills.

2. There are more choices for neighborhood location.

If you act quickly, you can have a range of home lots to choose from in a new development. This makes it easier to pick a lot with better views, or one that's closer to the entrance to the development, for instance.

3. There are fewer issues with wear or maintenance to worry about.

A new home won't have as much existing maintenance that needs to be done upon moving in. This maintenance could include aesthetic changes, such as worn paint or carpet that needs to be replaced, or more severe changes, such as a broken furnaced, surprise electrical issue or a half-finished renovation project. Long-term issues like rot or pest infestations also aren't an issue in newly built homes.

4. Custom home construction allows for more personalization.

For the average development, a certain amount of extra customization is available since lots are still open or in the middle of construction. Buyers may be able to upgrade materials and fixtures or arrange for certain expansions. There are still limitations as options can vary based on the builder, but you will usually have far more choices than with an established home.

5. You’ll have more warranty options.

High-quality builders will provide warranties to cover their work in case something goes wrong or does not match the contract.

6. There’s more time to plan moving and arrange employment.

New construction takes time, and that can be an advantage. Those relocating to the area may appreciate the extra months to make plans, find a job, and move all their belongings.

Those considering buying a new construction home in Fort Wayne, IN, should connect with us to talk about the pros and cons as well as whether customization is the right option for them!

The Perks of Buying a Newly Built Home

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House Being Built

Considering a move into a new home? You’ll hear all the arguments and the pros and cons of buying a new vs. a gently lived in home. Sometimes it’s difficult to mute the opinions of friends and family and focus on what works best for you. Keep reading to discover a few perks you’ll enjoy when you cho...

House Being Built

Considering a move into a new home? You’ll hear all the arguments and the pros and cons of buying a new vs. a gently lived in home. Sometimes it’s difficult to mute the opinions of friends and family and focus on what works best for you. Keep reading to discover a few perks you’ll enjoy when you choose a newly built home.

You Are the First Owner

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you walk into a brand-new home for the first time, especially when it’s your home. Every room smells fresh and clean! It’s kind of like that new car smell but better. You get a blank slate to create your dream palette without needing to first cover up a previous owner’s taste in color schemes. Since there’s no history, you get to write the book and make memories that belong only to you! Looking at a newly built home from a practical point of view, you also won’t inherit the previous owner’s repair issues.

Your New-Home Warranty

New homes come with warranties from your first day of ownership. Coverage for home warranties lasts 1, 2, or 10 years depending on which component or system needs repair or replacement. Warranties cover workmanship, systems such as the electrical and plumbing, and structural components such as the foundation and roof.

Personalize Your Home with Modern Features and Finishes

When you buy a brand-new home, you make it your own by choosing the features and finishes you want. For example, you may prefer a granite sink over stainless steel. Most newly built homes come with fantastic standard features, but you’ll also get to personalize things by choosing paint and flooring colors. Speaking of features, everything about a newly built home is modern. Builders use the latest technology and innovation in homebuilding. You likely won’t find this in an older home.

Energy Efficient Home Scale

Energy-Efficient Materials

Every homeowner loves saving money on their energy bills. Newly built homes are designed to use energy more efficiently than older homes. They’re built with a tighter seal, which prevents air from escaping. This helps save on your heating and cooling bills. Most new construction homes also feature high-efficiency insulation and energy-efficient windows and doors. When you pair energy-efficient building materials with green appliances, such as high-efficiency HVAC systems and water heaters, you enjoy even more savings.

Better Financing Opportunities

If you’re considering buying a newly built home for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, have you thought about financing? Builders can usually connect buyers with a group of preferred lenders. Lenders often help buyers take advantage of a range of special financing programs. Let Lancia Homes bring their personal touch to your new homebuying experience! Make an appointment with us today by calling 260-489-4433 or by visiting our main office in Fort Wayne.

How to Make Your Move Go Smoothly

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You're looking forward to moving into your new custom home. There's just one thing standing between you and your new home: the moving process. For many people, moving houses ranks as one of the most stressful events in life. There's a lot to coordinate when you move, from making sure everything you own gets from House A to House B in one piece to informing employers, schools, the post office, and others of your new address.

 

As you get ready to call your new custom h...

You're looking forward to moving into your new custom home. There's just one thing standing between you and your new home: the moving process. For many people, moving houses ranks as one of the most stressful events in life. There's a lot to coordinate when you move, from making sure everything you own gets from House A to House B in one piece to informing employers, schools, the post office, and others of your new address.

 

As you get ready to call your new custom house in Fort Wayne, IN home, here are some tips to help make moving to a new home go as smoothly as possible. 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Pack

Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, an entire house can't be packed up in a day. It helps to give yourself more time than you think you need to pack up everything. 

 

To get started, make a list of the rooms in your existing home, then make a plan for packing based on the priority of those rooms. For example, you can probably safely pack up items in storage first but will most likely want to wait to pack up your kitchen and bathrooms until a few days before the move. 

Stock up on Moving Supplies

How you pack up your belongings can mean the difference between items arriving in one piece or not. Bubble wrap, foam wrap, and specialty boxes can all take the stress out of moving and can give you peace of mind that your fragile belongings will make it safely to their new home. 

 

Along with getting cushions and padding to keep your stuff safe, it's also a good idea to stock up on boxes and tape. You can buy boxes from a moving supply company or you can get them for free. Places to find free boxes include local stores, which might have packaging leftover from shipments, and your neighbors. People who have recently moved might offer up their leftover boxes for free on social media, so it can be worth it to check local free groups or community boards.

Make a List

Keep a list as you pack so you know what's in each box. Making a list will also help you see what you've packed. You might want to give each box a letter or number and include that on your list, so you can easily find items when it's time to start unpacking.

 

Hire Professional Movers

Hiring professional movers, instead of asking friends and family to help you, can be expensive. But you might find that the peace of mind you get from working with pros is worth the added cost. When you work with professional movers, you don't have to worry about pulling a muscle, either, as they'll do all the heavy lifting for you. Book the company as far in advance as possible, to make sure it'll be available on your chosen moving date.

Lancia Homes, an affordable home builder in Fort Wayne, IN, looks forward to welcoming you to your new home. To learn more about designing a custom home that you'll be excited to move into, contact us today.

 

How to Know if It's Time for a Bigger Home

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Change is a part of life. As you grow and mature, you can expect your tastes to change, your opinions to change and your needs to change. As your needs change, so too might your home. A 1,000-square-foot home that seemed like the perfect size when it was just you and your spouse might feel small and cramped once kids come along. Or, you might want to adopt a dog but realize that the lack of yard space will pose a problem.

When you work with a new home contractor in Fort Wayne, IN, y...

Change is a part of life. As you grow and mature, you can expect your tastes to change, your opinions to change and your needs to change. As your needs change, so too might your home. A 1,000-square-foot home that seemed like the perfect size when it was just you and your spouse might feel small and cramped once kids come along. Or, you might want to adopt a dog but realize that the lack of yard space will pose a problem.

When you work with a new home contractor in Fort Wayne, IN, you can design a house that fits your current needs to a T. Here's how to know if it's time to move on to bigger and better things when it comes to your housing situation.

You're Dealing With Regular Traffic Jams

On paper, your house might not seem too small. You might have enough bedrooms for each family member and you might have room to relax and eat your meals. But mornings are hectic in the house, as you all try to get in and out of the bathroom in time to get to school or work. If there's only one full bath in your house, traffic jams, as people wait for someone to finish up, are likely a regular occurrence.

Another type of jam you might find yourself dealing with if your house is too small is a lack of storage space. Coats and outdoor gear might get stuffed in a closet, only to tumble out and make a mess when someone opens the door. Limited closet and cupboard space can make an already small home feel extra cramped.

You're Planning on Adding to Your Family

Sometimes, there are obvious signs that it's time to move to a bigger home. If you are planning on adding to your family, you need to make room for the newest member. That can be the case whether the new addition is a new baby, a new pet, or your in-laws or parents.

If you plan on welcoming your parents or in-laws into your home, you might want to choose a new house that has an in-law suite, giving them some privacy and independence from the rest of your family. For a new baby, you might need a house with an extra bedroom or two and with an additional bath.

Your Lifestyle or Work Needs Have Changed

Even if your household stays the same size, changes to your work habits or lifestyle might mean that it's time for a bigger home. Your kids might have been fine sharing a bedroom when they were little but now that they're teenagers, giving them their own space might be necessary to keep the peace and help you maintain your sanity.

A house with extra rooms can also be useful if you plan on making the switch from working in an office to working from home or if you hope to start a home-based business. Giving yourself a dedicated work area, preferably one with a locking door, will help you stay on track and focused.

Lancia Homes is a custom home builder in Fort Wayne, IN. If it's time to move on to a bigger house, we can help you design a home that's the perfect fit for your family. Contact us today to learn more.

Guide to Selecting Windows for Your New Home

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Exterior of home

When working with your home builder, you’ll have many opportunities to put your personal touch on your new home. Most custom luxury house plans in Fort Wayne, IN, include ways to customize layout, but you can also cho...

Exterior of home

When working with your home builder, you’ll have many opportunities to put your personal touch on your new home. Most custom luxury house plans in Fort Wayne, IN, include ways to customize layout, but you can also choose cabinet finishes, countertops, flooring, and more. Don’t forget the windows! We understand choosing the windows for a new home can feel a little overwhelming. We’ve put together a mini-guide designed to make the process easier. Read on for a few helpful tips!

Let the Light In

The primary function of a window is to let in natural light. Window shopping should include considering how much light you want in each room of your new home. Of course, the availability of natural light depends in part on the location of the home. Choose windows that allow ample natural light to serve the function of the room. For example, kitchens, especially those with a beautiful view, need windows that give you a fuller view of your surroundings.

Choose Your Window Style

While windows can help you save energy, they also create an aesthetic impact on the exterior of your home. When making window selections, choose styles that blend in with the exterior design. For example, if you’ve decided on a Craftsman design, rectangle-shaped, double-hung windows work well. The truth is double-hung windows work well with a variety of architectural styles. Out of all the different popular home designs, the contemporary design lends itself to just about any window style. Ask your home design team to help you envision your home with double-hung, casement, bow, and bay windows. You might even fall in love with the idea of a picture window in your kitchen or living area.

Select the Best Frame Material

After deciding on window styles, you’ll want to consider the material for your window frames. One of the most popular materials on the market today is vinyl. Busy homeowners want windows that don’t require heavy maintenance. Vinyl windows are easy to maintain because, unlike wood or aluminum frames, they’ll never need sanding or painting. If you’re looking for something that won’t peel or rot, go with vinyl. Vinyl windows also resist termite damage. You’ll also love the way you can customize vinyl window frames color to coordinate with your exterior color.

Unraveling the Mystery of Glass

If you’re thinking about energy savings, choosing the right glass is a crucial part of selecting your windows. If you go with standard glass, you’ll likely order dual-pane windows. Upgrading to triple-pane glass may help increase energy savings and block most outside noise from bothering you while you’re inside your home. Choosing low-E, argon-filled windows means you’ll enjoy exceptional efficiency. Homeowners in the Midwest love these windows because they help keep temperatures inside the home cooler in summer and warmer during the winter months.

Windows with the Wow Factor

Window design in your new home goes far beyond the basics of matching architectural styles, choosing frame material, and understanding the different types of glass packages. Since windows are the eyes to your home, you want them to stand out and create the wow factor! Make sure your custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN, includes plenty of space for you to customize at least a few of the windows. While double-hung windows can make an excellent choice, why not add design elements with transom or awning windows? In a ranch- or contemporary-style home, consider customizing with sliders. Custom home layouts from Lancia Homes offer ample opportunities to choose windows that make a statement. Contact us today, and let’s talk about your dream home!

When Is the Right Time to Paint the Exterior of Your Home?

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Man Painting House Exterior Gray

Exterior paint is incredibly important when it comes to curb appeal. While a custom house plan in Fort Wayne, IN, is a great draw all by itself, curb appeal still matters. However, updating the exterior of your home isn't always possible. Paint needs the righ...

Man Painting House Exterior Gray

Exterior paint is incredibly important when it comes to curb appeal. While a custom house plan in Fort Wayne, IN, is a great draw all by itself, curb appeal still matters. However, updating the exterior of your home isn't always possible. Paint needs the right conditions to cure properly, and you can't paint during rain or snowstorms. Finding the right time to paint the exterior of your home is just as important as choosing the right color and shade.

Summer

Many homeowners assume that summer is the ideal time for exterior painting. In some ways, it is a good season for painting. It's warm, and the sun is shining. As long as there's no rain and your area isn't prone to summer storms, it could provide an excellent window for exterior painting. However, the heat could be a concern. Extreme heat tends to prematurely cure paint. This means that the paint is practically drying while you're painting. This is why you generally want to avoid painting when the sun is shining directly on the roof. For areas prone to intense summers, the early summer months are typically the better option.

Autumn

The other option is to wait until summer has passed, and the weather is turning slightly cool. When it comes to painting, extreme temperature fluctuations should be avoided. If it's over 100 degrees during the day and below 40 degrees at night, it's not a good time for painting. During the early autumn months, these temperature extremes tend to be less severe. Summer storms are also less of a concern. September or October could be great months for exterior painting.

Spring

As with early summer months, spring is also a good option for painting. The one issue that might arise is spring showers. Spring showers can sometimes appear unexpectedly and get in the way of painting. The later spring months may allow you to escape these sudden showers. Provided that you can keep out of the rain. Spring is warm enough and tends to lack extreme fluctuations in temperature. This is a good combination for exterior painting.

Winter

Winter is not ideal. Paint manufacturers tend to list a minimum temperature for painting. Years ago, this was 50 degrees. Today, modern paints usually recommend nothing below 35 degrees. In Indiana, this usually means there's no exterior painting after November. The weather simply gets too cold to guarantee the paint will cure properly.

Moisture

Moisture is the main aggravation of every professional painter. Paint needs to be applied to a clean, dry surface. This means rain or snow prevents you from painting. Spring showers, summer storms, and the snow in winter all put a stop to painting progress. This is why painters always pay close attention to weather conditions.

You'll notice that professional painting companies typically switch to interior painting during the winter months. Interior temperatures allow the paint to cure, and it's easy to keep the inside of your home free from snow or rain. With a dry, clean environment and controlled temperatures, interior painting is absolutely fine at any time of the year. Of course, this isn't true with exterior work. You'll find that professional painters tend to treat winter as an interior-only season.

There are some great custom luxury house plans in Fort Wayne, IN. If you want the greatest curb appeal or to simply breathe new life into an old, exterior paint works wonders. Contact Lancia Homes at (260) 489-4433 if you'd like to learn more.

How to Plan a Backyard Party with Social Distancing

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Friends playing cornhole

2020 has been a year of firsts in many ways. Everyone has needed to make compromises and sacrifices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has shaken up just about every plan in the books, and all industries have made changes to adjust to a new normal. Not only is this true for stores an...

Friends playing cornhole

2020 has been a year of firsts in many ways. Everyone has needed to make compromises and sacrifices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has shaken up just about every plan in the books, and all industries have made changes to adjust to a new normal. Not only is this true for stores and sports, but this applies to leaders in custom home plans in Fort Wayne, IN, too. Homebuilders are encouraging their clients to embrace social distancing and make the most of gorgeous modern living plans with plenty of space. Here are a few things to keep in mind about backyard entertaining of the future so that you can properly prepare with custom modern home plans.

Prioritize Green Living

If there’s one thing this year has taught society, it’s the importance of personal space. There’s certainly no shortage of space to stretch out and relax with the best custom home layouts, which often offer a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. It’s all about eco-friendly solutions nowadays, and this mindset can be embraced in a backyard that teems with nature and a strong sense of community. Hosting a backyard party with social distancing will be a lot easier if you have an abundance of natural areas for people to walk around and relax while still socializing. Set out some food and a few lawn games and let everyone sit back and relax. Just spending time together will mean a lot to everyone, even if you can’t get as close as you would like to.

Pretty Patios

Something else to consider with custom home design plans and party aspirations is the deck or patio. The possibilities truly are endless, and if you think ahead about your entertaining goals and dreams, you can make your patio the perfect place to party. Even in the post-pandemic era, people will still appreciate fresh air and fine dining wrapped into one. That’s why you want a patio that can accommodate a dining area, casual seating, and room for little ones to run around as well. When it comes time to prepare for a backyard party, think about sprucing up the patio and perhaps rearranging furniture to add some more space. A little bit of breathing room goes a long way in the COVID era, and so does easy access to a sink or hand sanitizer for maintaining hygiene, especially when greeting people.

Play Space

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, but it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. That’s why a lot of families are thinking about making the most of their backyard and ensuring their property is prepped for extra time at home, including gatherings that may have otherwise been held at a public venue. It’s important to make room for young family members to enjoy themselves in the backyard, so a luscious green lawn will make a world of difference. A children’s playset or outdoor recreation equipment can also take things to the next level. Giving people lots to do in the backyard will ensure a successful party in a time when getting together with friends and family at home is the new must-do.

Even with all the ups and downs of this year, you can still move forward with your fabulous custom luxury home plans in Fort Wayne, IN. If you want to get started on the house of your dreams, contact the luxury home leaders at Lancia Homes today.

Furnishing a New Home: Things to Know

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Couple Carrying Sofa Chair into Living Room

So you’re finally ready to move into your custom home. That’s great, but now you’re going to have to furnish it. The fact is, even the best custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN, isn’t going to be your home until you’ve decorated in a w...

Couple Carrying Sofa Chair into Living Room

So you’re finally ready to move into your custom home. That’s great, but now you’re going to have to furnish it. The fact is, even the best custom home design in Fort Wayne, IN, isn’t going to be your home until you’ve decorated in a way that’s attractive and suits your needs. Not sure where to begin? Not a problem! Read on for some tips on how to furnish your new house.

One Room at a Time

Let’s face it; decorating an entire home can be intimidating. The best way to simplify such a complex job is to start by dividing up the task. For instance, start with the kitchen. Visit websites online so you can get a taste for the different kinds of styles and furnishing that are out there and start dropping your favorites into the cart. You don’t have to commit to anything — you’re just browsing, after all. After you’re satisfied, move onto the next room. By starting your search online, you can start to build a collection of furniture without having to spend any money.

Measure Your Space

Before committing to any purchases, you’ll need to know the size of all of your rooms. Know the dimensions of the rooms you’re furnishing, and compare those to the sizes of the furniture you find online. Contractors can provide you with their custom home design plans, so there won’t be any doubt as to what kinds of sofas and chairs will work best.

You Don’t Have to Buy Everything at Once

If you haven’t yet moved into your custom home, you don’t have to have all of your furniture ready to go on day one. Buy the staples first. Have your living room sofa and your coffee table — and so on — ready so you can move in, but you can live in your new home for a few days if you have to before filling out the entire house.

Research the Investment Pieces

Some types of furniture matter more than others. A bookcase and an end table are nice, but the master bed and dining table with chairs are items that you should expect to live with for the next several years. Because these are more important than much of the rest of the furniture, they’re worth spending more on at the start. If you’re trying to save money, you can do so on the other, less critical, pieces.

Economize Space

There are several types of furniture that can satisfy more than one need. A side table that can be stacked when not in use, for instance, can help you maximize your living room space. You could have a stool that also doubles as a footrest. For extra storage, you could have a trunk with a flat wood top that works as a coffee table. Choices like these allow you to get the most out of your budget and space without sacrificing style.

However you choose to furnish your home, it all starts with a custom home. For the best custom house designs in Fort Wayne, IN, contact the professionals at Lancia Homes. We’ve been in the business for over 40 years, and we’d love to help you build the home of your dreams. Give us a call today at (260) 489-4433.

 

Finding Multifamily Housing Properties Below Fair Market Value

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Multifamily House

Multifamily homes have been a long-sought commodity for real estate investors. They offer some of the best property deals and the potential for profit down the line. Of particular interest to savvy investors are multifamily housing properties that could be bought below fair market value. The ow...

Multifamily House

Multifamily homes have been a long-sought commodity for real estate investors. They offer some of the best property deals and the potential for profit down the line. Of particular interest to savvy investors are multifamily housing properties that could be bought below fair market value. The owner is often motivated to sell the property right away, and as an investor, you can avoid broker fees by dealing directly with the property owner instead of an agent.

The search for a multifamily home for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, for less than fair market value takes some work and research. You’ll need tools and to develop a working strategy to get it done. Here are a few tips.

Ask Around

The search for multifamily properties at less than fair market value often means marketing yourself as a buyer interested in these properties. You want to reach out to those looking to sell and interested in working with you. Direct mail campaigns, leveraging contacts, asking around, and online prospecting can yield lead opportunities. You have to be prepared with the possibility that someone will contact you looking to sell an unsafe or underperforming multifamily building and stick you with their headache. Be sure you check out the property carefully and don’t get too attached to your new investment.

Be Patient

Multifamily residential properties for sale can be hard to come by, and those properties selling for less than market value may be even harder to find. Sometimes, you’ll just have to be patient until a property comes available that grabs your interest.

One tip is to watch out for multifamily homes that have been on the market for a while. You could land a great deal if you’re persistent enough to find an owner willing to sell at a lower price. The owner may not be interested in a deal for less than market value, but it’ll be worth the wait for a multifamily property that you believe has great income potential.

Foreclosures and Auctions

Another route to take is to check out foreclosed properties and properties up for auction to invest in. You may have to take more of a risk in pursuing this option, though. The buildings may have repair issues if owned by individuals who could not keep up with the mortgage, and there may be other complications to consider. But if you’re committed to finding a deal on a multifamily property among homes for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, something in the foreclosure or auction market may be an option to consider.

Duplexes

Investments with Potential

You should consider investing in multifamily housing properties that are listed below fair market value. It requires some patience and risk on your part, but you can establish a foundation for a profitable real estate portfolio built from acquiring multifamily properties at a great price.

When checking out a home for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, that you’re interested in buying, make sure it’s built by Lancia Homes. Custom-built Lancia Homes are made with the best materials and incorporate the latest energy-efficient designs. Consider Lancia Homes when you’re ready to buy a new home. Call 260-489-4433 today to speak with a Lancia Homes agent.

Selecting the Right Bathroom Vanity for Your Home

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Bathroom vanity in fort wayne, in.

Most people don’t give too much thought to their bathroom vanities. It’s a place to brush your teeth and make yourself presentable for your day, and as long as it’s functional, you’re probably not dwelling on it too much. But think about how much time you spend standing in front of that coun...

Bathroom vanity in fort wayne, in.

Most people don’t give too much thought to their bathroom vanities. It’s a place to brush your teeth and make yourself presentable for your day, and as long as it’s functional, you’re probably not dwelling on it too much. But think about how much time you spend standing in front of that counter every day as you dry and style your hair, shave, apply makeup, and so on. Shouldn’t that vanity be perfectly suited to your needs if you’re going to be standing in front of it every single day?

Whether you’re remodeling your current bathroom or working with new homebuilders in Fort Wayne, IN, to build a new home, you should take the time to choose the perfect bathroom vanity for your space. Keep reading for tips on choosing the right one.

Who Will Be Using It?

The first question you should be asking yourself is who will be using this vanity. Will it be you and your partner? Then you’ll need to consider your own need and desires as well as theirs—and you might want to consider a double-sink vanity. Is it a vanity for your kids’ bathroom? Their needs are probably going to be very different from your own, so give the vanity selection careful consideration.

How Will It Be Used?

Next, ask how the vanity will be used by those people. Do you or your partner do your makeup in front of the bathroom mirror, or is that something you do in front of a different mirror in the house? The answer to this question may impact your storage needs in the bathroom. Do your kids need a little extra help to brush their teeth on their own? You might get a vanity with a pull-out step so they can reach the sink. Knowing who will be using the vanity and how they use it are key to choosing the right one.

What’s the Plumbing Situation?

When designing a home from the ground up, you have a bit more free rein on where the plumbing in your bathroom goes. (However, you’ll definitely want to consult with your contractor on the cost of different plumbing designs.) If you’re redesigning your bathroom, you’ll likely have to work with your existing plumbing, which could limit your options. Be sure to take these things into consideration when choosing a vanity, since the plumbing design can impact your size and style options to an extent.

What Are Your Storage Needs?

This question should be partially answered when you consider who will be using the vanity and how they’ll be using it, but you need to work through this question in its entirety still. Consider the types of items you’ll be storing in the vanity as well as how much of each item. If you have a lot of stuff to store, you’ll obviously need a larger vanity with more storage space. If you have ample storage space in your bathroom already and don’t have the need for much more, you could get a smaller vanity or even a simple pedestal sink.

What Material Will Work Best?

Finally, consider what material will work best for your needs. Do you need something that can stand up to rougher wear and tear? Are you more concerned about something that’s low maintenance? You want something that’s durable and beautiful as well as resistant to mold and mildew growth in the damp environment of your bathroom.

If you ask all these questions, you should have a good idea of what bathroom vanity will work best for you. If you’re still unsure, ask one of our affordable homebuilders in Fort Wayne, IN, by calling Lancia Homes today!

New Rules for Buying & Selling Real Estate during COVID-19

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Home under contract

Everyone has had to make adjustments as the result of COVID-19, including homebuilding contractors in Fort Wayne, IN. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many people have still been looking for their dream house, and builders and real estate agents have made some changes t...

Home under contract

Everyone has had to make adjustments as the result of COVID-19, including homebuilding contractors in Fort Wayne, IN. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many people have still been looking for their dream house, and builders and real estate agents have made some changes to ensure the health and well-being of everyone involved. If you’re thinking about contacting your local homebuilder to schedule a tour, here are a few things you should know about recent changes to buying and selling homes this year.

Promise of Health

The real estate market took a tumble in March 2020 as stay-at-home orders took center stage. Although modern real estate activities came to a halt, the extra time spent at home gave many prospective buyers the chance to explore their dream home lists and start planning to move forward with the biggest purchase of their lives. Now, business is starting to pick up as people venture outside and begin exploring their options. Every area may be slightly different depending on local government restrictions, real estate and homebuilder guidelines, and individual levels of comfort and safety. That being said, homebuilders have recognized the need for reassurance and are going out of their way to publicize safety standards on-site and at open houses. This often starts with hand sanitizer. Everyone is expected to sanitize their hands before, after, and perhaps even during an open house.

Spaced Out Showings and Closings

It used to be that multiple families could look at open house showings at one time. Now that COVID-19 has highlighted the need for social distancing and essentially staying away from others, space is more important than ever before in real estate activities and transactions. Buyers and sellers alike expect to maintain a safe distance from others, whether they’re touring a model home or sitting down to the sign on the dotted line and close on their dream home. Masks, gloves, and even slip-on booties have quickly become the norm for viewing real estate, and some experts in the field believe these changes will last even after the worst of the pandemic is over. It’s all about staying healthy and safe, and no one wants to take the risk or put others in danger.

Planning Ahead

A year ago, a lot of people took advantage of flexibility and freedom, stopping in to see houses for sale when it suited them. That’s become a whole lot more difficult now, simply because there are limits to how many people can be in one space at a time. This means real estate agents and building companies need to have an idea of who is coming and when they will arrive. Appointments are now a necessity for everyone involved. Buyers can have peace of mind knowing that they will be one of the only groups seeing the property at the time, while realtors and builders also know they’re doing their part to keep people safe and protect the community as much as possible. In addition to appointments, some companies also have new check-in systems and waivers to sign before touring a property. Many companies have opted for disclosure statements where everyone must agree that they haven’t exhibited any symptoms or been knowingly exposed to the virus recently.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still possible to start the process of securing a custom-made masterpiece home. Contact Lancia Homes today for the expert services of the most affordable homebuilder in Fort Wayne, IN.

A Guide to the Top 8 Homes Styles

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Victorian house

Homes come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. If you're considering hiring a new home builder in Fort Wayne, IN, the sheer variety of home designs can seem overwhelming. Whatever you decide upon needs to be a style of h...

Victorian house

Homes come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. If you're considering hiring a new home builder in Fort Wayne, IN, the sheer variety of home designs can seem overwhelming. Whatever you decide upon needs to be a style of home that you should love for years to come, so it's important that you choose wisely. Read on for a quick guide to some of the most popular home styles.

Cape Cod

Elegant and historic, the Cape Cod style of home dates back to 1675 but was probably at its most popular in the 1930s. Predominately one story and with a steep roofline, they usually sport dormer windows, giving the living quarters added ventilation and light.

Colonial-Style Homes

Colonial-style homes date from the 1870s and are perhaps the most popular style throughout the United States. Marked by brick or wood facades and with fireplaces, the first floor usually includes the kitchen and living room, while the bedrooms are on the second floor.

Country-French Style Homes

Nearly as old as Cape Cod homes, the country-French style harkens back to when the French were in occupation of much of North America. Usually one story in height, this style is recognized by narrow windows and paired shutters. Typically, there are stucco walls and steeply pitched roofs. The luxurious style lends itself to artfully designed driveways and landscaping, so you'll need a top-notch home building contractor if you want to pull this off.

Victorian

Often when someone sees an older-looking house, they'll consider it Victorian, but the fact is this type of house has several unique characteristics. It should be abundant in detail and feature several different colors and textures. Expect a front-facing gable accompanying a steeply pitched roof with patterned shingles. The facade is usually asymmetrical, and there's often a half or full front porch.

Tudor

Modern-day reinterpretations of what we might consider 16th-century Tudor dynasty homes, these popular incarnations boast prominent cross gables and decorative half-timbering. You can expect to find several narrow windows, with a facade featuring both brick and wood. It has the effect of being both regal and understated.

Craftsman

The classic bungalow style originated at the start of the 20th century and continued into the 1930s. Traditional craftsman houses should have a lot of interior woodwork and built-in features such as seats and shelving. From the street, expect to see low-pitched roofs and gables over decorative beams or braces. The Gamble House in Pasadena, CA, is perhaps the most famous house of this type.

Traditional Ranch

The hallmark of the post-war boom in America, ranch-style homes feature simple floor plans with attached garages. The living spaces are efficient, and one of the benefits of this style of home is the ease with which additions can be made. That's one of the reasons they're still popular to this day.

Contemporary

A post-war style, "contemporary" is a term that encompasses modern homes that incorporate geometric lines and simple forms. Glass, steel, and concrete—and a lack of ornamentation—signify the contemporary home.

If you want to build the custom home that suits your own style, reach out to Lancia Homes. We're home building contractors in Fort Wayne, IN, with over 40 years of experience helping people like you build the homes of their dreams. Call us today at (260) 489-4433.

Does Indiana Have a First Time Home Buyer Program?

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Buying your first home is clearly a big step: It requires a significant amount of investment, cash on hand for...

Buying your first home is clearly a big step: It requires a significant amount of investment, cash on hand for a typical down payment, and a decision that will have a big impact for years into the future. But finding and purchasing your first house can also be a challenge, one that often depends on financial situations well out of a buyer's control.

However, there are some first time home buyer advantages, including specific programs available in the state of Indiana to help those who do not currently own their own home. This assistance can make purchasing a home, especially paying for upfront costs, easier for a number of buyers. Let's take a look at what's available for potential or (new homeowners)!

The IHCDA First Place Program

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) offers a First Place program via Federal services to help to qualify first-time homebuyers in the state to afford a house. This program offers down payment assistance of 6.0%, making it easier for buyers to afford to purchase homes even if they are low on cash – a common theme for many of these programs. There are FICO credit score requirements to qualify for the program, ranging from a score of 640 to 680 based on additional factors.

When it comes to who is considered a first-time homebuyer under the First Place program, buyers must have spent at least three years without owning a primary residence, even if they owned a home at some point in the past.

Note families participating in this program must use an FHA (Federal Housing Administration), 30-year fixed mortgage. These FHA loans are also designed to help first-time home buyers and include benefits of their own: The most notable is a particularly low down payment, which is even more effective when combined with First Place down payment assistance.

The HCV Homeownership Program

Indiana, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of House and Urban Development, also offers a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) homeownership program that's designed to help low-income families afford a home and related payments.

Qualifying families must make a certain amount of income, currently at $15,000, to ensure the ability to pay important expenses. A member must also prove full-time employment for at least a straight year before applying for assistance. The family must also make a minimum down payment of 3% or more with at least 1% coming directly from the family's own resources. To that end, the family must also have at least $3,000 in savings. Upon acceptance, the family will also need to complete the First Time Home Buyers counseling session: These sessions provide important education on the responsibilities and expenses that come with owning a home, and how to properly manage finances with considerations like monthly mortgage payments, etc.

Meet all these requirements, and the program provides a voucher for assistance in purchasing a new home and monthly funds for dealing with homeownership expenses.

The Federal Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

This is a particular Federal income tax credit that can help make purchasing a new home more affordable. When claimed, this tax credit will reduce federal income tax liability for the year in which a first time homebuyer purchased a home. This tax credit is an additional way to save money that can be used in combination with any of the other programs that we've mentioned here!

Specific City Assistance

We've covered important state and federal programs that can help homeowners afford their first house. However, there are also a number of more localized programs that could be able to help, depending on what city you live in and if you meet their requirements.

You should check the city where you are interested in purchasing for more specifics. One example is the First Time Homebuyer Program for Gary, Indiana, which offers assistant to those under a certain income level (currently around $46,000 for a two-person household), covering up to 10% of the purchase price as down payment assistance. In return, applicants must complete a first time homebuyers class and counseling sessions.

Another example is the HOPE of Evansville's Homebuyer Assistance Program, which also offers down payment assistance to borrowers who have qualified for a mortgage.

A note about repeat buyers

If you have purchased a home before but are still interested in homeowner assistant, don't give up! There are a variety of caveats and carveouts in many programs that allow you to still qualify even if you have purchased a home before.

The First Place program, for example, has exceptions for specific targeted areas where the state wants to encourage more home development. Other programs typically waive buying limitations for military veterans as well. Indiana also has a separate "Next Home" program that offers its own benefits for repeat buyers, designed to help families that are interested in purchasing a larger house, moving to a different area, etc.

Would you like to learn more information about how to buy a home, what new home designs are right for you, and what first time home buyer checklists you should being following? Contact Lancia Homes today and take a look through our website. Our specialists are on hand to help you make a wide variety of decisions about a new home and the design that will work best for your future.

 

Home Maintenance Tips for Every Season

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After the move is done, the boxes finally unpacked, and the empty closets filled, every (new homeowner) reaches a point where they realize they are going to have to prepare their home for the upcoming season. A home needs (regular maintenance) to help deal with upcoming cold, wet, heat, and other conditions.

Good news – a proper (home maintenance plan...

After the move is done, the boxes finally unpacked, and the empty closets filled, every (new homeowner) reaches a point where they realize they are going to have to prepare their home for the upcoming season. A home needs (regular maintenance) to help deal with upcoming cold, wet, heat, and other conditions.

Good news – a proper (home maintenance plan) will help you prepare for each season and quickly fall into a routine that will help protect your house…and even save money. Here are the best (new homeowner tips) to start with.

Fall

  • If you have replaceable filters in your HVAC system, now is the time to replace them and possibly arrange for an official inspection if your system is several years old or more.
  • Check the weatherstripping – the felt borders around windows and doors – around your home. In a new home, weatherstripping should be in place, creating seals against drafts. In older homes, some of it may have worn away.
  • If your home has a fireplace, make sure it is clean and free of damage. If you have a flue cap or cover, remove it to get the fireplace ready for action, and arrange a reliable supply of fuel.
  • Irrigation systems need to be blown out in colder climates so they don't free up and damage sprinklers over winter. Local irrigation services will be able to schedule these services.
  • Trim loose branches and bushes around your home. It's good for preventing fire hazards, and will prevent them from becoming dangerous in wind storms.
  • After most of the leaves have fallen, it's time to rake up the leaves from your lawn and give the grass one last low cut. Then clean out your gutters so they aren't filled with leaves and debris over winter. Hiring experts for projects like these is an option, but will increase your (average home maintenance costs) as well.
  • If your home has foundation vents in a colder climate, look for foam vent plugs to insert in these, which will help keep warm air inside. Likewise, you can find foam covers for your outdoor faucets if you regularly get freezing weather.

Winter

  • Give your heating system some help by keeping your shades or blinds open on windows that get a lot of sunlight in winter.
  • Check that your ceiling fans are turning clockwise: This helps draw up cooler air and push down warmer air to help heat the room more effectively.
  • If you get snow or ice, you may want to invest in a sturdy shovel or snowplow. Snow melting products are also a possibility, but some substances like salt may cause damage to your pavement over time, so apply carefully.
  • During major thaws after snow, check your basement, garage, and attic for any obvious leaks. It's important to fix these quickly!
  • If you experience deep freezes, open your sink cabinets and trickle cold water from your faucets overnight to prevent frozen pipes. You can also cover bare pipes with insulation for extra protection.

Spring

  • Your HVAC system has been through a lot over the colder months, so now it's time to replace your air duct filter so it's ready to deal with upcoming allergens.
  • Inspect your roof. Fall and winter storms can be hard on rooftops, especially with high winds. You should take a close look to spot loose or missing shingles (along with other problems like algae). An experienced roofer can help deal with these issues.
  • Take a look around the exterior of your building for any signs of damage. If you notice heavy buildup of dirt or stains, it may be time to rent a power washer and do a deep clean.
  • Find a local landscaping professional and ask them what you should do with your lawn to prepare for spring. Fertilization, thatching, and other services may depend on your grass species and climate.
  • Your gutters also probably filled up with debris again – it's time to clean them out once more.
  • Consider arranging for professional (annual maintenance) for your AC system if you haven't had it done in years. This can check that the refrigerant levels are correct and spot any problems before you need serious cooling.
  • As spring warms up, take out your foundation vents, turn on your irrigation, and set a watering schedule.
  • If spring in your area is especially rainy, watch for pooling water on both your lawn and roof. This indicates a serious drainage issue that can cause big problems if not addressed.
  • Those with patios or decks will want to bring out or clean off their outdoor furniture as well.

Summer

  • Switch your ceiling fans to counter-clockwise to encourage a cool air cycle.
  • This is also a good time to vacuum out your dryer exhaust to remove lint, etc. You can do this at any time, but it might as well be in warmer weather.
  • If your summer gets very hot, start closing window shades on windows that get a lot of sunlight in the day to keep things cooler.
  • Check that your lawn and outdoor plants are getting the right amount of water and not drying up.
  • Watch for pest problems like mosquitos, ants, wasps, and mice. If it looks like any are becoming an issue or building a nest near your home, contact a professional.

Final Notes

If you are wondering (how much does it cost to own a house) or any related questions to choosing a new home, Lancia Homes is happy to talk about the details with you. (Maintenance issues) are much easier to deal with when you find a house design you love, and we can make that happen.

Ultimate Guide to Home Buying

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Saving for down payment

When buying a new or previously owned home for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, it’s important to be prepared. Making a real estate purchase is time consuming and requires several steps. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve been throug...

Saving for down payment

When buying a new or previously owned home for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, it’s important to be prepared. Making a real estate purchase is time consuming and requires several steps. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’ve been through the process several times, it’s always a good idea to have a home buying cheat sheet. Read through the information to make sure you’re up to speed on all the steps for purchasing your next home.

Start Saving for Your Down Payment

Most lenders want you to have a down payment of at least a 20%. This money can come from savings or from the sale of the home you live in currently. There are some lending programs that let buyers purchase a new home with nothing down or as little as 3%, but it’s not standard.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is what lenders look at when selecting an interest rate for your loan. If you have any credit issues bringing your score down, you should work on fixing those problems before applying for a home loan. A better credit score gets you a better rate, qualifies you for more money, and can save you money on your monthly payment as well as shave off thousands of dollars in interest payments.

Get Preapproved for a Loan

Before you start looking at any homes, you want a preapproval letter from a lender. Most contracts can’t be initiated without this letter. Having preapproval status shows homeowners you’re not playing games. Offers that have a preapproval letter attached to them are taken more seriously.

Choose a Real Estate Agent

It’s always a good idea to work with a seasoned real estate professional. You need an expert negotiator on your side to help you get the best deal. Don’t try to manage buying a new house without their help.

Make a List

What are the key features you want in your new home? Write these features down and use this information to narrow the search field. Why waste your time looking at a home for sale that doesn’t have what you need? Creating this list will save you a lot of time.

Real estate agent showing couple home

Decide between New and Pre-owned

Will you be buying an existing home or building a custom home? Don’t worry if you change our mind during the home search process. Many people have found that they can get more of what they want for less building a home from the ground up. On the flip side, many buyers have changed their minds about custom building when they realize the timeline to build doesn’t fit their timeline to move.

Single Family or Multi-Family Home

Do you want a single-family home or are you interested in a multifamily home? Each of these homes comes with their own sets of pros and cons. Before you begin your home search, consider which type of home suits you and your family best.

When you’re ready to look for homes for sale in Fort Wayne, IN, check out the large inventory of available homes from Lancia Homes online at https://www.lanciahomes.com/homes-for-sale.