Lichman Group

Articles Tagged "build a home"

July
25

What Features to Include in an In-Law Suite

In-Law Suite

There are many ways that an in-law suite can make your home feel more useful and spacious. Even if your in-laws never stay in the suite, it can be a great place to host out-of-town guests. Your adult child may even move into the space when they're job hunting after college. We've seen a lot of Round Rock homes for sale with lovely in-law suites. While every suite is different, we have identified a few features that the best suites have in common. Consider these features in your own in-law suite.

  • A Kitchenette
    The suite doesn't typically need its own kitchen, as the inhabitants will likely share some meals with your family in the main home. However, a kitchenette does allow those living in the suite to have more independence and enjoy some simple meals privately, if desired.

    An apartment-sized fridge, kitchen sink, toaster oven, and microwave are a good start. You can include a small, apartment-size range if you have the space.

  • Stackable Washer and Dryer
    Having to haul laundry into and through the main home to the laundry room can be annoying, both for those staying in the in-law suite and for those in the main home. You don't need to put a whole laundry room in the suite, but a stackable washer and dryer are a nice touch. There are plenty of space-saving models you can tuck into the bathroom or hall closet.

  • Separate Entry
    The best in-law suites always have a separate, private entrance. If possible, you should make this entryway wheelchair accessible. Include a ramp rather than stairs, and make the entry door extra wide. This makes it feasible to have older loved ones stay in the in-law suite when needed. 

  • Plenty of Outlets
    If out-of-town guests ever stay in your suite, they'll likely have lots of electronics to charge, such as laptops. Make sure you include plenty of outlets for easy access. Good places to add outlets include next to the bed, over a nightstand, along the kitchen counters, and next to the sofa in the living area.

  • Neutral Color Scheme
    Your in-law suite probably won't get as much use as the rest of the home. The materials used to build it should hold up well, so you want to make sure they continue to look stylish as long as they're around. Avoid trendy, bright colors in the suite. Instead, opt for cool neutrals, such as shades of gray. You can add a pop of color with accessories like blankets and towels. These are inexpensive to replace if they go out of style.

  • A Multipurpose Table
    Whether you place it in the kitchenette, the living area, or even the bedroom area, make sure you put a multipurpose table in the in-law suite. One set of guests may use it predominantly as a dining table. Someone else may use it as a desk while working remotely. A younger guest might even do their homework at it.

  • Cozy Furniture
    "Cozy" is a good vibe to aim for when designing your in-law suite. Cozy vibes make guests feel comfortable when they're away from home. They also make family members who are staying for longer feel more welcome and at ease in the space. 

Whether your in-laws move in or you just have the occasional guest, you will not regret having a well-designed in-law suite. If you're still looking for the perfect Round Rock home with an in-law suite, contact us soon. Our real estate agents will be happy to help.

June
20

Building a Deck? Deck Material Options

Building a Deck Tips

Having a deck off your home is so nice, especially in the summer. You can sit out there with a good book, just basking in the sun. Or, you can host a barbecue and enjoy a meal on the deck with friends. If you're looking at Round Rock homes for sale and discover one that would be even better with a deck, then it's time to start planning! Here are some deck materials to consider using.

  • Pressure-Treated Lumber
    Pressure-treated lumber has long been a popular deck material. This is essentially wood that has been compacted under pressure and treated with various chemicals to make it resistant to rot and insects. 

    Pressure-treated lumber is fairly affordable and readily available. It does not need to be sealed and waterproofed like "natural" wood. However, not everyone likes its greenish undertone. You can paint it, but that does add to the maintenance requirements.

  • Cedar
    If you want a wood deck you can leave natural and not paint, then cedar is a great wood to choose. The natural oils in the cedar repel insects and allow the wood to resist rot. Cedar takes on a beachy, grayish look as it ages, which can be nice with a more rustic home design.

    Cedar is abundant in the western United States and is typically harvested in an eco-friendly manner. The one main downfall is that it can start splintering once it ages — so you won't want to walk across a cedar deck barefoot.

  • Composite
    There are several companies that make composite decking boards from a blend of wood fibers and concrete. Composite decking is heavy and comes with a high price tag. Installing a composite deck also takes longer and is more expensive than installing a wood deck, largely because of the weight of the boards. However, composite decking is incredibly durable and long-lasting.

    You don't have to paint or stain a composite deck. The color extends through the material, so your deck won't start to look chipped and worn. You can clean the decking by simply power washing it; this is all the maintenance it really needs.

  • PVC
    PVC decking is a lightweight, plastic decking material. It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. You can even find PVC decking that is made to look like wood or concrete.

    PVC decking is affordable, easy to install, and easy to maintain. You never need to paint or seal it, and you can clean it with a hose and dish soap! However, PVC can get brittle with age, especially if installed in a really sunny area. The UV rays from the sun can slowly break down the plastic. This material also has a more modern look, which not everyone likes.

  • Polystyrene
    Polystyrene is another type of plastic decking. The boards link together with little clips, which makes polystyrene decks really easy to install. Plus, if one board is damaged, you can easily remove and replace that one board without having to deconstruct the rest of the deck.

    Polystyrene decking is lightweight and durable. It does look like plastic, but it comes in a range of colors. The surface is also textured in such a way that it does not become slippery when wet, making polystyrene a good choice for pool decks.

If you're still looking for the perfect home near Round Rock, our real estate agents would be happy to help. Contact us soon to learn more about our services for buyers and sellers.

August
2

What to Know When Building a Home in 2021

Building a Home 2021

If you're looking for a new home in 2021, you're certainly not alone. A housing shortage means that demand exceeds supply and that there are more buyers than sellers in the market. As a result, some potential buyers are choosing to build their own homes. This allows them to fully customize their homes.

Our real estate agents explain what you need to know when building a home in 2021:

  • It may cost more than you think.  
    Building a home may cost more in 2021 than in previous years. That's because builders are experiencing shortages of essential materials. More than 90% of builders surveyed by the National Association of Home Builders say they've experienced shortages of plywood, with almost that many reporting a shortage of windows and doors. This drives up the price for these materials as well as the cost of building a home.

  • Interest rates are still quite low.
    If you need to obtain financing for your new home, the news is good. Interest rates have been around 3% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the summer of 2021, which is historically very low. Although rates can sometimes be difficult to precisely predict, experts expect them to stay steady or rise only slightly by the end of the year, which makes financing a home build (or buying an existing home) easier financially.

  • Factor in the cost of land.
    Don't forget to factor in the cost of land if you're planning to build a home. Even if you already own the plot of land you'll be building on, you'll probably want to budget for some improvements. These can include a driveway, landscaping, and outdoor structures.

  • Consider healthy home features.  
    Homeowners have placed a higher priority on healthy home features in the past few years, and this trend has grown even more since the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider faucets controlled by motion sensors and smart home devices that minimize the number of times you'll touch surfaces like light switches and door locks. Features like low-VOC paint and an efficient HVAC system and insulation that helps improve indoor air quality are also important healthy home features.

  • Look beyond the open floor plan.  
    Open floor plans remain popular, but many homeowners now prefer a more formal layout. Think about what your family likes to do before deciding on a layout. If you like to entertain, for example, an open floor plan may better suit your needs. But if you have a family member who works at home or would like your home to have more private space, a more formal layout is probably the way to go in your new home.

  • Patience and flexibility are key.  
    You'll usually run into some unexpected delays and issues when you're building a home, so you'll need to be patient as well as flexible. This is particularly true in 2021 since shipping delays and material shortages are common. If you approach the project expecting some delays and are flexible about some of your decisions, you'll have a much better experience and be under less stress. 

Contact us to find out more about the local housing market and Cedar Park homes for sale. If you decide to build your own home, we can help you find the land that meets your needs and share information about specific neighborhoods and other areas. 

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