Monday, December 31, 2012
Tonight, everyone will be celebrating the end of 2012 and look forward to 2013. For many people, the new year means a fresh start and a new outlook. For a majority of people, a new year means new resolutions: pledges to make a change in the upcoming year for a better life. We’ve narrowed down a list of the three most common New Year’s resolutions and included some tips on how to help you stay focused in 2013.
1. Get In Shape
There’s no doubt that Get In Shape/Get Fit/Lose Weight/Get Healthy is one of the top New Year’s resolution on many people’s list. Why not let your home help you keep your resolution? Losing weight starts with being more active! Use the bonus room in your new Ball Home
to put a treadmill or weight machine. Take advantage of the many walking trails and parks around your subdivision, like Chilesburg
or Notting Hill
. Getting out and getting active around your community is a step in the right direction to leading a healthier life!
From all of us at Ball Homes, we wish you a very happy New Year and we look forward to what 2013 has in store!
2. Get Organized
Many of our popular floor plans
offer sizable closet spaces, attic areas, and storage options; make the most of them! Install space saving shelving in your garage so that everything has a place. Use large plastic bins to store holiday decorations, sports equipment, and out of season clothing items. Reorganize your bedroom closet to make sure you aren’t keeping clothing you never wear. If you haven’t worn an item in the last 6 months, chances are you probably don’t need it. For tips on how to organize your kitchen, read our previous blog post
3. Save More/Get out of Debt
Saving more money throughout the year starts with changing small habits, and the best place to start is by cutting energy use in your home. To save on your utility bills, lower your thermostat before you leave for work. Install compact florescent bulbs in your lamps. Switch off your electronics and lights when they aren’t in use. Utilize your fireplace instead of turning up the heat a few degrees. If you really want to take a big chunk out of your debt this year, why not look into refinancing your home? With mortgage rates at historic lows, now is the time to refinance and save money on your mortgage payment. Contact a loan officer at Walden Mortgage
for more information on your refinancing options.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
The floor plan is the heart of constructional drawings. From the type of house to the size of the house, a floor plan reveals area, structure, stair location, door and window locations, room layout and so much more. Floor plans can be confusing at first glance, so here are a few pointers to help you understand what you’re seeing.
For starters, look at the floor plan as a whole. The floor plan is drawn from a perspective view, which means that it’s as if the roof has been lifted off and you’re looking down into the house from a bird’s eye view.
Next, locate the front entrance to the house. Visualize opening the front door and walking through the house. Follow the flow down the halls and walk spaces. Go to each room on the floor plan. The living area, kitchen, dining area, bathrooms and bedrooms are all marked, as well as any special rooms such as the utility room or office, like this example shown of the Manhattan Expanded floor plan. Below the room label is the room dimensions. It is listed in feet and inches with the width first and the length second.
Doors and windows are two of the most important elements shown on a floor plan. Each door and window is given a location and size. Windows are shown with three parallel lines in a wall and doors are typically shown as a straight line perpendicular to a wall and an arc that connects this line to the wall. The great thing about showing a door like this is that you’ll know which side has the hinges and which room the door opens into. This is good to keep in mind as you think about furniture placement.
The next thing to look for is ceiling height. Some plans will have the ceiling dimensions on the plan itself, underneath the room dimensions. Other plans will have symbols on them. For example, in the Cavanaugh II floor plan, the master bedroom has a double trey ceiling marked with two squares of dotted lines. Other plans, like the Monroe plan, have vaulted ceilings marked by crossed dotted lines.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Ball Homes is proud to have a group of Realtors who specialize in making the Ball Homes experience one that is smooth and worry-free. Each month, we will be highlighting one of our top real estate agents in the Lexington, Louisville, or Knoxville areas; recognizing the hard work they do for our company and the people we serve.
Realtor Greg Back was the top producing real estate agent for the Lexington area for November 2012. Greg is a Ball Homes Specialist for the Lexington area and has extensive experience with new construction and existing residential properties. We were able to talk to Greg about his successes in his real estate career as well as other areas in his life.
Having a 26 year track record, Greg attributes much of his success to listening to his client’s needs and wants, then formulating a plan to help them achieve their goals. He feels that the more you know, the better connection you have with your client and the trust grows from there. It is a nuts-and-bolts formula that has served him well. He has grown his network from this basic concept and has become known locally as “the Hard Working Nice Guy”. Helping his clients achieve their goals is paramount to Greg. “Their success is my success.” He also says that he continually strives to improve and stay on top of the cutting edge with trending issues and topics through training classes offered by LBAR (Lexington Bluegrass Association of Realtors)
Goals are something that Greg uses, not only for his clients, but also himself. “I start each year with a road map and results plan. I review them every two weeks to make sure I’m on-course. If I need to make changes or revisions, I can do that easily because I know what I’m working toward.” He also gives credit for his successes to his wife, Deborah. She is also a local Realtor with Milestone Realty Consultants. “My wife and I talk a lot about how we can better serve our clients by working smarter and using time management. We collaborate on many issues to better serve our clients, but as with most married couples, we also edit each other. Deborah is a little more creative with her ‘why not?’ mindset and I have a little more ‘if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it’ mentality. I think other married couples can relate, especially our clients!”
Motivation is something that is hard to maintain in the real estate business, but Greg has a secret for keeping his sights high while the market is still recovering. “I’ve always played sports, so I definitely like to win, but I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to be #2 every once in a while. I try to find people that are very good at what they do and I try to shadow them. I want to be the best I can be, so I try to ‘chase the rabbits’ and emulate the skills and procedures that work best.”
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The holidays are a time for friends and family to get together, which means schedules can fill up quickly with overnight guests in your Ball home. Take a few hours to prepare for your visitors and create an environment that tells them, “I’m glad you’re here”.
First, you’ll want to look around the room that they’ll be staying in. Try to de-clutter the room as much as possible. You’ll want to ensure that your guests have enough room to relax without having to step over paperwork or boxes. Clear off the dresser top and provide a tray or dish where your guests can put their jewelry, change and other small items. Clear some space in the closet for their hanging items and don’t forget to leave a few extra hangers.
Do you have a guest bed they will be sleeping on? Make sure the bed is as comfortable as it can be. If you’re using an inflatable mattress, pump it up and check for any leaks. You don’t want to find that you have a busted air mattress just as your guests are turning in for the night. Run the pillows through the air-only cycle on your dryer with a fabric softener sheet to give them a fresh scent. If you’re using new bed linens or towels, run them through a laundry cycle to keep them from feeling stiff.
Next, check the guest bathroom to make sure everything is cleaned and organized. Restock the toilet paper and tissues, if necessary. Set out fresh towels for each of your guests. If you have time, assemble a small basket of toiletries, just in case your guest has forgotten something. You can find travel sizes of many items like shampoo, soap, razor, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and lotions at the local store.This makes your guest feel welcome, takes away any awkwardness they may feel in asking you for something they need or forgot, and makes it easier on you to have everything prepared.
Do you have any other tips or tricks you do to ensure your guests are comfortable? Share them with us on our Facebook page!