Friday, February 28, 2014

New Home Sales Numbers

Despite the bad weather and poor economic predictions, January's new home sales reached its highest level in more than 5 years!

Consumer confidence remains stable, home prices are increasing as inventory decreases and interest rates remain at historic lows.

Economists predicted a 6% drop in new home sales for January and were pleasantly surprised to see the increase especially after some brutal snow and ice storms kept many people home.

The south experienced a 10% increase in new home sales. See the chart below for more detail on the rise and fall of home sales and the upward trend we are pleased to be on!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Saving on Energy

As the weather continues to fluctuate and cold temperatures have you pushing up your thermostat, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to keep your home energy costs low.  The answer is yes! Even as winter continues on, there are simple things you can do around your new home to help balance out your energy usage.

Here are a few tips:


  • Use your dishwasher! It takes less water to run the dishwasher than wash by hand. Make your dishwasher more efficient by running full loads then let the dishes air dry instead of using the dry setting on your dishwasher.
  • When washing and drying clothes, make sure you always clean the lint trap in your dryer. Dry consecutive loads to take advantage of built up heat from the previous load.
  • Lower your thermostat at night and during the day when you aren't home. Reverse your ceiling fans to help circulate warm air from near the ceiling.
  • Check the temperature on your water heater. Lowering this temperature a few degrees can help save on energy costs.
  • Allow foods to cool before putting them in your refrigerator. Putting warm or hot items in the refrigerator cause it to work harder to maintain a cool temperature.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with more energy efficient LED or CFL bulbs

What do you do to keep energy costs low?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Olympic Party Snacks

The winter Olympic games have begun and in honor of this event here are some ideas on hosting your own Olympic themed viewing party! You don't have to be at the games to really get into the spirit. Let these snack ideas inspire your Olympic-sized ambitions!

The Olympic Torch



 Fill ice cream cones with cheddar flavored popcorn.


Gold Medals



Use Golden Oreos and roll out fruit snacks


Olympic Rings


Give cups of hot chocolate a dusting of colored sanding sugars for a real Olympic treat!


What ideas do you have for hosting an Olympic-themed party?

Friday, February 7, 2014

The History of Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are at historic lows. To get a better idea where mortgage rates have come from and why now is a great time to buy - take a look at this infographic created by Zillow.com.