Choosing Your Master Bedroom Location

The master bedroom is one of the most important rooms a prospective homeowner should consider when buying or building a house. The location of the room is important, and should accommodate your lifestyle needs and personal preferences.

Here are the top things to take into account when thinking about the location of your master bedroom!

Mobility Concerns

According to an AARP study, 87% of adults age 65+ want to stay in their current home and community as they age. This number is 71% among the 50-64 age group. When you consider that four of the top ten states with the highest aging population are New England states – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut – these statistics are vital to many of our clients.

How does this relate to the location of the master bedroom? Well, with more homeowners choosing to age-in-place, many seek to build or buy a home with a first-floor master bedroom. That way, they do not have to go up and down the stairs multiple times a day.  The bedroom will also be in close proximity to other rooms that they use daily, like the kitchen, living room, bathroom, or garage. 

Making age-in-place considerations when buying or building a home also increases the resale value, as more and more homeowners are looking for a first-floor master suite.

Horton Group construction at the Residences at 66 High Street.

Lifestyle and Preferences

A homeowner should also consider their lifestyle and personal preferences when choosing the location of the master suite. 

Someone with young children may prefer a second-floor bedroom to be closer to the kids. Or perhaps they prefer to have more quiet and privacy on the first floor away from the children’s bedrooms. Keep in mind, a  first floor bedroom can be noisy if placed too close to the kitchen, living room, or any place with heavy foot traffic.

Someone who values privacy or is a light sleeper will probably want a bedroom located towards the back of the house – away from street lights, noisy roads, and peering neighbors. On the other hand, this might be a bad location for someone who prefers to be closer to the other bedrooms in the house, or wants a view of the front yard.

A first-floor master bedroom can be a money saver if children have moved out of the house and the second floor is largely unused. In this case, homeowners can choose to spend minimal energy heating or cooling the second floor and focus on keeping the first floor comfortable. 

Another factor to consider is access to outdoor space. Do you dream of being able to get out of bed in the morning and stroll right into your garden or step outside for beachside views? Then perhaps you should consider a first-floor bedroom with direct access to your outdoor space. For others, having such easy access to the bedroom from outside could be a safety concern.

Horton Group construction at 77 Palms

Conclusion

The location of the master bedroom is a big decision, and several factors should be considered including mobility, resale value, lifestyle, family size, and personal preference. Depending on all these factors, a homeowner may choose a master bedroom on the first or second floor, towards the front of the home, or the back of the home. 

There is no definitive right or wrong when it comes to choosing a master suite location, but prospective homeowners should consider these pros and cons to make an informed decision they will be content with in the long run.

Ready to discuss your dream master suite with us? Get in touch today.

Pros and Cons of a Home Addition

Building an addition to your home can be both an exciting and harrowing process. 

If you are considering a home addition, here are some pros and cons that you should be aware of before you start.

Pros of a Home Addition

Your Own Design

When building an addition, you can design it specifically to your needs. A home addition is a custom-tailored solution to an issue with your current home. Perhaps you need more kitchen space, more storage, or maybe an in-law suite. Whatever your needs, with an addition you get exactly what you want.

Increase the Value of Your Home

When done correctly, a home addition can be a financial investment that increases the value of a home. Adding square footage to your home like an extra bedroom or bigger kitchen will make your home more attractive to buyers. However, be sure not to over-improve beyond the average value of your neighborhood. Hire the best contractor you can afford to ensure the new space is sturdily-built and well-designed.

No Stressful Move

Perhaps you have one or two issues with your house, but otherwise you love your home, your neighborhood, and your current life, and you don’t want the stress of uprooting everything for you and your family. If this sounds like you, it’s probably better to consider building an addition rather than moving! 

Save Money

Depending on the scope and budget of your home addition project, it could be cheaper than buying a new home.

Cons of a Home Addition

Cost

Home additions are an investment. Depending on the project, you can expect to pay at least $30k-80k and possibly more. You can often make some of this money back when you sell, but it is not guaranteed, a real estate values are always fluctuating. You should also be wary of over-improving your home beyond that of the average house in your neighborhood, as this can actually devalue your house or make it a tough sell.

Let’s not forget unforeseen additions to the budget that inevitably arise. Projects on your home could uncover previously unknown issues that are costly to fix and delay the process.

Stress

Building a home addition can come with a lot of stress. You have to share your home with a building crew for weeks or months. Sometimes you might even lose access to an important room (such as a kitchen) while construction is underway. Alternatively, you can choose to live off site at a hotel or with family, but this too can be costly and stressful.

Making sure you hire a reputable, professional contractor is an important step in alleviating some of this headache. 

Loss of Yard Space

Unless you’re building an addition on top of your current home, you will inevitably lose some yard space. This could be a downside for your family, and is something you will need to take into consideration. 

Conclusion

A home addition is a huge decision and likely one of the costliest a homeowner will ever make. Before beginning a renovation, the pros and cons of such a project should be carefully considered.

3 Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs

With summer almost here, air conditioners start to run all day and night. In most homes, this accounts for the biggest share of energy consumption in summer. 

While your AC may keep you comfortable in the hot and humid months, costs can add up if you don’t have an efficient system. 

Keep reading to learn three tips to reduce air conditioning costs this summer. 

Upgrade Your Air Conditioning Unit

Old air conditioning units are inefficient, which means they consume more energy and cost more to run. By replacing window units with an efficient mini-split system, you can gain up to 70% energy savings.

Upgrading your HVAC system does come with a cost, so make sure you budget the project, and speak with a professional about the options available for your home. 

Smart Controls

Leaving the air conditioning on full blast is a waste. Just like you program heat in the winter, you can program your air conditioning to ensure your home is comfortable while saving you money. Program the air conditioning to your comfort level for the times of the day when you are home. When working or away, increase the temperature by 7-10 degrees to reduce costs. 

Mini-split systems also enable you to cool down the rooms you use the most. You can set the temperature for the main living areas to one level, and another level for rooms more seldomly used. 

Reduce Air Leakage

A home with poor insulation or air leaks enables cool air to get out and hot outside air to get into the home. The opposite is true during cold winter months, so this tip can help you save all year long!

Some easy ways to improve insulation are by caulking and weatherproofing all windows and doors, replacing any worn-out or drafty window treatments with new ones made of insulating materials (such as cotton drapes), and closing off unused parts of an attic when possible. You can also go an additional step to improve your home’s insulation by adding spray foam insulation throughout your home.

Your air conditioning unit is a major factor in your energy bills, and these tips can help reduce those costs. Do you have other tips? Let us know!

What to Look for in a Professional Remodeler

May is NAHB’s National Home Remodelers Month, and the past year has been a busy one when it comes to remodeling! 

With so much time spent at home these days, chances are, you are thinking of making changes to your home. Perhaps you’re thinking of pulling out your toolkit and DIYing it. 

However, large remodeling projects usually call for an expert. Here’s how you can find the right contractor for your home project!

Why You Should Hire a Professional

  • Property Value

Remember that your house is a valuable asset. All upgrades need to be of professional quality to increase the value of your property.

  • Safety

A professional contractor knows how to bring your remodeling dreams to life in a way that is safely constructed and up to code. As a trained expert, a remodeler has a firm grasp of the requirements to meet city ordinances, regulations, and permits. 

  • Expertise

You are not just hiring a professional remodeler for their labor; you are hiring them for their expertise. Through years in the industry, they know where to get the best prices on labor and materials, and how to design the best solutions for your needs and your budget. 

How to Find a Professional Remodeler

  • Search for Remodelers in Your Area

The National Association of Home Builders has a Directory of Professional Remodelers that you can search to find professional remodelers in your area. Search the internet or social media for remodelers in your area and pay attention to reviews from previous customers. You can also reach out to friends in your community to see who they recommend. 

  • Reach Out for Quotes

Contact a few of your top picks to discuss your project and your budget. A professional remodeler can provide you with work samples to prove their expertise, and a detailed proposal on how they will achieve your vision within your budget. Do not immediately go for the lowest price offered. A price that seems too good to be true can mean poor quality work or a lack of professionalism.

  • Check Their Credentials

Do some background research on your potential remodelers to make sure they are running a legitimate business. They should have the proper licenses to conduct their work, and general liability insurance in case of accidents on the jobsite. It is also great if they are part of a trade association. A remodeler who meets all these criteria should be reliable and knowledgeable about all the newest industry trends and legal requirements.

Are you interested in learning more about the remodeling process?

Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips

There’s a reason why outdoor kitchens have become increasingly popular over the past decade. Not only are they practical, but they add a luxurious feature to your home. 

An outdoor kitchen also increases your square footage for entertaining, allowing you to stay engaged with guests while limiting foot traffic in and out of the home. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration, keep reading to learn how to design your dream outdoor kitchen.

Plan And Select A Layout

When designing an outdoor kitchen, personalization is key. Factor in space for seating and appliances, while still allowing plenty of room for walking and cooking. You’ll want to consider space for prepping, cooking, entertaining, and dining when planning your kitchen. 

Once you have the exact measurements, explore possible layouts for your kitchen. 

Here are some of the most common layouts:

  • L-Shaped: This shape works well for small to medium-sized spaces and fits perfectly in corners.
  • Linear: An excellent option for small spaces and small budgets. A linear layout can either run along the side of the house or be freestanding like an island. 
  • Galley: In a galley layout, appliances and cabinets face each other along a rectangular line divided by a central walkway.
  • U-Shaped: This layout is lined with appliances and cabinets on three sides, forming a U-shape, with an open space in the center. This works best for large outdoor kitchens and offers more space for appliances and countertops.

Personalize Accessories and Appliances

To elevate your outdoor kitchen and make it fit your needs, consider accessories. A fire pit adds a cozy element to your outdoor kitchen, helps keep the night lit, and extends patio season into cooler months.

Not much of a cook? Make a bar the focal point of your kitchen. If you’re a master chef, purchase the bells and whistles such as a pizza oven or grilling station. 

Furniture and Decor

Once you have your layout and appliances, you can begin to have fun with the design! Remember, this space is an extension of your indoor living areas and brings together dining, entertaining, and relaxing. 

Choose outdoor furniture that meets your style and is comfortable, with enough seating for all. If you have one seating area, make sure the space can accommodate dining and conversing. If you have multiple seating areas, you can incorporate furniture for lounging and separate furniture for eating. 

Finally, some type of protection is vital for an outdoor kitchen, whether it’s a pergola, retractable roof, or canopy. This helps weatherproof the space and allows you to use it whether the sun is blaring or there’s a light rain. 

National Home Remodelers Month

April was New Homes Month, but now that we have entered May, remodelers are in the spotlight. 

May is NAHB’s National Home Remodelers Month, and with a resurgence of remodeling activity in 2021, now is a great time to highlight what is happening in the remodeling industry. 

Full Recovery

After a slow down in remodeling projects last year, remodelers’ businesses have picked back up to full speed. 

“The remodeling market took a hit last year at the start of the pandemic, but it’s completely turned around now,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Steve Cunningham, a remodeler from Williamsburg, Va. “Now, remodelers are facing intense backlog on projects due to supply chain delays, continued labor shortages and an abundance of project leads.”

NAHB’s Remodeling Survey

A recent survey conducted by NAHB revealed what type of projects homeowners are requesting from remodelers. Here is what the survey found:

Most Common Consumer Motivation for Remodeling:

  1. Better amenities
  2. Need to repair or replace older components
  3. Desire or need for more space

Most Common Remodeling Projects:

  1. Bathrooms – 74% of remodeling projects involved bathrooms.
  2. Kitchens – 67% of remodeling projects involved kitchens. 

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects have been in high demand for several years, but this year, even more homeowners are reaching out for remodeling projects. 

“As home prices and interest rates rise, many would-be home buyers are instead opting to stay put and make improvements to their current homes.”

NAHB

Are you planning on making any renovations to your home this year? Let us know!

Horton Group Showcases MHK’s New Office at 350 Goose Lane

MHK is the newest addition to 350 Goose Lane!

The new office for MHK, which is part of the Hearst Health network, takes up levels one and two of Building C, for a total of 14,450 square feet of space. 

New Layout for Changing Times

Horton Group worked closely with MHK to ensure the layout of the office would ensure safety as people return back to the office. Prior layout designs were altered to solve space configuration needs. The final design includes workspaces to benefit employees now and in the future. 

“They were involved every step of the way,” stated Horton Group President Kenny Horton. “We wanted to ensure their layout allowed for proper distancing and a healthy workplace.”

Kenny Horton

Take a look at how the office came out!

MHK office space incorporates meeting rooms of varying sizes for collaboration, desk configurations that allow for distancing, and ample windows and glass walls for natural light. 

350 Goose Lane Office Park

350 Goose Lane Office Park is an ongoing development consisting of three buildings on a professional campus. MHK joins Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Stone Agency, and American Cruise Lines, among other local businesses inside the Office Park. 

Set on 16 acres, 350 Goose Lane Office Park was once Wilber & King Nursery. Horton Group has maintained the integrity of the former site, with beautifully landscaped green space, pond views from every building, and a courtyard with access for all tenants. The campus includes ample parking for all three buildings and is conveniently located off I-95, with easy access to the train station in Guilford. 

6 Outdoor Design Ideas You’ll Love

Outdoor living spaces can be designed to fit your needs and style, and remain an important feature for homeowners and buyers alike. From hosting daytime gatherings to relaxing evenings, your property expands your living space and allows you to enjoy the outdoors. 

Here are six design features to take your outdoor living space to the next level:

Patio Doors

Oversized doors leading out to your patio or deck extend your interior living space to the outdoors. French patio doors are easy to open, bifold doors can create a larger entrance, and multi-slide patio doors can extend the length of the wall, with panels that tuck into pockets. Each one of these options opens up your indoor and outdoor living spaces for entertaining or relaxing at home. 

Covered Outdoor Area

A covered space creates more opportunities to be outside, whether the sun is shining so brightly you need shade, or a light rain begins. You can also create separate outdoor spaces, keeping one covered and others uncovered to meet everyone’s preferences. Awnings, gazebos, and screened porches are all options for covered outdoor space. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to entertain, an outdoor kitchen makes it more convenient to prep food and drinks while hosting, but also limits the number of times your guests walk in and out of the house. 

Built-in cooking and prep stations provide everything you need to make meals outside, so you can enjoy your company and the weather. 

Irrigation System

Beautiful landscaping can be admired throughout the warmer months, making your property a serene reatreat. An irrigation system allows you to maintain your landscaping with less maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy the outdoors. 

Privacy

There are numerous ways to create privacy, no matter what type of property you own. Fencing, hedges, and landscaping can all create a private oasis for you to enjoy. 

Fire Pits

An outdoor fire pit is a wonderful way to create ambiance in your outdoor living space. Whether you opt for a built-in or portable fire pit,  you can cozy up on chilly evenings and extend the use of your outdoor space. 

Cost vs. Value of Home Improvement Projects

Homeowners who are ready to remodel usually have a budget in mind. Another factor to look at when making upgrades is what you can expect for the project’s ROI. During remodels, not all costs are recouped, but they can add value to your home. 

The Cost vs. Value Report compares the average costs for 22 remodeling projects with the value they retained at resale across 101 U.S. markets in 2020. 

Take a look at the average costs and resale value before you take on your next project!

ProjectJob CostResale ValueCost Recouped
Manufactured Stone Veneer$9,357$8,94395.6%
Garage Door Replacement$3,695$3,49194.5%
Minor Kitchen Remodel | Midrange$23,425$18,20677.6%
Siding Replacement | Fiber-Cement$17,008$13,19577.6%
Siding Replacement | Vinyl$14,359$10,73174.7%
Window Replacement | Vinyl$17,641$12,76172.3%
Deck Addition | Wood$14,360$10,35572.1%
Window Replacement | Wood$21,495$14,80468.9%
Entry Door Replacement | Steel$1,881$1,29468.8%
Deck Addition | Composite$19,856$13,25766.8%
Roofing Replacement | Asphalt Shingles$24,700$16,28765.9%
Bath Remodel | Midrange$21,377$13,68864%
Bath Remodel | Universal Design$34,643$21,46362%
Roofing Replacement | Metal$40,318$24,68261.2%
Major Kitchen Remodel | Midrange$68,490$40,12758.6%
Master Suite Addition | Midrange$136,739$80,02958.5%
Bath Remodel | Upscale$67,106$37,99556.6%
Bathroom Addition | Upscale$91,287$49,96154.7%
Bathroom Addition | Midrange$49,598$26,80754%
Major Kitchen Remodel | Upscale$135,547$72,99353.9%
Grand Entrance | Fiberglass$9,254$4,93053.3%
Master Suite Addition | Upscale$282,062$145,48651.6%

As you can see, manufactured stone veneer and new garage doors have the highest resale value, with over 94% of costs recouped for both projects. Other projects that recoup a high percentage of remodeling costs include a minor kitchen remodel, siding replacement, window replacement, and deck addition. 

This does not mean that remodeling projects are not worth your time or money. You should also factor in your specific wants and needs and how long you plan to stay in your residence after the remodeling is complete. Once you set your budget and your vision, talk with your contractor about any concerns you may have about the resale value. 

What remodeling project are you most likely to take on in the next year? Let us know in the comments!

First Time Homebuyers in the Market for New Construction

Over the past year, the buyer’s market has been extremely competitive in many markets across the US, due in part to low inventory. With a limited number of properties being listed for sale, it makes sense that more buyers are turning toward new construction. 

Take a look at the results from recent surveys from the National Association of Home Builders in regards to new construction and first time home buyers:

First Time Homebuyers considering New Construction

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) is a monthly survey of the National Association of Home Builder members, designed to rate the market conditions for the sale of new homes and the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes.

The February 2021 survey showed that builders reported an overall average of 43% of new construction sold to first-time home buyers. Sixty-six percent of builders said that more than 20% of their homes were sold to first-time buyers. 

An Upward Trend

The number of first-time buyers who purchase new construction has steadily increased over the past five years. In 2016, an average of 19% of sales of new homes went to first-time home buyers. The number grew to 32% in October 2018 and jumped to 43% in February 2021. This shows that every year, more first-time buyers are considering new construction.

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