Tips for Maintaining Your Charleston Home This Winter



If you have a new home, it will start to lose moisture after a few years.
In the cold, you need that moisture to keep your home structurally sound.


When you buy one of our new homes, there is typically a lot of moisture in the home at first and it takes a while for it to dry out. However, by the second or third winter you have in the home, things will start to dry out. It’s important that you are aware of this and that you take steps to control the humidity in your home during the winter. We’ve got some things for you to look out for today that will assist you in the process.

The first thing to look out for is the settling, or drying out, of your drywall, your trim, and your wood floors. When it gets colder, the wood will start to shrink and you might see a little gap in some of the floorboards. If you have a wood floor, you don’t want your moisture reading to be any lower than 45%. If it is, you may have to invest in a humidifier.

Another thing to keep in mind in the winter is to make sure you turn on those exhaust fans when you shower. Their purpose is to help eliminate moisture content in the house. The excess humidity that comes from hot water isn’t good for the materials in your home. Too much humidity can cause damage if it sticks around too long. Let that exhaust fan run for an extra 15 minutes after you turn the shower off.


Wood tends to dry out

and shrink in the winter.




As the weather turns colder, you’ll also start to see some shrinkage cracks on your tile and backsplash on the counters. The backsplash has a caulked joint that can separate a bit as things dry out. You might also see some hairline cracks at the top of your ceiling. Doors may stick or rub a bit. The key to combatting this is controlling that humidity level in your home.

Finally, let’s talk about your HVAC system. The warmest areas in your home will be the areas nearest to the furnace, or the upstairs if you have a two-story home. The rooms that are furthest away from the furnace will be cooler in the winter months. As a homeowner, you will need to fine-tune and tweak the system to your liking and needs. You can close vents in some of the warmer areas to allow air to move to other parts of the home.

If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!


Know anyone who's interested in building a home? 
If you have any friends, family, or co-workers who are looking to own their first or second home - would you forward this message to them? We'll be happy to show them our eight new construction home plans along with the benefits of owning a Charleston Home so they can make a decision that's right for them.

A Few Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter



Winter is here, so it’s time to go outside and make sure that the exterior of your home is ready for the cold weather. Today, we’ll go over our top winterizing tips for you.

Today, we’ll go over a few things you should take care of on the exterior of your home before winter weather hits. For example, as temperatures get cooler, you need to drain your sprinklers. You can do that yourself, but we recommend having someone professionally winterize them. They will come out with a compressor and blow out all of the water in the pipes so that none of it freezes. When water freezes in pipes, the pipes expand and burst, which can cause major water damage. You should also make sure to disconnect your hoses. Failing to do so could lead to water damage. While you’re outside taking care of that, you can even put down some winter fertilizer. Most people aerate and fertilize their lawns during the fall, but putting down a winter fertilizer will get your lawn totally ready for spring. Check your caulking and the condition of your concrete. Caulking prevents excess water from going beneath the concrete slabs in your walkways or driveway. In the winter, that water can freeze and lift up the concrete slabs. Fresh caulking will help you prevent that problem.


Use sand or pea gravel instead

of de-icing agents on your walkways.




You should also seal your driveway to protect it from the de-icing agents applied by the city road crews. Your car’s tires will collect road salt and deposit it in the driveway, which can create pitting in your driveway. Sealant will also protect your driveway from oil spills and extra moisture from winter snows and spring rains.

When it does snow, it is incredibly important that you remove snow from your driveway quickly, or you will risk damaging the concrete. Don’t use salt or de-icing agents on your walkways. Instead, use some sand, pea gravel, or kitty litter to prevent people from slipping on your sidewalk.

As you tour the exterior of your home, check your exhaust and fresh air intakes to make sure they are free and clear of any obstructions, like bird nests. If you have a fireplace, make sure that the fireplace vent is clean as well.

Finally, pay attention to the exterior caulking on your home. Caulking can shrink and separate over the years. Seal them up to keep your home warm and lower your energy bills during the winter months.

If you have any other questions about preparing your home for winter, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Know anyone who's interested in building a home? 
If you have any friends, family, or co-workers who are looking to own their first or second home - would you forward this message to them? We'll be happy to show them our eight new construction home plans along with the benefits of owning a Charleston Home so they can make a decision that's right for them.

Benchmark Mortgage Is Helping to Educate Veterans About The Benefits Available to Them


Many veterans and active-duty service members are unaware of the benefits available to them through VA financing, and Benchmark Mortgage is setting out to change that.

Eric Almquist of Benchmark Mortgage recently joined us for another great discussion about the lending side of real estate. This time, we discussed a topic that Benchmark Mortgage happens to specialize in: VA financing.

According to Eric, many veterans and active-duty service members are, unfortunately, unaware of the extent of their benefits through VA financing. The VA does a great job in providing benefits, but could use some assistance in educating people on what those benefits actually entail. This is where Eric and his fellow lending professionals at Benchmark Mortgage come in.

Benchmark Mortgage is actually on a mission right now to become the No. 1 VA lending company in the country. As part of this goal, the lending professionals at Benchmark Mortgage have realized that they should be asking every veteran and active duty service member they work with about how well they understand their benefits. “You can’t assume that they know what their benefits are,” says Eric.

You can reach Eric for more information by phone at (402) 933-1141 or by emailing him at eric.almquist@benchmark.us.

Also, if you’re interested in doing your own research on VA financing before speaking with Eric, check out this great resource:


Link: https://ericalmquist.benchmark.us/the-veterans-home-front/


And, as always, if you have any other questions or would like to speak about 
your real estate goals, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look
forward to hearing from you soon.

Know anyone who's interested in building a home? 
If you have any friends, family, or co-workers who are looking to own their first or second home - would you forward this message to them? We'll be happy to show them our eight new construction home plans along with the benefits of owning a Charleston Home so they can make a decision that's right for them.