A Breakdown of Our 60-Day Warranty Review


Here’s an overview of how our 60-day warranty review works.


If you buy a home through Charleston Homes, after you close, we offer both a 60-day and 11-month warranty review. Today we’ll tell you how our 60-day review works and what you can expect from it. 

Typically, the 60-day review is more informative because we go over a lot of information during the walk-through. We not only do our own spot-check, but we also show you a checklist of items you should take care of to improve your home’s longevity. 

Follow along in the video above to see our full discussion. For your convenience, we’ve provided timestamps so you can skip ahead to various sections at your leisure:


1:00—An overview of the 60-day review
1:57—Typical questions we ask homeowners during the 60-day review 
3:41—GFCI tripping
4:33—Other things to check for 
5:10—What we look for when examining the exterior of the home
5:51—Why we save settling for the 11-month review


If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.

What Happens After You Close on a New Construction Home?


What happens after you close on one of our homes? Allow us to explain.


Once you’ve closed on your new construction home, what comes next? 


At Charleston Homes, we stand behind what we build! So, we offer a 60-day and an 11-month warranty review. This helps to ensure that your home has remained in good shape after you’ve moved in. If any issues do arise, your warranty will likely cover it. 

Even if there aren’t any maintenance- or repair-related problems, our team is still happy to answer questions and address any concerns you may have during these reviews. For this reason, we highly recommend clients keep a list of things to ask us after they take possession of the home so they don’t forget to bring them up by the time these reviews roll around.

    

 

The bottom line is that we’re here for you.



Of course, if there is an emergency, you can always contact us. Major warranty concerns include any leaks, condensation issues, or any other structural, mechanical, or safety-related issues. 

Problems like a creaky floor or an ill-fitting door, though, can wait to be addressed until one of our scheduled reviews. 

The bottom line is that we’re here for you. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’d be happy to let you know whether you should be concerned about a particular issue, so reach out anytime. With that in mind, our warranty manual and video blog also have a lot of helpful information. 
As always, if you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Where Can You Find Charleston Homes These Days?


There are a lot of great, new things happening here at Charleston Homes. Here’s what you need to know.

Today we wanted to talk to you about some of the exciting things going on with Charleston Homes, specifically here in Sarpy County.

We’re here in one of our models out at Falcon Pointe. We have both single-family lots and villa lots available in this up-and-coming development.

There are 63 villa lots and most of our floor plans will fit on them. They’re not for everybody, but for buyers looking to downsize and move into a maintenance-free lifestyle, it’s perfect.

Services include lawn maintenance, sprinkler system, trash removal, and snow removal all winter long.

    

 

You can build any of our floorplans on a single-family lot in Falcon Pointe.



For our single-family lots, you can build any of the floorplans we have. Another exciting feature is that there will be a new community park within this neighborhood.

Some other great areas in Sarpy County where we have lots available include Lion’s Gate, Cedar Grove, Sumpter Crossing, Pioneer View, and the highly anticipated Lincoln Way. We also have models in Pebblebrooke that you can stop by to see any time.


As you can see, there are a lot of awesome things going on at Charleston Homes. If you or someone you know is interested in buying or building a new home, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email today.

An Expert’s Take on Our Market’s Current Interest Rates



Today, Eric Almquist of Benchmark Mortgage joins me to discuss the latest trends regarding interest rates. Stay tuned!

Interest rates are very good in our current market. But don’t just take it from me—Eric Almquist of Benchmark Mortgage joined me today for a discussion about the latest trends regarding interest rates.


Anyone who watches the news has seen rates drop by nearly 1% over the course of the last year. That’s happened for a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that the global bond market has been rallying. By this, Eric means that bond prices have been going up and yields have gone down. That, in turn, has affected our bond yields, which interest rates tend to follow.

Currently, interest rates are as good as they were in 2016, when they dipped in October of that year due to the Brexit issue in England. At that time, a similar thing occurred where bond yields were pushed down and prices went up.

    

 

From a buyer’s perspective, the market is as good as it has been in a long time.



Eric believes that it will be hard for interest rates to go up in the foreseeable future. The Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates, which many confuse with mortgage rates. The Fed only slows down or speeds up the economy by lowering or raising the costs of money borrowed between banks. When the Fed lowers short-term borrowing costs, they’re not concerned about inflation; they’re trying to promote growth. In Eric’s mind, this will only continue to drive rates down over time. 

How low they’ll go, Eric’s not sure. Some experts are predicting historically low rates, but we’ll have to wait to see if that becomes the case. However, that’s not an excuse to wait, as rates are still in a very favorable spot right now. From a buyer’s perspective, the market is as good as it has been in a long time.

If you are looking to buy a home or at least want to see what you’d qualify for, definitely reach out to our team. We can show you our model homes and put you in contact with Eric at Benchmark Mortgage to help you qualify for your next home purchase. Hope to hear from you soon!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Proper Faucet Maintenance



If you’re experiencing issues with your kitchen or bathroom faucets, follow along with today’s message for a quick demonstration on how to resolve them.

Faucet maintenance is a necessary, but often forgotten, aspect of homeownership. 

Many people will eventually notice issues with the pressure and flow of water from their faucets, but few know why this happens or what they can do to resolve it. 

One of the most common reasons for these problems is that debris within the plumbing can work its way toward the faucet’s screen or aerator over time, thus creating a blockage. 

Hard water or mineral deposits may also be the culprit if your home is more than six months to a year old. Brillo or S.O.S. pads can be used to fix this issue, but if the source of your faucet’s problems is related to a debris buildup, you’ll need to take a more involved approach. 

To demonstrate, we’ll be taking apart a faucet in one of our model homes in today’s video. You can follow along starting at 1:55.

By following this guide, you should be able to easily resolve most issues related to your kitchen or bathroom faucets. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Paint Touch-Ups: A Demonstration



Today I want to demonstrate some helpful tips for touching up your wall paint. Stay tuned!


If the paint on your home’s walls needs some TLC to look its very best, then stick around: Today we’re going to demonstrate how to touch up paint so that your home will shine.

In this particular property, the painters applied two coats of paint on everything and after the final touch-up coat, they left the remaining paint behind in a bucket. It’s very important to save this bucket, even if it’s empty. If you ever need to get additional paint to touch up your walls, then knowing exactly what batch number of paint to mix will allow you to get the color you need. Without that, the batch you do purchase could be slightly off, meaning your walls will not match.

Beyond that, anyone who plans to touch up their walls should have these essential tools on hand:

  • 5-in-1 tool. This tool can help you scrape, spread compound, clean your rollers, remove putty, and open cracks.  

  • Paint rollers. These come in all sizes to suit any of your projects. You can use a 12-inch roller to paint a whole wall, or a smaller one to touch up just a few spots. Regardless of the roller’s size, if you’re only touching up a small part of the wall, be sure to use less paint—you won’t have to blend as much.

  • TIMELESS paint. True flat paints can smudge when you touch them, but the TIMELESS paint has intrinsic cleaning properties and doesn’t smudge as easily.

  • Foam/felt rollers. These are good for touching up paint on trims and allow you to match bumpy textured surfaces.

  • Worcester brushes. There are a variety of these, but a good, quality brush will carry you a long way. With the less expensive brushes, the bristles tend to fall out. Worcester brushes last for quite a long time.

  • Paddle mixer/drill. This combination will help you to mix your paint from the bottom to the top of the pail, especially if it’s full. For smaller amounts of paint, you can use a traditional stir stick, or you can slosh it around in the bucket to mix it up.

  • Paint rolling tray. This will allow you to control how much paint is on your roller/brush so you don’t apply too much to your walls.

If you have any questions about touching up your paint, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be glad to advise you on tools and techniques that will make your home look as good as new. In the meantime, check out the model homes on our website!

How to Deal With Basement Moisture in Your Charleston Home



Moisture is common in any new home, but too much moisture can lead to mold and a host of other problems. Here’s how to prevent that.


Today our Warranty Manager Shaun Sterba is here to talk about your new home and the moisture levels in your basement.

Depending on when your home was built, there are certain times of the year that your home will have a slightly higher moisture content. Generally, the first year living in any new home will see elevated moisture levels whether your basement is finished or unfinished. This has a lot to do with all the building products that go into the home which elevate the moisture content.

During the rainy season or high
-humidity days of summer, there will be higher levels of moisture in your basement.

The air conditioner will take some of it away, but you also might have to supplement it using a dehumidifier to remove that warm, moist air that will collect and give off a damp feel or musty odor.


    

 

It’s really important to control the moisture in your basement.




In my own house, I use a hydrometer to check my moisture levels in the basement. Basically, you need something that is going to give you a moisture content reading. It allows me to check the moisture levels outside and in my basement at the same time. Any time your moisture is about 50% or 55%, you'll probably want to run a dehumidifier. There are a variety of devices that can do this for you and can be relatively inexpensive. 
 
It’s really important to control your moisture, especially if you’re storing things down there. Rubber totes will protect your items much better than cardboard, which is more susceptible to mold.

If you have any further questions for Shaun or anyone else on our team, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Furnace Clean & Functional



Today I’m here to provide you with some tips on how to properly maintain your furnace.


You should always check your furnace’s filter once a month. To do that, switch your unit off, remove the magnetic strip, and pull out the filter. Check to make sure that it’s clean; if it’s dirty, replace it so that your unit can function at peak performance.

When you replace the filter, be sure to align the arrow on the filter (marked “Air Flow”) with the ones on your unit so that you know you’re putting it in correctly.

You should also pay attention to the dampers on the ducts that lead to individual areas of your home. If you have a ranch home, these will go to individual rooms on the main floor. If you have a two-story home, there are trunk lines that go up to the second floor and the main floor—both have dampers on them.
It’s very important to adjust the dampers for the season based on your comfort level so that you’re not cooking yourself out upstairs or freezing yourself out on the main floor.

    

 

You should always check your furnace’s filter once a month.




On the furnace unit displayed in the video above, we have a whole-house humidifier. You may have seen these installed in homes during your walk-throughs. These units keep the humidity levels in your home at a comfortable level per your tastes, but are usually kept between 35% and 45% humidity. It’s critical to monitor the humidity of your house—you can’t set the humidistat once and leave it there. Keep a barometer in your house so that you can see what your readings are and adjust accordingly.

During the winter, make sure that your damper on the humidifier is on; that way, the air flows into the unit. In the summer, flip it off to block the air flow. If you remove the cover, you can see the media inside—since both air and water flow over this, it’s possible for it to become clogged by the minerals in the water. Do your best to keep them clean, but if they must be replaced, you can find them at any local home-improvement store.

If you have any questions about maintaining your furnace throughout the year, please look for additional videos within this blog page.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors



Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can be tricky. Here’s how to properly test and monitor them.


Today I want to talk to you about our smoke detectors/carbon monoxide detector combos. You’ll notice that these units are in place in the ceilings of our homes. Typically, there will be one carbon monoxide detector per floor and the smoke detectors are typically in all of the main living areas and bedrooms. They're all hardwired so that if one goes off, all of them are going to go off.

There’s also a battery backup that’s revealed by a hinged compartment on the side. This is in case any of the wirings get cuts or burns.

We recommend testing each of your units once a month by holding the button for about three seconds. It will then beep for about 10 seconds. When you hear three long chirps, it’s testing the smoke detector and the four short chirps signify that the carbon monoxide detector is on and working.


    

 

We recommend testing each of your units once a month.




Once a year, you should change out the batteries in your battery backup. If you start to hear a single beep every few minutes, that just means that your battery needs to be replaced. Certain batteries last longer than others, but it’s up to you what you want to do.

The detectors twist and pull down from the ceiling. The wiring harness is hardwired and plugs back into the unit. You can plug in a new detector via that harness if need be.

If you have any questions for me about your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Our Newest Development: Falcon Pointe



Falcon Pointe is Charleston Home’s newest development. It features two exciting new floor plans and much more. 

We’re really excited to introduce you to our newest development here at Charleston Homes: Falcon Pointe. It’s located at 52nd and Capehart and features two models with brand-new floor plans. The Lexington is a ranch floor plan with 1,683 square feet, and the Richmond floor plan is a two-story floor plan with 2,397 sq ft. We’re going to have single-family lots, villa lots, and a community park to make sure there’s something for everyone. We’ll be here Monday through Thursday from 1p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. We’d love for you to come out and see them sometime. 

Cleaning and Maintaining an Acrylic Tub-Shower Unit



Today I want to share some important information about our acrylic tub-shower units.

For those of you who have an acrylic tub-shower unit, here are a few tips to keep in mind when assembling and maintaining them:

The tub itself has a nailing flange around the perimeter, and the drywall of the bathroom butts up to that. The shower walls come in three pieces: First, you install the back piece, and then the two side panels. Those are then fastened to the framing members in the home.

The channels themselves are not designed to be caught; they interlock in such a way that any water that gets into that channel will drain out of the perimeter on the bottom, where the base of the tub and the side walls meet.

That being said, there is a small drip area on the front edge of the tub where the tub meets the front/side panel. It’s about four inches long, and upon installation, that area is sealed up with silicone caulking. You don’t want it to be completely filled with caulk, but you do want some in there.This keeps the water from channelling out the front of the unit, possibly seeping into the drywall and damaging members of the wood framing.

If you ever suspect that water has been seeping into your waters—indicators include bubbled paint or paint peeling off the trim boards—you’ll want to make sealing that four-inch drip area with caulk a maintenance item.

    

 

You can apply a non-abrasive car wax to the shower walls in the same way you would on your vehicle.




When you’re doing your regular cleaning routine in the shower, be sure to clean that channel out. Over time, the underside of the lip can start to develop a slimy film from the shampoos and soaps you use.

Both our acrylic shower and tub-shower units are very durable. However, when it comes time to clean them, it’s important to use non-abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners, along with scratchy cleaning cloths, can scratch the surface of the units.

The unit itself has a non-abrasive, non-skid surface on the floor of the tub. Never wax or polish it, because that will cause the floor to become slippery, potentially turning into a hazard.

However, if you’re looking to remove some of the hard-water mineral deposits that may accumulate on the shower walls, you can apply a non-abrasive car wax to the walls in the same way you would on your vehicle. Doing so can also help restore the finish to a lustrous, like-new feel. Be sure to use a non-abrasive cleaning cloth like a terry cloth or paper towels to avoid scratching the finish.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help.



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 eleven new construction home plans along with the benefits of owning a Charleston Home so they can make a decision that's right for them.