Thursday, July 24, 2014

Are Family Homes A Smart Buy for Investors? You May Be Surprised-

Are Family Homes A Smart Buy for Investors?  You May Be Surprised-It can be hard to know whether or not this is the time to buy an investment home,especially if you are considering a family home.  It's true that last year, a large amount of investors took over the available properties due to the low costs and rates.  But there are still plenty of homes to be had!
Whether you’re looking to get into a first home that you’ll live in for a few years, or simply buy a fixer-upper that you can rent out right away, there are still plenty of cities where your money is a fairly safe bet.
Are Family Homes A Smart Buy for Investors?  You May Be Surprised-"Fort Worth-Arlington, Tex., and Dallas-Plano-Irving, Tex., top the list of our Best Buy Cities, at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Both cities offer homes that would be within reach for middle-class Americans, at $168,383 in Fort Worth-Arlington and $180,645 in greater Dallas. Prices in greater Fort Worth are considered 20% below their actual value, according to Local Market Monitor. Homes in the greater Dallas region are 12% down, so less off, but they are expected to rise more–29%–over the next three years.
For buyers who intend to rent out their homes, the populations in these cities are growing at a healthy clip: from 2009 to 2012, at 4.9% in Fort Worth and 6.1% in Dallas. At that rate, Dallas is tied for the fastest-growing city on the Best Buy Cities list. It’s ranked fifth in terms of job growth, at 3% as of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics stats. Driving the demand are companies like Dallas’s One Technologies, LP, an online credit monitoring marketing service that was ranked the fastest-growing private company in the area by the Dallas Business Journal.
“The total eventual returns may be higher in markets that are still under-priced right now–that’s why those are higher in the rankings–but the rental returns should be good in all of them,” Winzer says. “I particularly like the investment markets in Texas and Oklahoma, with their low unemployment rates and ability to profit for years from new shale oil and gas development.” " 
We are thrilled to know that you are keen to buy a home - whether it's for your own family or to rent it out as a long term investment.  The home you find may not be ready to live in and or may not suit your needs right away.  That's what the contractors at Unique Home Building are here for.  We are dedicated to making your house the home you are looking for.  Let us know how we can best serve you today. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Worn Out & Fatigued? These Easy Tips Could Give You the Restful Sleep You Crave!

Worn Out & Fatigued? These Easy Tips Could Give You the Restful Sleep You Crave!Are you waking up tired in the morning, even after a long night of sleep? If you are like most
people, you are already doing all that you know to remedy the problem but you'd love to hear some new ideas and solutions.  There area few things you can do with both your bedroom and routine to help you get that better sleep you deserve and need!


START AT NIGHT
Everyone has weaknesses in their morning routine, so let's try to reduce the confusion and chaos the night before.  For example, gather your clothes (yours and the kids) together and set them aside to save yourself the anxiety of staring into your closet and making those choices in your morning zombie mode.  After all, it's the prepared that succeed!

MAKE THE SPACE
Is your room inviting you to deep sleep?  Rooms that are too bright or don't have enough airflow can really mess with the ability to sleep deeply.  Our suggestion is to ask a contractor to install a couple extra windows. This way the air flow can stream through the room, keeping the air from getting stagnant which can lead to congestion and fatigue in the sinuses. Remember that windows bring more light, so be sure to also install black out window shades or shutters.  This allows you to keep it dark while enjoying airflow and the option to open up the room to more light in the morning. Nothing to loose here, except the fatigue and sinus pressure!

YOU BE THE SUNSHINE
The sun is going to rise regardless of what side of the bed you choose to wake up on.  And, yes I said "choose".  I know you might be tired (maybe go to bed earlier?) or dreading the day ahead but only you can decide how you feel about your day and whether your fears or frustrations will rule you. When you wake up - just smile.  Even if you feel stupid and inauthentic, smile anyway and keep it there.  While (possibly staging) you grin, think of everything you love and are thankful for.  Life can be crazy but it doesn't mean YOU have to be.  So make a different choice.  You be the sunshine!

WAKE UP TO PEACE
Having the glow of red lights and the activity of phones and computers can really rob you of your restful sleep *and* waking.  Look around your room.  Is it restful?  Do you feel warm and energized when you wake?  If not, take inventory of what's stifling you and get some change happening.  Whether it's in need of moving cyberspace to another room, painting with uplifting colors or even a total remodel, you decide what needs to happen and then get it done.  Getting proper peace and rest is vital to good health and prosperity.

GET MOVING
It's common knowledge that physical activity is important for both your mind and body, but it can be really difficult to find the time to fit it in to our busy schedules.  If you can go for a run or stop by the gym first thing in the morning, great!  If not, make a plan to implement a small routine into your morning so you at least set a pattern and habit to care for your mind and body which will in turn, not only set up your day with energy but also the rest of your life.

CONNECT
This is perhaps my favorite step.  It is the perfect compliment to all the other healthy recommended steps. Connect.  Connect to both gratitude and love with yourself and your loved ones.   Take the time to smile at yourself.  Be proud of how far you have come and the possibilities you have left to explore!  In the same way, imagine how that would inspire your loved ones if your spouse or children were to hear the same thankful and empowering messages!!

So make a commitment to yourself out of love to energize your day by planning ahead, feeding your mind and body well and by holding love and gratitude in your heart.  It will bring more beauty to your day and put a smile in your heart.... I promise.

We love bringing beauty to your life which is why we do what we do!  Please stop on by our website at Unique Home and see how we can make a difference in your home!  We'd love to hear from you in the comments below and as usual, please visit us on twitter!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Easy Organizational Tips for a Better Home Remodeling Experience!

Easy Organizational Tips for a Better Home Remodeling Experience!It's easy to get overwhelmed at the idea of planning kitchen remodel or room addition, simply because of the daunting tasks that need to be done *before* diving in to the bigger stuff.  So instead of making excuses, what if we took the fear and intimidation out of cleaning and organization so to give you the freedom of embarking on the goals you *really* want to achieve; a home with a facelift. 

Here are some easy organizational tips for a better home remodeling experience.

If you are already an organizational super star, then I'm sure you love seeing what other people do, because it only enhances your own experience and practices. 

Since I love bringing joy to your life in any way possible, I'm going to give you a list of ways to keep organized so you can not only enjoy the home you worked so hard to create, but also your life.  So basically, there's something here for everyone. 


Sit back and read through these ideas with relaxed eyes.  There's no right or wrong method, just the ones that work well for you.   


Here you go!


  1. Start with an easy and workable to-do list. Many people fall head over heels for the latest apps and gadgets.  But I have found that so many people do much better with a simple sticky note or day planner list. It doesn't mean you're lazy or unintelligent.  All these different tools can leave you spending much more time trying to organize or consolidate your list, leaving many of your items undone.
  2. Keep it in 3's.   I remember seeing a Tony Robbins talk about being overwhelmed with too many things to do.   But many times though our list has 10 things on it, it's likely they can be grouped into 3 (or 4) groups.  Home, family & work.  That's the first step. Once your list is organized into categories, you may find that you can narrow it down even further to your top 3 priorities and then another list of 3 secondary things to do.   At the end of the day - you'll likely get 6 things done!  But at the very least, you'll get the most important things done first - leaving you feel accomplished and at peace with your performance. 
  3. Keep a capture pad.   Paper, phone, moleskin, iPad...  whatever. little things you remember, ideas & responsibilities should all go to one place.  You can reference this list at the end of the day an organize them accordingly. 
  4. On that note - Organize your capture pad.  I know you have a lot going on, because you are a busy, smart and creative individual. That capture pad is able to keep you from forgetting the important tasks and ideas that pop into your head.  At the end of the day place tasks on to your categorized to-do list and ideas either into your work planner or artistic/idea outlet space.  ...which brings me to another point-
  5. Keep it separated.   I highly highly highly recommend having a different binders for each major part of your life.  Keep a shelf for them to live on and label their spines with titles like, home, family, work & creative. Those folders can have tab separators within your family folder, you can have a section for your partner and each child.  In the home folder, you can have sections for utilities, repairs and even cars.   Get the idea?  Additionally, you can even take it further and keep a plastic pocket in each to hold receipts and invoices for an easier tax season at the end of the year.
  6. Always do one thing at a time. 
  7.  Start now.
  8.  It's ok to say no. 
  9. ALWAYS create space and time in your home and day to  pause and love on yourself.  Not to sound silly at all, but  when life gets crazy, it's easy to be hard on ourselves and forget  how incredible we're doing. Organizing life on so many levels is  hard and tiring.  Sit and quietly get connected.  Know you are  loved and be proud of what you are accomplishing. 
  10. Remember, YOU are in control.  Only you can take these steps. Life is yours for the taking and living.  

Remember, whatever we at Unique Home can do to make your home more beautiful and relaxing is why we do what we do.  So let us know!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ready for Change? The Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends for 2014!

When you're ready to update, remodel or renovate your home, it can be hard to know what to pick.  You want to stay current with the trends, consider the future resale value but also make sure the aesthetic remains true to your personal style. 

We are here to take the guess work out of the game for you, and tell you our favorite top five home remodeling trends for 2014 that will leave you relaxed, smiling and proud. 

1. Go With a U-Socket

Ready for Change?  The Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends for 2014!Apple devices reign as king a majority of households, so the new U-Socket wall plug has been designed to come with two built-in USB ports able to power a variety of devices including iPhones, gaming devices, digital cameras, Kindles and iPads. The socket also has a smart sensor that allows it to shut off when the device is fully charged — saving energy on an environmental level and for your device's battery.

2. Curb-less Showers and Stand Alone Tubs  

Ready for Change?  The Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends for 2014!Showers are becoming more popular than tubs. Homeowners are looking to embellish the ‘shower experience’ rather than the tub experience. An increasingly popular feature is the curb-less shower.  If homeowners want a tub experience in 2014, it’s likely they will select a free standing tub as a structural element, which takes up much less space in the room than the old tiled-in tub deck.

Ready for Change?  The Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends for 2014!3. Bright is Beautiful

Designers all over have different opinions about what style trends are on top for 2014, but one subject they're all agreeing to is that BRIGHT colors are definitely IN, with cobalt blue being a particularly hot and in demand color. 
Ready for Change?  The Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends for 2014!4. Modern and Modest
The industrial modern decor was the hot look of 2013 but it seems the trend has it morphing into a more relaxed, classic and modest look. Don't worry though. Stone, metal and wood will still be a great look to go with but you begin to see more relaxed and rounded designs with earth tones and more raw finishes.

5. Eco Cabinets

Ready for Change?  The Top 5 Home Remodeling Trends for 2014!Being environmental conscious isn't a new trend but in 2014 it seems the decor is ready to reflect natures strong points, and the cabinetry will not be an exception! Earth-friendly cabinets with no added formaldehyde and non-toxic glues, binders, and finishes will rise in demand. All over, contractors have seen a rise in requests from people with chemical sensitivity and a desire to update their homes in a more sustainable fashion.
All in all,  the contractors at Unique Home Building want to provide you with a house that feels like a home made just for you.  Whether you are needing to add space or update what you have, we are at your service.  For other tips and ideas see our other blog article and website.  We look forward to working with you!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Kids Grow Up Fast! Here Are Some Small Bedroom Updates and Tips For the Child's Room

Whatever age your little one is growing into, here are some small bedroom updates and tips that make a big difference in your child's room: It's hard to watch our little ones grow up and they do so very quickly, don't they?Are your little ones growing up too fast? If your children claim they're no longer babies, it's time to tuck away the yellow duckies and teddy bears to give the kids' bedrooms big kid makeovers

FURNITURE
As you child gets older, his bed and other furniture should have a more mature look and feel to it.  You could invest in an armoire to organize and hide clothes, a television and a gaming system or a nice organizing unit for books, music and hobbies. Installing built ins can also hold your child's growing clothing collection, or serve as a space to display favorite toys.

Whatever age your little one is growing into, here are some small bedroom updates and tips that make a big difference in your child's room: 

FLOORS
Your baby probably loved crawling around in the comfort of thick flooring, but as your child has gotten old, it's probably time for some hardwood floors and and area rug for both a more mature look but also for easier cleaning. 

WINDOW SEAT
As your child begins wanting to spend more time in his room, a window seat can add instant seating and comfort to his space. If you don't already have a bay window to convert into seating, have our contractors build a long bench-style seat along the wall near the window. You can also double the space as a storage for toys, blankets and off-season clothing.

WINDOWS
Most kids have an active imagination, causing windows to be a fun feature in their room. This considered, for safety, remove decorative blinds that can trap heads and arms and install more grown-up window coverings instead. From curtains and valances to drapes with built-in tie backs, you have plenty of options. Add a splash of color to neutral-painted rooms with patterned or brightly colored window coverings. If they have a harder time sleeping later in the morning, you may want to install black out shades to keep the darkness in the room longer. 

FRESH PAINT
Although they'll be your little ones forever, they don't have to live with powder blue or pastel yellow walls forever. Choose calming yet vibrant earth tones that can follow them into their teen years as well.  Also, you may want to try using blackboard paint to create a drawing wall, or adding borders to add a splash of color to neutral tan or cream-colored walls.

LIGHTING

If your child has trouble sleeping, it may be wise to change the lighting in the room. Have an electrician place the room light on a dimmer to leave a dull golden glow on in the evening. Or, choose a fun outlet-mounted nightlight to give the child a sense of security at night. A bedside lamp can also make your little one feel more comfortable in his room by himself.

LEARNING CENTER
It's time to take out the baby bouncer and install a multi-functional desk to create an interactive learning area in the child's bedroom. Stock the area with hands-on activities such as blocks, toys that run on a track (trains, cars) or a child-size musical keyboard. You could mount a magnetic material, like sheet metal to the wall, for play with magnetic letters, numbers and animals. 

GET VERTICAL
Increase storage space by using the ceiling. Hang netting above the bed to store soft toys or mount flower-hanging hooks to the ceiling to hang vertical, soft-sides storage units. These modern storage devices are perfect for clothes and lightweight toys.

Whatever the age and stage, the contractors at Unique Home Building are here to support your family in it's growth and development. Let us know how we can help in your next project!



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Got Kids? 5 Simple Tips to Making a Child Friendly Home

Got Kids? 5 Simple Tips to Making a Child Friendly HomeJust about every parent has felt the anxiety of wanting a child friendly living space, both for the child's safety and for cleanliness. It's understandable too! When there are many people living under one roof, with different ages and needs, it's important to make sure everyone is taken care of.  

While we don't think your life should be turned upside down to a daycare space, there are some simple ways for both parent and child alike to feel at home. 


So if you've got kids, here are 5 Simple tips to making a child friendly home. 

Coffee Table

Whether our own children, or other people kids, we are all familiar with the harsh experience of watching a toddler fall into or near the corner of a coffee table. One way to create a safer environment is to consider using a round table, upholstered ottoman, or a few poufs in place of a traditional rectangular coffee table. 

Walls

If you can choose a washable paint sheen, you'll be investing in a great way to kid-proof your paint job. Paint colors in eggshell, satin or semigloss are much easier to clean up with a mild soap and a damp rag. If you'd rather go with a matte finish, that's fine too. Flat paints have the benefit of touch-up painting without the presence of brush marks. If you'd like to go with something fun at knee level, chalkboard, magnetic, and dry erase paints are easily available these days at most home improvement stores and create a fun way for kids to safely play and write on the walls. 

Couches 

Leather couches and slip-covers are all fantastic options for your family room furniture! You get to have the perk of quality furniture but with added protection. Many furniture companies offer stain-resistant fabric options, or will spray a protective product on your furniture for an additional fee. When considering color, remember that darker colors will typically last better than lighter ones; however, white slipcovers can be bleached.  You can always go both. Buy dark and keep a lighter colored slip-cover around when you want to brighten things up. 

Floors

Family life is filled with predictable messes like dust, spills, pet hair and food. Why not keep things simple and install washable flooring options like tile, wood, laminate, and vinyl. If you want to stick with carpet, installing carpet tiles will allow you to clean squares or replace them as needed. Another option is to invest in area rugs that are meant for both indoor and outdoor use, for cleaning ease. 

Containment

We all know that having kids around means having toys.  This is great for the kids, but it can feel overwhelming to the adults cleaning up after them.  Be sure to have baskets and containers around for easy tidying up.  Don't worry! You aren't bound to the typical primary colors and plastics.  You could add wicker baskets with lids, or place modern organizational boxes in built ins or on shelves, to neatly and discreetly keep the kid clutter tucked away. 

Your family's safety and happiness is very important to us, at Unique Home Building.  If You would like more ideas on how to make your home a more child friendly environment, don't hesitate to call and we will get you on your way.