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Jennifer Fields


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Must Haves for the First Time Home Builder

Must Haves for the First Time Home Builder

Building a home can be a rewarding project that pays you back in spades. Since every family has unique needs and expectations, designing a house that fits your lifestyle can set you up for decades of future happiness. Not to mention, current home trends have more to offer the savvy home builder than ever before. So, if you’ve accepted the challenge of constructing your dream home, consider implementing these essentials.

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What's the Best Floor Plan for a Family?

What's the Best Floor Plan for a Family?

Once you decide to have children, major life decisions become heavily influenced by their needs, and as the hub of activity, your home has a tremendous effect on daily life. As such, choosing an ideal space (with a practical floor plan) to raise a family is no small feat but can come together naturally once you understand what aspects to consider. So, when hunting for the perfect floor plan, ask yourself these questions:

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Designing the Perfect Outdoor Space

Designing the Perfect Outdoor Space

With summer pushing its way in, you might be longing for lemonade on the patio and dessert by moonlight. Goodness knows Edmond residents love their backyard retreats. Whether you imagine a trendy city rooftop, decked out patio or simple front porch hideaway, here are some tips to help your vision come to life. With a little planning and forethought, you can maximize not only this sunny season but many more to come.

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Property Tax in Edmond- Here's What You Need to Know

Property Tax in Edmond- Here's What You Need to Know

When budgeting for a new home, you should take several variables—beyond mortgage payments and interest rates—into account. Just as you calculate sales tax when purchasing goods, so should you take property tax into account when looking at real estate. So, if you want to buy a house in Edmond, Oklahoma, here’s what local property taxes involve.

A Closer Look at Real Estate Taxes

The working definition of property tax is fairly simple; it’s any tax on real estate or similar types of property (land, buildings, etc.). Local governments enforce these taxes within their jurisdictions to fund various public systems.

The county calculates this tax based on the market value of your property and the overall tax rate. Since the market fluctuates, annual assessments are performed—not in person but through recent sales on similar properties—and your financial obligation can change each year.

The Specifics of Oklahoma Property Tax

Fortunately, Oklahoma property taxes are some of the lowest in the country—less than half the national average. This relief is mostly due to state restrictions on annual property tax increases. More specifically, the county can’t raise these taxes more than 3% from the previous year on residential and agricultural properties (other properties max out at 5%). For seniors, the savings can run further, and many qualify for a tax freeze that prevents home value increases.

Note: Oklahoma County assessors determine the taxable value of a home based on the market value, so rates can increase or decrease according to neighborhood and area fluctuations. This means even if nothing changes on your property from year to year, your taxes might increase or decrease depending on overall neighborhood home values.

The Complete Guide to Living in Edmond [Free Download]

What You Can Expect to Pay in Edmond, Oklahoma

Property tax can be dissected even further, since rates—voted on by taxpayers—vary across Oklahoma County (where Edmond sits) depending on school district and other location-specific variables. As the most populous county in the state and containing the capital, Oklahoma County has higher rates than surrounding areas, but remains affordable in relation to other states. For example, the average property tax rate in the county is 1.05%, lower than the average rate in both Kansas (1.587%) and Texas (1.86%).

To put the percentage into perspective, smartasset.com estimates the median home value in Oklahoma County at $137,500. Applying the local tax rate of 1.05%, the median annual property tax payment becomes $1,443. Another positive aspect of living in Edmond is property taxes only go toward funding public schools, whereas some areas use revenue for other public entities (like libraries) and even city and county governments. In Edmond, you know your tax dollars fund public education and no ambiguous extras.

Calculating Property Tax Before You Buy

If you want more specifics about the area you’re looking to purchase, you can visit the county tax assessor at https://assessor.oklahomacounty.org/. Not only does this official source contain a handy FAQ page, but it has an estimated tax calculator to help you unearth property-specific details. With links to help find applicable tax rates and the property’s taxable market value, predicting your first payment has never been so easy.

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Questions to Ask Your Home Builder in the Interview Process

Questions to Ask Your Home Builder in the Interview Process

Arguably one of the biggest endeavors of your life, building a home comes with a slew of responsibilities rarely matched when you buy a previously-owned or even newly-built home. From picking out flooring and backsplashes to deciding which direction the house should face, the project can feel overwhelming. Before anything else, however, you need to choose the right builder because once shovels hit dirt, you want the process to feel as seamless and low stress as possible. To help get you thinking along the right lines, here are some questions you should ask any prospective builder. After all, they will be your partner in this all-consuming adventure.

What are Your Professional Affiliations/Memberships?

Any company committed to its trade will get involved with similar businesses. These organizations give credence to a business and help establish it as a productive member of a larger whole. Reputable builders will often belong to Builder Meeting Society, the National Association of Home Builders, the Better Business Bureau, and even the local Chamber of Commerce.

What is Your Previous Experience?

Like job hunters carry a resume, so should home builders expect to outline a history of successful projects. Information about the number of homes the company has built and the training workers undergo should always be given freely. Many builders will also offer a list of addresses for you to research and drive by. This information gives you the opportunity to see the work firsthand and potentially speak to those who have worked with the builder through the homebuilding process. High-quality builders might even offer a list of references to further cement credibility.

What are the Basic Costs?

Like any investment, you want to know the financial obligation up-front. Of course, before you can get detailed estimates, you will need to offer details about cosmetic and structural upgrades above the basic blueprint. Nonetheless, you can sill find out pricing for basic architectural plans and many extras. Along these lines, you should inquire about financing and contracts. What will you pay and when?

How Can You Demonstrate Your Construction Quality?

If you want to land on one company over another, you’ll need to know what sets each apart. Some builders have pre-made portfolios and product samples for easy viewing. If you want certain materials used in your home, this is the time to make sure you can get the styles you seek. Along these same lines, you should ask about warranties. What products are covered under warranty and for how long? Having a basic warranty in place lets you know that after the move-in, minor or major issues like settling cracks or loose drywall screws will be handled timely and courteously.

Do You Customize?

If you’ve committed to building your dream home, why settle for a cookie-cutter spec? Some builders work only from familiar floor plans that allow them to complete projects more quickly. If your objective is to create a home you can settle into for decades, you might want some customization. With several online resources to help you find a floor plan that fits, being in the drivers’ seat has never felt so freeing.

Other Helpful Tips for Finding the Right Builder

In this article from the experts at Houzz, it highlights the importance of understanding the bidding process. Essentially, you want the builder to be specific enough with pricing for you to compare alternative costs from different builders. Along with quality and dependability, you want your builder to be competitive.

Diversely, though you want fair prices, choosing a builder based on the bid alone is unwise. Navigating this fine line typically means understanding exactly what pricing entails, from basic construction costs to all the add-ons. As this HGTV piece points out, the higher bid doesn’t guarantee a top-tier product just as the lower bid doesn’t free you from exorbitant fees later on.

In the end, you should feel comfortable with the information you receive from the builder, and any hesitancy to be completely transparent should be met with reservations.

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Installing a Pool: How Much Does it Cost?

Installing a Pool: How Much Does it Cost?

With another balmy Oklahoma summer close at hand, you might wonder about the cost of installing a private swimming pool. Indeed, picturing long afternoons splashing with your friends or evening dinners surrounded by Tiki lights and your favorite playlist make the venture irresistible.

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Featured Home: 14700 Everton Drive in Cambria Heights

Featured Home: 14700 Everton Drive in Cambria Heights

Check out this remarkable four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with 3,109 square feet of functional space conveniently located near I-35 and Lake Arcadia. With countless upgrades, this single-story masterpiece sits on an open, spacious lot (1.14 acres) in the Cambria Heights Subdivision. Here among the tall trees and rolling hills northeast of Oklahoma City, your private contemporary farmhouse awaits.

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The Pros and Cons of First-Floor Master Suites

The Pros and Cons of First-Floor Master Suites

A home design trend that started in the late 1990s and held steady for several decades continues to dominate homebuying forums. It designates the master suite downstairs with remaining bedrooms on the second floor, and depending on who you ask, is the epitome of convenience and style. Like any floor plan, however, it has positives and negatives that primarily depend on your lifestyle and preferences. Let’s examine this concept from all angles and see what comes of it.

 

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5 Best Golf Courses in Edmond, Oklahoma

5 Best Golf Courses in Edmond, Oklahoma

 

Long peppered with prime green courses, both professional and amateur golfers flock to Edmond Oklahoma each year to enjoy some time on the fairway. Here’s a look at the top 5 places you can get your putt on this year.

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NEW Price Reductions for These 4 Gorgeous Homes!

NEW Price Reductions for These 4 Gorgeous Homes!

Silver Stone Homes has recently reduced the price on SIX stunning homes here in Edmond. Whether you are looking for a quick-move-in home or want to fully customize your homes interior- take a look at these elegant designs. But hurry, these prices won't last long! 

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