May 14th, 2014

Grand View Builders Staycation Gift Card Giveaway

Categories: Grand View Builders News | Tags: ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

Spring and summer might be the busiest time of year for real estate. It is also an extremely busy time for traveling and spending time with the family, so Grand View Builders is doing something to give back to future homeowners this summer.

Anyone who purchases a Grand View Builders home before July 31 will receive a $600 gift card to use on a family staycation. Browse our move-in ready homes and communities today, because your new home and a family adventure might be just around the corner!

GVB Generic STAY-cationFlyer(1)

May 7th, 2014

How To Pack Your Electronics and Appliances

Categories: Home Tips, Moving | This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

The team at Grand View Builders realizes that the stress from packing and moving into a new house can many times feel never ending. In our “How To Pack” series, we’re sharing some of the things we’ve learned over the years after seeing hundreds of homeowners move, in order to make your move as smooth as possible. We’ve shared tips for packing up your kitchen and now we’re talking about electronics and appliances.

Televisions, computers, home theater systems, refrigerators and washers and dryers. What do they all have in common? They are all expensive and they are all extremely cumbersome to pack and move.

While smaller electronics are best packed in their original packing, we know that very few people keep the box their 60-inch television came in. If you no longer have the box for your TV, DVD player or home theatre system here is some advice. First, label all the cords and remotes so you know what belongs to each device. While it is always the goal to keep the cords and remotes with the device, many times they get separated during the move. Having them labeled with something sturdy like tape or labels will make unpacking and hooking up your electronics much easier post-move.

For Televisions, you can actually purchase TV moving kits, which are specially made boxes that hold flat screen TVs in place. If you don’t want to purchase one of those kits, we recommend wrapping the TV in bubble wrap and moving blankets to protect the screen from scratching. Make sure to secure your padding with tape, so it doesn’t slide off mid-move.  When packing your moving truck, placing your TV between two mattresses will make sure it doesn’t tip over while also adding additional padding and protection. If you’re not able to secure the TV between mattresses, make sure it is in a place where it will not fall over and nothing will fall on top of it.

For items such as DVD players, Xboxes, printers and computers, use the same technique to wrap with bubble wrap and moving blankets. It’s always best to remove any disks from the device and we recommend placing in the box horizontally rather than tipping it on its side. Keeping the item in it’s original positioning will help avoid mechanical failure or damage from the turbulence during transportation.

If you have to move a washer and dryer set, you will need a dolly, moving straps, and moving blankets. After you’ve unplugged the machines, emptied out any contents and disconnected any hoses, carefully tilt the machines back so the front of the appliances face the ceiling. Then carefully place your dolly underneath each machine to secure placement.  Once the machine is secure, wrap moving blankets around is so you avoid any scratches and dents and secure with moving straps to attach to the dolly. Carefully roll them out of your home and into your moving truck. Large appliances like this should never be laid on the side or back, but rather always stored in their original placement.

For your refrigerator, empty out all the contents and remove all drawers, shelves and other loose or moveable items. After unplugging the fridge, defrost your freezer by leaving the door open. This typically takes anywhere from six to eight hours, so we recommend defrosting the night before your move so you have enough time to complete the process. Once you’ve wiped down all the water inside and it’s time to load your fridge into your moving truck, fasten the doors closed with strong rope or cord. Slightly lift the fridge to allow the dolly underneath and secure with moving straps. Do not place the refrigerator on its side or back as this can damage the appliance. Try to keep the refrigerator as upright as possible during the move.

Electronics and appliances can be some of the trickiest things to move as they are bulky and more susceptible to damage. We hope these tips help your belongings stay safe during your transition.

Stay tuned for more from our “How to Pack” series where we’ll provide tips and tricks on the best packing techniques for each and every room of your home.

April 30th, 2014

Make Mom’s Day Extra Special

Categories: Family Activities, Holiday, Spring | This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

Grand View Builders is a family business and we have many moms who work in our office, including Michelle Jungers, our vice president of construction, who has the joy and privilege of working along side her three children! With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, we want to make sure your mom is treated to a fantastic day, so we’re sharing some tips.

If there is something all moms love, it’s spending quality time with their family, so consider treating mom and the rest of the family to a mini Staycation! She is sure to love exploring her community with her loved ones. Gallivanting around town can be exhausting, so we’ve put together a few other ideas that will make celebrating mom in the comfort of your own home just as exciting, while being much more relaxing.

What mom doesn’t love a break from cooking duties? Kick mom out of the kitchen on her special day and whip up a tasty meal to enjoy all together. If you know your mom’s favorite dish, consider preparing that for her special day. Breakfast in bed is always a great idea, even it means just making the perfect cup of coffee or preparing her a bowl of cereal.  We assure you the gesture will be much appreciated.

If you want to impress her with a full course meal, try some of these savory recipes.  Avocado pasta, lemon garlic tilapia and buffalo chicken paninis are some of our latest favorite recipes.  For dessert try lavender pound cake, lemon tea cakes or white chocolate mousse pie.  Be sure to clean up the kitchen and do the dishes (so mom doesn’t have to!) after you’ve cooked your delicious meal.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Once your mom is done devouring your homemade meal, transform your house into a spa for a relaxing pampering session. Consider picking up some bubble bath, a facemask and some nail polish as a small gift to enjoy at home. Some quiet time to relax is a gift every mother would cherish.

 

Additionally, spending time outside while the weather is beautiful makes for great quality time. This is a perfect time to relax by the pool with mom and enjoy the luxury amenities and features many of our communities include. If your mom has a green thumb, gardening would also be a creative activity for the whole family to participate in.  Consider taking your mom to a local garden center to pick out her favorite flowers and shrubs.  When you get home, the whole family can help plant the beautiful plants she picked out to give your house some extra curbside appeal.

We hope these ideas ensure you enjoy spending some quality time with your mom. To all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day from the Grand View Builders team!

April 23rd, 2014

Earth Day Tree Donation

Categories: Charity, Events, Grand View Builders News, Spring | Tags: , , , , ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

Grand View Builders celebrated Earth Day with the sixth grade classes of Bay Area Christian School in League City yesterday by donating and planting oak trees throughout the school’s campus.

We donated 35 oak trees along with supplies, including mulch, buckets and shovels, to the school in an effort to encourage the students to participate in the beautification of their community in celebration of Earth Day. Some of our team members joined along side more than 60 sixth grade students at Bay Area Christian School to plant trees throughout the afternoon on April 22.

As we expand our presence in League City with our newest community, The Township, we wanted to connect with the local community and give back to the neighborhood. We look forward to many more community partnerships as we continue our expansion into the neighborhood! For browse all the photos from yesterday’s tree planting event, visit us on Facebook.

The Township  features colonial inspired homes, which are currently for sale starting at $200,000. Homebuyers will be able to choose from a variety of floor plans and an array of features and amenities to fit the individual needs of their family.

The Township

April 16th, 2014

Easter Happenings

Categories: Events, Family Activities, Holiday, Spring | Tags: ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

The Grand View Builders team can’t believe how quickly time has flown in 2014! It’s hard to believe that Easter is this weekend, so we want to make sure you and your family know about the exciting activities happening throughout our communities. Below we’ve put together a list of Easter activities happening around town.

George Ranch in Richmond is throwing an old fashioned Easter complete with an historic lunch. This all-day event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 19th.  This “egg-citing” day will consists of traditional egg roll racing, egg decorating and an egg hunt on George Yard.  This old- fashioned Easter festival at George Ranch is just 20 minutes away from our Lakes of Bella Terra community.

On Saturday, April 19th from 10 a.m. to noon, a free Easter Egg Scramble will be held at Woodridge Baptist Church in League City.  This enormous egg scramble will have more than 75,000 hidden eggs waiting to be found.  Guests will also enjoy face painting, train rides, pony rides and inflatables.  This Easter celebration is perfect for Painted Meadows residents.

Easter basket

 

If your Easter is usually spent in the kitchen cooking a feast and baking sweets for the family, consider participating in Conroe’s Easter Fun Run, so you don’t feel guilty for indulging in home-cooked goodness. The run begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 19th and the starting point is at Bentwater at Lake Conroe, which is close to our Foster Glen and Stewarts Forest communities.

The Village of Oak Forest, Inverness Estates and Wimbledon Falls residents can make the short drive to the Houston Zoo for its “Egg-Stra” special Easter treat on Sunday, April 20th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.   The zoo is celebrating Easter with an extra spin this year.  Animals will be have their own egg hunt with paper Mache eggs while zoo guests enjoy an egg themed scavenger hunt, egg-on-a-spoon race and a bunny hop sack race.

Zoo Easter

 

For those who choose to spend the holiday weekend at home, here are some delicious Easter recipes, to give you some inspiration in the kitchen! This is also a great weekend to take advantage of your community features including pools, activity centers, tennis courts and much more. If you’re hosting your own Easter egg hunt in your backyard, share your pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter.

happy-easter

 

From everyone at Grand View Builders, we wish you and your family a Happy Easter!

 

April 9th, 2014

Buying While Selling

Categories: Home Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

Simultaneously buying and selling a home can be a daunting task.  Closing for both houses on the same day would be ideal, for it provides a seamless transition, but more often than not, the timing of buying and selling homes tend to not work out so perfectly.  Grand View Builders understands that successful house hunting that requires buying and selling properties simultaneously is an extremely busy time.  Our years of experience working with buyers and sellers have lent us useful insight into this situation so many homebuyers and sellers find themselves in.

buy/sell

 

 

Families who are buying and selling a homes simultaneously often find themselves in one of these situations:  temporarily not owning a home if you sell your current house before you are able to purchase another or owning two houses at the same time if you purchase a new home before you have sold your current house.

If selling a home before you’ve bought a home is the scenario you find yourself in, you have a couple of options.

  - In short-term situations, it’s popular for the new homeowners to rent back their home to you. A contract will need to be drawn up stating the length of the rental period (normally 30 days) and the renter is responsible for covering certain fees.  In most cases, renters will be asked to pay the price of the mortgage, homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities.

- If you’ve sold your home and suspect it’ll be more than a month before moving into a new house, you should consider moving in with loved ones.  If that isn’t an option, a short leased apartment or extended-stay hotel are both popular options for temporary housing.

If you buy your new home without selling your old one first, you’ll find yourself doubling up on many costs, including a mortgage, if your old house isn’t paid off, as well as insurance and utility bills.  Below are some loan options available to help deal with the extra financial duties, if cash is not readily available.

  - Tapping into your home equity is the best way to get a down payment for the new house if you do not have the cash flow available. The interest rate for a home equity line of credit is based on your credit score and the interest is tax deductible up to $100,000.

  - A bridge loan is a viable option if tapping into the equity of your home is not possible.  This loan allows you to borrow money for a down payment on the new home.  The loan amount will be dependent upon the amount of equity you have in your first house.

The Grand View team wishes you the best of luck during the purchase and selling of your homes! For those still on the lookout for the perfect house be sure to take a look at our communities today!

April 2nd, 2014

This vs. That: Kitchen Countertops

Categories: Home Tips, Kitchen, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

When it comes to buying a home there are numerous decisions that come into play in order to help make your home special and fit your personality and needs.  Throughout the years, Grand View Builders has built hundreds of homes with a variety of different finishings. Below are some pros and cons to different materials available for kitchen countertops.

Granite

Granite is a beautiful countertop choice and has become increasingly popular over the years.  Granite countertops are available in a variety of colors and patterns, which suit a range of personal styles. In addition to its beauty, granite also stands up well to heat and does not scratch easily, making it one of the more durable countertop options. Unfortunately, because granite is a heavier and more luxurious option compared to other countertop surface materials, it is also more costly. More money is spent on building sturdy cabinet boxes to support the weight of the granite countertops and the actual stone is more expensive since it is a natural material.  Additionally, it’s necessary to have granite resealed every two to three years to protect the surface from stains.

granite counter

Laminate

Although laminate has not always been considered the most stylish option, laminate countertops are now available in a variety of colors and patterns. Come colors and patterns mimic popular materials such as stone and butcher block, which have made it a more popular choice in many homes. Typically ranging from $10 to $30 per square foot, laminate is an affordable option that requires very little maintenance and is easy to clean.

laminate counter

 

 

Tile

Tile countertops come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors allowing it to pair nicely with the interior décor style of your home.  Much like granite, tiles tend to resist stains and don’t scratch or knick easily. If the tiles on your counter do happen to crack or chip, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to replace those individual tiles, much more economically feasible than having to replace an entire countertop.  Tiled countertops make for an uneven surface, which can be an issue depending on the type of cooking, baking and food preparation you do.  Also, the grout between tiles is more susceptible to staining and bacterial growth.

tile counter

 

 

Butcher Block

Butcher block is fitting for traditionally styled homes and has a classic look that is becoming more and more popular in kitchens. It appeals to many people because of its natural, neutral appearance and the variety of wood tones and patterns it is available in.  Unlike the stronger surfaces of tile, granite and laminate, butcher block is easily knicked; however, the dents and scratches tend to blend into the natural wood pattern.  Because wood swells and contracts with moisture and heat, butcher block countertops are prone to bacteria build up and will need to be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

butcher block

 

Price, maintenance and durability are all factors that should be considered when deciding on the proper countertop surface. Keep this information in mind when house hunting and deciding what countertop surface is best for you and your home.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to share what countertops you have in your home!

 

March 26th, 2014

How To Pack Your Kitchen

Categories: Home Organization, Home Tips, Kitchen, Moving | Tags: , ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

Grand View Builders realizes that moving into a new house often causes more stress than necessary, so we’re sharing some of the things we’ve learned from seeing hundreds of homeowners move over the years.

Follow along as we share our packing expertise in our new “How To Pack” series. The first room we’ll highlight in our new series is the kitchen. The kitchen is usually the toughest room of the house to pack because it is home to breakables, perishables and objects of varying shapes and sizes. Here are seven steps for a successful kitchen move.

1.    Surveying
As you survey your cabinets, drawers and pantry, you’ll need to sort, select and simplify. This simply means to review all your items and decide what you want to move with you and what needs to be donated or trashed.

2.    Packing supplies
Collect all packing materials, including boxes, tape, bubble wrap and newspaper or another kind of wrapping paper before you start pulling things out of place. For full-sized kitchens, we recommend five large boxes, 10 medium boxes, five small boxes, at least 40 ft. of bubble wrap, a box of packing paper and multiple rolls of packing tape.

 packing supplies

 3.    The essentials
Pull out any essentials you’ll need for the last couple of days before your move. Anything you use on a daily basis (cutlery, bowls, plates and one large pot and pan) can be left out while you pack the rest of your kitchen goods and can be packed in the last small box the day of your move.

 4.    Dishes, pots, pans and glassware
Your non-essential items and formal crystal, extra china sets, casserole dishes and drinking glasses should be packed before boxing up your most frequently used items. Make sure to carefully wrap all items using moving paper and bubble wrap to ensure nothing breaks during the move. We recommend stacking dishware with sheets of packing paper separating each item. Fitting dishes, pots, pans and baking sheets within one another will save space within your boxes; packing items by categories like glassware, dishware, pots and pans, baking pans and utensils will make it easier to organize your boxes.

packing dishes

Consider purchasing cell boxes for your glassware. These boxes have cardboard compartments to separate your items so they don’t cram into one another. Utilize your dish towels, oven mitts and other soft kitchen items while packing your dishes, pots, pans and glassware will help with extra padding. Don’t forget to include all the lids, too!

cell box packing

 5.    Utensils
Once the major items are wrapped and packed, you can turn your attention to the smaller, looser items like cutlery and cooking utensils. When packing loose cutlery, such as steak and chef knives, we recommend carefully wrapping the knives with paper and securing with tape so the sharp edges do not damage other items or persons during the move. Using large ZipLock bags to hold spatulas, whips, large spoons and measuring cups will contain these items to they don’t float freely in your boxes. Pack these smaller items in boxes that have leftover space to create a more efficient move.

packing knives

 6.    The Panty
Pack all your unopened, non-refrigerated perishable items, including cereal boxes, wine and liquor bottles, spices and cans in your pantry boxes. All of these items are best packed in some of your heavy-duty boxes. Dedicating a few boxes to food, cookbooks, trash bags, paper goods, Tupperware, foil, cling wrap and so on, will also help keep your panty goods out of the way from your general kitchenware.

 7.    Small appliances
If you still have the original packaging for your small appliances, including your microwave, coffee pot, toaster, blender, crockpot and other everyday appliances, use those boxes to repack these items. If you no longer have those boxes, separate each appliance into its own small box. Some appliances may be able to share a box, just make sure to use adequate bubble wrap to keep them from banging into one another and causing damage.

With any move, you want to make sure to label each box with the contents so you can easily find items when unpacking. Try not to over pack any of your boxes as when they get too heavy, you risk the bottom falling out. Making sure to use your deluxe boxes for your heaviest items will reduce this risk. Once you’ve successfully boxed up everything in your kitchen, take a moment to celebrate because you just finished one of the hardest rooms in the house! Check out our Smooth Move blog post for a general moving timeline and checklist. We hope you will continue to follow along our “How To Pack” series for more packing and moving tips.

March 19th, 2014

Spring Decor Trends

Categories: Home Tips, Outdoor Care, Spring | Tags: , , , ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

Spring has officially sprung and with it comes beautiful weather, spring flowers and bright colors. By now you’ve started your spring cleaning, so you’re probably ready to freshen up your home and swap out your winter décor.

Once your home is sparkling clean from your annual spring cleaning rituals, give your home a simple makeover when you try these exciting decorating trends inside and outside your house.

Outdoor Décor
Transform your patio into a cozy place to relax, enjoy the weather and gather with friends and family for drinks and a cookout.  Arrange your furniture around a table and add accent pillows or colored cushions to bring in a splash of color. If your patio is covered or screened in, consider adding an area rug and outdoor grade table lamps to create a more intimate vibe for a late night patio space. You can also add ceiling fans to your covered patio to help make the Texas heat and humidity more comfortable. Pier One, World Market and Pottery Barn all have beautiful and affordable outdoor accessories to liven up your patios and porches this spring. We expect to see busy floral and geometric patterns including chevron and Moroccan stencil trending this spring.

patio furniture

 

 

Make your home’s outdoor area the new go-to favorite place to hang out by adding an all weather LCD television and outdoor speakers. If you don’t want to add an outdoor TV, consider installing speakers so you can connect to a CD player, radio, tablet or smart phone to play music in your backyard. We’ve seen more and more of our community residents adding technology to their outdoor spaces and we expect more people to join in on the trend. All weather LCD televisions and outdoor speakers to can be found at any electronic store.

outdoor tv

 

 

Indoor Décor
With all the beauty and bright colors outside, your décor inside should match and bring these spring colors into your home. Spice up your living room with brightly colored accent pillows and a bold patterned area rug.  Adding vases of fresh flowers throughout your home will bring the scents of spring into your living spaces as well.  These colored vases and easy DIY fruit and flower arrangements are great ways to bring the spring color trends to life.

floral arrangement

 

It’s easy to add splashes of spring trends into your bedrooms, hallways and other spaces by adorning walls with frames showcasing popular patterns and prints. Using scrapbook paper or swatches of fabric you can swap out these frames each season to incorporate the latest trending colors and patterns. Citrus colors like different shades of orange and yellow are trending this season and tones of green are fantastic to throw in with these colors to add a bit of contrast.

frames

Adding these bursts of bright colors and spunky patterns will allow you to effortlessly incorporate the latest spring décor trends into your home.

March 12th, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day Party Guide

Categories: Baking, Holiday, Kitchen | Tags: , , ,
This post was written by: Ashley Tucker

With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, Grand View Builders would like to share some creative party tips with you, to ensure all the rooms in your house are fully decked out in green for the holiday and your kitchen is filled with scrumptious St. Patty’s Day treats.

DIY St. Patrick’s Day Crafts
An acorn wreath will add a pop of color to the outside of your home and show your neighbors that you are in the holiday spirit.  This pretty wreath is easy to make and buying the materials won’t break the bank either. Even better, this wreath can hang on your front door throughout the spring, too!

Acorn Wreath

 

Supplies include:

- Straw craft wreath
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Acorns (from a tree in your yard or from your local craft store)
- Green spray paint
- Ribbon

If you choose to use acorns from a tree, remember to rinse and dry them before you start the crafting fun.  Begin hot gluing acorns to the straw wreath and do so until the entire wreath is covered.  Once the glue has dried, spray paint the whole wreath your favorite shade of green.  When the paint is completely dry, tie ribbon around the wreath and hang it on your front door for that perfect St. Patty’s Day accessory.
Decorative fabric balls will also add festive color to various rooms of your house.

Fabric Balls

 

Supplies include:

- Festive green fabric
- Sewing pins
- Styrofoam balls
- Scissors

Simply cut strips of your favorite green fabrics and fasten them to your styrofoam balls until the whole ball is covered. For more detailed instructions, click here. We suggest placing these decorations in glass containers or baskets and using them as table centerpieces in your dining room or on your living room coffee table.
One of the best things about festive house parties is the delicious food.  Below are some of our favorite snacks and treats to make this St. Patrick’s Day.

For appetizers and small bites try making shamrock sandwiches, pot o’gold fruit rainbow and corned beef and cabbage rolls.

If you’re entertaining a big group, we recommend the shamrock sandwiches because each sandwich can be filled with different ingredients ensuring there is something for everyone.

snacks

Sweets are a must-have at every Grand View Builders party and there’s definitely no shortage of St. Patrick’s Day sweet treats. Try these Guinness brownies, key lime bars or mini grasshopper cheesecakes to incorporate some Irish-inspired desserts into your St. Patrick’s Day get together.

desserts

With good snacks and festive decorations, you’re sure to get your guests in the holiday spirit. From everyone at Grand View Builders, we wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day and hope you’re Irish-themed party is a success! Don’t forget to wear green this Monday; we wouldn’t want anyone getting pinched.

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