When you’re in the market for a new home, there are a lot of decisions to make. A common misconception that new homeowners make is comparing homes based on their purchase price.
The problem with this is that the initial costs fail to take into account the quality, your experience, and the true cost of ownership beyond the initial price tag.
Often, these major purchases can cost more than you anticipate. Nerd Wallet does a good job of identifying the hidden costs of owning a home. They explain how taking these hidden costs into account is how we start to break down the true cost of ownership and understand the actual cost - and we agree.
To help paint this picture, we have compared two similar vehicles with significant purchase price differences. Let’s say you come across a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan and a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The mini-van is priced at $32,000 and the SUV is priced at $47,500. By examining each vehicle’s cost to own throughout the years, we can more clearly see their true cost of ownership.
Of course, you want a car that you will love but you are also budget conscious. At first glance, the Grand Caravan looks like the best value with an initial price tag of over $15,000 less than the Highlander Hybrid. It appears to be a no-brainer, but you’re a savvy consumer and do some research on the vehicles. You like the sale price of the Caravan, but the Highlander beats it in virtually every category: reliability, owner satisfaction, fuel efficiency, utility, safety, and let’s be honest - it’s a sleeker, more stylish car.
You know all of these things are important to you and your family but how can you justify an additional $15,000 price of this purchase? You dig deeper into your research and discover the concept of true cost of ownership. This takes into account what the vehicle will cost you over the lifetime you own it and not just the amount required to purchase it.
When deciding between buying or building a new home, one question we hear often is, How do we finance it? Often people assume that they need a mortgage for their new-build home, and are surprised when we tell them about new home construction loans instead. We asked the experts at Chicago Construction Loans (Associated Bank) to give a primer on everything you need to know about new home construction loans.
We often get asked what our price per square foot is and our answer is “it depends”. This is not a cop-out, it’s the truth. With our model of working towards a fixed price agreement through our integrated design approach, the price per square foot truly depends on what kind of home you want, where you’re building it, when you’re building it, and what the interior and exterior finishes are like, to name a few of the key, often overlooked factors.
Buying an older, ready-made house is an excellent option for people like you who are finally in a position to acquire their dream home. However, you might want to consider building a custom home instead. Many would-be homeowners are now leaning towards custom homes for the following reasons:
If you're considering building a new home in the future, consider building a certified healthy home. What exactly does “healthy” mean when talking about new construction and eco-friendly homes? Let's take a closer look.
"A whole-building approach to energy efficiency—including improving insulation, heating and cooling systems, lighting and energy-using equipment—can reduce energy costs and support warmer, drier, more comfortable indoor environments. Both outcomes have been linked with direct impacts such as lowered risk of illness and with indirect physical health benefits."
On October 10th, Scott Sanders, our CEO, flew down to Atlanta for the High Performance Home Summit 2017 to accept BrightLeaf’s third Housing Innovation Award from the Department of Energy.
Most American's today associate the process of building a new home with feeling overwhelmed and spending more money than they intended, often leading them to scour the real estate market for pre-existing homes. It could take a long time to find the home you're dreaming of, or even worse, settling for one that isn't all you wanted.
Building a house is an exciting and emotional process – as well as one of the biggest decisions in a family’s life. The decisions to be made require both expertise and foresight – something a reputable and industry-leading builder will have no problem providing clients through the building process. The problem lies in builders who cloud the green, sustainable building industry with “greenwashing” a term used to describe when a company, government, or other group promotes green-based environmental issues but operates in an opposite and often more endangering way. Today’s consumers are more aware of sustainable green practices than ever before, but how can people
There are many steps associated with becoming a homeowner and it undoubtedly can seem overwhelming. At BrightLeaf, we focused on our building process specifically from the client experience point of view. We wanted to provide a concise, easily-communicated pre-close process to highlight the necessary steps that take our families from securing a construction loan to breaking ground at the job site. Below is a visual narrative of our pre-close process.
Real estate and buying a home comes with a lot of uncertainty, advice, and general … fear. It will likely be the largest purchase and decision of your life, so those feelings are completely founded. You’ve probably heard most about the cost associated with becoming a homeowner – and just how large of a process (and seemingly impossible) it is to secure the down payment. I’m here to tell you it’s not impossible. Here are some creative ways to save for your forever home’s down payment.
Everyone wants their home to be comfortable. Comfort is walking around your home in bare feet no matter what season it is. Comfort is never needing to plug in a space heater because of an awful cold spot in the home. Comfort is not having to avoid sleeping in that one hot room all summer because it's stuffy temperature is unbearable. Comfort is each level of your home being a consistent temperature, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. Comfort is not constantly adjusting of the thermostat just to make sure everyone in the family is cozy. When it comes to green home solutions, comfort has significance.
You may not be aware that green homes and comfort go hand in hand. Here are just a few environmentally friendly features that can enhance the comfort of any home.
Energy savings from your home can mean an extra night out, a family vacation, or a new toy in your garage. Quality materials, high performance features, and attention to every single detail play a huge role in passing along energy savings to homeowners. Here’s what that means to you.
A big part of what our team does at
The good people over at the Renewable Energy Corporation have made it simple to understand how solar power technology has advanced and the cost has plummeted. If you haven't started considering the benefits of solar energy for your home, maybe it's time you did? Learn about the economic benefits of going solar at home, the performance benefits, and the global benefits.
These days, just about everybody is doing what they can to be more environmentally friendly. Sales of electric cars that use less fossil fuel are on the rise, and everyone's looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Look through the Chicago real estate listings and you'll find pockets of homes that are old and battered down, a handful of over-priced houses in undesirable neighborhoods, and if you're lucky, a few houses that you feel okay about. But when you're looking to buy