The Plan That Stole Our Hearts

We love all of our floorplans.  When they’re still under design, we post them on a white board for all employees to comment on.  Our company employs former chefs and interior designers amongst those with other specialties.  We squeeze every possible cool feature into the allotted space in every floorplan together.  Each plan is a work of the heart that involves every employee’s feedback.

View from the study!
View from the study!

As a parent, you try not to pick favorites, but we all know you do.  Home builders can have the same sort of struggle. Especially marketers who get to work with the plans a lot after they’re finished and then spend hours editing and posing pictures. We definitely have a favorite.  Don’t tell the other plans.  We cannot get enough of our 2092 layout!

2092-rc-s-224-carson-drive-sg-high-res-9
Kitchen Nook with Chandelier & 3-Sided Fireplace

The entertaining space is an ideal balance with a large open area and a closed-off formal dining.  As a native Texan, I love having people over to watch some football, but not everyone likes to actually watch the game.  These people (bless their hearts) can go into the formal dining and play games. The 3-sided fireplace is dramatic and elegant while providing separation for a third group to eat in the kitchen without interrupting the super serious football game!

2092-ld-225-frontier-drive-sg-3_high-res-13
From the Nook to the Family Room

The really amazing thing is that the open-concept entertaining space only makes up half of the plan!  This host-friendly house becomes a warm home when you move into the private rooms.  The master suite is gorgeous and features a spacious master bathroom.  The walk-in closet could really be a whole room on its own.  The two other bedrooms are well-sized and share an ample bathroom.

2092-ld-225-frontier-drive-sg-3_high-res-24
Master Bathroom

You can see why we have a special place in our hearts for the 2092, but at the end of the day we love all our floorplans.  Antares Homes builds other plans that are also gorgeous, and they all have their own special features.  We’d love to know what plans you love and why, so leave us a comment!

Until Next Time,

Rebekah

 

13 Decor Hacks from Pinterest

This week, we’re featuring some of our favorite Pins!  We’re passionate about homes, but that’s not limited to building them.  We love finding ways to decorate our homes, and keep them organized.  Below are our top 13 Pinterest Hacks that have proven to as functional as they are cute!


  1. The Charging Basket – Charging all the devices is always a struggle!  This idea is easy, functional, and beautiful!  Click on the picture for information on how to get this look.

Charge Here

2.  The Coffee Mug Hanger – You can  purchase your personalized coffee mug hanger made from reclaimed wood through the link in the picture.  Most of us have super cute mugs, so this is a great way to keep them on display, and off of the counters!

Coffee Mug

3. The Perfect Console Table – It’s is hard to come by, so you might as well build this one.  The slim fit is has the perfect space to add some decor and keep things organized, without taking up too much hall-space.  The added bonus? You make it, you stain it!  Pick the best color for your home.

Console Table

4. Drawer Pull Hacks – Drawer pulls are often overlooked, but clearly have some great uses in the home.  This is our favorite for inconspicuous hanging storage, but there are more options if you follow the link in the picture.

Drawer Pull Hanger

5. Funky Shelves – Your shelves can say as much as what’s on them with these DIY instructions.  The round design adds interest to the room, and can be really great for storing odd-shaped things like blankets.

Funky Book Shelf

6. Overhead Drying Rack – We all know that struggle: too many clothes to hang and too little utility room space! Industrial metal drying racks aren’t visually appealing, so try this super easy trick!  Full instructions are in the link on the picture.

Ladder drying rack

7. The Command Station – Every homeowner needs their one!  It’s a great spot to keep track of schedules, paperwork, and food for the week.  To decorate it, us it as a great spot to showcase a household motto.  We particularly love the locker boxes at the bottom.

Kitchen Command Center

8. Stone Shoe Storage – North Texas has experienced a rainy year!  Save your floors from all the wet shoes with a DIY pebble storage box!  It catches all the water and mud, then cleans like a charm.

Rock Storage

9. Magnetic Makeup – You probably don’t host parties in your ‘getting ready’ area, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look cute.  Use this magnetic makeup board to keep all your beauty tools organized and looking great!

Makeup board

10. Powder Room Do Over – The powder room is often overlooked in decorating.  This example shows that a little effort can go a long way!  It also incorporates a little extra storage space, which we always love.

Potty

11. Lovely Bottles – Soap bottles can be unsightly and messy!  Use this cute DIY hack to keep your kitchen looking neat and appealing all year round!  You can also buy soap in bulk with these, and save money.

Soap

12. Powerful Plants – Many people use plastic plants to decorate their homes.  They’re harder to kill, but require constant dusting and don’t contribute anything more than pretty looks.  Instead, try using some of the live plants listed in the link above.  They’ll keep your house looking great while they filter the air for you!

Plants Filter Air

13.  Framing Guide – Hanging pictures always seems easy until you actually have to do it.  The link in the picture below has some great references for different patterns to suit your space and style.

Frame Arrangement

Until Next Time,

Rebekah

Nifty Keen

If you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you might have noticed things looking a little different.  As the market in the area continues to grow, we are seeking to provide our customers with the absolute BEST experience.  In order to accomplish that we are providing you with information in the best way possible, whether you are trying to envision the home we’re building for you or keeping up with the progress in one of our communities.

The most dramatic tool that we’ve recently sampled is a drone with camera attachment.  It can be a challenge to fully communicate the beauty of a well-planned community from street-level.  You can’t see the views or the nearby community center.  A higher vantage point helps you see what we know is there.  Check out this example.

The other exciting tool we’ve been exploring is a 360° camera.  We’ve been toying with taking stills for now.  They allow you to easily manipulate the area, and get a good idea of our community or home.  Up and coming will be 360° videos that will allow you to take a virtual reality tour of our most popular plans!  Check out one recent experiment in stills below, and be on the lookout for the videos soon!

Until Next Time,

Rebekah

Building in 2016

*Edited 7/26/16 to include better detail about the effect of interest rates on buying power*

We all know that there are certain advantages that come with building: customization, quality control, planned neighborhoods, etc.  Less known, are the benefits of building for completion this year. Since the deadline is fast approaching to build your home for completion within the year, we decided to share some of the benefits for those of you on the fence.

Make this lot yours in 2016

Low Interest Rates

-Rates are holding steady now but this is expected to change soon. With rates at historic lows and the Fed looking to increase, rates don’t have anywhere to go but up.

-Get more home for your money now! With lower interest rates, you can afford more home. When rates rise, your hard earned dollar will be eaten by interest. The table below is from this site and illustrates the impact of rising interest on your monthly budget.

Max Principle & Interest
Payment
4.50% 5.00% 6.00%
$1,000 $245,000 $235,000 $208,000
$1,200 $295,000 $280,000 $250,000
$1,400 $345,000 $325,000 $292,000
$1,600 $395,000 $372,000 $335,000
$1,800 $445,000 $420,000 $375,000
$2,000 $495,000 $465,000 $415,000

DFW on the Rise

-The cost of older homes, and home sites are on the rise, and expected to continue with the steady stream of new jobs coming to the metroplex.

-As property prices rise, rent prices rise.

First Time Buyer Advantages

-There are still funds available for First Time Buyer programs! Both the government and the banks have programs specifically for first time buyers.

-Take advantage of Down payment assistance programs with low interest rates. See a community sales counselor for qualifying details

Taxes

-Qualify for your full homestead exemption when you purchase a home before 2017!

-Take advantage of tax savings in 2016! Any Mortgage Interest, property taxes and points paid on your loan will be tax deductible for your 2016 tax return!

Sources:

Interest Rates, DFW on the Rise, First Time Homebuyer, Taxes

Until Next Time,

Rebekah

Dog Days of Summer

This week we want to use the blog as an opportunity to bring you into our family.  As a family-owned company, our co-workers always feel like family even when we’re growing and building like there’s no tomorrow.

As the workers at the nearby BBQ joint can testify, food bonds us better than anything else.  As much as we all love BBQ, most would prefer a good pizza.  If either of those aren’t available, some good Tex-Mex is always appreciated.  However, some in our clan have interests in more exotic food such as Pho and Indian food.

If we can’t agree on food, we can all agree on how much we love our pets!  We love all animals large and small, and love owning some of them. Antares is home to both dog and cat lovers.  The most popular breed seems to be Dachshunds and Labrador Retrievers.

SadieMitsy Milo

(Above are Sadie, Mitsy, and Milo)

 

When it comes to our hobbies and passions, the Antares Family begins to differ more.  Some love to run and sing, others love to garden and read.  You’ll find almost any hobby withing the Antares Family, and that ultimately represents the reason we work so well as a team.  We love doing different things, but we all love Antares Homes.

 

Until Next Time,

Rebekah

Ron Formby, Founder of Antares Homes Will be Missed

10750314_10152776393297593_4602398239497686619_oRon Formby, founder of Antares Homes, passed away peacefully on Saturday morning at his home with his beloved wife, Pat, by his side.

Ron touched the lives of so many people on so many different levels. He was a leader in the Texas home building industry, an employer to a group of dedicated Associates, a personal and professional mentor to those asking for help, but more than anything he will be remembered for being a great guy who handled himself with dignity and integrity. The man was immensely trustworthy, he had a great handshake.

Ron will be truly missed by the many, many people that knew him as a friend.

More Than A Label

I have been on a health kick lately and have been dieting and reading all sorts of information about what is good for you and what is bad for you.  It is amazing how much conflicting information is out there!

I have a girlfriend who only feeds her family Organic foods.  She has been doing that since her children were born and she spends a lot of time and energy and money to do this.  She tells me that because of budget constraints she has had to make some hard decisions about whether or not Organic and whole foods take priority over other things in her kids’ lives.

So since I have been trying to get healthy, I have looked into what makes Organic foods better.  Well there is a Label, The Label to look for that makes something Certified Organic.  But what does that mean?  It means a lot of different things based on the type of food.  Well since I love fish so much, especially Salmon, I looked into what it means to buy an Organic Salmon.  What I found is very eye opening.  Only farmed Salmon can be labeled Organic because they can control what the Salmon eats.  And then the Salmon is fed Organic Plant matter.  Well, that doesn’t make sense!  Salmon are carnivorous fish!  And wouldn’t wild caught fish (free range if you will) be better than farmed?  So I came to the conclusion that a Label doesn’t necessarily make things better!

And then that dawning realization thing happened and I began to think about us.  Green is the big catchphrase, The Label, in home building right now.  Every program has it’s parameters that may or may not make sense to the big picture of building an efficient home.  Also, the cost to the consumer can increase exponentially as a builder strives to meet The Label’s standard.  You may end up with a home that is out of our buyer’s price range.  Well, don’t we all deserve access to energy efficient homes?

We think “Green” in the sense of using fewer resources over all as well as consumption for the long run.  Meaning that we are not only concerned with the production of the home and it’s component elements being what is Green, but also the impact the home has environmentally.

“Our star has been green for years,” says Ron Formby, Antares president. “Antares has been quietly setting world-class benchmarks for energy efficiency, air quality, and environmental responsibility, then setting them higher. That’s the Antares Beyond Green philosophy.”

We place a lot of emphasis on our Energy Guarantee.  Our energy costs are in writing and are a warranted item.  For example we Guarantee that our the HVAC system for our 2752 square foot four bedroom, two story home will average 807.50 Kilowatts/hour per month.  On an electric plan that is charging $00.084 per Kilowatt Hour, that will cost you $67.83 a month to air-condition your home.  Isn’t that mind boggling?  People living in 900 square foot apartments pay more than that!  I am amazed every time a homeowner comes back to the office after they have moved in to show me their low electric bills.  It is one thing to speak about our guarantee to folks thinking of buying a home from us and quite another thing to see it in practice!   See for yourself, visit one of our sales offices to view actual home owner’s bills and a sample of our Comfort Home Warranty.

Our homes are more efficient than Energy Star Standards.  We have even won an award from Oncor for Outstanding Energy Efficient Construction.  We won the 2007 Excellence in Energy Performance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as their 2009 and 2010 Leadership in Housing Award.  We are Beyond Green and beyond any “Green” label.

The biggest impact our company has is on the consumer, the person who buys and lives in our homes.  Getting healthy will save me money on fewer doctor’s bills and medicines, it will lengthen my life and allow me to have a better quality of life.  Buying a home that is focused on a lower energy draw will save the buyer money on electricity bills, maximizing the potential for enjoyment of said home and the life led in it.  Isn’t that better than any label?

 

Third Party Home Inspections, Are They Worth it?

Our Certified Graduate Builders! Above and Beyond Home Inspections!

All my life I was always told when buying a car take it to the mechanic before you buy it or when buying a home always hire a professional home inspector before closing. I have found this advice to be very good and it has saved me many times.   Home inspectors are excellent at finding issues in older homes that sellers sometimes cover with paint or texture, that can be very helpful.  Sometimes the items they point out to you will be very costly to repair and you need to know that before proceeding with the purchase of your home.

The times when I DON’T use a mechanic to inspect my car is when it is new.  My new car will come with a warranty so if something breaks they will fix it or if a manufacturer’s defect is found it will be repaired by the manufacturer.  So, when I’m buying my new car what I want to do is look for cosmetic issues, things like door dings or scratches because I know that once I drive that car off the lot these items won’t be repaired for free.

It’s the same when you buy a New Home.  You don’t need an additional Inspection, because  the home is inspected over and over during the construction process.  If you remember a recent post, we even go above and beyond on our inspections.  We like to make sure we did it right the first time.  A new Home is also covered by a warranty, as are all of the major components used in the construction and finish, such as the foundation, the roof and the appliances.  

Before you close on your new Antares Home, you will meet the builder at your home and he will perform a “home orientation”.   A home orientation is when the builder walks you through your new home demonstrating how everything works, who to call if it doesn’t and all the little things you need to know to enjoy your new home.  You will also will spend all the time you want looking for those cosmetic issues like texture error, paint issues, any spots on the floor or anything else that needs a touch up.   You will return 7 days later and verify that ALL the corrections have been completed and then you will proceed to closing.  The builder will place an Owner’s Manual in your home and this booklet will give advice on maintaining your new home and several helpful tips to keeping it like new and giving you many years of enjoyment.

Since a Home Inspection can cost you about $500 dollars, it doesn’t seem worth the money on a New Home.  If you want to have one anyway, we can accomodate you.  Just ask your Salesperson!