Saginaw Springs: Around Town

Antares-SS-Infographic-Parks

Saginaw Springs is a great community for families who love the outdoors.  William Houston Park is a short walk away where you’ll find a great playground area and two soccer fields.  Willow Creek Park is a bit further away, but easy to bike to.  It is home to a jogging path with exercise stations, basketball courts, a softball field, an entire disc golf course, tennis and volleyball courts, and multiple playgrounds.  The city as a whole also fosters a great environment for other outdoor group activities like the North Tarrant Cycling Club.

Antares-SS-Infographic-Entertainment

If you’re looking for bigger outdoor adventures, they’re just around the corner from Saginaw Springs.  Eagle Mountain Lake as well as Lake Worth are both nearby and are home to great state parks.  The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is 11.5 miles away and home to all kinds of adventures!  Find out about the hiking trails, guided tours, and wildlife here.  When indoor entertainment is calling you, TCC is there to answer.  With a variety of theater programs throughout the year, you will have plenty to enjoy. If the most recent theater production doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always head down 287 into the Stockyards or Downtown Fort Worth.

Antares-SS-Infographic-Schools

Every school that your child will be a part of within Saginaw Springs has met or exceeded all Texas State Requirements.  For this district, though, that’s not enough.  EMISD is part of a select few districts participating in the Liink project to help grow and learn at the highest standards.  This district has its eye on the future, and will take your child there.

Antares-SS-Infographic-History

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a community that cares for you like Saginaw does.  What I really love about the town is the balance of historical character and modern amenities like bike lanes and public transit.  They have a city recreation center that will more than fit any workout needs, and has the most competitive pricing I’ve found.  The community even puts on a kid’s night during the school year called ‘Planet Kidz’ geared toward providing age-appropriate entertainment to children ages 8-14 years old.

Until Next Time,

Rebekah

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words You Say?

Why pay more each month on rent and electric bills than most of our Home Owners are paying for their mortgage and guaranteed energy?

I agree!  Rents are rising every six months, mortgage rates remain at their lowest in decades.  So why would you pay more every month for a cramped apartment than you would on your own home?  You don’t know?  Me either!

Watering Is All Washed Up

Yup, we are in a drought.

We are in a drought.  Yes, I know we just got drenched by record setting rains a couple of weeks ago, but we are still in a drought.  There is still the threat of more severe water restrictions hanging over our heads as we begin to think about our gardens for the Spring.  Yes, it can get worse!  Did you know that during warm weather, 40 to 60% of your water bill is spent on outdoor watering?  What do you do?

The first step in dealing will all of this is to know your restrictions.  Each City that we build in has a web page that lets you know what you are dealing with.

City of Fort Worth

City of Crowley

City of Burleson

City of Saginaw

City of Mansfield

Then you can find other ways to conserve water that don’t involve outdoor watering.  For example, did you know the City of Fort Worth is GIVING AWAY low flow toilets?  Antares Homes always installs them on our new homes, but if you don’t have one of our homes you can use one of these water saving thrones yourself!

You can also schedule a free irrigation audit with the City of Fort Worth to determine if your sprinkler system is operating at peak performance.

And then, there is your yard.  Did you know some grasses are more drought tolerant than others?  We install Bermuda Grass on our new homes and that grass can go 7-8 days without watering.  There are also native plants and flowers that require less water as well.  Using these plants at your home is called Xeriscaping.  North Central Texas Smartscape has a great website with loads of tools for Xeriscaping your home.  It can be as simple or complicated as you desire!

A Little Something Extra

No stress. No worries. From extra inspections during construction to engineered steel rebar foundations to guaranteed heating & cooling costs, your Antares home will provide peace of mind.

Sometimes you just want that little bit more.  Something extra.  We get it.  And we think that little bit more is peace of mind.  With the hustle and bustle of life, you don’t need any more stress and worry than absolutely necessary.  So we go out of our way to provide our customers with a worry-free experience.  Let’s examine the ways:

 

  1. Guaranteed Heating and Cooling.  Seriously.  Not Kidding.  It’s a warranted item.  Our 3098 square foot floor plan in Garden Heights is GUARANTEED to average 907.5 kWh/month to heat and cool.  At a price of $0.084/kWh that’s $76.23 on average to run the HVAC.  Incredible, and true.
  2. Extra Inspections.  We go above and beyond to get additional third party inspections on each home.  We want to make sure that a second set of eyes has inspected our homes to catch mistakes we may have missed.  The result?  Fewer Warranty Requests from our Home Owners.
  3. Rebar Foundation.  Each foundation is tailored to the specific needs of each neighborhood.  Did you know that Tarrant County soils can vary so much that a soils test in one neighborhood can yield completely different results when compared to another?  We always take the most conservative approach with our foundations and it shows in our record with Bonded Builders — our Third Party Warranty Partner.  We have been claims free on our foundations since the company was founded in 1998.
  4. Graduate Master Builders.  Astonishing as it may be, all of our Construction Managers that build our homes are Graduate Master Builders.  Continuing education is vital for anyone who desires to be the best in their field.  We are no different.  Experience and education make a difference in the end product.  We are very proud to have such a great team building our homes, and you will be too.
  5. Top Notch Salespeople.  Our Sales Team is the best in the business.  Why?  What’s different about them?  They are highly trained in areas that make the most difference to our Customers.  They are very knowledgeable about the latest loan programs for first time buyers, repeat buyers and credit challenged buyers.  If there is a way to save you money and get you the Home of your Dreams, they can find it.  They are most concerned with helping people, not selling people.  And our Customer Service Surveys reflect their hard work.

 

And if you still want more, call one of our Sales Offices to find out what’s so special about their neighborhood!

 

As the heat goes away, some of our unwanted guests are on their way back…

The record-breaking summer heat helped keep pesky bugs away. Now that cooler weather has finally arrived, they’re baa-aaaack!

Photo Credit: pestybugsbegone.com

We have been assaulted by record setting heat and a drought here in North Texas.  It has been unrelenting and very draining.  But every cloud has a silver lining: Very few bugs this summer.  In an area known for it’s humidity and “Everything is Bigger in Texas” creepy crawly pests, we have had an unusual experience.  Absent were the cool evenings sitting on the back porch under the bug zapper.  But, as the days start to cool down (and yes 85 to 90 degrees is considered a cold front here) and the moisture slowly returns to the area, now is the time to start planning for the return of our six legged friends.  Make an appointment with your favorite pest control now, and prevent unwanted guests this fall!

Cleaner Glassware

Here’s a great tip I learned from a friend of mine:  Add Lemon juice to your soap dispenser in your dishwasher for cleaner glassware.  All of my glasses and glass vases were building up this unsightly scuzzy film that I could not remove no matter how hard I tried.  My friend told me that there was a water additive that had been removed from the local drinking supply which prevented this from occurring in the past.  So I took her advice and now I have bright shiny CLEAR glassware.  It also works when you add to the water when you wash by hand as well.

 

Do you have any cleaning tips?  Post them in the comments!

Help is Here!

Crescent Springs Ranch, 701 Jetton Court, Crowley, TX 76036

Do you need help just figuring out if buying a new home is an option for you?  Do you need help planning to save money for a down payment?  Do you need help understanding why your credit score went down instead of up after all that work you did?  We have answers for you!  We are offering a FREE Home Buyer Class at our Crescent Springs Ranch location this Wednesday, August 10 from 7-9 pm.  Call the office at 817-704-7532 to register today!  We will have a finance specialist on site to help with planning for a home in your future!

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?

 

The Trials and Tribulations of a Shady Gardener

 

Shady Problems Solved!

Let me begin with the disclaimer that I am an absolute novice gardener and I have been known to have a black thumb on occasion.  I do take an interest in what goes in my flowerbed, but usually I pay someone to bring the plants and plant them.  But this year I decided to do it all myself.  I have had a really tough time with my flowerbed this spring.  You see I have a north facing home and my flowerbed is mostly in the shade.  I detest shrubbery and I adore flowers, so you can tell that I have quite a dilemma on my hands.  A few years ago I planted some Day Lilies in my flowerbed along the border where I do get patchy sun.  They are pretty big, but they are only in a few spots and I wanted more variety and color.

Daylilies and Impatiens

I Googled Texas shade plants and could find nothing that flowered and that I thought was pretty.  I went to the plant store and found nothing except for Impatiens.  Not cute.  I was yeaning for Gerber daisies and Snapdragons and all sorts of sun loving pretty blooming flowers!  I knew that I had a tiny patch that saw sun for about two hours and I did plant three little Snapdragons there.  Snapdragons, I read, were good for part sun.  I was hoping and praying that they were going to be happy.  I also planted some Lobelia in another part that gets about 2 hours sun as well. 

I knew there were no alternative to the Impatiens so I bought a few different types and tried them out.  After about a week, the impatiens began to grow on me and my Snapdragons looked very sad.  The Lobelia was droopy.  I added some Caladiums that had little blotches of red in the leaves for some variety.  No flowers, but at least they are pretty and flower-like.  But I had to dig up the Snapdragons and plant them in a container in my south facing back yard. 

Caladiums, Agapanthus, Impatiens and More

Well after about another week the Impatiens were fluffing out.  They were flowering and every time I backed in or out of my driveway I was gazing at them.  The Lobelia looked like it was dying, so I dug that up and planted it in my mom’s yard.  I gave in to the superiority of the Impatiens in a shade garden and bought more and planted more.  I also remembered that I had an Agapanthus once in a shady spot, so I bought one and planted it in a tiny, sometimes sunny, spot under my Japanese Maple.  I also got a Diascia and planted it where the Snapdragons used to be.  It was very clearly labeled “2 Hours of Sun” and I knew that would work!

So now that I have stopped trying to make my shade garden into a sun garden, I am finally happy.  There is definitely a lesson to be learned and although I think it’s kind of obvious, I have never shied away from stating the obvious!  You can’t make a shady garden into a sunny one and you can’t make things be other than they are.  The minute you give up trying to impose your will, you will find peace! 🙂

If you have any links to good Gardening Tips, I am obviously in need!  Send me some pictures of your gardening handiwork with a little back-story.  I’ll post them here and we can have a contest and vote for the best one!  Carrie.Davis@AntaresHomes.com

Built So Well, Our Employees Agree!

Monique's Kitchen

Our buyers are people who want to live in a neighborhood with other Home Owners who are invested in creating a community.  They are drawn to us because of our Quality, our Energy Guarantee and the fact that we don’t sell any of our homes to Investors.  All of our buyers live in their homes!  Also, we have a high percentage of our employees living in an Antares Home.  We believe in what we build, and Quality is our number one priority.

This is what one of our Salespeople told me about her experience buying an Antares Home:

“I have been selling new homes for 11 years. I was working for a different builder at the time we decided to start our new home search in the Burleson area.  We visited every home builder in the Burleson area and even viewed our options with a pre-owned home. I had never considered a pre-owned home before, as I have built 5 new homes in the last 11 years. 

We had to have a 5 bedroom home and of course needed it on a family of 6 budget….Needless to say, pre owned was ruled out pretty fast and onto the new home builders we went ! We visited so many builders and just could not find what we were looking for with both price and features. Believe it or not, Antares Homes was not even on my list!

We stumbled across the community of Hidden Creek in Burleson, right across form the golf course and in a perfect location off 35 addressing the rest of our needs for proximity to shopping, restaurants, etc… Into the sales office we went…here we go again…

“Hi my name is Monique and this is my husband Teddy”.  

There was Sharon White! She greeted us with a smile and total knowledge of her product. It was like Sharon and I had been friends for years! We spoke with ease and she really listened to what I was looking for. What I learned about Antares Homes that day, I only wished I had gone there first and did not waste my whole day on builders that did not meet my needs and budget.

If I was going to buy a home in Burleson, It was going to be an Antares Home. The perfect 5 bedroom home and a payment we could afford!! Well, if I am going to buy a home from this company, then who better to represent this company, but me! I believed so strongly in what they had to offer their customers, that this was a company that I wanted to represent!  Out went the resume the next day….

I have been working for Antares for almost 2 years now. I have a fantastic home and the kids and family are all happy…sometimes I have a hard time believing that anyone would want to buy a home anywhere else but Antares. We love our community and have made lots of friends. If you choose an Antares Home…no doubt about it…you will love your home too!

The Antares sales team is the best…I have worked for many builders in the last 11 years and I can say without hesitation, that they all believe in their product so strongly, are knowledgeable in every facet of the building industry and greet each customer with the anticipation of showing everyone what makes this company so unique in today’s market.”

          -Monique Tinsley

High Praise indeed!  Stephanie Gatica, one of our Sales Assistants told me this:

“I did not work for Antares when I bought my home, but I can tell you why I bought an Antares Home…it was the best house we looked at!!! 

My husband and I visited several area builders and did not get very excited.  Floor plans were bad, prices seemed high, and ran into a few “used car salesmen” types in the process.  These are not things you want to use to describe your home buying experience. 

Then we pulled into Matador Ranch!!!  We did not look any further…in fact we picked our home that day from the inventory on the ground!!!  Not only that, but Jaimie (our sales person) was fantastic!!!  She really cared about our needs and happiness and worked tirelessly to get us exactly what we wanted. 

With that being said…I tell this to every person I run into who says “I’m looking to buy a house”.  I tell them they will never have a better experience all the way around, as they will be buying an Antares Home!” 

Three of our Certified Graduate Builders and another Salesperson also live in Antares Homes.    Remember my quest to find out what makes an Antares Home Owner tick?  We just found out about two more.  So six of my Celebrities are co-workers of mine.  I think that’s pretty great, don’t you?