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
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


-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!


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

Until Next Time,


Antares Home Buyers Club Meeting

So, you’ve just purchased an Antares Home.  You are about to build your dream.  But, you’re also wondering what you just got yourself into.  Well, don’t worry!  We are here for you every step of the way!

We have a great program in place to help our buyer feel comfortable about the building process.  Welcome to the Home Buyer’s Club!  The Club has meetings twice a month to introduce our new home owners to our Warranty department and to learn about the steps of building a home.   It also gives our buyers more of an inside look on “what to expect” and “what’s to come” before they design their home at the Selection Studio.

I decided to sit in on our Home Buyers Club meeting last Wednesday so I could fully understand how we help our buyers from start to finish. Here’s a behind-the-curtain-look!


Our Warranty Manager, Cecil Smith guides our customers through this meeting with his upbeat and charismatic personality (I promise you will not be bored with Cecil!) He knows everything there is to know about the home building process from beginning to end.


During this meeting Cecil will give you a brief history of Antares Homes and how we have advanced to where we are today. He will go step by step with you to share what’s to come in the following months. He discusses the stages of building the home from digging the plumbing and pouring a slab, framing the home and running the electrical lines to all of the tests and inspections your home must pass before you can move in.  Since Cecil is the Warranty Manager, he also fills you in on your home warranty.  He then explains how the Selection Studio process affects construction as well.

New Home Buyers Collage 2

As you can see, this meeting serves so many purposes for our home buyers because this is a perfect way to meet other people just like you who have purchased a home from us.  The benefit is that they may ask questions that you haven’t though of yet. Also, it’s a way to break the ice and learn how everything comes together! It’s like the first day of school, your teacher discusses everything to let you know what to expect and how to prepare!


-Alexa Katchinska

Our Energy Efficiency Promise

Have you ever thought about the cool air that runs through your home and wonder how it works? Especially in the summer when you need it most and in the winter when you need the heat? Up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t put much thought into it until I learned about our energy promise. Antares’ Energy Promise is Guaranteed Kilowatt per Hour of usage on Heating and Cooling costs for 2 years and it includes a “Quiet” Insulation Package with Cocoon Cellulose Insulation. To stand by our promise, every home is inspected twice for energy efficiency to make sure that we have the best insulation with our wall openings, joist seams or air ducts sealed tight. To be completely honest, I didn’t have the faintest idea of what air efficiency meant and why it’s so important to have it in every home. I knew that air efficiency was a hot topic and that’s it’s very important to our customers, but I wanted to know “why” and “how” it was so important. So I decided to take a look inside the process of what makes a home’s air circulate, and maybe then I would have a better understanding and appreciation for our energy efficiency promise that we’re well known for here at Antares.

First, I had to talk to an expert. Our director of purchasing Locke Lynch got me in touch with Eric Johnson who’s the managing director of Tex Energy Solutions and he explained energy efficiency in a way I could understand. He gave me an analogy that put things into perspective for me. He asked me to think of the human body and how every body part works as a machine to keep the body functioning. He compared the HVAC system to the heart because the heart is the main organ the makes your whole body function. The HVAC system works the same way in energy efficiency. A complete system can control air temperature, humidity, fresh air intake and maintain the quality of the air in your home. When you break HVAC down, the heat, ventilation, and air conditioning serve different purposes but are all operated by the system. When Eric began to break down the HVAC system for me, he described the condenser and evaporator coil, the condenser is an outdoor unit that brings in the air from the outside and moves to the evaporator coil. These two crucial pieces of the HVAC system work as the lungs in this analogy because they do the job of making sure that the heat or air conditioner are transported throughout the house just as your lungs transport air throughout your body to breathe.





Once energy was explained to me in a way I could understand, I asked Eric if he could describe our energy promise and what makes it stand out from other promises out there. Eric explained that first we use heat pumps that cool the house and secondly, we consistently have two energy inspections. The first inspection is for insulation by our third party when the house is in the framing stage and the second inspection is by the city right before the sheet rock phase.


When the house is finished and they have put in the ac units, they retest the house with a blower door test which measures how tight the house is and the ac units in conjunction with our insulation create efficiency. The polyseal (expanding foam) has to be inspected to make sure their air doesn’t exchange from in or outside the house. The cellulose we use is blown into the wall cavities, and it actually fills in the entire space. So there’s less air infiltration, which means it keeps air from going in and out of the house. In the windows, we use a double pane lowE glass which is a tinted glass that’s mounted in a vinyl frame. The vinyl doesn’t transmit heat and cold through the frame unlike aluminum which previously was an industry standard. Lastly our attic is insulated with spray applied cellulose which is used as a moisture retardant to prevent mold cultures.


It’s safe to say that we hold to our efficiency promise with every single house we build. I never realized what went into our efficiency promise and how our builders carefully construct every step to make sure the house is built tightly. I want to thank Eric Johnson for taking time out of his schedule to explain the technical aspects of our energy promise. I have seen the negative side of poor air infiltration at my mother’s old house when they had mold inside and why it’s very important to make sure the windows are framed correctly up to the attic insulation with sprayed cellulose. That’s why when I had heard of Antares energy promise I was intrigued to write about it and see how everything comes together. The sales consultants even explain the efficiency of the home with their insulation demonstration to confirm the air tightness.  So if you ever want to see it, feel free to contact one of our sales offices. After all that’s said and done I can say that I’m amazed with all of the hard work and procedures that go into making sure our homes have heat and air circulating through by the switch on the thermostat!


Until next time,

Alexa Katchinska


Land, Land Everywhere, But Not Enough Lots!

Did you know there’s a lot shortage? What does that mean for the Homebuyer? Rising New Home Prices!

Antares Homes has developed land ready for construction.

You don’t need reading glasses to find Texas on the map. It’s big all right. No land crisis here. Or is there? Talk to any builder these days and you might be surprised to hear all the talk about a shortage of land. Technically, we’re not running out of land; it’s the developed land that’s getting hard to find.


The issue: A home can’t be built until the raw land is developed. You need sewers, streets, and utilities. Cities need to approve plats and assign addresses. And all this development takes time—lots of it. That empty home site you pick from a plat map is the result of years of development work.


The problem today is that developers stopped developing when the mortgage crisis hit a few years ago. They didn’t want to incur the expense of preparing the land if they couldn’t sell it to a builder right away. Now that the economy is on the upswing and people want to buy new homes again, we need to get the land engine firing on all cylinders again.


The bad news: In addition to the lengthy lead time—it takes a couple years to prepare raw land for building new homes—we’re also going to experience sticker shock. According to Antares Homes president, Ron Formby, lot prices are 30 to 50 percent higher on land deals today versus what was paid just a few years ago. “Higher lot prices mean higher home prices,” explains Formby, a 40-year industry veteran. “But there’s good news. Some builders, like Antares, still have access to lower-priced lots because the contracts were negotiated at the right time. These lots are ready for new construction—today. Once these low-priced lots are gone, however, you’ll never again see home prices this low,” observes Formby. “Smart buyers are going to lock the favorable prices and historic low mortgage interest rates and build today.” For more information, visit

Why Do We Use Vinyl Windows Instead of Aluminum?

Most folks are very surprised that a small homebuilder like Antares installs vinyl windows in every home.  Usually, you won’t find that feature unless you are in the price range of $300,000 and up in our local market.  A few years back, we made the change after extensively researching the benefits.

In the North Texas area we don’t have very much of a Winter and we fight the blistering heat every Summer.   Just imagine that you are sitting outside on a scorching hot day inTexas.   You touch two objects that have been sitting in the sun.  One is metal, the other is vinyl.   Which do you think will burn your hand?   Simply put, metal absorbs, retains and transfers heat. With aluminum windows, that heat ends up in your home. Limiting the amount of ‘thermal transfer’ through the home’s exterior is important to maximizing energy efficiency.

Science and Technology have brought so much innovation to what we can offer. Homeowners’ concerns for increased comfort and performance, along with the rising cost of energy makes this issue even more important.  Dual paned windows allow for “insulation” between two panes of glass which minimizes heat transfer.   This type of window is now used in 95% of all new homes built in the United States.   However, Antares has taken it a step further by using vinyl windows that have Low-E glass instead of aluminum windows.   The window companies determine the efficiency of windows by the measurement of the rate of heat transfer through a product (U-factor).   The lower the U-factor, the better the glass is at insulating a building.  In general, window ratings are from .25 to 1.25.  Our dual paned vinyl windows feature a LOW-E coating on our glass which has a U-factor of .32.  That’s more than the minimum you’d expect from a new home!  The coating on the glass has a slightly reflective tint that lets in light, yet gives privacy.

We’ve always known that people like to see the natural light inside their home, yet they still want energy efficiency.   We’ve never designed plans around small standard size windows.   You can see by the front facades of all of our plans that we build a better looking home than our competition.   We don’t try to “economize it” on the outside.   We put the right size windows on the home.  It’s just not okay to cut costs at the expense of the look of a home.  But don’t worry, using these oversized windows is not at the expense of your home’s energy efficiency!

Now, let’s move on to some really cool things about these vinyl-frame windows.

  • You NEVER have to paint them.
  • You can clean them from the inside of your home.   The windows have a tilt sash feature that is awesome.   If you are living in a 2 story home, this is a priceless feature.  Some builders charge thousands for this feature.
  • Vinyl windows are resistant to corrosion, chipping and rusting.  They don’t require maintenance
  • Vinyl windows are much greener.  Vinyl windows emit less gas in production than aluminum.
  • They provide lower utility bills
  • They add resale value to the home.   Ask anyTexasRealtor.  You will love that at resale time.

By using vinyl windows, Antares Homes has chosen to go above and beyond…..For you, our customers.


-Nancy Scott

Graduate Master Builder

Bricks Are The Home’s Outerwear, And Yes, It’s Fashion-y

From Hanson's Online Brochure "Texas Collection"

Clay Bricks or Limestone Bricks or Cementious Limestone, which do you prefer?  Or have you ever given it much thought?  At Antares Homes we are very interested in Brick.  Bricks are used in the construction of a new home as sheathing.  Bricks are not a structural part of your home in the same way that the frame is.  Bricks prevent water seepage into the backup walls just like the roof shingles prevent water from seeping into your home from the top.  Bricks are breathable and do allow for moisture to penetrate and drain through the weep holes at the bottom of the veneer.  They also provide for some R-Factor on the exterior of your home as well.  But what most of us notice about bricks are how they look on your home!

A home with little to no brick detailing is very drab.  We try to include some architectural detailing on every home of ours even on the least expensive “A” elevations.  These details are called Row Locks, Soldiers, and Herringbone patterns.  Combined with different roof pitches and types, we allow for the creation of a very diverse look to our neighborhoods.  Who wants to live in a neighborhood where every home looks the same?  Not me either, but I have seen neighborhoods just like that!

We use three brands of Brick at Antares Homes and four types of Brick: Limestone Brick, Cementious Limestone and Clay.  Bilco Bricks are one of the options that we offer standard in most of our Neighborhoods.  They have a 110 year warranty and are made of a Limestone and Cement Mixture that is very durable.  Hanson Limestone Bricks are the other option that is standard in most of our neighborhoods.  It has a 101 year Warranty.   We also use Hanson Clay Brick and Acme Clay Brick.  Acme Bricks have a 100 Year Guarantee.  Wow!  Any item that has warranties that long is durable!  Did you know that bricks can be reused and recycled?  I watched a building being cladded with recycled brick.  Once they finished, they painted it.  Beautiful!



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!

Carpet Care

Quick tips on caring for your carpet.


If you purchased an inventory home from us, you most likely have a home that includes an upgraded carpet from either Mohawk or Shaw.  Upgraded carpets are our first choice in our inventory homes because they have longer warranties than base grade carpet.  They also include Stain and Soil Resistant Technologies that are better than the base grade which translates into happier homeowners for us!

Have you ever stopped to think that in most homes, the carpet is the largest area covered that takes a beating daily?  Most homeowners are concerned with how to take care of their carpet and prevent spills from staining.  Did you know there is a difference between “Soil” and “Stain”?  A stain is the red dye left over from a Gatorade spill.  Soil is the dirt that can penetrate in between the fibers causing a darkening of the look of the carpet.  Our upgraded Shaw carpets all have R2X technology which is a wash of the fibers that combines a stain and soil resistance which is better than a topical treatment (like spraying Scotchguard on your carpet before you move in) which only affects the topmost fibers of your carpet.  Mohawk uses a similar wash technique for their Revive technology.

Here are some great carpet care tips compiled from the Shaw and Mowhak websites.

  • Preventative measures like mats at outside entry areas can reduce the amount of soil tracked into your home.
  • Move your furniture around.  This can refresh the pile under heavy pieces.
  • Clean area rugs often and check for colorfastness before laying them over your carpet.
  • Vacuuming.  Did you know it’s not just a once a week chore?  In heavy traffic areas of your home, you should vacuum the traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly.  One pass of the vacuum is not enough either-up to three passes for light soiling and five to seven passes for heavy soiling.  Change the vacuum direction on each pass to refresh the pile and prevent matting.
  • Cut burned parts of carpet with curved nail scissors.
  •  Always blot spills, never rub or scrub aggressively.  Here is a quick link for specific spill instructions from Shaw.  Here is another one from Mohawk.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned by hot water extraction, most commonly known as “Steam Cleaning” every twelve to eighteen months depending on the number of occupants in the home

It’s Easy!

Buying a New Home is Easy! We’ll show you how.

Did you know that buying a new home is a very simple process? You have one major choice to make before you begin the process: do you want to build your new home from the ground up or do you want to move into your new home in the next 30 days or less?


If you want to move quickly, let’s say your home has sold or your lease is up, or you have just re-located, an inventory home is the best option for you.    An inventory home is one that the builder chose to build knowing that it is a popular floor plan and anticipating that some people may need to move into their new home in 30 days or less. There are about five steps to buying a completed inventory home:


-Gathering Your Paperwork 

Now this is the first step no matter what type of home you are buying.  You will need to provide your lender with a copy of your last two year’s W2’s, the two most recent paycheck stubs, a copy of your driver’s license, a copy of your social security card and your most recent checking and savings account statements.  Getting this paperwork together before you begin looking will streamline the process when you are ready to make your decision.


-Loan Application

Most Home Builders will have their list of preferred or in house lenders.  At Antares we have a list of over six Lenders that we prefer to work with.  These people have earned their place on our list by providing great customer service to our Home Buyers and to our Sales Consultants.  They are Lenders we can depend on to answer our phone calls even on weekends and after hours and they take care of our Buyers.  You can submit a loan application at any of our Model Homes any day of the week.  You are also welcome to use your own Lender that has already pre-approved you.  Getting this part out of the way early on in the process helps you to determine what price range you want to stay in.  It can also help with planning a budget for after you close.  Having a realistic plan for your lifestyle is very important.  For example, if you love to travel, you may want to keep your mortgage payment way below the maximum you can qualify for.


-Choose Your Home

This is the fun part!  Visiting our Model Homes, looking at our completed inventory and imagining where you’ll place your furniture!  Not sure what exactly will be the best style home for you?  No problem.  Our Sales Consultants are very good listeners and they will ask you lots of questions to discover which home will best suit your needs.


-Go to your Home Owner Orientation

Meet with the Construction Manager and find out all about the unique construction of your New Home.  You’ll learn more about Water Heaters, Grout, Foundations and Insulation than you every wanted!


-Go to Closing

Signing on the dotted line and getting the keys to your future!  Congratulations!


Have you decided you would like to pick all of the colors for your new home?  Need a few months to save up your down payment?  Want a floor plan that we don’t have as a completed inventory home?  In love with that over sized Cul-De-Sac Home Site?  Build!  After the first two steps above, the next step is:


-Choose Your Floor Plan and Home Site

It can be overwhelming when we have so many different plans and locations to build.  But don’t worry we are here to help!  With plans ranging from three bedrooms to six bedrooms, we will have the perfect plan for you!


-Visit the Selection Studio

This is my favorite part!  Since we don’t limit our Buyers to pre-selected packages, every home can be customized in many different ways.  We will help you choose options that are beautiful and within any budget!


-Watch Your Home Emerge!

The construction process is very interesting if you ask me!  A lot of our buyers will visit their home weekly to take pictures and observe their dreams taking form.  You will meet with the Construction Manager during this time to get an overview of the construction process.  He will also be able to answer any questions you have about how your home is being built.  All of the Construction Managers at Antares Homes are Graduate Master Builders!  Where else can you find that?


-Save Your Down Payment Money

Most of our buyers are using FHA loans.  These loans require 3.5% of the mortgage value of the home as a down payment.  A lot of people don’t have that amount sitting around and have to budget to save it.  Since it takes us four months to build your new home, most of our buyers are able to save down payment money in that time period.  We also have various Zero Down loans available for qualified buyers.  If you want more information on those programs, please contact one of our Sales Offices.  Our Sales Consultants will be able to tell you very quickly if you qualify for one of those programs.


-Meet with the Construction Manager

You will meet with your Construction Manager at least three times during the building process.  He is a great educational resource for our buyers.  Every wonder why we do what we do?  He’ll be able to tell you!


-Go to closing!

The same last step: Signing on the dotted line and getting the keys to your future!  Congratulations!


Now Wasn’t That Easy?

Have You Googled Your Builder?

Check out Antares Homes. We think you’ll like what you find.

These days most people are making their decisions on which Restaurant or Salon to go to or appliance or book to buy on line.  They are reading reviews, finding ratings and generally finding out the purchasing experiences of fellow consumers.  Well, we have found that buying a home is the same.  Most of the people who walk in to our Sales Offices have visited our website or found out about us on line.  But the next step is to seek out reviews by using a simple Google search of any Home Builder you are interested in.  Go ahead and make our day- Google us!