How to be Energy-Efficient this Winter Season

11/25/2019By Kira Hovancik

Now with the winter season upon us, it’s time to save some money on your home’s energy bill and spend it on people you only see once a year. Kidding. But also, where does the money go?

 

We came up with some great tips for you to try out this winter season that will help keep those high energy bills down and save you some coin. So, let's get to it!

 

 

Energy-Saving Tips

 

The winter season is a great time to save some money on your energy bills and we have just the energy-saving tips for you. Before you even touch your thermostat, we have some cold-weather tips that will help you warm-up without jacking-up the heat.

 

  • Wear weather-appropriate clothing inside to reduce your demand to turn up your thermostat. Hello, fuzzy socks!
  • During the daytime, let the natural sunlight heat your home by opening up your window coverings and blinds.
  • A change in seasons means a change in your bedding. So yes, go shopping. Purchase some thicker bedding options such as flannel sheets and heavier comforters to stay warmer in the colder months.
  • Check all windows and doors to ensure they are properly sealed and not letting all your precious heat escape.
  • Invest in an electric heating blanket for your living room and bedrooms. They are pretty affordable and don’t cost much when it comes to your energy bill.
  • Make sure you change your thermostat before you leave town if you go on vacation for the holidays. Drop your thermostat between fifty to sixty degrees while you are away to prevent the pipes from freezing while also being energy-efficient.
  • Don’t fidget with your thermostat! Keep your thermostat on “Auto”, not “On”,  and let it do its job. Changing your thermostat even a couple of degrees means it is constantly heating and adjusting to a new temp which ends up costing you money since it’s working in overdrive.
  • Consider investing in a programmable thermostat. They adjust to your schedule and heating/cooling preferences and are able to be programmed outside your home, usually through an app on your phone! So convenient and energy-efficient.
  • To lower your water heating costs this winter, turn down the temp of your water heater. This sounds crazy, but hear me out. By turning down your water heater to one-hundred and twenty degrees(120°F) you will save water heating costs, it will still be hot enough to shower, and it will be better for your skin during the cold, dry winter.
  • When washing clothes, opt to run larger loads instead of multiple smaller loads to reduce your energy usage. And if you can wash clothing in colder water, that helps too since most of the electricity costs come with heating up the water.


 

Lighting Options

 

With all the lighting options out there, we as consumers are lucky to be able to purchase light bulbs that are energy-efficient. Replacing all traditional light bulbs(incandescent bulbs) to LED light bulbs can increase your home’s energy efficiency, especially in high traffic rooms in your home.

 

If you don’t want to replace all the bulbs in your house, that’s totally fine. Focus on the bulbs in lighting fixtures that you leave on longer than two hours per day. That is a good place to start if you don’t want to tackle the whole house before the holidays. 

 

LED Bulbs

 

LED light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lighting according to the U.S Department of Energy. They also end up lasting up to twenty-five times longer than traditional incandescent lighting. So if you were thinking about switching your old light bulbs to LED light bulbs or even Smart LED light bulbs that you can control with your phone or smart-home hub, the time is now. 

These light bulbs tend to have a higher upfront cost, but you end up replacing them less in the long run compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. 

Another lighting tip before you put up all those outdoor holiday lights is switching your outdoor lights to LED lights or even better, lights with motion sensors so that they don’t stay on for extended periods of time. Solar outdoor lights are easy to find and very low-maintenance as well.

 

If you have any energy-saving tips, we would love to hear from you in the comment section below! 

Heritage Housing has accepted The Git-Up Challenge

10/29/2019By Casey Mack

Our friends at Heritage Housing stores are each having a huge month with their Winter Clearance event offering up to $10,000 off the purchase price of a brand new home. 

Each store was recently given the opportunity to participate in the Git Up Challenge & parody Blanco Brown's Git Up Music Video and we had some hilarious results.  Find the video you want to vote for, Like it, and Share the video to your facebook feed.  The facebook video with the highest number of Likes and Shares will win a cool prize.

Heritage Housing
Asheboro, North Carolina
https://www.facebook.com/HeritageHousingofAsheboro/
Video is not embeddable. Please visit their facebook page above to View.


Heritage Housing
Minden, Louisiana
https://www.facebook.com/heritagehousingofminden/

Heritage Housing
Jennings, Louisiana 
https://www.facebook.com/affordablehousingLA/

 

 

 

Huge Year-End Clearance Sale Going on Now!

10/8/2019By Craig Austin

At Heritage Housing, the month of October brings us many treats. 

Most importantly, October brings us our biggest home sale of the year, the Heritage Housing Year-End Clearance Sale.  Prices have been drastically cut on almost every home in our inventory.   From brand new tiny homes, singlewide, and doublewide home models, we have pre-fab, fully-finished out homes ranging from 600 sq feet to 2400 sq feet that will fit every size family.  We have packages including A/C, skirting, steps, and can even help get you financed with one of our 4 lenders.

With Heritage Housing in-house financing, we can get anyone into a brand new home!  No Social Security card?  No problem, we accept ITIN and have First Time Homebuyer programs available for Good, Bad, and No Credit customers.  As the area's Low Payment leader in affordable homes, we can get your home payments lower than anyone!

Don't take our word for it, make an appointment and come view our huge selection of brand new factory-direct homes.  Our pricing, selection, and customer service at Heritage Housing cannot be beat!   While you stop in, get a scratch off card that will knock even more money off the cost of your new home!  You scratch it, we slash it!  

It's the best time of year to buy a new manufactured home!  You can even apply online for financing.... click here to apply now!

Build Yourself an Emergency Kit

8/29/2019By Kira Hovancik

No one wants to plan for the worst, but when an emergency strikes, it is best to be prepared. We want to help you create an emergency 72-hour (or longer) kit that you’ll be able to use if there is an emergency near you. It could be an earthquake, a hurricane, a state-wide flood, or a gas explosion. You should always plan, and plan for the worst!

 

how to plan for an emergency state wide emergency

 

Work in Progress

 

An emergency kit is something that you can work on and prep in a couple of hours depending on how many supplies you have on hand, or you can work on creating your family’s kit over the span of a couple of months if you need it. Some of the items listed like the personal documents and medications might take you longer to curate for your emergency kit. 

 

Creating an emergency kit is a great project to start sooner than later, but it also allows you to get the supplies at your own speed because you may not be able to buy everything for your kit in one trip to Walmart or your local supercenter. 

 

Projects like this take more time, just don’t forget about them!

 

burning buildings how to be prepared for anything natural disaster

 

Basic Supplies

 

Listed below are some(not all) of the basic supplies one should have in their emergency/disaster kit.

 

  • Water: One gallon per person, per day.
  • Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items
  • First Aid Kit - add this to your Amazon cart asap!
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries - for the flashlight and any other battery-operated items in your kit
  • Maps of the area - because you might not be able to rely on Google Maps
  • Medications
  • Multi-purpose tools
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Sanitation and hygiene items - pack travel-sized items to keep your kit light in weight
  • Cell phone with chargers - track phones are a great option on a pinch
  • Family, Friends and Emergency Contact Information
  • Copies of personal documents - if you have the time to laminate these copies, that would be even better. Good documents to print out would be birth certificates, social security cards, insurance cards, passports, bank records, immunization records, etc. 
  • Extra Cash - small bills and coins work best
  • Hand-Crank Radio

 

fires earthquakes natural disasters how to prepare for the worst

 

Now this list is subjective because what is basic to one person might be a necessity to someone else so keep that in mind when reading this list. This list is more like a guideline and if anything can lead to more inspiration to other items you might what in your disaster kit. 

 

how to prepare you and your family for a natural disaster

 

Extra Supplies

 

This section is pretty straight forward and contains some extra supply ideas for your disaster kit. Extra supplies are a great way to customize your kit to fit your specific family needs and if your kit can fit extra supplies. 

 

  • Baby Supplies: diapers, formula, medications
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Household Liquid Bleach
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Tool Kit
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Matches
  • Extra clothing, hats, gloves, and sturdy shoes
  • Scissors
  • Pet Supplies: collar, leash, id, water bowl, food, carrier
  • Two-way Radios
  • Whistle
  • Rain Gear

 

flooding hurricanes natural disasters how to be prepared for the worst

 

If your state or county has issued an area-wide emergency, you should not take these warning lightly. The best thing to do is listen to what they are recommending and if you can leave the state or move away from the projected danger, then it is best to consider this plan an option for you and your family. Some natural disasters happen suddenly so there is not much one can do to plan for these, except creating a disaster kit for when a disaster strikes.

 

If you or someone you know has created one of these before, please share your comments and experiences in the comments section below! 

How to ask family for money when buying a house

7/30/2019By Ellena Fortner Newsom

You’ve found the perfect new house for you and your family. Three bedrooms. Vaulted ceilings. A spacious kitchen with a hidden spot for the trash can.

Only one problem remains – the deposit. While you can get into a new, durable manufactured home for about $5,000, you do need some deposit.

That’s why many people turn to family or close personal friends to help them make the jump from apartment living to own their own home. In fact, as more and more housing becomes less and less affordable, many millennials and Gen Z adults find themselves in this pickle, so you aren’t alone.

 

how to ask family for money for a new home young homeowners

 

While it can be an awkward conversation, it doesn’t have to be if you take the time to plan out your thoughts and develop a solid repayment plan.

Here are 13 steps to make it simple and easy to ask a relative or friend to help you achieve the American dream of homeownership.

 

  1. Know your finances – You don’t want to go to mom or dad asking for money if you don’t know exactly where your money is going and how much you need. Before approaching them, look at your finances. How are you spending your money? Write out a budget. If you see that you are overspending in non-necessary categories, such as clothing or eating out, make changes now. You want to present to your family that you are financially responsible. Regardless of your housing arrangements, a budget is a basic to-do that will pay off long term.
  2. This isn’t the time to approach your great Aunt Sally – You don’t want to approach people you don’t have a solid relationship with. This is, no doubt, a big ask. You should be leaning on people who love and appreciate you, not someone who hasn’t seen you since your 16th birthday.
  3. Consider their income too – This needs to be a mutually beneficial situation. If you ask someone who is struggling to make ends meet themselves, you are much more likely to hear a “no.” Plus, it may look like you are pressuring them. That’s not an ideal situation to avoid family drama.
  4. The ask – This isn’t a drive-by conversation to have in passing. While it can be conducted via email or telephone, the optimal time and location is face-to-face when you are alone and have time to have an in-depth discussion. Share with them the reasons you need the loan, how you intend to use it to better your life and how you plan to pay them back.
  5. Be specific – This isn’t the time to use round numbers. You don’t want to ask too low or too high. Show them your financing paperwork so they understand exactly how much you need to achieve this dream.
  6. Explain in detail your repayment plan – Establish how long you will take to pay it back and in what increments. This will prevent misunderstands that can lead to arguments and hurt feelings down the road. If you are asking a family member, you can bring up the idea of paying them back in non-monetary ways as well, such as by offering your services for something they need as well. The worst they can do is turn you down.
  7. Interest? – It’s polite to offer to pay some interest. This gives the person you are borrowing from an incentive to help you beyond the good feeling of doing something nice. Currently, savings accounts don’t have very high-interest rates, so even a 2% interest rate will provide them with some nice income.
  8. What happens if you miss you a payment – Sure, you don’t plan on missing any payments, but what happens if you do? Put a consequence in place so the person you are speaking with understands you take this seriously. It could be that you double up the next month. Or you might offer to do a chore for them. Just make it something you can follow through on achieving.
  9. Sign on the dotted line – Print out a promissory note. This is a simple form that details what you are borrowing at what interest rate and with what repayment plans. This keeps everything on the up-and-up and prevents misunderstandings later.
  10. Don’t wait – Life happens. If you lose your job or incur sudden medical debt, be open and honest with the person you borrowed from. Now, this doesn’t extend to you wanting a vacation or a new car (unless you need transportation for work). Explain to them what happened and how you would like to restructure the loan. Keep the lines of communication open and honest.
  11. Don’t bring it up at Christmas – The loan is a business arrangement. You don’t need to bring it up often in your relationship or when you are hanging out as a family. That’s a sure way to make things feel weird. Also, don’t expect that borrowing money won’t have some impact on your relationship, so try to minimize it.
  12. Watch your social – When you ask someone for money because you have a serious need, they won’t want to see you on Facebook or Instagram living the big life and splurging. It shows you didn’t take their loan seriously, and you may not make the loan repayments seriously.
  13. Remember the love – First and foremost, you are family or close friends. That needs to stay top-of-mind. Don’t let this loan come between you. Stay in communication. Keep them updated. Follow through on your promises.

 

Asking a family member for a loan is a serious step, but it is one many people undertake to take the big jump into homeownership.

If you are ready to own your vaulted ceilings and spacious kitchen, check out some options here.

 

how to ask family for money buying a new home

Never lose your Independence

7/15/2019By Ellena Fortner Newsom

Independence is about more than a holiday.

It’s about being able to live life on your terms.

For many of us, the first few feelings of independence hit when we hit that great teenage milestone – earning a driver’s license. For many years, the edges of our world and our independence continue to grow and expand through high school until we moved out on our own.

But the heady feelings of freedom don’t last forever.

 

tiny house communities for senior living

 

Eventually, as we age, we need more help. Maybe we cannot drive. Maybe we need people close by in case of an emergency. And, with some 10,000 Americans retiring every day since Jan. 1st, 2011, more and more of us can expect to deal with the struggles to maintain some independence as we age.

Today, one in six seniors lives in poverty or have less than $10,000 in the bank. One of the biggest challenges facing them, a group more likely to live alone than with a partner, is the question of where will I live?

 

senior living option for independent seniors

 

Many are recognizing the advantages and affordability of turning to manufactured homes. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also is a great way to maintain a significant amount of independence without sacrificing safety.

 

mobile home park community for senior living independent seniors

 

Already more than three million seniors call a mobile home or trailer their personal home with more every day eyeing it as an option to the affordable housing crisis and to avoid a more restrictive nursing home.

 

why manufactured homes are best affordable housing option for seniors to keep independence

 

Why do manufactured homes work so well for seniors?

 

  1. Location, Location, Location – Park communities exist across the country, although they are more common in the south and southwest. A big trend in communities is to create spaces specifically tailored and exclusive for senior citizens. The age requirement fluctuates between 40 to 55 to 65 years old. Senior citizens have the freedom to live where they want, especially if they need/want to live near friends and family but not WITH friends and family.
  2. Low maintenance – Unlike site-built homes, manufactured homes create a much smaller to-do list. It’s easier and convenient, especially if you purchase a newer model. Who wouldn’t rather spend a few minutes straightening up some dishes or dusting knick-knacks over hours of tough and sweaty yard work? Freedom from chores is a big incentive.
  3. The price is right – Manufactured homes, bottom line, cost less than site-built homes. This is a critical piece of the puzzle for senior citizens, many who are living on a fixed income and may have high costs in other categories, such as medicine and doctor’s visits. In 2010, a city survey found seniors in mobile homes spent a smaller percentage of their income on housing than renters or homeowners, even though their incomes were lower, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Impressively, mobile home park residents spent substantially below 30% of their income on housing. That’s not to say there aren’t a wide range of homes available. Prices swing widely based on the model, year and features included. Some seniors live in homes resembling spacious townhomes while others feel quite comfortable in an older manufactured home with two bedrooms. Regardless of the price, these residents spend less on housing.
  4. The world is going tiny – Senior citizens, especially ones looking to live alone, don’t need a four-bedroom townhome. Many are quite comfortable with two bedrooms. Some have even leaned into the Tiny Home craze by selecting a home that’s less than 400-square-feet. Instead of shucking money into a larger property, the residents retain control and independence over their often-tight budgets. Then, they can spend their money how they want to spend it instead of shoveling it into a money pit.
  5. Amenities – The bonus to living in a park community is that you have your private space but access to so much more. Often, many communities will include a community gathering spot, swimming pool, and laundry facilities. Those catering to senior citizens often have standing bus or van rides to pharmacies and local stores. That’s a huge plus to someone who cannot drive anymore but doesn’t want to move into a nursing home.
  6. People – But it’s the people who really make the community. Parks often host bingo, crafts and other activities to keep its residents’ young and active. Humans, after all, are social creatures. We need interaction and support and manufactured housing communities provide this in spades. “One of the longest-running studies of aging, conducted over a period of 34 years in Alameda County, California, found that among the predictors of healthy aging are: not smoking, moderate drinking, having five or more friends, avoiding depression, and walking for exercise,” according to an article in UTNE Reader. “Older people who do two out of the three last activities (friends, avoiding depression, and walking) are more likely to spend their next six years in a sort of golden old age, without becoming dependent upon others—or, god forbid, nursing homes—for the basics of daily living. In other words, sitting on the porch, drinking and yakking, is exactly what the doctor suggests. (It’s also good for all that residents can drink without driving.)”
  7. Family – Not to belabor a point, but we aren’t talking about people being neighbors in these communities. They are family. Consider Margaret, whose health required her to stay at the hospital for several weeks, according to the same article. Her daughter was reluctant to let her go back to the community. “But when she saw the parade of visitors, some carrying food, she realized Margaret was likely in the best hands here,” the article reads

 

tiny house community options for seniors who want to keep their independence

Retaining your independence as you age is a challenge, one we will all face. Mobile park communities make it possible to retain that independence without endangering yourself, and it’s a decision that more and more seniors are making.

Come find out more about mobile park communities here.

mobile homes communities for senior living who want independence

 

Curate your own Independent Interior Design Style

7/10/2019By Kira Hovancik

Your personal design style is a reflection of your past and present experiences. 

 

So there is no reason that you can’t mix up your decorating style and incorporate vintage family heirlooms with new, modern pieces and affordable household items to create your own unique design aesthetic. 

 

Just because you purchased a brand new home, doesn’t mean you have to fill it with brand new things. Truly, there is really only one thing you need to know about interior decorating. Learn how to mix up old and new and inexpensive and expensive pieces to create a design style that’s as unique as you. 

 

It’s that simple!

 

 

 

Where to Start

 

You just bought your new house, and now it’s finally time to start decorating right? Yes! 

 

But where do you start? 

 

I have been asking myself this question for the last couple of weeks, and we haven’t even looked at houses yet. Once a planner, always a planner, I guess. 

 

Whether starting from scratch or looking for some simple inspiration, start here to kickstart your interior design process for your new home. 

 

  • Art - Art speaks to many people in its own way. And when you like something, you want to keep it around. 

 

Art is a great way to start designing your future home and allows you to work off something beautiful that you enjoy admiring. Pulling colors from a piece of art allows the colors in the space to be cohesive and give you a good guide for how to decorate the room. 

Art does not have to be expensive and is totally subjective meaning you might like something and your husband may not and that is okay. Find art you enjoy together for those shared spaces, and, the other rooms you end up decorating yourself, you can design off the artwork that you enjoy admiring. 

You can also use your creative senses and create your own artwork to be inspired by. Many towns offer painting classes that you can register online and an artist will help you paint the piece for that class. You can head outside and paint what you see to make your own unique artwork. 

 

finding great art for your new home does not have to be expensive

 

 

  •  Lighting - One thing every room in your home will have is light. It could be from a tableside lamp, ceiling fan, floor lamp, pendants in the kitchen, you name it. Every room will have some sort of light source that can serve as the inspiration for the design of that space. 

Take your inspiration from the shape, color, texture of the lampshade, the color of the lamp, the finish of the lamp or pendant lighting. Light makes spaces appear taller which can help make any small space appear larger.

 

design your new space around lighting for that room

 

 

  • Flooring - One of the largest design features in your home is the flooring color and material. Hopefully, the flooring in your new home is something you enjoy looking at because it really ties everything together in terms of your interior design. 

I am a sucker for flooring that looks like real wood floors. It is much easier to clean like a rolled vinyl flooring or a woodgrain plank tile flooring. The warmth from the wood-finish brings warmth to the whole house, which fits with the rustic design style I envision for my future home. 

 

great flooring options for brand new home

 

 

  • Color - Fabric, and color can be similar in terms of great places to start designing your space. Once you find the perfect hue to accent your space, you can be on your way to starting to decorate. 

 

Once you have your main furniture pieces and interior room colors such as paint and floor color in neutral colors, you can add in pops of your “color” that you chose for that room, and go to town! This is a great way to start decorating because it allows you to have a very specific design focus. By investing in neutral furniture pieces and adding pops of color in fun accessories or art pieces, you are able to change up the design of the room easily by changing out the smaller accessories and not having to purchase all-new, and more costly, large furniture pieces. 

 

If you keep most of the room a neutral canvas, then the pops of color will really shine in your space. 

 

pops of color bring design together in your new space


 

  • Fabric - This could seem overwhelming, but just like shopping for clothes, you know when you find a fabric you enjoy wearing or a pattern you always gravitate towards. 

 

For some people, it’s floral patterns. For others its stripes or polka-dots. That same inspiration can be drawn upon for your interior design aesthetic. If you find the most perfect throw pillow in the perfect fabric, design the room based on the pillow’s color, shape, texture, etc. Whatever draws you into that fabric should help you design a space fit for it. 

 

From throw pillows to comforters, curtains, area rugs, dish towels, or dining table napkins, any fabric can bring you inspiration for any room in your home. 

 

Some people recommend starting with a rug since it brings the whole room together, but I would recommend starting with whatever pieces you are drawn to first, and go from there. 

 

throw pillows are a great way to start designing a new space
 

However you decide to start your interior design process, just know that everyone is different. There is no right or wrong way to decorate! Some people love not having a plan and decorating as they go since not having a plan allows them to let their creative flag fly and feels more organic. We just wanted to bring you some tips to start designing because it’s that one of the best parts of owning your own home! When you own your own home, you can decorate it as you see fit.

 

Thrift Stores

 

As Macklemore stated, “One man's trash, that's another man's come up.” 

 

Thrift stores and vintage antique stores are a great way to incorporate older pieces into your new home. Always be on the lookout for quality pieces that will last you the investment that you are putting back into them by purchasing them. Some great interior pieces to find at thrift stores or antique stores are large mirrors, real wood furniture, large vases, and antique rugs. 

 

shopping at thrift stores find great finds for new home

 

 

Large to medium-sized mirrors bring more light into any room in your home. Placing a mirror across from a window instantly adds more light into the room, and brightens it up naturally. You can find old vintage mirrors at an antique store and refurbish it to make it fit your personal style of your home. A touch-up of paint or a good cleaning can bring back a vintage mirror to have a second life in your home. 

 

That regal vintage style is hard to find these days at most modern retailers. You’ll end up spending a fortune on something made to look that vintage, plus mirrors are expensive no matter what brand. It might take more time, but with a little elbow grease, finding a gem like a floor-length mirror at a thrift store is worth your efforts to bring more light and an older vintage piece into any room of your home. 

 

Another great idea for bringing more light into any room of your home is turning an old picture frame into a mirror. This can be done with any size frame and is a pretty simple craft project. Check out this awesome DIY on how to repurpose a picture frame into a mirror on the Dream A Little Bigger Blog.

 

Garage Sales

 

Garage sales are a great way to find and repurpose someone else’s furniture for your own space, plus sometimes you can find the most unique vintage finds since people don’t usually get rid of things very often. Like when was the last time you clean out your closet? 

 

Many people, like me, are hoarders. It’s all about self-acceptance, right? Right.

 

At a garage sale, you gotta keep your eyes peeled for cheap decor pieces that are cheap able to be updated. Look for pieces that have “good bones” so that if you do need to restain the coffee table or wooden desk, or reupholster the entire love-seat in a new fabric, you can because it’s got great structure intact to be refurbished. Don’t just buy someone else trash because you thought you could revive it and DIY it back to life. Trash is trash.

 

Still struggling to find what you’re looking for at a garage sale? Check out this great article from Money Crashers on Garage Sale Shopping Tips


 

Family Heirlooms

 

The idea of having family heirlooms in a brand new homes feels comforting because you know those pieces were enjoyed by your family members for years. Now, you can enjoy them in your new home. It’s a special feeling and you can’t put a price on that. Whatever types of items you get from family and friends, thoroughly exam them to detect any longterm damage or wear-and-tear. 

 

Inspecting every item before using it in your home allows you to fix any damage and make it brand new before use in your home. 

 

great way to decorate your new home using family heirlooms

 

 

It’s Your Home

 

No matter where you end up shopping for home decor one thing is certain. No matter what you fill your home up with, it will be your home. As much as I love pinning inspiration on Pinterest, I know how I furnish my home will be as unique as me, and it will never look exactly like a Pin on Pinterest. 


Home is where the heart is, so make sure you fill it up with the things you love. If you are ready to own the home of your dreams, find a Legacy Housing dealer near you today! Click the link to start building your legacy.

9 House-cation Ideas for Parents this Summer

7/23/2019By Ellena Fortner Newsom

On any given day, I’ve put in eight to ten hours at work, cleaned at least one room, likely cleaned more than one butt or nose, cooked dinner, folded laundry and checked a few hundred emails. That’s the broad strokes.

I’m not listing how many times I answer to “Moooommm,” or find lost shoes or feed the cat or run an errand or…the list is endless.

Know what I don’t see much on that list? Any “me” time. But I’m committed to fitting it in – not just because self-care is vital to our physical and mental health but because it makes me a better woman, mom, partner, friend, and employee.

And I am not alone. More than half of parents say they don’t have enough time away from kids to spend with friends, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey. And moms have it worse than dads, with dads getting about 28 hours of recreation to moms 25 hours, according to a study from Happify. Plus, moms spend an extra 10 hours per week multitasking

However, I can’t just drop the ball on everything every time I’m feeling stressed. That’s all the time, and I don’t have a live fancy and free lifestyle.

So, what’s my plan?

 

My one-woman vacation starts right now!

 

First, I need to get my mind in the right spot. That means turning off the part that is fiercely trying to remember all the to-dos that need to become to-dones. By writing it down, I signal to my brain that it can take a moment to chill without falling apart.

Next, I adopt a “so what” attitude. Perhaps you were discouraged from this type of flippancy as a child or teen? Well, time to bring it back with a vengeance. Think about something that needs to be done. The first thing that pops into my mind is that my kitchen floor resembles a food-fight war zone (thanks, one-year-old!) and desperately needs moping.

So what happens if it doesn’t get done today? Well, my A-type personality chimes in, then the floor will be gross, all the other adults will shame me, and my poor family will be one stray fruit loop away from living in a garbage pile.

So what? No one will be harmed. The floor will eventually get cleaned. Giving myself permission to relax for an hour or two won’t be the end of the world. Despite what our culture likes to think, I don’t have to be productive every hour of every day.

In fact, studies show by clearing my decks somewhat, I’ll actually re-charge and be more productive.

 

how to mom-cation at home during the summer

 

 

Finding the time

 

Now that I am in the right frame of my mind, I just need some calendar space. I committed to finding 60 entire minutes to myself once a week. I wrote it down in the planner. Once it’s in the planner, I cannot back out.

Since I am not traveling any further than my backyard, I don’t need to include travel time. I’m not undertaking activities that require me to buy anything I might not already have one hand, other than food, for the most part.

And I am using a mom superpower by planning my alone time during nap time, the beautiful window of time when all the little monsters go back to being cherubs by closing their eyes.

Next, I take steps to put the world on hold. I turn my phone to silent. I cover or remove clocks because studies show that removing reminders of time removes stress.

I’ve got my mind straight and my game plan. Nothing to do now but pick my house-cation!

 

 

House-cation Ideas

 

  • Spa break – Let’s start with a classic. Set up candles, which deliver a calming visual and smell. Turn on music. I am currently leaning toward heavily on my Pandora channel for movie soundtracks. Throw in a bath bomb or two and grab a book.

Important detail – don’t forget to lock the door if you have kids. I’ve even posted a “Do Not Disturb” sign, but a locked door works the best.

That’s an hour of bliss guaranteed.

 

  • Dine and don’t dash – I have gourmet tastes on a family budget. Even if money wasn’t a factor, I often opt for what’s easy and appealing to the family rather than the Instagram-worthy meal I crave.

 

Not during a house-cation, though!

 

Two strategies work for this idea. Sometimes, I pick a recipe I’ve been eager to try, like baking my own rye bread, pasta or key lime pie. This is not food for the hungry family. This is food for my soul. This is me doing my best Top Chef impression, and it is fun!

 

making time for yourself this summer

 

However, it can result in having a mess to clean up after my momcation. So, sometimes I go a different route and have the food delivered to me. If I am craving some yummy Korean food or even fresh crab, I use UberEats or another delivery service to have it delivered. If you can eat it, you can have it delivered, I promise.

 

Vital to making this idea is awesome is that I don’t have to share my food with anyone!

 

  • Home Alone – Don’t skip this one. It is lifechanging!

 

Not too long ago my girlfriends and I were moaning over our lack of date nights. Factor in the cost of babysitting, and who can afford to go out often! Well, we came up with a solution by organizing rotating sleepovers.

Once a month, we gather all the kids together at one house. The kids love it because it is a night of television, pizza, crafts, and fun. The adults love it because it is free, and we know the kids are safe.

So, when it’s not my turn, I drop the kids off and hurry back home. And enjoy the quiet.

Sometimes, I tackle a project I’ve put off, not because I have to but because I want to, which qualifies it for a momcation activity. Other times, I watch a movie no one else is the house has expressed interest in watching with me, or I indulge in some great reading.

To be honest, sometimes I just go to sleep. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel rested and relaxed like actually resting and relaxing.

 

  • Exercise – You knew this was bound to make the list, right?

 

But that exhilarated feeling you get after a nice workout just cannot be beaten. For me, I like to run around the block a few times or take a yoga or exercise class off of Amazon Prime in my living room.

 

The only exercises I avoid? The ones I don’t want to do or find boring. This isn’t the time to refine your plank or lift weights endlessly – unless that’s your thing.

 

house-cation this summer making time for yourself

 

 

  • Camp out – It feels so indulgent to set up a hammock or cozy spot, light some candles, turn on some music and read outside. If you have a fire pit, light it up and cook your own smores.

 

Enjoy the night sky and the quiet without having to pack a car full of equipment, drive, walk to the campsite and set it up. Bonus: much easier to clean up as well.

 

  • Always Be Learning – I’ve been wanting to try my hand out woodworking. So for one house-cation, I barricaded myself the workshop with a handy YouTube video and some junk wood.

 

I didn’t become a master craftsman in an hour, but I enjoyed tinkering around and even managed to make a wooden knick-knack. It feels like our opportunities to learn something new often get squeezed out of our busy schedules, so this momcation scratched an itch for me.

 

  • Hire some help – I don’t mind tagging in some hired help occasionally, although I realize I am privileged to be able to do so.

 

But when I find the stress piling up, I occasionally we hire someone to clean the house or have an at-home massage.

Really, it’s about getting my time back. With the laundry done, I feel less stressed, and I use some of that extra time to play with the kids.

 

  • Invite friends over – I recently invited friends to bring a bottle of wine and join me on the patio. It wasn’t a full-blown event – no meal prep or fancy games. But we chatted and caught up.

 

One of the largest indicators of happiness, as we age, is whether we have friends. We need them; they need us. So this momcation helped me reconnect. Sure, it’s not weekly bunch or even monthly brunch, but it is taking the time to make sure I am maintaining these important relationships.

 

  • My other friends – Books! They’ve been providing me an escape since I could read, and it’s one I squeeze in whenever I have a few spare minutes. I’ve jumped back and forth between digital books and hard copies, and I realize that for me the format doesn’t matter. It’s the stories.

 

I’ve created a little book nook for myself in my bedroom. It’s by a window with a blanket and the best pillow in the house. Some music and the latest literary obsession, and I am all set.

Look, I get that these ideas aren’t earthshattering. But the idea that we can stop and relax for a bit, well, it does feel a little ignored at times. When we take the time to practice self-care, it makes it so much easier to pass on the good feelings to our families and partners.

It's like when you are on a plane, and the attendants tell you that in case of an emergency, put on your breathing mask first. We cannot help those we love if we don’t help ourselves.

 

Now, I am off to read a book!

.

 

How to go Brand-less in your Home

7/6/2019By Ellena Fortner Newsom

Have you ever looked around your house to see how many branded products are sitting in your kitchen, bathroom or under your sink?

In my house, sometimes it feels like I am in the middle of my own reality show.

“Now, introducing the new floor cleaner…better for when your one-year-old won’t stop eating off the floor!”

I have an uneasy relationship with all of these brands. Some I love. Some I tolerate. Some I use because there aren’t better products I feel motivated to seek out. Some, I hide from others because I don’t want them to know how much (or how little) I spent.

Sometimes, it just feels like my life might be easier without all the brands. But who can give up on brands? After, we need stuff to eat and clean and maintain our fresh-smelling homes, right?

Well, like many things, the answer is not exactly.

 

how to organize your kitchen pantry go brand-less

 

Sparks joy?

 

Branded products cost more, often use excessive packaging and, not to steal from Ms. Kondi, but often fail to spark joy. We should just pitch them!

How?

First, let’s talk about generics. Most of the time, it’s the same darn product in a non-branded bag. I almost guarantee that you and your kids won’t notice. My kids eat colored fruit circles not fruit loops, but it still doesn’t stop them from begging for me (or from somehow always getting them on the ground).

The same is even more true of cleaning products, bathroom products and almost every other type of brand.

Now, maybe you are saying, “But such-and-such is AMAZING and no generic, non-branded product can even come close!

Well, I say to you, cool. Keep that product. Cherish the ones you love and ditch the rest.

We already mentioned the easy method – buying generic. Take two extra seconds to scan the shelves and find the most boring label. That’s the one that will deliver the same cleaning power for less money.

 

organize your pantry best tips to get rid of brands container store

 

Next?

 

Invest in some plasticware. A trip to the Container Store should never be delayed! Get yourself different sizes and different shapes. You can stick kid’s cereal in tall, slender ones. Shampoo can go in a pump container. The great thing about these containers is that they can be recycled. Now, you can even buy refills of things like dish soap in plastic bags purposefully so you can transfer the product to a reusable container.

Also, think about homemade. My Facebook feed is filled with ideas for cleaning with baking powder and vinegar. Honestly, I bet I can clean almost anything with a combination of those two household products.

Beauty products are another area ready for the organize, home products. My hair responds very well to being slathered in mayo, and I’ve been known to put an egg on my face deliberately before.

Also, there are now brands that deliberately unbrand themselves. I am thinking of a company like Brandless, which bills itself as a way to put people first to get better stuff for fewer dollars.

 

 

Live your best brand free life!

 

You don’t have to be held prisoner to brands. You can break free. And when you do, you may be shocked to discover that you are spending less money, paying less attention and keeping an even more organized home.

 

go brand free and use containers to organize your kitchen pantry whole house

 

Five Steps to Financial Independence, a.k.a. stop behaving like a toddler and reach your goals faster!

7/6/2019By Ellena Fortner Newsom

Know what I want independence from?

Interest rates. Fees. Unexpected bills that endanger my financial ambitions, such as buying a home. I hate giving away extra money that I worked so hard to earn. Drives me crazy!

You can keep the fireworks and hotdogs if I can have that!

 

steps to becoming financially independent

 

Financial Independence Isn’t A Dream

 

When talking about financial independence, people can mean different things – both from each other and, also, during different times in their lives.

Some seek out independence from forced labor, a.k.a. working for the man.

Others just want financial security, such as the ability to KNOW you can pay the bills, own the roof over your head and provide for your kids.

Still, others look at financial independence as being able to afford what you want when you want it whether it is on sale or not!

Truly, the dream of financial independence isn’t a small one. However, it doesn’t have to be something that exists only in the fantasy realm, either.

For me, I am looking to provide for my family, own my own home, and not have to be counting pennies two days before payday. If I can achieve that degree of financial independence, it will be a solid step forward. Sure, I may move the goal post after that, but it is a great first step.

 

steps to becoming more financially responsible

 

So, What Does It Take?

 

 Much like transforming a toddler into a functioning adult, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistent, steady application of specific actions and values. Often, it’s not fun. Sometimes, it is messy. But, in the end, the accomplishments is one of the joys of life.

 

Step 1. Understand your specific situation.

When it comes down to it, only two things will help you reach financial independence – spending less or earning more.

Everyone’s finances are different. Your bills, your resources, and your debts all play a role, and you need to know the real, financial truth. As Americans, too many of us act like financial toddlers (to stretch the metaphor) by sticking our fingers in our ears at the first mention of “budgets” or “spreadsheets.” Don’t be like that!

Sit down and list out all your annual expenses. Include student debt, credit cards (along with the interest rates) and assets like vehicles or investments. A hack? Figure out your monthly expenses, and multiply it by 12; just don’t forget the once-a-year or unexpected expenses such as car registration or Christmas gifts.

The lower your annual expenses, the easier it is to get to financial independence.

Don’t feel scared of figuring this out. Or, more to the point, if you are scared, you have to realize that you want financial independence more than you are scared of knowing the financial truth.

 

planning to become more financially responsible

 

Step 2. Make a plan.

This is the dreaded budget word. Honestly, though, I feel better with a budget. I don’t have to worry if checks are going to bounce or if I can afford to get new tires on a moment’s notice because I have made a plan to afford these things.

I use a zero-sum budget. That means, I open an excel document or grab a pen and paper and write down my total paycheck after taxes, also known as take-home pay.

Then, I start subtracting starting with my most vital needs and working my way down to non-necessities. For instance, I start with my housing payment. Then, groceries, utilities, car payments, etc.

Next, I move to debt repayment. I am trying to use 30% of my income to pay off debt. I start with the credit cards with the highest interest rate and then use the snowball method to attack it in ever-bigger chunks.

After that, I take out savings. My goal here is 20% of my take-home pay. I tell myself this is a non-negotiable item. You can save for a housing down payment, retirement or some other goal, but save!

Finally, with any scrap of income left, I move on to the luxuries or fun items. But when I run out of money, I stop. This doesn’t mean we live a life of boredom and deprivation. But it does sometimes mean that I put off a purchase until I have saved enough money or that I buy used or that we sub in some free fun instead of costly items.

I am focusing on creating a better future. That means sacrificing spur-of-the-moment expenditures and non-necessities today.

You don’t have to go at it alone. Plenty of apps and programs will help you create and maintain a budget. Check out these nine great tools!

 

how to budget to be more financially responsible

 

Step 3. Cut, Cut, Cut

Now, look at your budget. What can you trim? For each person, this might be something different. Personally, I love experiences with my kids, so I focus on keeping some money in the budget for family trips to the museums (often free on Mondays!).

But my personal clothing budget is almost non-existent. I wore the same maternity clothes through three pregnancies. I have shirts I bought years ago, and none of my shoes have fancy labels.

This works for me. It doesn’t have to work for you.

But you do need to trim from somewhere, and the more you trim, the faster you will get to your goal. 

 

budget to become more financially responsible with your money

 

Step 4. Increase your income

We were bound to arrive here eventually. The fastest way to reach your financial independence is to earn more money (and sock it away).

First, start with your current employer. Check out Glassdoor.com to see what your position, experience, and location typically nets in salary. Then, go ask for it!

Millennials are already keenly aware of this but one of the fastest ways to increase your income is to switch jobs. It’s easier to get a salary hike by moving jobs than by staying in place for years at time clawing your way to a 3% annual raise.

Next, consider the ‘ole side hustle. Forget watching the next bingable Netflix show, and go get yourself some more income! Consider something in the gig economy, such as Uber, or freelancing. Sell items on eBay or Craigslist. Set up a side business. Here’s a list of profitable side hustles.

Eventually, though, you do run out of hours in the day. That’s when you need to turn to passive income, such as investments. This step is not recommended until you are debt free and living in your own home. You don’t want to be throwing away money on interest rates or rent when you start investing.

 

how to save your money increase your income to be more financially responsible

 

Step 5. Celebrate the moments

Celebrate when you hit small and large financial goals. If you save enough for a new KitchenAid mixer you’ve been eyeing, buy it! If you ditch your daily coffee and save enough to enjoy a splurge, go for it.

And when you hit that big milestone, congratulate yourself.

So many people cannot discipline themselves enough to hit those marks. They are toddlers pretending to be adults. And eventually, they are going to hit a time in their life when they cannot just keep doing what they are doing. Then, the debt will still be due. They won’t own a home. And they won’t be enjoying life quite so much.

Be an adult. Life is sweeter. And you get to stay up later.

 

enjoy the little wins in life and become more financially independent

39 Summertime Grilling Recipes for National Grilling Month

7/5/2019By Kira Hovancik

It is officially summer. That means it is time to break out the grill and start grilling! Since it’s National Grilling Month, we figured go big and grill at home.

 

Lucky, we have saved you the time of looking up new, grilling recipes to try out this summer. Conveniently, they are all linked down in respective categories to keep you organized and efficient when planning your next grilling feast. 

 

Just about anything can be thrown on a grill from fruits to veggies, delicious proteins, to desserts, you name it! A grill is a great cooking vessel to help bring a great smokey flavor to any food you cook on it. We have curated some great grilling recipes for you to try out this summer that you can use for any special occasion or weeknight dinner.

 

Grilled Fruit Recipes

 

Grilling fruit on the grill brings out the natural sweetness of the sugars in the fruit and gives the exterior of the fruit a charred texture that is unlike anything else. 

 

easy summertime grilled fruit recipes grilled watermelon

 

Make sure you pick fairly firm fruits like melons, pineapples, pears, peaches, tomatoes, figs to grill because the denser the fruit, the more likely they will hold their shape on the grill and not become mushy. You also want to choose fruit that is close to being ripe, not overripe. 

 

Leave the fruit in large pieces that way they will hold their shape when being grilled and don’t fall through the grates of the grill. It is also important to follow the recipe and prepare your fruit properly for grilling. Some recipes recommend coating the fruit in oil or melted butter or sugar for maximum results when grilling. 

 

cake berry cobbler recipes easy grilling recipes for summer

 

If you haven’t tried grilling fruit on a grill yet, we highly recommend you try it this summer! We’ve listed some great grilled fruit recipes below to help get you started. And we threw in some desserts because, why not?

 

 

grilled pineapple sundae recipe for summertime

 

Grilled Side Dishes

 

Grilling vegetables is a great way to cook everything all on one surface for dinner or for your next cook-out. We eagerly wanted to share some tips with you when it comes to preparing your veggies for the grill that will make your whole grilling experience a breeze since you’ll be a pro by the end of this blog!

 

Before grilling veggies on the grill, make sure to prep them for the grill. This means coating them in oil and seasoning them with at least salt and pepper before they hit the grill. Some recipes might require you to marinate them beforehand which would add even more flavor. 

 

charred cabbage with goat cheese cucumbers recipe for summer

 

Don’t just wash the vegetables and place them on the grill. You wouldn’t do that to a steak, would you? We hope not!

 

Another important step for some larger, denser vegetables is cooking them slightly beforehand. Because these veggies such as potatoes, carrots, and yams need a little bit more cooking time than say skinny asparagus, save yourself some time and boil them in the water ahead of grilling them. Unless you want to wait a very long time for those to be fully cooked on a grill, then go for it. 

 

cheesy foil pack potato recipe easy grilling recipes

 

Here are some delicious grilled vegetable recipes for you to try this summer!

 


 

Best Mains on the Grill

 

Growing up in Upstate, NY, I have fond memories of my parents cooking dinner on the grill during the summertime. Being that summer only lasts a couple of months, they would take advantage of the warm weather and grill several nights a week for dinner. We would often have grilled BBQ chicken, a nice strip steak, and spiedies, which is a local favorite.

 

Spiedies consist of pork, chicken, veal, or lamb cubes marinated in Italian spices and then grilled on skewers. Spiedies are traditionally eaten as a sandwich on fresh Italian bread, but they taste great in salads or, one of my personal favorites, on pizza.  

 

island chicken with banana peppers cilantro recipe for the grill

 

Now, since most people can’t get spiedies in their local grocery store unless you live in Upstate, NY(they are easy to make at home, by the way), we have included plenty of other awesome grilling recipes for your summertime cook-outs. We tried to include as many different types of proteins as possible to keep the recipes interesting and not all steak and chicken recipes. 

 

grilled swordfish charred leeks and citrus recipe for on the grill

 

Check out these summertime grilling recipes and let us know what ones you will be grilling up this summer!

 


 

lemony grilled shrimp recipe for summer

 

Grilling on a Foreman Grill

 

Not everyone owns an outdoor grill, and we totally understand that. So we decided to include some great grilling recipes that can be made on a Foreman grill or any portable indoor grilling surface. 

It’s not about where you grill, but what you grill that really counts. 


 

easy waffle recipe on a foreman grill

 

Now if you really don’t like any of the recipes listed, check out our other blogs for more grilling and cooking inspiration. 

 

You can find more recipes here in our 41 Festive Recipes for  Fabulous 4th of July, and 21 Easy recipes for a Memorable Memorial Day blogs. As always, if you have any great grilling recipes that your family and friends rave about and beg you to share with them, please share them with us in the comments section below.

 

Grilling Safety

 

Remember to practice safe grilling when you and your family are outside. Make sure that your sleeves are rolled up and that your apron is properly tied up. Check for propane leaks near your gas grill before lighting up the grill. If you smell gas near your grill or your flame won’t light, you may have a propane leak. 

 

Always be ready to put out a gas fire before you start grilling which means keeping a fire extinguisher handy and make sure you and your family know how to use it in case of a fire. Never use water to put out a grease fire. Instead, keep baking soda or sand near the grill in case of a grease fire. 

 

For more grill safety tips, check out Grilling Safety from the National Fire Protection Agency. 

 

Happy National Grilling Month and always practice safe grilling!

41 Festive Recipes for a Fabulous 4th of July

6/26/2019By Kira Hovancik

Ahh, no better time exists to host a backyard or porch BBQ than the summertime. The fourth of July holiday is a great way to get your family, friends and all the kiddos together to try out some new recipes and enjoy each other's company during the short summer season. In 1776 the thirteen colonies declared their independence from Britain and now, we as Americans of the United States, celebrate the fourth of July as our Independence Day. 

 

We happily deliver you some unique and classic recipes for the independence holiday as well as some other fun patriotic ideas to keep your gathering uber festive. 

 

Patriotic recipes

 

We love a good themed recipe to bring in the holiday spirit. Making a recipe with red, white and blue colors just makes the patriotic holiday that much more special and looks great in pictures for social media. 

 

Here are some of our favorite patriotic recipes to try this fourth of July holiday! 

 

Firecracker strawberries for July 4th holiday

 

If you make any of these, please tag us @BuildANewLegacy on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so we can share them on our page!

 

Dressing for the 4th

 

I don’t know if dressing up for a themed event just makes things more interesting or what, but wearing patriotic colors for the holiday just gets me in the mood to celebrate! Target, Walmart, and Kohls all have some great (and affordable!) clothing and accessories for the July 4th holiday. 

 

And the good thing about purchasing anything with the American flag on it or an item in the colors of red, white and blue is that you can wear it for other patriotic holidays and get plenty of use out of it throughout the year. 

 

Here are some festive ideas for getting dressing up for the July fourth holiday!

easy July 4th American Flag shorts

Host a Cook Out

 

Everyone loves a great fourth of July cookout. Whether you are hosting the party or attending one, we have got some essential recipes for you to try out this July and all summer long. Being that it is summertime and a lot of people are cooking out and grilling out, we tailored these recipes for a great backyard barbecue get-together.

 

Host a July 4th cook out

 

Here are some classic summertime backyard recipes for any style cookout! 

 

easy July 4th recipes for summer cook out

 

Summer Desserts

 

It doesn’t matter how many hot-dogs you ate, or how many times you went back to that killer pasta salad, no-one can say no to a bite of something sweet after all that savory food. We have curated a list of some must-try desserts for this summer, not just for the fourth of July holiday. 

We know summertime is the perfect time to try out new dessert recipes for all those weekend pool parties, birthday parties and backyard cookouts that you’ll be attending or hopefully throwing this summer. 

Berry Ambrosia Salad is creamy and perfect for a summer cookout!

 

These recipes will keep your recipe box fresh with new, delicious desserts that you can switch up all summer long. 

 

These are our must-try summer dessert recipes that your guests will not be able to resist!


 

Cocktails for Summertime

 

On top of all the delicious new recipes to try for summertime, we also wanted to include some mouthwatering cocktails for summer to spice up your next gathering! Watermelon is the perfect fruit for summer since you get a large amount of fruit for a small price and it can be used in many different recipes from savory to sweet dishes as well as a great base for many cocktail recipes. 

 

Watermelon keg recipe for July 4th cook out party

 

Summery cocktail (or mocktail) recipes are a great way to add some extra flair to your next party and are perfect for using fresh fruit that is in season.

 

Here are some of our favorite cocktail recipes for summertime!

 

4th of July Milkshake recipe to make this summer holiday

Please share with us in the comments below any of your go-to fourth of July recipes for us and our readers!

Bossier City Mobile Home Savings Days!!

6/25/2019By Scott Mizell

Looking for a brand new manufactured home to replace your doublewide trailer?  We are the Shreveport / Bossier City area's top trade-in spot for used homes.  Driving 30 minutes to Minden will save you thousands on a brand new manufactured home.   Buy a new home from Heritage Housing this month to save thousands!

Don't believe us?  Schedule an appointment online now at https://Minden.heritagehousing.net/appointment/?salesrep=29

3 Tips to Improve your Credit Score

6/17/2019By Kira Hovancik

When you are trying to buy a house, or make any big financial purchase in your life, your credit score comes into play and plays a huge factor on interest rates, approval for grants, and many other qualifying factors.

One app has truly changed my life when it comes to adulting.

No, it’s not a social media app! If you haven’t heard of Credit Karma, or you don’t have Credit Karma on your phone, then you need to download it right now. This blog post can wait, so go do it now. But do come back of course to finish reading!

credit tips for new home buyers credit health

Credit Karma

 

Credit Karma is 100% free to download and free to use. This post is in no way sponsored by them, it’s just that with Credit Karma, I can truly say that the smart financial decisions I have made this year are all in thanks to Credit Karma for having my back when it comes to my credit health.

 

Once you download and enter in all your personal information, you will be able to see your TransUnion score and your Equifax score. Make sure all the information listed and all the accounts are correct. Be thorough when checking over all your accounts, and, if you see something that isn’t correct, make sure you notify them in the app.

 

If you want more information about the difference between TransUnion, Equifax, and more credit help, check out Credit Karma’s Youtube channel for helpful videos! Credit Karma helped me fully understand what my credit entails and how all my credit cards, student loans, my car loan affect my credit score. As we mature, the more important your credit score plays a role in making those big financial life decisions.

 

If you are thinking of owning your own home in the near, or distant future, check out our blog post about Home Buying 101 for lots of great tips on how to start your mobile home buying journey.

 

Growing up, I learned from my parents’ scolding me about how to not spend all my hard earned money from my two jobs at the time, but I didn’t learn what credit really meant until I got older and saw with my own eyes.

 

If I had credit karma when I first opened up a bank account and got my first credit card, I would have been able to see the damage from my one-day shopping spree in NYC (still have those Steve Madden boots, though so, worth it?). That summer spending spree after my freshman year of college would have some serious effect on my savings account that, in the end, did not teach me very much about credit.

 

tips for improving credit score

 

Low credit utilization

 

Credit Karma defines credit utilization as, “Your total credit balance divided by credit availability. In other words, your credit utilization rate is a percentage that represents how much you use your credit. For optimum credit health, this percentage should remain under 30% of your total credit limits at all times.”

This is a great definition of credit utilization and practice to follow for your own credit health! Anything under 30% credit utilization is considered excellent and can help positively boost your credit score. Lenders want to see that you can use credit wisely and how well you manage credit. The higher your credit utilization score, the higher of a risk you appear to lenders which is not good when you are looking to buy a new home, car or any large purchase where you might need a loan.

 

tips for credit improving score first time home buyer

 

 

Keep old cards open

 

A popular credit card myth is closing your old credit cards or cards that you are no longer using anymore. Keeping your older cards open keeps your credit limit higher than if you closed all the cards you decided you didn’t need anymore or weren’t going to use in the future. Leaving those cards open with a zero balance is good for your credit health and helps with credit utilization as long as you keep their balance at zero and don’t give in to the temptation to spend more because you have a higher credit limit.

 

However, if your card has an annual fee and you are not going to use it anymore, you might be better off closing that card.  

 

new home buyer tips for improving credit score

 

Becoming an authorized user

 

One organic way to boost your credit score over time is becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. Now there are a couple of things you need to know before you start asking people in your life to be added to their credit card! Also, please don’t ask a stranger to do this for you, that is not a good idea at all.

 

When becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card here are the guidelines you should follow for success.

  • Ask to be added as an authorized user on someone’s credit card who you trust completely. This should not be a friend you just recently reconnected with after college at your local coffee shop.
  • Think of your immediate family members or very, very close family-friends who you are in communication with regularly.
  • Keep in mind that this person can 100% say no just as if the roles were reversed and someone asked you if they could be an authorized user on your credit card.
  • When asking a family member to add you as an authorized user on their credit card, present all the facts to them so they are clear on the process and why you are asking them for help with your credit.
  • Your family member should add you as an authorized user to their longest standing credit card with the best payment history.
  • Your family members credit card should not have any missed or late payments, and if possible, have a zero to low credit card balance.

 

The reason you want the longest standing credit card with on-time payment history and a zero to low balance is that all those years that the credit card has been in use and paid off on time, all that positive data will transfer over to your credit score when you become an authorized user. Authorized users on credit cards are obviously not the primary cardholders and therefore not responsible to make payments on that credit card.

 

Being added as an authorized user on a family member's credit card won’t drastically change your credit score, but it will help your score organically grow over-time as long as that card stays open, and payments to that card are made on time.

Absolutely everything you need to know about buying a home! Mobile Home Buying 101 - Part 1

6/10/2019By Kira Hovancik

You don’t end up buying a home because of the square footage. You buy a home because of something about that home allows you to envision your life there, building memories with family and friends in that home. It’s about how you feel the moment you walk through the front door and realize this is the one for you!

 

home buying 101 for homeowners or first-time home buyers

 

Tips & Tricks

 

We want to share some tips about mobile home buying 101 from what we have learned all these years in business. Yes, Legacy is still considered the new kid on the block in the industry, but we have a lot of knowledge, talented engineers, and plenty of happy customers to back us up!

 

Hopefully, this information will be useful to you or someone you know who’s planning to buy a mobile home.

 

Do Your Research

 

A great deal of information exists out there about mobile homes and the manufacturers who make them. It is important to do your research ahead of time to save you time during your house-hunting process. The competition is fierce in the mobile home marketplace and, with all the options, it can be overwhelming where to start.

 

See what the comparable sales, or comps, are in your area. Comparables are a tool in real estate for estimating how to best price the real estate in the area such as site-built homes, apartments, mobile homes, etc. The comps are based off geographical location, house size, special features, and condition of the home relative to similar real estate in the area.

 

It is worth your time and effort to research. Look up what the local cost of condos, apartments, and site-built homes are in your area to give you an idea of what the local market looks like. Owning your own home is a smarter investment than renting, so seeing those numbers for yourself helps put things in perspective.

 

The stigma of mobile homes has changed over the last decade. Many mobile home manufacturers make better-looking homes than most traditional site-built homes with more desirable, modern, and “smart” features that come standard due to the streamlined assembly-line home-building process!

 

If you are a first-time homebuyer (like myself), you don’t really know what the comparables are in your area so getting a good idea of those numbers before you start shopping around is really eye-opening and informative.

 

Read Reviews

 

It’s important to research reviews online to see what others have to say about the company you researched. Check out Google, Facebook, Better Business Bureau reviews for outside opinions on a particular manufacturer or mobile home dealership.

 

Be cautious when reading reviews online; it is much more likely that people will post a review when they have something to complain about over than when things are going great and they are content with their home.

 

Legacy Housing Google Reviews

 

Word-of-Mouth

 

Run information by your family and friends where they have purchased their mobile home from or if they know anyone who’s recently purchased a mobile home.

 

A lot of business is done purely through word-of-mouth, and many families shop at the same stores and hire the same contractors. If they have a positive experience, they are much more likely to share their positive experience with their family and friends. The family members and friends trust their opinion and guidance and, therefore, are much more likely to use that information when making a purchasing decision.

 

Never settle on the first mobile home you look at or the first dealership you visit. It’s important to get current prices and look at online inventory from more than just one dealership, who sells different manufacturers, to make an informed decision.

 

Knowledge is power, and, the more power you have in the buying process, the better!


 

Make a New Home Checklist

 

First, you should make a checklist of everything you need and everything you want in your new mobile home. Whether it be a huge master bathroom to a large kitchen with a hidden pantry, this step should be done before heading out to any mobile home dealership. It’s important to narrow down what is most important to you in your new home, and where you might be willing to compromise.

 

In a perfect world, you would want to get everything on your list. But in case things don’t go perfectly, you should write down what you are willing to compromise on if the new homes you are looking at don’t have everything you want on your list.

 

For example, if you love to entertain you would want to make sure the living room area is large enough for having family and friends over and have it feel comfortable with a furniture-friendly design. Because more space is being utilized for the living room area, the guest bedrooms might not be as big as you would have wanted. You will have to decide if you would want to compromise the guest bedrooms for a larger living room, or if you would be better off looking at a larger mobile home or a different floorplan to suit your needs.

 

home buying 101 check list

 

In-House Financing

 

Once you have done your research, read all the reviews online, talked to family and friends, and made your home checklist, it’s time to start checking your finances and how much money you have saved up this new home.

 

In this article, we aren’t going to be diving into the financial aspect too much since we will be posting blogs that go into more detail about financing later on this month and in the future. Keep an eye on our blog for more articles detailing mobile home financing.

 

To keep this brief, you are going to want to make sure you have enough money for a down payment. For instance, at Legacy, a $5,000 to $10,000 down payment is recommended, but not required. Then figure out your monthly budget and how much you can pay month-to-month towards a loan if you need to finance your new home.

 

Some in-house financing programs don’t require a social security number or drivers license upon application. With in-house financing programs, the income verification process is simple for the customer and done in-house as the name suggests. Note that all manufacturers are not the same and do not always offer in-house financing options to their customers.

 

It pays to research the financing options before you head to a dealership so you can know you are getting the best financial deal for your budget.

 

Once you get to a dealership, bring your checklist with you because that puts you in control of the buying process as well as making your notes handy about in-house financing options and your minimum/maximum budget for buying a home.

 

Being organized and prepared before shopping around different dealerships allows you to stick to your budget and end up getting the house that fits your lifestyle and not the most expensive house on the lot that the salesman might try to sell you.

 

If you feel like you need more resources when it comes to being a first-time homebuyer or even if you need to freshen up your homeowner’s checklist, check out our blog post this month about Tips for National Homeownership Month!

 

first time homeowner checklist

 

Upgrades for the Win

 

Smart upgrades can make a difference in your new house over time. Choose to have better insulation in your new home so that your home stays warm in the cool months and cool in the warm months. Check to see if your manufacturer has a free catalog to see the latest and greatest features and benefits in their mobile homes!

 

Roofs with higher pitch prolong the life of your roof, so do your research before shopping in the marketplace. Some competitors claim they have the highest roof pitch, and they don’t, so educate yourself before buying so that your roof lasts longer.

 

legacy roofs have more pitch

 

Updating your home to have a shingle roof over a metal roof is better for the home, as well as making sure a premium aluminum gutter system is installed as well. An aluminum gutter system protects the doors and windows of the home, as well as your landscaping and topsoil.

 

Vinyl siding is a great option for your new home’s exterior because it is low-maintenance and resembles the texture of real wood. Upgrading your new home’s exterior can extend the life of your home and protect it from unpredictable weather.

 

vinyl siding brand new mobile home

 

Another smart upgrade is making sure your mobile home has an energy-efficient overhead-duct system so that your improved cooling system keeps your home cool. There’s nothing worse than having a warm house in the middle of a hot summer. The energy-efficient overhead-duct system also reduced air nose so your home stays quieter for those long afternoon naps.

 

Part Two

 

Even though we haven’t been in the industry as long as some of our competition, we have more than enough combined knowledge and experience to share with our readers about buying your first mobile home. Be on the lookout for Home Buying: 101 Part Two in the future! If you have any first-time home buying tips, please share those with us and others in the comment section below.

Beat the Heat Summer Sales Event going on Now!

5/24/2019By Scott Mizell

Join us at Heritage Housing of Minden during our big Summer Sales event on Saturday June 8 from 9am - 5pm as we take advantage of our hottest sale of the year and save up to $5,000 on a new mobile home, tiny house, or modular home.  

Heritage Housing is Shreveport / Bossier City area's top manufactured home retailer -- where driving 30 minutes to Minden can already save you thousands on the purchase of a brand new home. 

Add in the savings from our Summer Sales Event to save even more!  With  in-house financing available from multiple lenders, we can help almost anyone get into a new home.

We are raffling away 3 awesome prizes this month including:  

- 55" LG 4K Smart TV
- Barrel BBQ Grill
- Gas Lawn Mower

Come get signed up in the drawing and check out our new home models arriving daily.

Whatever you do, come cool off with us and get your family into a new home this Summer!  

Get Directions --
Heritage Housing of Minden
13001 Industrial Drive
Minden, LA 71055

41 Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

5/8/2019By Kira Hovancik

     Mom’s deserve more than one day of the year to be recognized and treated like the Queen’s they are! With all the juggling they do from the moment they wake up until the moment they finally get to bed, Mom’s are never off duty.

     Treating your Mom on her special day can seem daunting, since she always seems to have everything she needs and never quite know exactly what she wants (at least that is how my Mom is!).

     So what do you get one of the hardest working women in your life? We’ve got some ideas to hopefully help treat your Mom this Mother’s Day! Online shopping has made everything so easily accessible these days that you can literally get anything online. So here are the 41 ideas for Mother’s Day...

Ideas for Mom

 

     One great retailer that most Mom’s obsess over (or maybe that’s just my mom?) is Bath & Body Works. And, wouldn’t you know, they have some great deals going on right now for Mother’s Day!? Plus, many retailers offer coupon codes for free shipping, which is noteworthy because Mother’s Day is almost here. However, if you’re in a rush to get your gift shipped, it will probably cost a premium shipping rate, so keep that in mind when ordering.

Here are some other great online retailers and physical stores to hopefully get you inspired for your Mom’s special day…

  • 1-800-Flowers.Com - Endless possibilities and other great affiliate retailers - 1-800-Flowers.Com
  • Etsy - Gifts from artists - Etsy
  • Uncommon Goods - Very unique gifts for that Mom who has everything - UncommonGoods
  • Alex & Ani - Made in America with great jewelry for Moms! - Alex & Ani
  • Total Wine & More - Any local winery or grocery store works too - Total Wine

Still need some help shopping for Mom? Listed below are some categories and corresponding retailer ideas to get Mom the perfect gift!

 

Moms in Small Spaces

 

 

Minimalist Mom

 


 

Pop culture Mom

 


 

Survivalist Mom

 


 

Country Chic Mom

 

 

Cook for Mom

 

     Some other great ideas that don’t take much planning are making a meal for your Mom! Whether she loves breakfast-in-bed, late night snack runs, or any meal that brings her family home, cooking for your Mom is something you can’t just order online. She will appreciate not only the thought but also the effort as well.

     Don’t feel pressured to make her favorite dish! And if your Mom is the chef of the house, getting her favorite take out food for dinner would mean she can focus on spending time with everyone, and less timing cooking in the kitchen.

 

Photographs

 

     A hand-made card is a nice touch to any gift as well! Most Mom’s love receiving pictures of their children and grandchildren, so making a photo collage or giving her some updates prints will surely bring a smile to Mom’s face. Vistaprint and Shutterfly have some awesome gifts that allow you to print your best pictures on them like custom throw pillows, sleeping blankets, and mugs!

     No matter how you decide to spoil your Mother this Mother’s Day, remember that material gifts fade in time, but memories last forever! Document her special day and let Mom know how much you love and appreciate her.

   She won’t forget what you did for her when she looks back on this Mother’s Day together! Let us know what you are getting your Mom this Mother’s Day in the comment section below!

Buy a New Mobile Home in Bossier City / Shreveport. Save Thousands!

5/8/2019By Scott Mizell

At Heritage Housing in Minden, we sell and deliver new mobile homes to the entire state of Louisiana including the Shreveport / Bossier City market.  Louisianans choose to buy a new mobile home from Heritage Housing for many reasons!  

Value!  We build homes that are consistently ranked as the best new home value in Bossier City and Shreveport!   At home prices thousands less than the competition, the monthly cost of home ownership is reduced so you can focus on living the good life.  The drive to Minden will save you thousands on a new manufactured home.

We beat the competition when it comes to a quality new home custom built with dozens of standard features the competitors charge extra for.

Get your home search started today, get pre-approved online at https://minden.heritagehousing.net/apply 

Buy a mobile home in Shreveport / Bossier City.   We sell and deliver manufactured homes to the entire Shreveport Bossier City region.  You can also Buy a manufactured home in Ruston, LA.  Mobile Home Financing for West Monroe Louisiana.

Buy a new home in Bastrop, Louisiana manufactured housing dealer

In-House Financing for Mobile Homes in Natchitoches. Louisiana.   We deliver manufactured homes even in Arkansas to cities like Magnolia, or El Dorado.  
Finance a mobile home in zip code 71072, 71071, 

Hope and Texarkana Mobile Home Sales
Mobile Home Trailer for Sale in Texarkana, Texas

Trailer Homes in Shreveport area
Trailas en Venta 71018

71067 Homes for Sale, 71073 Sibley Mobile Homes, 71003, 71001
Mobile Homes for Sale in Gilark, LA.  We have Mobile Homes for Sale in Overton, LA
Mobile Homes for Sale in Gifford, LA.  Mobile Homes for Sale in Dixie Inn, LA

Mobile Homes for Sale in Pace Louisiana
Trailers homes for sale in Long Springs, LA
Trailers for Sale in Nine Forks, Louisiana
Trailers for Sale in Germantown, Louisiana

Manufactured Homes McIntyre, Louisiana
Sibley Louisiana Trailers

Goodwill, Grove, Langston, Doyline, Louisiana Homes for Sale

Apply Online For Factory Financing

2/1/2019By Casey Mack

Good Credit, Bad Credit, No Credit?  No Problem!  We have financing programs available for every type of financial situation.  Quick, secure, and easy -- Apply Online today to get started!

Taller! Wider! Better!

1/31/2019By Kira Hovancik

Legacy roofs have more pitch than our competition! More roof pitch increases the lifespan of your roof as well as giving your home a taller, site-built look! 

Cozy by the Fireside

12/21/2018By Kira Hovancik

     This holiday season makes you want to cuddle around the fireplace with some warm hot coco or mulled cider and relax the holidays away! Not every home is equipped with a built in fireplace, but one of the best additions you can add to your new home is an electric fireplace. They come in a variety of sizes to fit your space needs, plus there is no mess with an electric fireplace. One less thing to clean, right?!

     The electric fireplace produces a realistic flame effect and come with the options of producing heat or no heat mode option as well. All the controls are adjustable so you can customize the heat settings to fit your preference. The electric fireplace comes with five levels of ambiance, which means there is a level of ambiance for any type of mood you’re in which is greatly appreciated. Moods change and so can your electric fireplace! The remote control lets you have complete control no matter where you are inside your home. The electric fireplace offers additional storage room for all your TV console needs. There is plenty of room any TV accessories, video game consoles, extra remotes, TV cables, etc.

     The more compact electric fireplace is 42’’ long and comes with a corner kit to fit perfectly in the corner of your living space. We also offer a super-wide electric fireplace unit that is 65’’ long and comes in a stunning dark walnut finish. Both would make great additions to your new home no matter what time of year it is!

The Winter Clearance Event is on Now!

12/10/2018By Craig Austin

Prices are drastically reduced!  Come see us now!

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