News on Horseshoe Bay
Now that spring has arrived and we’ve been enjoying warm weather and clear skies, it’s time to begin your spring cleaning rituals. This year, instead of just vacuuming and dusting, we at Sterling Custom Homes want to remind you that performing spring home maintenance on your Austin luxury real estate is just as important as removing the dust from your baseboards and curtains. To help you begin the process, we’ve listed the areas of your home that you should address.
Smoke Detectors: Make sure that there is one on each floor of your home, inspect them monthly to see that they’re working and change the batteries as needed.
Light Bulbs: Examine the bulbs in all of your fixtures to see that they are working and are the correct wattage as recommended by the manufacturer. Also, replace high-intensity with fluorescent bulbs that don’t produce as much heat.
Electrical Outlets: Check all outlets for frayed wires, loose-fitting plugs or other fire hazards such as overloaded electrical outlets, fuse boxes and extension cords. Read More→
From boutique shopping, restaurants and art galleries to historical and picturesque weekend destinations, you don’t have far to travel to experience all that Austin has to offer. If you’re looking for something to do near your Austin luxury real estate, then you should visit Mount Bonnell.
Boasting a bird’s eye panoramic view of Lake Austin, the Austin skyline and the Pennybacker Bridge, Mount Bonnell is the perfect spot for exercise enthusiasts who enjoy hiking and nature buffs looking for a relaxing place to have a picnic. It’s also a great backdrop for special occasion photography sessions to celebrate an engagement, wedding or graduation.
The overlook area has two access points: a rocky trail from the north and a steep set of stairs at the south end. However, don’t let that discourage you. Neither access point represents a major hike. Just make sure to wear a sensible pair of shoes and pack your water bottle and sunscreen. Read More→
Homebuilding has changed over the years. In the past, your luxury home builder would directly employ the laborers who would pour your foundation, frame your home, build your cabinets and lay your flooring. Your builder wore a tool belt! In today’s environment, your builder does not directly employ those artisans. They are sub-contractors that your builder oversees. Your builder now manages the funds and directs the activities of your project. Through his/her expertise, your builder controls the quality of the materials and workmanship that creates the added value in your home – and defines his/her reputation as a professional builder in the marketplace.
With that in mind, three of the most important factors in choosing your builder are:
1) The builder’s track record for managing funds. Has the builder ever been bankrupt, leaving clients and vendors in financial distress? This is not necessarily a result of tough economic times. It more often is an indicator that the builder lacks the organization and discipline to manage the funds for several complex building projects. Read More→
Custom Home Builders price their services to the client as either Cost Plus or Fixed Price. When a client chooses a new home builder in Austin who operates under the Cost Plus model, they may have the perception that their dream home will cost less since they are receiving “builder cost.” However, building hard-costs constantly fluctuate based on supply and demand. During the building process, one can typically expect the price of concrete, lumber or sheetrock to increase. The fact is, this increase must be absorbed by someone and, under the Cost Plus model, that would be the client. Also, when there is no fixed price quoted on labor and material, the builder has less incentive to flex his purchasing power and protect the client. The bottom line is, the more expensive the home, the more profit for the builder.
By contrast, in a Fixed Price scenario, all the specifications and pricing for your home are worked out in advance. As a result, the buyer gains a comprehensive understanding of the budget. Delivering a Fixed Price does require more time up-front to identify the materials and finishes. The biggest drawback has always been the inordinate amount of time it took for the builder to obtain bids from suppliers and subcontractors. Sterling has solved this problem by developing a proprietary Specifications and Pricing module that allows us to front-load material and labor costs. This enables us to produce a Fixed Price in a matter of a few days, rather than weeks or months. Read More→
I was recently asked by a client, “What is the latest home design feature that you’re seeing in your custom new homes in Austin?” That question prompted me to recall several features that have become popular over the past few years. Below, I’ll countdown the Top 5 Sterling Custom Home Features of the Past 5 Years:
#5… The Casita – This popular space is a Guest Room on the main level of the house that is accessed from an outside entrance. It can be incorporated into a beautiful courtyard or situated near the swimming pool with a view of the Lake. We have incorporated Casita’s into many custom homes over the last five years.
#4 … The Combination Media Room/Game Room – This versatile space was born of the desire to have more public, social access to a large, main viewing screen. Opening up the Media Room to the Game Room has created a fresh new way to entertain for our clients. In many applications we have included a heavy theater curtain that can close the Media Room off from the Game Room when the true theater experience is desired.
#3 … The Outdoor Living Space – This area has become more important to our clients as they create an area to relax and/or entertain outside of the home. The Outdoor Living Area has become more spacious with nicer finishes and more substantial furniture. With misters for cooling and heaters for heating, it’s viable year-round. Read More→