Keys to Home

How Old Should You Be Before Buying Your First Home?

This is a common question that many people are asking.  How old should you be before you can buy your first home?

Some will say that you need to be at an age where you are more financially stable. The other will say that the younger you purchase your first home, the better.  But, what is the right answer? There isn’t really a right or wrong answer, but there are a couple of things that you should consider before you decide what the best age for purchasing a first home.

  • The younger the person is, the faster he will be able to repay the home.
  • Young people that are between the ages of 20 and 25 will be able to repay their home at a much younger age than the people that are purchasing their first home at an older age.
  • You must realize that you are going to be paying off the mortgage for many years to come.  You may find it difficult to be repaying the mortgage while being retired. However, there are young people that are not financially responsible enough to be able homeowners.
  • Older people make better decisions and are more financially stable.
  • Older people are more responsible and have a much better chance of repaying a mortgage. However, some older people have a good chance of repaying the mortgage when they are retired.  Yet this may be hard to manage if a person didn’t plan efficiently for retirement.
  • Older people are also able to make better decisions and not look for something that they are unable to afford to keep up with a particular social circle.
  • It is vital to have steady employment and income to be financially able to afford the mortgage each and every month.
  • There are young people that are financially more stable than older people.  So, basically this isn’t about the right age, but financially stable enough.

There are a couple of other things that you should also consider before deciding which age is best to purchase your first home. Things like the person’s credit score. Older people might have a much better credit score because they have the history of showing timely repayment of debts.

What is the appropriate age for purchasing a home for the first time?  This information shows you that it isn’t about being the right age. It is all about affordability. A person might be 20 years old, but financial steady enough and responsible enough for purchasing a home. There are some 40-year-olds and older that are not financially stable and have a bad credit score.  It isn’t about age, but about responsibility and financial stability.

 

Skyscrapers

Best Cities for Business Growth

For your business to grow, it is very important to study the market first and choose the right field of work, the right place, and the right city.  Listed below are the best cities in the U.S. for great work opportunities and for achieving higher economic growth in the years to come.  If you want to relocate to a city, the cities listed below offer great prospects for your business venture.

  1. Shelton, CT – A perfect blend of thriving business and a beautiful residential society has made Shelton one of the fastest growing cities in the state. The combination of sensible and innovative dedication to development, makes Shelton one of the best cities for your family and business growth. This city has attracted a large number of business enterprises and cultivates new commercial growth.
  2. Seattle, WA – Seattle is possibly the smartest city in the United States because an estimated 47% percent of the population holds a bachelor degree or higher. It is also known as “Wireless City” for its growing technological industry and amazing technical infrastructure. Nintendo and Microsoft businesses are both located just outside of Seattle in Redmond.  Other popular technical companies of the world are nearby or within the city of Seattle.  These include:  Clearwire, Real Network, Amazon, Infopop, T-Mobile, Expedia.com, and Zillow.com. This city also attracts many internet startup businesses as in the cities of San Francisco and San Jose.
  3. Washington D.C. – Washington, D.C. also has a strong technology industry base. This city is the home of one of the highest concentrations of law offices, world popular research institutes, federal government offices, and lobbying firms. The notable companies in Washington, D.C. includes the Carlyle Group, Lincoln Group, XM Satellite Radio, CSPAN, Blue State Digital, and Allbritton Communications Company.  More than 1/5th of this city’s population has professional or graduate degrees.
  4. San Francisco Bay Area, CA – The main attraction of San Francisco has always been technology talent and intellectual people. The world famous Dot-Com era began in San Francisco and a number of software and internet companies have their headquarters in this Bay Area. Popular companies include Google, BlogSpot, Linden Lab, Bit Torrent, Digg, Craigslist, SBC Communications, Salesforce.com, Technorati, Sega, Typepad, and Cnet.
  5. Atlanta, GA – Atlanta is a virtual hotbed for technology workers and is swiftly becoming the fastest growing Metro city in Southeast. Atlanta is home to Georgia State University and Georgia Tech. 42% of the population in Atlanta holds higher degrees. The headquarters of popular companies here include:  Cox Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, AT&T, Data General, CNN, Earthlink, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Lockheed Martin (in Marietta), SunTrust Bank, Siemens, Web.com and Equifax.
  6. Colorado Springs, CO – Colorado Springs is also known as a small scale Seattle and is a quickly developing technology center. This place attracts highly educated workers and it has the lowest number of high school dropouts. This place is also known as a Mountain City. The popular companies in this city includes T. Rowe Price, Amtel, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Progressive Insurance and 17 other major electronics companies which employ over 10,000 people.

These cities are the best options for your business growth.  Explore the options for which city is the best fit for you.

Commercial Construction

What is Commercial Construction?

When speaking about commercial construction, one can be confused – as there are actually many different types of commercial construction. A few of the most common commercial construction subcategories are:

  • Commercial Construction
  • Heavy Industrial
  • Institutional
  • Engineering
  • Residential
  • Multi-family

When speaking about commercial construction, we are often times talking about the construction of business-type properties. Things like medical centers, office spaces, office buildings, skyscrapers, retail shopping centers, and assembly plants. As far as the size of the business which is considered a commercial property, it can vary greatly in both size and scale.

When it comes to commercial construction, it is not just about building these commercial spaces, but also about selling and leasing them. It is most common that when a commercial builder or contractor enters a contract with a company, it is to build the facility with an expectation that it will be leased out to another company, leased out, and/or sold at a later time and date.

Most of the time, the way commercial construction comes about is from a result of a bidding process. First, an architect will draft up the specs and drawings for a new commercial space. Once the design is finalized and released out for bid, commercial construction companies enter the bidding process, submitting bids. The company with the best bid cost has the best chance of winning the bid, but of course the company will be reviewed and often times interviewed by the hiring company. Most often, also, the site of construction is already found, ready, and planned to be used.

The building of commercial structures is something that will never go away because it is driven by population growth and business. Of course, certain areas see more growth than others, depending on what cities and metropolitan areas, but it can be expected that overall population will continue to increase. This means that new properties will always need to be build, as there will always be a demand.

It used to be that commercial construction companies could handle all types of commercial projects, but recently the industry has shifted into a more niche-specific approach. Now, companies specialize in a single commercial market. For example, one company may have a focus on water treatment plants or dams, while another company many focus on skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, while a third company may specialize in the building of banking institutions or restaurants. All are specific areas within the commercial construction niche.

It is not doubt one of the more profitable sections within the industry, as commercial spaces generally have a lot of budget and capital. If you are thinking about specializing in of the construction industries, the commercial aspect is definitely one that gets a lot of action and attention.

Home Remodel

Value Over Cost: Top 5 Remodeling Trends of 2018 That Actually Pay Off

Whether you are a seasoned renovation expert or you just purchased a house that needs some work, it’s impossible to predict what the new big trend will be and how the market will respond to it. Even more important is the value vs. cost factor- something that has the potential to either bite you or increase your home’s value by a landslide. More than halfway into 2018, it’s safe to say that these top 5 remodeling trends will peak any home’s value and end up paying for themselves.

1. Replacing Your Roof

This one is pretty simple- if your roof is at a ripe old age then it’s time to replace it before a disaster happens. If your current roof looks battered, shingles are falling off, or there are any leaks, new roofing is needed. If you are unsure, call a professional to determine how much life it has left. New roofing can be pricey, but what’s more pricey is flooding, water restoration, and a collapsed ceiling. You have many simple or unique roofing options and replacing it gains back 68.8% of the total cost in resale value.

2. Remodel Your Kitchen

We are talking about a small remodeling job here, so don’t worry about breaking the bank. In fact, it only takes a minor remodeling job to raise the value of your home and get a great appraisal. According to statistics, a whopping 89.4% was recouped from an average remodeling price of almost $21,000. Therefore, whatever you decide to do with your kitchen whether you are spending $5,000 or $50,000, you are more than likely to win almost all of that back in value. The top new kitchen trends include smart kitchens, white or grey cabinets, single level kitchen islands, and organized storage.

3. Smart Home Technology

Technology is not going to regress, it’s only going to get more advanced. What was once used mainly for communication is now very pronounced in everyday life- smart home technology. Technology utilized throughout the house is very popular in 2018, and by 2021 statistics say that 60% of homes will have at least one smart device. Examples include refrigerators that notify you when groceries are low, coffee makers that start automatically, lights controlled via smartphone, automatic appliances, security systems, voice control, and motorized shades. With the constant rising desire for home technology, you can expect a heightened home appraisal when you add it to your life. As an added bonus, your life just got way easier!

4. A Bigger Bathroom is Better

For many years now bathrooms have become bigger, better, and much more luxurious. However, you really don’t need to go ‘all out’ to get that extra space. Remodeling companies create space by tearing down walls and the average cost of a small bathroom remodel is around $8,000. This covers a new toilet, bathtub, sink, tiling, extra space, etc. If you are content with the appliances you already have, consider simply installing a more spacious walk-in shower that includes safety features. This alone could increase the value of your home by thousands.

5. Replacing Your Garage Door

A new garage door can seriously change the entire look, functionality, and curb appeal of your house. On top of that, a simple garage door replacement can potentially recoup up to 80% of the door’s original price. The average cost of a new garage door is only $1,749 and the most popular trends include adding transparent windows or a splash of color, black or wooden doors, and updated technology to control your garage door with your phone.

Honorable Mentions

By all means, there is so much you can do to remodel your home and keep up with trends all while boosting appraisal value and letting these upgrades pay for themselves. Here are a few other ideas to add to your checklist, all of which will increase the value of your home rather than losing your hard-earned cash:

  • A manufactured stone veneer
  • Expanding your deck or adding a deck to your house
  • Replacing your front door
  • Replacing your siding
  • Installing a pool (you can never go wrong with one of these)
  • Replacing old windows and adding in new modern ones
  • A new kitchen sink (white and stainless steel are out- popping colors are in)

Remember to take these ideas one step at a time, and don’t rush into anything that you might not like later on. After all, it is your home and your empty palette to create something great with.

Commercial Painting

Picking The Right Color For Your Commercial Property

It’s no secret that businesses have been using color in their marketing and advertising to appeal to certain emotions to potential and existing consumers for years. Color is a marketing tool that can affect the human psyche in a variety of ways. For example, the color green is often used to invoke a sense of naturalness, health, and environmental friendliness. Red is known to invoke a sense of hunger. Blue is often associated with productivity, business, and professionalism.

Whether you are aware of it or not, each color of the rainbow has a certain emotional sense that it evokes, and businesses use these colors to their advantage. What does this mean for you in your commercial environment? It means that by using color, you may be able to change the morale, energy level, and feelings experienced by not only the customers and associates you bring into the office or store, but also the employees as well.

At MBC, we’re well aware of the way colors can affect people, and our commercial painting crew can help you to understand and pick what colors are right for your business. When considering what color to paint your building’s exterior or interior, there are certain things you’ll want to consider, such as:

  • What is the natural lighting and how will it affect the look of this paint?
  • What type of artificial lighting will be used and how will it affect the look of your paint?
  • What type and color of furniture will be used?
  • What type and color of carpeting do you plan to use?
  • How does the design of your building affect what paint you will use?

These are all good questions to ask yourself before picking the right color for your property, and if you’re unsure of the answers, MBC Services can help.

To familiarize yourself with these concepts, next time you are in a restaurant, mall, shopping center, salon, or other commercial space, check out and be mindful of their use of color, where they use it, and how it makes you feel. Using the proper colors can have a big effect on whether you buy something or turn around and run – so it’s important to know and understand these color concepts.

If you need help deciding what color is best for your commercial building, contact MBC Services today and we’ll get you started on the right foot!

Wood Rot and Termites

Termites and Wood Rot

If you have suffered wood rot in your home or property, one of the main causes could be termites.  While we can take care of wood rot replacement at MBC Services, it is important to know and understand information about termites to prevent this from happening again. No matter how old or new your house is, no matter what size, no matter what style, there is going to be wood in your home. And where there is wood, there is the danger of getting a termite infestation.

What are termites?

Termites are colony pests who feed on cellulose. Cellulose appears in any plant or wood material. These pests are a danger because as they eat the interior of wooden materials, they hollow it out, weakening the structure.

5 Signs you may have termites:

  1. Finding discarded wings on the floor, near walls, or in windows sills.
  2. Termites also leave tiny brown pellets of excrement, so if you start to see these, that is a strong sign.
  3. If you find mud tubes inside or outside, this is another sign of termites.
  4. Termites eat the cellulose inside wood, so as they get nearer to the surface of wooden structures, the paint on wood bubbles or cracks.
  5. If your wood sounds hollow when you tap on it, you probably have termites.

What can I do?

There are many ways to get rid of termites. The best solution is to call professionals to exterminate them for you. Typically, it will $30-$50 per month for the professional to identify the size of the colony, spray outside your house, use baits, and spray inside wall voids. But, you can always kill them and prevent another infestation yourself.

When you are working on your termite problem, be sure to remove any easy food sources, such as firewood, lumber, or paper. Pull out stumps and other paint-based debris and place screens on every entry point into your house. Creating a sandy soil barrier also works to slow termites down. Chemical-filled liquid pesticides, wood treatments, baits, and stake treatments are also available.

If you have experienced wood rot as a result of a termite infestation, you’ll want to call a professional team to get the wood replaced – as old, rotten wood can be dangerous to the structure of your house – as well as be detrimental to the visual aesthetics. Contact MBC Services for a free quote on getting your wood rot replaced.

 

Room Addition

Room Additions: Creating Your Personal Retreat

Room additions can be a vast assortment of fun and unique designs added into or onto a space. For example, you might want a simple and small book nook added to the master bedroom, or you may be interested in changing your boring and unused spare bedroom into a fully decked-out home theater. From mild to wild, it’s extremely important to hire a team with excellent contracting and engineering skills while keeping your budget in mind and creating a stress-free process for you.

What Is Considered A Room Addition?

The simple answer to this question is basically anything you want within your own personal budget. Some hot room addition examples are sunrooms, conservatories, modular octagons, garage conversions, bathrooms, kitchen extensions, bonus room additions, porches, decks, lookouts, and nooks.

Technically, anything that further extends your current living space can be considered a room addition. And whether it’s for you, your whole family, or someone else, it will be a retreat.

Why Should I Consider A Room Addition?

Apart from simply wanting to, adding to any room of your home will both increase value and add character, whether it is a large or small project. Consider that spare room that never gets used or that awkward space in your living room that is impossible to decorate- what could it become? Ultimately the choice is yours and the possibilities are endless, but our team of intelligent and home-savvy contractors can help to create that extra space you are envisioning.

What The Process Is Like?

The process of a room or home addition will depend on the project size and the complexity of what you want built. Room additions are something that many people have turned into DIY projects, however, the DIY process can take years, thousands of dollars, damage, and never-ending stress and complications. A room extension with our team is not only cost-effective, but it can take as little as a few weeks or months (if it’s a large add on) all you have to do is sit back and relax.
The process will begin with an understanding of your desires and your budget. From there, we will design your dream room addition and tweak anything you want to customize it. The work will begin when everything is exactly to your liking and all you have to worry about is when you will throw your first deck party, or how you will decorate the new addition.

Take Home Message

Before you get overwhelmed, remember that a professional team of experienced contractors are as proud of their work as you will be, and the money spent on any type of room addition can seriously increase both the value of your home and your own personal comfort. Your house is meant to be your home, and modifications can easily be made to suit both your life and a future buyers life if you ever decide to move. All in all- small, medium, or large room additions can make your living space less of a house in more of a private retreat

Dallas Wood Rot

Dealing With Wood Rot – How To Fix It And What To Expect

Having rotten wood in the structures of your home can inevitably lead to severe damage and completely destroy your house’s foundation, causing the need for foundational repair. And unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do to prevent it. Wood rot can occur for any reason- heat, moisture, fungi, and even your pets can contribute to an untimely disaster.

On top of that, wood rot is extremely difficult to discover and it can go unnoticed for a very long time. When damage happens to our homes it’s usually very easy to spot what’s wrong, such as water damage or a fire that turned the inside of your home into a mess. Unless you go looking for wood rot, you won’t find it. If you suspect wood rot, fortunately, our professional team can come check for it. And if you do have wood rot, we can easily handle this stressful time for you and get you back in your home safe and comfortable.

What causes wood rot?

Like previously mentioned, your home can fall victim to wood rot for many reasons- all it needs is some time and contributing factors such as moisture. When moisture is retained in the wood, fungi grows and can spread at an alarming rate. And unfortunately, almost everywhere in your home is susceptible to this process because water can collect in so many places- window sills, underneath sinks, outside of any door, by the showers, on your roof, etc. When this moisture builds up over time, the chances for wood rot increases. 

You found out you have wood rot, how is it fixed?

The process of repairing and replacing rotten wood can be a relatively cheap process, so you don’t have to worry too much about breaking your savings account to life safely. Most wood rot repairs cost less that $1000, but prices usually range between $100-$2500. The first step is to have our team do a walk-through of your home and find the damaged wood. This search will be very thorough and every area that is destroyed from rot will be discovered in order to prevent further spreading.

The process can be lengthy if the wood rot is very prominent, but our experts dedicate their time to repairing or completely replacing the wood that has been eaten away by mold and the process will prevent your home from potentially being damaged beyond repair.

How can wood rot be prevented now that you have a brand new and mold-free structure?

Wood rot is a phenomenon that happens naturally over time, and even more so in places that are very humid and wet. Wood is the main backbone of almost every house, so it can be tricky to make sure it stays away. However, there are a few ways to prevent it no matter what climate you live in and how old your house is.

There is no way for you to remove fungus spores, but you can prevent them from happening by:

  • Draining and drying wet areas: Mold thrives with moisture, and all it takes to lower the chances of wood rot developing is by keeping places dry that accumulate water regularly.
  • Treating the wood: Products applied to wood such as paint, sealers, stains, and caulking can prevent wood from developing fungi. This is something that may have been overlooked when your house was being built.
  • Increase the airflow: The best way to remove moisture that develops both quickly or over time is to keep the air in your home moving.
Stucco Exterior

Stucco- What is it and why is it popular?

 If you’re not from the dry heat and blistering sunshiny states of the Southwest, the word stucco may be foreign to you. However, you might want to consider learning about it because it is is an excellent choice for the exterior of your house. It is a good price for all its amazing benefits, very sturdy, and aesthetically pleasing. Stucco is one of our specialties and below I will outline the main reasons why stucco is always a popular choice.

First, what is stucco?

Stucco is a type of fine plaster that is used to coat wall surfaces or mold it into architectural decoration. It is used as an exterior (and sometimes interior) cement plaster and is generally made with a mixture of cement, lime, water, and sometimes synthetic acrylics and fibers. The natural colors can range from beige to a muddy light brown and can even have a rustic copper tone. It’s a very popular look all over the country but it’s seen the most in the West and Southwest.

So, why is it so great?

Many reasons. Stucco is cost-effective, fungus and rot resistant, and is so durable that it is considered tornado-proof. It is usually applied in three layers over a lath base and can give the exterior of your home look unique. It is also very low-maintenance and fire resistant.

What are some other advantages?

Let me just start by saying, we all can’t stand loud neighbors. And if you are that loud neighbor, you might be noticing people adding stucco on the houses around you. This is because stucco reduces sound transmission. This is also a great bonus if you are in a neighborhood that’s close to a freeway or railroad.

The cement, silica, and lime that stucco consists of basically creates a shell around your home which leads us to our next advantage- stucco housing will keep your house warm and cozy in the winter and chilled in the summer. Therefore, you will save a lot of money on electricity during any climate change.

Stucco is also very quick and easy to install, and even though there are multiple layers it can take as little as one or two days for our excellent team to get it installed. On top of that, it is customizable. It can be applied to both wood and concrete buildings and you can adjust the color to your own taste. If you decide that you want to change the exterior color in the future it’s a simple task. It’s also a great base for those who are artsy and want to create something original for their home like a wall mural.

There’s got to be disadvantages, right?

The only true disadvantage of stucco is the price tag it comes with. While it’s not the most pricy of exterior projects, it is more expensive than vinyl siding or cement fiber. But before you change your mind, let me mention that stucco exterior can last a whopping 50 years or more. It is also very low maintenance, so in all reality, stucco ends up paying for itself.

Final thoughts

It might be on the pricier end (even though it isn’t as expensive as other options) but it is on the extremely durable end, so it ends up paying for itself. It is long-lasting, fire and weather resistant, and customizable. There are many excellent reasons to consider installing stucco and making it your next big home improvement.

Dallas Roofers

Why You May Need A New Roof- 3 Warning Signs

Budgeting a new roof in your life can make you feel uneasy for many reasons. You might be worried about the total price, or you might be worried about who you should hire to get the job done efficiently. Residential and commercial roofing is something that needs to be maintained over the years- natural disasters and wear and tear do happen. Is it time to repair your current roof or install a new roof? Read on to learn the warning signs of a faulty roof, it will potentially save you thousands of dollars in damage.

1. Your Shingles Are Distressed And Curling

This is something you can very easily check simply by looking. If you can see the shingles on top of your roof looking ragged and curling at the ends it is time to get new shingles installed. This is one of the first warning signs of a faulty roof that will quickly lead to leaks and further damage if you don’t replace them.

2. Missing Granules- Check Your Gutters

If you can’t see what your shingles look like, check your gutters. One of the quickest signs of a defective roof is seeing particles of the shingles in your gutter. Granules from shingles are commonly expelled through the gutter, and shingles lose more granules as they are nearing the end of their life.

3. It’s All About Age

Consider yourself lucky if you already know how old your roof is and the last time it was repaired. When you know these details, you can start planning for a new roof ahead of time before an accident happens. Experts suggest that the typical roof has a healthy life of about 20-25 years. Also, it depends on if your current roof is one layer or if it was built over an old roof. If your roof has more than one layer and is over 20 years old, it’s definitely time for a roof repair/replacement

Cosmetics

A new roof for you may not be a “need” and it may be more of a “want”. Many people want a new roof installed strictly for cosmetic purposes, and there is nothing wrong with adjusting things to make it more your taste. It is completely possible to tear down your current roof and install something more aesthetically pleasing.

Final Thoughts

There are noticeable signs that you need new roofing installed or some simple repairs taken care of. The roof is easily the most important part of the house- sheltering you from weather and disasters. Many people who put off roof repair can get leaks and incur water damage, adding another expense of water damage restoration. Observing signs of a potentially dangerous roof disaster is very important and you can take preventative measures to avoid further damage to your home than can end up costing much more than a roof installation. Call our team at MBC Services if you need help determining if it’s time for a new roof for you!