home with new vinyl siding

Is Vinyl Siding Good for the Environment?

There are many reasons that vinyl siding is the most popular exterior home covering. Beauty, durability, and value are just a few. The fact that it is also low maintenance may be home owners’ favorite reason. But did you also know, vinyl siding is good for the environment?

Vinyl siding does not require painting or staining so there are no harmful chemicals released into our atmosphere when it comes to maintaining the beauty of your home exterior. This means that adding vinyl siding to your home can earn points in leading green certification and discount programs.

In our busy lives, keeping a beautiful look without the effort of maintaining wood can save a lot of time that could be spent in more valuable ways. Imagine owning a home without ever having to worry about wood rotting, splitting, or insects. Your new siding only needs to be rinsed periodically with mild soap and a garden hose. This minimal upkeep does more than just save your precious time, it saves you money. With fewer materials to purchase, vinyl siding reduces the life cycle cost of maintaining the home and lasts for years to come.

We offer FREE in-home estimates. Give us a call to see how we can help you beautify your home and free up your time!

Siding Replacement from Liberty Builders of Texas

Siding saves money and increases the value of your home!  You’re probably wondering how is that possible?  The primary reason is simple…INSULATION.  Liberty Builders utilizes ¾” Dow Styrofoam Insulation and places this between your composite siding and the exterior wall.  Here are some interesting facts about the insulation we use:

The distinctive Blue foam board by Dow packs a mean insulating punch. The ¾” thick board has the same insulation value as:

-A brick wall 32” thick.
-A solid wood wall more than 3” thick.
-A concrete block wall more than 27” thick.
-A poured concrete wall over 38” thick.

 

The composite siding and insulation may reduce your energy consumption up to 40%.  On top of that, it looks amazing and adds some serious curb appeal to your home.  The siding, insulation, and energy savings go a long way to increase the value and marketability of your home.

Financing Your Home Improvement!

Liberty Builders of Texas wants to help you save money and increase the value of your home.  If you focus solely on your monthly payment for financing your home improvement, you may be missing a few key facts about the cost saving nature of home rehabilitation and energy retrofit.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Let’s say you do a routine energy retrofit and add composite siding and windows.  On an average job you can expect about a 70% return on your investment in the appraised value of your home.  That’s equity in your home and money on your balance sheet.  A $20,000 home remodel may add up to $14,000 in value.
  2. Liberty Builders products and energy retrofits may lower the cost of your energy consumption by up to 40%.  This has been verified by licensed Home Energy Rating System (HERS) specialists.  It HAS HAPPENED for current Liberty customers.  If you reduce your monthly energy bill by 40%, thats money back in your pocket every month.  You can apply that to your monthly financing payment.
  3. Use Bankrate to help you calculate a payment.  On a $20,000 home improvement financed over 15 years, at an 8% interest rate (based on credit), you are looking at a payment of $191.13.  If your monthly energy bill is $250 and you reduce your energy usage by 40%, that’s a $100 monthly savings you can apply to your loan payment!  That leaves a net payment of $91.13 and you increased the value of your home by up to 70% of your initial investment.

Bottom line…home remodeling helps you increase the value of your home.  Your financing payment can be reduced by your energy savings.  You end of up with a home you can be proud of and a budget that makes sense!

Financing Advice from NAHB (National Association of Home Builders)

Here are some great points regarding financing your home improvement project from the National Association of Home Builders):

One of the most important considerations for your home remodeling project is financing. After all, the project will go nowhere if you can’t pay for it.

Fortunately, there are several options that can provide the dollars you need. Four of the most common are a home improvement loan, a home equity line of credit, a home equity loan (second mortgage), and a cash-out refinancing of your current mortgage. However, the simplest method of financing is cash.

Cash

If you have cash in savings to pay for your home remodeling project, this may be the best way to finance your home improvements. But be sure to consider the fact that, by paying in cash, you tie up money that could be earning interest in other investments. In other words, you need to look at the interest rate that you would be charged by financing the project and compare this to the interest you could earn by investing these funds.

Interest payments on a home improvement loan may be tax-deductible, while the expenses of a remodeling project paid for in cash cannot be written off. Crunch the numbers and meet with a financial advisor to determine whether paying in cash is best for your financial situation in the long run.

Home Improvement Loan

Two special loans administered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are the Title I and Section 203(k) programs. A Title I loan allows you to borrow up to $25,000 for improvements to a single-family home. These are fixed-rate loans that FHA insures against the risk of default. Loans must be made by an approved Title I lender.

The 203(k) program is not as well known, but if you are looking to purchase a fixer-upper or foreclosed home, it is a terrific opportunity. It allows home owners to receive a single, long-term, fixed or adjustable rate loan that covers both the acquisition and rehabilitation of the property. To obtain a loan under the 203(k) program, you must use an FHA-approved lending institution. Most mortgage lenders are approved to make loans through this program.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit is a form of revolving credit in which your home serves as collateral. This allows you to tap into the funds whenever you need. The credit line is usually set at 75-80% of the appraised value of your home minus the balance of the first mortgage. Your credit history and ability to pay may also be considered in determining the amount of credit available.

Home equity lines of credit usually carry a variable interest rate that is figured by adding a margin to the current Prime Rate or some other index. Other costs associated with setting up a line of credit may also apply and will vary from lender to lender.

Second Mortgage

If you are not comfortable with the open-ended nature of a line of credit (which requires discipline to ensure that you don’t go way over budget), a home equity loan, or second mortgage, may be right for you. This is a fixed-rate, fixed-term loan based on the equity in your house that is paid back in equal monthly installments over a specific period of time.

Cash Out Refinancing

If interest rates today are significantly less than when you first purchased your house, refinancing your mortgage may be a wise move. The refinancing alternative allows you to use the accumulated equity in your home to take out a new loan to pay off your existing mortgage and then use the remaining funds for your remodeling project.

Make sure you factor in the length of time you plan to live in the house and the number of years left on your current mortgage before you decide to refinance.

Keeping Your Budget in Line

Once you’ve decided how much you can afford to spend fulfilling your remodeling dreams, the real challenge is making sure you stick to this budget. So, how can you prevent your expenses from spiraling out of control?

  • Plan on spending only 80% of what you can afford. Put the additional 20% in reserve to cover changes, unforeseen problems, and miscellaneous charges.
  • Remember that anything not included in the original contract will cost extra. It’s very easy to start tacking on hundreds and even thousands of dollars in change orders that will break both your budget and your timeline.
  • Stay focused on the task at hand. Stick to the project you have planned rather than deciding that now is the time to overhaul the rest of the house.

San Antonio’s Remodeling Market

There are two key items that affect the home remodeling market: first, the overall stability of the home buying market and secondly, the credit standards banks apply to lending.  We have seen over the last year and a half that our local market in San Antonio continues to be the oddball in comparison to the rest of the country.  This can be attributed to a few things, but most importantly, you can identify our housing stock as stable and not over-valued.  Texas, and San Antonio in particular, have steady home values that reflect strong home ownership and remodeling success.

A homeowner has two choices.  They can either upgrade and buy a new home or remodel and upgrade the home they are currently living in.  The credit crisis over the last few years has really limited the home buying options and made the ability to find good credit and cheap interest rates difficult.  However, we are seeing San Antonio on the home improvement rebound and it is quickly becoming a “buyer’s market“.  Here are a few steps to think about when the time comes to look for your credit options:

  1. Do you have an established, long term relationship with your current banking institution?  If so, what kind of financing products do they offer?  What are their rates and basic terms?
  2. It is always best to examine who a home remodeling company partners with for financing.  At Liberty Builders of Texas, we have a 20 year relationship with San Antonio Federal Credit Union and a strong partnership with Wells Fargo.  Both are trusted names in the lending industry.  If you are shopping and use a contractor’s financing source, always examine who they are and how they treat their customers!
  3. Find lending terms that don’t penalize early payoff and always examine the interest rate and term.  Too often, a customer will be more worried about the rate and pay too much in the longer term financing.  Always look for a good combination that fits your personal financial needs.
  4. Examine the long term cost of credit.  Read the fine print and determine how much it costs over the life of any loan.  While it is a startling number sometimes, it will help you realize that although a payment is low, over the longer term you pay more.  It will also help encourage you to pay off your loan faster!

Buying a home takes a lot of time and paperwork.  If your choice is to purchase a new home, then be prepared for the time and energy input to make it happen.  If you like your home, want to stay, but aren’t sure how you can update or upgrade, reach out to a home improvement specialist and find out how you can “stay home” and upgrade what you currently have.

Create a Remodeling Strategy

Summer is here.  Now is the time to begin updating the small things around the house and maybe, plan for the bigger remodeling ideas you may have thought about, but never completed.

As with most projects, time and ideas are needed to be successful in your planning.  The best thing you can do is be prepared and know what you are getting into before you get started.  First things first…complete a planning and routine maintenance checklist.  If you want to listen to an expert, start with Martha Stewart!  Check out her spring cleaning planning strategy by clicking here.  You can use this great Summer Cleaning Checklist as well.

After you are comfortable with your routine maintenance, start thinking about all the updates and upgrades you have dreamed about completing on your home.  Some may be  cost effective and others may be a large scale remodel where square footage is added or rooms re-finished.  It is alway best to examine your budget and sit down with your family to really prioritize what is best for you and your home.

Better Homes and Gardens offers a great month by month Home Improvement Plan.  Use this as a guide and remember to always find a good balance between cost and quality.  Additionally, it is always wise to think through your investment from a cost/benefit analysis perspective.  For instance, replacing your windows with energy efficient, energy star rated windows decreases your energy consumption and lowers your monthly energy bill.  This is money back in your pocket that can offset your initial cash outlay for the upgrade!

When it is all said and done, the best you can do is take care of the basics up front.  Simple routine maintenance and spring cleaning can go a long way.  Once that is done, focus on the big ideas and make it a family effort to build and customize your home!

San Antonio’s Home Remodeling Market On The Rise

Let’s face it, the real estate market hasn’t been very favorable the last few years.  Banks are tightening their credit standards and making it harder to find financing for new home purchases.  Our economy has seen hard times as well and this has affected people’s income and budgets.  In short, buying a home has never been harder.  However, signs are pointing towards a resurgence in lending and a focus on home remodeling has come to the forefront of our housing market.

People get the “itch” to move when their home becomes routine or they outgrow it.  In the past, when their home became impractical or an eyesore, instead of fixing the problem, people would move and “upgrade”.  When banks were giving away loans, this wasn’t a problem.  Nowadays though, families can’t find the financing to buy and upgrade.  So now we are seeing a return to remodeling as the best option to build value in a home.  The ticket prices for a remodel are far smaller, the credit qualification isn’t as rigorous, and people will be able to customize and create a new look they can be proud of.

According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the remodeling market is poised for a big rebound.  Click here to view the website and report.  Here is just a small part of the rationale from the JCHS:

“After languishing near the bottom for several years, the remodeling market finally appears to be pulling out of its prolonged downturn, and renewal of the nation’s housing stock is getting underway. Previously foreclosed properties are being rehabilitated. Sustainable home improvements are gaining in popularity. Older homeowners are retrofitting their homes to accommodate their future needs. And the future market potential is immense, as the emerging echo boom generation is projected to be the largest in our nation’s history.”

Families are realizing the investment in their home is an investment in their future.  From energy efficiency upgrades to adding additional square footage, the money invested in a remodel adds value to the home’s appraisal and to the bottom line budget every family lives with.  Homeowners should be very careful to select projects that add value and are cost effective.  For instance, the initial cash outlay for upgrading to energy efficient windows is measurable and quantifiable.  Windows add value and reduce energy consumption.  Replacing the siding and adding square footage also offer greater return on a home’s value than say painting or new carpet.

Bottom line…it all comes down to what matters most to you…the consumer.  If a new coat of paint or a deck makes you happy  and content than do the research and find the best you can afford.  If you shopping for energy efficiency products than some due diligence and research will help you go a long way to finding the right products and the right company to meet your needs.

 

Increase the VALUE of your home with Liberty Builders!

Liberty Builders of Texas understands your home is your castle.  We also understand it is the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime.  As a homeowner, you MUST invest in your home and work to maintain or increase its value.

Liberty Builders in committed to you!  Our composite siding products from Mastic Home Exteriors and our Generations windows are top of the line.  Our service and craftsmanship are second to none! Liberty Builders was hand selected by Simonton to distribute their Generations windows and doors.   Liberty Builders is the largest Mastic Siding applicator in the state of Texas and is one of the top dealers in the United States year after year.  We are the only Mastic Elite Contractor in San Antonio and the surrounding area.

Why all the facts?  Its simple…your remodeling investment is safe with Liberty Builders.  Quality products and quality installation equals an increase in your home’s resale value.  Through our financing partnerships we have the ability to verify your investment through a home appraisal.  We will also guarantee our work and will not leave until you have signed a completion certificate indicating you are 100% satisfied.

Liberty Builders is passionate about their service and workmanship.  Give us a call to see how you can increase the value of your home and save for the future!

Extreme Makeover:Home Edition Update Video

Liberty Builders of Texas was proud to participate in the Extreme Makeover:Home Edition series.  We volunteered our time, manpower, and resources to helping the Zdroj family rebuild their lives.

Quality work.  Quality service.  Quality craftsmanship!  That’s what Liberty Builders is about and any chance we have to give back to our community makes us a better company.

To learn more about our products and our team, please give us a call: 210.657.7777.

 

 

Another Satisfied Liberty Customer

Liberty Builders of Texas prides itself on taking care of our customers.  When you ask us to do your home improvement, you not only get your home upgraded, you become part of our family.

Mr. Clay Britt is a great example of what we stand for here at Liberty.  Take a moment to read his comments and then ask yourself if you want this kind of service as well.  If you do, we are here for you!

Clay Britt Thank You letter
Clay Britt Thank You