5 Steps Help You Take Your Living Room to the Back Yard

WyndhamYou see them pretty much everywhere these days: Back yard living rooms that make you want to just kick back, relax, and put your feet up right on the coffee table fireplace – even if you’re walking through a model home at the moment. The images are everywhere, online, in home magazines, and pretty much anyplace that sells products that are meant to go into a back yard.

And why not? They look incredible, after all. Especially in a city like Las Vegas with sunshine over 300 days of the year, outdoor living isn’t a trend – it’s a lifestyle. Outdoor rooms add versatile and elegant square footage to your home. They extend your living space and are typically more affordable than interior home renovations and construction.

If you’ve been thinking about stepping up the features and livability of your back yard space, here’s a few suggestions to get you started down that path. (And then you can invite us over for your award-winning bbq recipe!)

Step 1: Decide what you’ll be using your new Outdoor Living Room for the most.

Do you have a big family and lots of friends that make you want to get outside more often for meals or casual entertaining? Or are you looking for a peaceful place to relax? Defining the use of your outdoor space gives you a blueprint of how to furnish and outfit your new outdoor living area to best meet your needs.

Basically, the first step is to determine the overall purpose for your new living area. Imagine how you will use the space, and think about a layout, furniture and possibly even appliances that will help you realize your dream. And then . . .

Step 2: Determine your budget.

While it’s certainly possible to create an inspiring outdoor space at minimal cost – you also have the option of taking your kitchen and dining room on the road, too. A back yard oasis gives you all the options you could ask for – from adding a full range of appliances, such as ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, cabinetry, and sinks – to beautiful mood-setting (and serviceable) outdoor fireplaces, either freestanding, set into furniture pieces, or placed in a traditional wall location. Building a patio or veranda with a cover? Be sure to factor in the ceiling fans – they’re great for circulating air in all seasons.

The point is, you have options. And if not all of them are cost-effective for you at once, you can simply plan ahead with certain infrastructure inclusions that will allow you to add items easily later. (For example, if you’re putting in any hardscape such as concrete or pavers, install piping or necessary electrical conduit lines for easy access in the future.)

Step 3: Set the mood. Lighting and warmth create atmosphere.

Those fireplaces we mentioned above – talk about romantic evenings; or even to create that sense of gathering around a campfire in the great outdoors. (And seriously, when’s the last time you actually got to toast a marshmallow on a stick – besides on your stovetop?) The point is, lighting – whether from a gas flame or Chinese lanterns has a huge effect on the feel and tone of your space. Taking the time to find some special and creative lighting features will make a noticeable difference in the atmosphere you create for your guests.

Step 4: Take a look around. Discover the best features of your back yard space – then design and furnish it accordingly.

If you’re creating an outdoor room in a location that offers an incredible setting, select and arrange your furniture to show it off. Or take advantage of garden areas to add calming elements, like a meditation bench, or to showcase a poolside deck. The important thing is to choose pieces that appeal to you aesthetically, whether it’s a matching set from Home Depot, or a collection of singular favorite pieces from multiple places. Think Pier One, Home Goods – those great chairs, benches or sofas that you’ve seen in the past and loved, but just didn’t have a place to put them . . . yet. Now’s your chance!

You’ll also want to consider your local climate – in the case of Las Vegas, specifically where the sunlight falls in your space. Then plan accordingly with umbrellas, shades, or other protection. That way, you can utilize your outdoor space even more often.

Step 5: Correctly assess what you can do yourself – and what you should hire the professionals to handle. (See our last blog post for clues on this topic)

Once you’ve gone through the planning and the process of bringing it to life, there’s one thing you won’t need to worry about: Friends and family helping you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Outdoor spaces bring people together, put people at ease, and will be a source of many happy memories for years to come. So, what kind of wine did you say you like?

How To Choose The Right Neighborhood For Your Family

Las_Vegas_Mountains_Edge_1You’ve heard it a million times, right? The only thing that counts in buying a home is “Location, location, location.” But what does that really mean? “Location” can mean many different things to people. To some, it could boil down to one thing: “How close (or far away) is it from the nearest Rubio’s?” But as you’re deciding which new Harmony Home to purchase, here are a few things to consider:

WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?

Do you have school-aged children? Any “on the way” soon? If the answer is yes, one of the most important things to consider is the school system in the area you’re investigating. We all know how critical education is, and your kids deserve the very best they can get. (Of course, if the answer is “no,” you may want to be in an area that’s not so close to ANY school, in order to avoid the usual parking and traffic issues associated with school start and end times.)

Are your children involved in a lot of activities? How far away is the neighborhood from your daughter’s dance school? How far from your son’s Little League practices and games? As you take into account the proximity to parks, public pools, and community centers where your kids will have plenty of activities readily available, keep in mind that generally speaking, purchasing a home in the these areas can actually add to its eventual resale value.

WHERE DO YOU WORK?

How far do you commute to your job? Remember that you will be making that trip, to and from work, an average of 250 days per year. Of particular interest to Las Vegas residents, perhaps you’ll want to consider is whether or not you will find yourself driving straight into the sun (both ways), or not. That can add extra strain to the usual stress of commuting.

THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY

Do you wish to be in a newer development, or a more settled-in area? There are benefits to each, but in newer developments, you’ll want to keep in mind that stores and facilities are newer and on the rise, so you just may be near all the great shopping and restaurants that you’ll want to frequent often.

Think about what your current location lacking in the way of amenities that you crave. Have you always wanted to live by the water? Is excellent shopping a “must” for you? Need that Starbucks, first thing in the morning, EVERY morning? Some of these things may sound insignificant now, but consider those things that you do (or would LIKE to do), every single day – because it adds to the quality of your life to be able to include them.

Now that you’re armed with some really useful information about where and how you want to live, prioritize these items and make a check list. Then, take a look at the prime locations where we have placed our Harmony Homes neighborhoods in Southern Nevada – because you’re likely to discover they all include some (or all) of the things that you’re looking for in your next neighborhood.

Top 4 Things To Remember When Buying A New Home

18x6zk45zldtbjpgFew things are more exciting than shopping for a new home. Taking the family along to explore all the options that are out there, visiting model homes then re-visiting your favorites, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the designs and interiors, discovering the surrounding neighborhoods – it’s all very fun stuff. And we’re not just saying that because we’re a new home builder.

Because we know it’s a time when you’re making big plans for your future and all the excitement and sorta-scary part of the unknown is running through your head. What new people will you meet? Where will your kids to go school and what friendships will they make there? You’ll talk it over, search online, find decorating ideas you love, and finally, in your mind you have the image of “The Perfect Home” for you. This is your chance to create a happy, beautiful and solid base, where family is the most important thing – and even better, you just love waking up there every single day.

So if you’re just getting started on this journey, or might even be in the middle of it right now – we wanted to offer you some pointers on things you’ll want to remember while you search for the home that speaks just to you.

1. Location. (Location. Location.) You’ve heard it before – you’ll hear it again. But these days, it’s got a bit of a different meaning – because in real estate parlance, that used to imply finding a location that will re-sell easily. Today, it’s becoming more and more common for people to live longer in their homes, and why not? When you invest time, money and energy into making it just the way you want it – what’s the point if you’re just going to leave? Remember, your property doesn’t exist in a bubble – it’s part of a larger community that you will interact with daily. So when you’re thinking about “location” – consider how it fits into your lifestyle. Are good schools important to you? Do you want to be near parks or open spaces? Close to shopping, entertainment, and restaurants? Is easy highway access important for your work? Each family is unique in their wants and needs, so be sure to evaluate what matters most to you.

2. A Quality Builder. Do your homework about the quality of the home you buy, because it certainly won’t be the perfect home if you can’t rely on its construction integrity and know that you have a builder who stands behind their work. Look at the track record of your builder, and for that matter – sit down with that builder and ask them your questions face-to-face. We encourage that behavior, because Harmony Homes been building new homes in Las Vegas for years, and our reputation is what we consider our most important asset. We pride ourselves on providing a premium experience for each and every buyer – from the first time you visit one of our communities, to close of escrow and the service experience beyond.

3. Value and Price. Actually, those are two completely different things – but as each will affect your pocketbook, you should consider both in your search. And while it’s great fun to look at million-dollar model homes, they’re not for everyone. So choosing the right price range for your budget is important for your family’s financial security. Don’t overextend so you can’t personalize your home the way you imagine. (You don’t want to just hope for that new furniture after you move into your new home – you want to be able to buy it, too!). But value comes into play when you’re looking at what you’ll receive for the price you pay. Pay close attention to the features that are included in your home, and those for which you’ll need to pay extra. (By the way, we’re not too shy to say that Harmony Homes include a great list of standard features that our buyers have come to expect from us. So make sure we’re on your ‘shopping list’ when you’re looking at new homes!)

4. Design, Square Footage, and Lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a single-level home or a two-story design – there are probably certain features you already have in mind. (“Honey, we want the kids’ rooms on the other side of the house from ours!”) We all bring with us past experiences – some we love, some we really want to change. So take that knowledge and determine what order your priorities are. Do you just want more room (and rooms) to provide you with private space? Focus on square footage and floorplans. Are you hoping for something a little more stylish than your current home? Ask your builder about personalizing opportunities. Some things are just more important to you than others, so take the time to identify what those items are.

At Harmony Homes, we’ve been there ourselves. (After all, we live in Las Vegas, too!) That’s why when we create a new neighborhood, we’re doing it for the people who are our neighbors. So we pay attention to every detail. From the location and surrounding area, to the architectural style and floorplans, and right down to the doorknobs and the faucets – every decision we make is based on knowing how today’s families want to live and experience their home environment. Because that is, after all the most important part: It’s Home.

Which Pumpkin Recipe is your Favorite

In honor of Thanksgiving, this week’s blog post is all about pumpkin! Usually the tradition is pumpkin pie at for dessert at Thanksgiving, but have you ever tried anything else? We hope you have a wonderful day full of family, food and everything you’re thankful for! Here are a few ways to eat pumpkin that is NOT pie!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
When you carve out your pumpkins for Halloween, save the seeds! Boiled, baked and lightly salted, pumpkin seeds are one of the best fall treats!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Take ½ cup of ice, ½ cup vanilla yogurt, 1 tsp. Honey, ¼ tsp. Pumpkin pie spice and ¼ cup of pumpkin puree, blend together and you have a pumpkin pie smoothie!

For even more great recipes click here: We have 8 more pumpkin recipes that are NOT Pie!

HH-Blog-ThanksgivingFrom our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Prepare your home for winter

The seasons are changing and with the weather getting cooler, it is time to prepare your home! This is an important part of your maintaining your home to stay as new as possible for as long as possible. Here are a few things that we suggest be taken care of before the winter season comes into play.

  • If you are worried about your heater, it is much more efficient to get it checked out before winter hits. Call a Technician and have them take a look at your carbon monoxide levels heating efficiencies.
  • Protect pipes and hoses around your home from being damaged or broken. With cold temperatures, irrigation pipes and water hoses have a tendency to freeze. Here are a few more winterizing tips.
  • If you are able to reverse your ceiling fan, switch the blades in a clockwise direction when you turn on your heat. This will push the air down (hot air rises) and help keep the heat in your home, especially with high ceilings.
  • Change your air filters so your appliances don’t have to work twice as hard to keep your home warm.
  • If you’re lucky to have a chimney fireplace in your home then it’s time to call the chimney sweeps. Having them clear out all of your chimneys and fireplaces will mean there is a better flow for the smoke to exit the home, minimizing the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires.
  • Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. With the winter cold, you’ll find yourself using electrical and gas items to heat your home. By changing batteries or replacing older alarms and detectors, you will increase the safety of your home.

Find the Right Harmony Community for your Family

Mesa Verde
First time homebuyers, newly married couples and “just starting” families will fit perfectly at Mesa Verde. With a more modern look and feel, this southwest location with 4 different models had options like no other Harmony Community. Read More…

Silhouette
With 9 floor plans, Silhouette has a match for every buyer. Buyers settling into retirement, new families just starting out and growing families, Silhouette has the space. This two-story community sits near Red Rock Canyon, Wet’n’Wild and Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Read More…

Daybreak
Nestled at the base of Sunrise Mountain lives the Daybreak community. Perfectly located between schools, Hollywood Recreation center, a golf course and a fire station, this could be your home. Read More…

If you have any questions about our communities please call us at 702-202-0409 or visit our websiteBuy New. Buy Smart. Buy Harmony.

 

Laughlin Living with Harmony Homes

Laughlin, Nevada is a little over an hour outside of the great city of Las Vegas. Why visit or live in Laughlin? You have the benefit of Las Vegas for a weekend getaway, there is shopping, golf and most importantly water, all wrapped in small-town charm.

With the Colorado River running right through Laughlin, there are attractions from swimming and jet skiing to dinner cruises and boat rentals. The golf courses offer challenges for players at every skill level with multiple course locations and year-round tee times.

More importantly than these great activities, are the beautiful communities Harmony Homes has built in this great town. Crossings and Manor at Bilbray Ranch are just minutes from the river and Laughlin strip with shopping and restaurants with 6 floorplan options.

Crossings at Bilbray Ranch
Offering 3 floor plans from 1,479 to 1,722 square feet and prices starting in the $160’s, Crossings is a great place to raise a family. There are two- and three-bedroom models are available with standard features including great rooms, covered patios and courtyards.

Manor at Bilbray Ranch
Offering 3 floor plans from 1,817 to 2,388 square feet and prices starting in the $170’s, Manor is a beautiful community to call “home”.

Crossing and Manor at Bilbray Ranch are located at 2261 Dillons Cove Drive. Contact Iris at (702) 299-0310.

Sales offices at Crossing and Manor are open Thursday – Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on Monday, when they open at noon. For more information about Harmony Homes communities in Laughlin and Las Vegas, visit www.harmonyhomes.com.

Las Vegas Fall Activities

Even in the desert, pumpkins are one of the best parts of October. With cooler weather trying to push through and not much of the traditional “fall” scenery, pumpkins and fall-like activities are very exciting in Las Vegas. Below is a list of pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses and more to really spice up your season!

Haunted Houses:
Bonnie Screams – located in Blue Diamond, NV, rests three haunted houses, haunted train, haunted trails and more! Located in a ghost town just outside Las Vegas, just how much haunted can you handle? 9571d5e76138b17c7e9ef2a4e18fce3d.jpg

Project X – Located in North Las Vegas, explore the old government bunker with confusing mazes and experimenting gone wrong!

Pumpkin Patches:
Gilcrease Orchard – Fun for the whole family! Enjoy picking your own fruits and vegetables along with finding the perfect pumpkin! pumpkin

McKee Ranch Family Pumpkin Patch – find the biggest pumpkin in the patch, run through the maze or take a hay ride all in once place!

There is much more haunting and fun to be had, where would you recommend?

Downtown Summerlin

If you didn’t make it our to the Downtown Summerlin Grand Opening this past weekend, you definitely missed out. From boutiques to food trucks to department stores they really have thought of everything! Conveniently located just off the 215 Beltway, Downtown Summerlin is just miles from Harmony Home communities Silhouette and Mesa Verde!

Officials announced that Downtown Summerlin can help create growth for our economy.

“The opening of Downtown Summerlin will dramatically change the commercial real estate market in Southern Nevada, five senior industry executives agree. But they differ on just how those changes will be felt in the valley’s submarkets”

Click to read more from the Review Journal & what these industry executives have to say.

Call Harmony Homes 702-576-0549 with questions about available inventory and top-selling communities or visit harmonhomes.com to see our different elevations, locations and home designs. Buy New. Buy Smart. Buy Harmony

Fall Activities in the Desert

There are always so many different events and activities going on in Las Vegas and surrounding cities like Henderson, Boulder City and Laughlin. We decided to point out a few events that you may not have heard of before and would like to attend!free-fall-clipart-bTyRRqeTL

Gilcrease Orchard
Gilcrease Orchard is a very exciting place to be, especially in the desert. In the Fall is one of the best times to visit as well! You can pick fruits and veggies while enjoying the fun Fall activities. Gilcrease Orchard has a pumpkin patch and hay maze during this season along with their orchard and huge garden. You can even purchase apple cider, all-natural peanut butter or honey! “It’s a beautiful setting with proximity to the mountains, and something unique to this city.” Click here to see more!

52nd Annual Art in the Park
This is one of the largest outdoor art festivals in the Southwest while being the largest fundraiser for the Boulder City Hospital Foundation. This event will be held October 4-5 in Boulder City, Nevada, not too far from the flashing lights of Las Vegas! If you are thinking of attending or would like to join in on the fun, please click here to learn more.

Fall Beer Fest
At the Golden Nugget you can always count on a good time! The Fifth Annual Beer Fest will take place October 10 & 11, featuring an event on Friday and a pool party event on Saturday. With selections from 30 breweries and chef inspired appetizers, if you haven’t attended before, you should think about attending now! Click here for event details and pricing.

So what do you think? Will you try out any of these upcoming events? Do you have any to share?