10 Moving Tips from the Experts

Moving Tips from the ExpertsMoving can be a hassle, especially when you have to juggle kids, school changes and general packing. When you are moving into your new Home Creations home before the new school year starts, you have to make sure everything is in order for a smooth experience. Here are several moving tips to help you get started.

1.  Know when to throw away or give away

It’s time for a little cleaning! If you have way too many things to pack and you’re not sure if you need it all in your new home, it’s time to get rid of unwanted items. You can get rid of your items in a variety of ways such as having a garage sale, donate to charity or selling on Craigslist/eBay. You can even donate your unwanted canned food items to your local food pantry. If you haven’t used or thought about an item for over a year, it’s time to let it go!

2.  Make sure you have the right supplies

It’s important to recognize that not all packing containers are equal. Some protect your valuables better than others. Assess your belongings and make sure you get a container that will protect it the best. These general items will help you with any move:

  • Foam peanuts
  • Scissors/sharp knife
  • Markers and labels for identifying objects
  • Tissue/Newspaper/Corrugated paper rolls
  • Packing tape
  • Packing boxes that are discarded by your local store

3.  Safely pack your fragile items

When you start unpacking in your new home, you don’t want to be surprised by broken valuables. Check out this graphic for advice on how to properly pack your items:

Ace Atlas Stemware Packing Tips

4.  Transplant your plants safely

Many people don’t think about their plants during the move. Whether you are moving locally, or across the country, you need to make sure your plants don’t die on the way to their final destination. Living in Oklahoma, we can have extreme temperatures, especially in the summer months. Most moving companies will not move your plants since there is a lack of air in their vans, which means you will need to take on this feat yourself. You can wrap your large plants with tissue paper or an old blanket to prevent branches from breaking. With smaller plants, you can place each plant snuggly at the bottom of box using pack paper. Make sure to punch holes in the box for proper air flow and clearly mark the lids to help keep upright at all times.

5.  Moving the big things

Make sure you have a professional or someone knowledgeable disconnect your major appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers. If you are moving a freezer or refrigerator, you should remove all food, defrost, clean and dry the appliance.

Make sure to have the little pieces (wires, screws, remote controls, etc.) that go with your bigger items stored in a plastic bag and packed in a designated parts box. It’s also a good idea to take a picture, or draw a diagram that make hooking up your electronics in your home easier.

6.  Think about your pets

It’s important to make sure your pets are happy and safe during your move. Remember, they have feelings of anxiety too, especially when they are taken out of their comfort zone. They need a little time to get used to their new surroundings and you can help by placing your pet in a secure and quiet space to calm their nerves. Surround them with their favorite toys and objects to entertain them throughout the day. Make sure your dog’s collar reflects your new address and phone number, just in case your pet gets out during the chaos and starts to wander. Once in your new home, let them wander around, with your supervision, to get used to their new digs.

7.  Stretch your budget

Keeping your move within your budget is important. Especially when you are thinking about your kids and things you may need to buy for your new home. If you are planning on selling your unwanted items through a garage sale or a website like Craigslist, it can be a way to make money in the process. If you are giving to charity, make sure you obtain a receipt for a tax reduction.

8.  Prepare your kids for the move

When you have kids, you need to make sure they are completely comfortable with the new house and the neighborhood. Scope out the neighborhood beforehand, surveying the parks, schools and community organizations that will be available to your family once you move. All Home Creations communities offer great schools and amenities for your family. Before school starts, it would be a good idea to map out their route to the building and even get familiar with the teachers. You can get your kids excited for the move by allowing them to take part in mapping out the plan for their new room. Including them in small projects like these will boost their expectations and get them to become creatively involved, making your moving process smoother.

9. Label Correctly

Many people rush to pack and mislabel their boxes. If you do this, it will make your unpacking process a headache and can even create problems such as broken or lost items. If you have antiques or collectables that need to be handled with care, label them as fragile, do not pack or load these boxes first or last. Be sure not to bury them by loading them first or leave them unsecure by loading them last. Make sure similar items are packed together and specifically labeled on the outside of the box.

10. Hire Professionals

If your budget allows and you hire a moving professional, find out if they offer full value protection of your belongings. If so, the moving company will assume liability and you will be properly compensated for any repairs or replacement of your belongings. Moving companies can help make your experience less of a headache by providing the proper supplies, helping you pack and safely transporting your valuables. Some even provide pre-move counseling, where they will sit down with you to provide you the best tips for your upcoming move.

 

Home Creations has brand new move-in ready homes available now, and it’s not too late to move before the school year begins!

Map of 4th of July Celebrations in Oklahoma

4th of July in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has some of the best Independence Day celebrations. All across the state, almost every town and city hosts a 4th of July parade, festival and fireworks show. We put together this map to help you find a celebration to join for Independence Day 2015.

Click the small white icon on the top left to view the legend. The map is categorized by events and fireworks displays. You can also click an icon to get more information on the events.

 

 

For more information about these events, visit TravelOK.com

Palermo Place, OKC – Community Highlight

Introducing Palermo Place — Home Creations’ newest community in south Oklahoma City. Palermo Place is located at SW 141st and Western, across the street from Orr Family Farm. South Oklahoma City is known for its fantastic schools, family-friendly entertainment and peaceful living.

Moore Public Schools

Families living in Palermo Place will be sending their children to Briarwood Elementary, Brink Junior High and Southmoore High School. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education A-F report cards, Southmoore High School has received an “A“ letter grade for its high scores in English and Algebra. Brink Junior High also tops the rankings with an A+ ranking, one of the highest in the district.

Great Location

Not only is the neighborhood within 7 minutes of I-35, but homeowners can find more than 10 restaurants, Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby and Best Buy all nearby.

The community is also right across the road from Orr Family Farm, Oklahoma City’s only family-owned amusement park. Depending on the time of year, visitors can find amusement rides, a petting zoo, “zombie paintball”, shopping, a corn maze and many other activities for the whole family. They’re especially busy in the fall when their famous pumpkin patch and hayrides open.

Built-In Tornado Shelters

As Home Creations continues to build new communities, we want to meet the needs of our homeowners. Storm Safe Shelters are a must-have in all new homes in Palermo Place. Storm Safe has been installing storm shelters in Oklahoma since 1987, and we have trusted them as our preferred storm shelter vendor since 2012.

The storm shelters installed in this community will be 3’x7’, 6-8 person shelters installed in the garage floor. Each of these shelters comes with a sliding front door and a secondary escape option through the back half of the top door. The shelter features a carpeted bench and carpeted floors as well as removable carpeted stairs. Storm Safe Shelters carry a lifetime warranty, unusual for many other storm shelter providers. Storm Safe Shelter’s paint coating is unique because it is rubberized, which prevents cracks and chips that could lead to future rusting and leaking. Every shelter is registered with the state, so in case of disaster, your family will be sought out immediately.

Chris Shaw, Builder’s Representative for Storm Safe Shelters recommended the following tips for keeping your shelter as comfortable as possible:

  • Air out the shelter occasionally throughout the summer to prevent sweat on the walls (this can lead to leaks). Also use Damprid to keep the shelter free of humidity.
  • Keep a battery powered fan, radio and battery powered lights in the shelter. You don’t want anything that is powered by a plug because electricity is not guaranteed in a storm.
  • Place a mat over the shelter when not in use to prevent dust and bugs from getting inside.
  • Shaw recommends having the shelter installed where you can park your shortest car over it and still get inside. Having a car over the shelter during a storm can protect the door from falling debris.

To learn more about Storm Safe Shelters, contact Chris Shaw at cshaw@stormsafeshelters.com,  or visit their website: StormSafeShelters.com.

ASG Security System

All Home Creations homes come standard with security systems provided by TnT Security Services (now acquired by ASG). Homeowners also have the option to add a tornado alert to their system that is connected to the National Weather Service. Unlike a weather radio, the ASG Connect feature only alerts homeowners if there is a tornado warning.

David Eggleston from TnT has actually experienced the benefit of having the weather function activated on his security system. During this past season’s tornadoes, Eggleston was notified of the tornado warning by his alarm system 2-3 minutes before the city sirens went off.  This allowed him and his family to take shelter more quickly than if they just depended on the sirens.

ASG Connect also has other alter systems that can connect to your mobile phone. After the storms, Eggleston’s system altered him when their power came back on so they could return home. The system also monitors smoke detectors and will alert the fire department even when you are not home.

There are homes in Palermo Place available for viewing, and most lots are available for new builds immediately! Call our New Home Consultant Bea Mitchell to learn more information: 405-417-5265

Home Creations Moves Up on Builder Top 100 List

HC_TW_Cover_Top100In May 2015, Builder magazine released the 2014 Top 100 Builders list. Home Creations moved up 3 positions from last year’s list and is now #69 of 100 top builders in America. Home Creations is also the largest locally owned and operated home builder on the list, as well as the only Oklahoma-owned builder in the Top 100.

These rankings are based on annual closing numbers of builders all over the United States. Home Creations closed 526 homes in 2014 and had revenue of $90 million. Ranking on this list is a great honor for a locally owned and operated company.

Since 1981, Home Creations has dedicated their energy to creating affordable, energy efficient, structurally sound homes in the state of Oklahoma. As of May 2015, Home Creations has 32 communities in Oklahoma City, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, Edmond, Yukon, Newcastle, Claremore, Glenpool, Jenks, Bixby, Collinsville, Piedmont and Chickasha.

Owner of Home Creations, Jalal Farzaneh, believes that Home Creations will continue to be one of the largest home builders in Oklahoma because “we reinvest back in our business and in Oklahoma.”

In 2014, they made additions to three existing communities: Farmington in Newcastle, The Sycamores in Yukon, and Turtlewood in Midwest City. They also broke ground in three new communities: Sleepy Hollow in Chickasha, Castleberry in Edmond, and Palermo Place in South Oklahoma City.

Home Creations caters to the demands of Oklahoma homeowners by building in prime locations with the desirable school systems. Each of their homes also come standard with granite kitchen countertops, tiled floors in kitchen, main entrance and utility room. Home Creations also takes pride in  their tornado features installed in every home including anchor bolts and tornado straps.  Home Creations uses Energy Star qualified windows, as well as many other energy efficient features.

To view available homes, visit the Home Creations website.

Clearwater, OKC Community Highlight

Clearwater Community OKC

Tucked away just west of Will Rogers Airport stands Home Creations’ Clearwater community. Clearwater is a great community for several reasons: the location, the price, the schools and the opportunities.

Location

This community is in a prime location for accessing everything Oklahoma City, Mustang, Yukon and Bethany have to offer. The location is a perfect balance of country and city life. Clearwater is less than a 2-minute drive from Highway 152, which leads you to all of the major highways in Oklahoma City.

Clearwater is the perfect midpoint for your commute if members of your household work in different cities. Current homeowner Josh Hanson, purchased a home in the Clearwater community because of the proximity to his job at Will Rogers World Airport. “It’s also really nice to be less than 5-10 minutes away from the shopping center off of I-40 and MacArthur” said Hanson. “I don’t have to go far to get everything I need.” Hanson also notes he feels very safe living in this area with his two children.

Map

Land Price

This area of Oklahoma City is growing fast, but is still extremely affordable. You can get into a brand new home at a reasonable price with all the standard features from our other homes: granite countertops, custom cabinetry, tornado safety features, and energy efficiency ratings. This community has many opportunities for new home construction, as well as some move-in-ready homes available. The average price range for homes in Clearwater starts from $120K and varies depending on the floor plan you choose.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 11.21.40 AMSchools

Western Heights School district is an independent district less than 5 minutes away from the Clearwater community. This school district houses more than 3,600 students in four elementary schools, two intermediate schools, a ninth grade center and a high school.

Western Heights High School recently was awarded an iPad program that distributes iPads to each student for their assignments and in-class engagement. The high school also is a partner with Oklahoma City Community College through the OKCGO 2.0 program. With this program, students who graduate from Western Heights High School can receive a degree for free.

 

Opportunities

Clearwater is still a growing community and offers many opportunities to build a new home. Clearwater’s New Home Consultant, Kelli Beaney has great insights on renting vs. homeownership because of her experience managing apartments. Here’s why she believes buying a brand new home is the best option: “When you rent a property, you’re essentially paying someone else’s mortgage. In a lot of cases, you are paying more money for an apartment than a brand new home with a backyard and a 2-car garage.

These homes have never been lived in before, whereas in an apartment or rental home, there is wear and tear, and you never know how well the previous space was cleaned before you moved in.  All of the homes in Clearwater are new construction. We do not sell used homes – all brand new never lived in before.

If you choose to live in Clearwater, you’ll be working with Kelli on your purchase and she will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have. We understand some of our home buyers are first-time-buyers, so we want to make this experience easy and enjoyable.

View available homes in Oklahoma City (including Clearwater).

Home Creations Honors Debbie Guidry and Anita Wagoner-Brown

AnitaDebbiewithCake

Two of our favorite Home Creations employees, Anita Wagoner Brown and Debbie Guidry, have began new ventures this year. These two women have been integral to the success of Home Creations, and we wanted to honor and thank them for their years of dedication to our company.

Anita Wagoner-Brown

IMGP5290Anita Wagoner-Brown, Director and Sales & Marketing, is known for her positivity, kindness and willingness to help. She is also the composer of the Home Creations jingle.

“Anita is a problem solver, always trying to help others and do what needs to be done. She never said “this isn’t my job” and always eager to be part of the team,” said Jalal Farzaneh, owner of Home Creations.

“Anita has been a great mentor and example for me personally and professionally. When I started out, I was a part-time assistant and went from there to community manager, and then to area manager. She helped me be successful through those transitions with training and guidance. I attribute a huge amount of my success to her,” said Brandon Brown, Area Manager.

Anita’s legacy will remain at Home Creations though her encouragement to the team to be hopeful and optimistic. Sandy Newton, Closing Coordinator said, “Even when we came across challenges, Anita was always positive about our ability to reach our goals – and we always did!” Amy Savage, Accounting manager, also noted, “Anita leaves a legacy of a positive attitude.  Anita always had a smile on her face and even when things were stressful.”

“My father was a visionary in business. He was giving business advice to all. I remember he was telling me that the most valuable asset of any organization is its staff, and make sure you hire the best. I took his advice to heart and hire the people with character and moral. I was lucky to hire Anita 13 years ago. She helped Home Creations grow to become Oklahoma’s largest Homebuilder.

“Her sense of compassion is beyond any one I have seen. She loves people and sees their best. Anita cares about every one and is willing to help total strangers and sees the positives in every one. Anita possesses a high sense of integrity and honesty and is my moral compass. When in doubt I always ask her opinion to make sure I am doing the right thing, “said Farzaneh.

Debbie Guidry

For the past 9 years, Debbie Guidry has set the bar for excellence in the home building and selling business. Anita says of Debbie, “She is loved by our employees, by our sales team, and by her customers. She has been willing to do whatever it takes to get homes sold, make people happy, and meet our customers’ needs.”Guidrys_02

Homeowners Brandon and Erin Benear said Debbie was the reason they bought their Home Creations home. “Debbie was so helpful and incredibly nice. She didn’t make us feel stressed or uneasy about our first home buying experience. She was very open and honest and had answers to every one of our questions.” They also remarked about Debbie’s devotion to the OKC Thunder and how every time they saw her she was in a Thunder t-shirt.

Debbie was also an incredible mentor to her coworkers at Home Creations. Area Sales Manager Kurt Mcgraw said, “I remember coming into the job there was a ton of stuff to pick up and learn. Debbie hadn’t been a Home Creations much longer than me, but I could tell she had her act together and was really good at her job. She’s the one I gravitated toward – wanted to get to know her, ask questions about how she did her job and how she worked with buyers – she was a big help to me In that way.”

Brooke Russell, New Home Consultant said, “Debbie is so outgoing – she genuinely cares about everyone around her. She always gives 110% and never says no. She is willing to go above and beyond for anyone.”

Area Sales Manager John Burris noted Debbie kept a relationship with homeowners even 2-3 years after they had originally purchased their homes: “A lot of people think you sell a house and you’re done– but not Debbie. She would get to know every single person and even send them birthday cards years later.”

Debbie has lived in Moore for over 30 years and continues to do so in her new Home Creations home.

This dynamic sales duo will be missed at Home Creations, but their hard work has motivated our staff and set the pace for future business. We look forward to working with them on new real estate ventures in the future.

Thunder Post-Game Interview with the Benears

Lane Benear Home Creations Thunder game BallOn March 4th, Home Creations selected the Benear family to present the game ball at the Thunder vs Philadelphia game. Despite blizzard-like conditions, the Benears were still able to make it to the game!

The Benears made the night a family-wide event. Brandon’s father wanted to see Lane present the game ball, so he bought tickets to the game as well. They all met at Louie’s in Moore before the game, and braved the roads to make it on time.

“We love going to Thunder games as a family. It’s a fun family night out. We don’t get to have those very often because we are so busy, so it’s nice to stop what we’re doing and spend time together,” said Erin Benear.

Since Home Creations provided the Benears with Thunder tickets and a parking pass, it made for an easy walk to the game despite the snow. Once they arrived, they found their seats on the 100 level, right behind the goal. Then, Brandon and Lane headed toward the court to prepare for the game ball presentation.

“It was different to be down on the court because the Thunder players are a lot taller than I expected. The referee asked me if I knew how to dribble, and he let me dribble the ball on the Thunder Court! They also gave me a t-shirt that had the Thunder symbol on it, and on the back it said Home Creations,” said Lane, who presented the Thunder game ball.

This game was one to remember. Not only did Thunder beat Philadelphia in overtime 123-118, but Russell Westbrook registered his fourth triple-double in a row and scored a career-high 49 points.

“It was a lot of fun!” said Kayleigh, Lane’s sister.

“The seats were great! It was such an awesome game. The crowd was crazy that night. Even Russell Westbrook went crazy,” said Erin.

We loved being able to send our homeowners to a Thunder game. The Benears had a blast representing Home Creations on the court. Stay tuned for our next Thunder game ball presentation announcement!

Brandon and Kayleigh Benear Home Creations Thunder GameBenear Family Chesapeake ArenaErin and Lane Benear Home Creations