Blog Category - Tips

NEW – Second Amended And Restated Declaration Of Restrictions And Protective Covenants

Categories: American Country Estates, Decor, Homeownership, New Construction, News, Tips, Uncategorized | Posted: March 12, 2017

We have updated our Restrictions and Protective Covenants! Our Second Amended And Restated Restrictions And Protective Covenants, were filed on March 10, 2017. Although our previous Restrictions and Protective Covenants were very good, we felt a need to tighten things up as we are selling more lots in the neighborhood.

The major changes are:
1,800 SF minimum home size, as well as a minimum two car garage.

We required that exterior wall construction be a minimum of 60% brick and stone.

If you purchase a lot from us, you must start construction within 36 months, and complete construction within 9 months of starting.

We provided additional clarity to the types of approved and not approved fencing.

We further defined the type and size of approved out buildings.

We added language to support a subdivision monument sign, at the corner of Carefree Lane and 1070 Road.

You can view a complete copy on our website, or by clicking on this link:

10 Ways to Increase Your Current Home’s Value

Categories: Tips | Posted: September 21, 2015


A recent poll identified not being able to sell one’s current home as a homeowner’s greatest fear. In an age where, according to HGTV, every home should be a stylized showroom, fearing that your home won’t live up to the competition is all too real.

Here are 10 great ways to cheaply increase your home’s value.

  1. Organize, Clean And De-Clutter.

Hire a professional cleaning service to clean your entire home. De-clutter your rooms to make them look more spacious – a big selling point for buyers.

And either sell your stuff, give it away or put it in storage.

Cost: $400

Value: $2,000

ROI: 400%

  1. Light Up The House

Spending as little as $100-$400 on new lighting fixtures can bring your home’s best features to light.

Cost: $100 to $400

Value: $1,600 when $400 is spent

ROI: 300%

If you invest $1,500 in lighting, you can turn an average profit of $7,800. Giving your home’s value a boost of over $9,000.

Invest for the future – choose Internet of Things devices that can be controlled with a smartphone.

  1. Maintenance and Inspection

Bring in a local designer to give you tips and suggestions for small changes that can help increase value.

Get an inspection to make sure there are no plumbing leaks, electrical problems, issues with the septic system or furnace, leaky windows, heating or insulation issues.

Cost: $800 for repairs

Value: $3,000

ROI: 275%

  1. Landscaping In The First Impression

Increase your curb appeal by cleaning up your yard and plantings. If the outside of your home looks unkempt, it gives the impression to potential buyers that the rest of the house is just as unkempt. Also, overgrown gardens can block sunlight and the views, as well as allowing mold to grow.

Cost: $400 to $600

Value: $1,500 to $2,000

ROI: 200 to 275%

  1. Update The Flooring

Shampoo or replace carpets. Add hardwood floors or repair existing ones.

Cost: $600 to $900

Value: Up to $2,000

ROI: 110 to 233%

  1. Fresh Paint

Paint the walls and the baseboards and trim with a neutral color. Doing it yourself will save money, but hiring a painter will get it done faster and professionally.

Cost: $900 to $1,000

Value: $2,000

ROI: 100 to 120%

If you invest $2,000 on fresh paint for the whole house, it can result in a $3,000 profit, adding about $5,000 to the home’s value.

  1. Upgrade Your Roof

Repairing or replacing your roof can cost up to $12,000. But simply adding a cupola adds elegance and curb appeal for less money.

Cost: $500 to $1,500

Value: $500 to $2,500

ROI: 66 to 233%

  1. Paint The Exterior

Anything that helps add to your curb appeal is a worthy investment. Power washing and painting the exterior of your home is a great way to add value.

Cost: $1,400

Value: $2,100

ROI: 50%

  1. Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel

If your cabinets are in good shape, an easy way to spruce up your kitchen or bathroom is simply painting the cabinetry.

An updated kitchen and/or bathroom with fresh paint, new countertops, stainless steel fixtures, new hardware and lighting can add an extra $2,000 to $3,000 to the value of your home.

Cost: $1,900

Value: $3,200

ROI: 68%

A $500 investment in making some small changes can increase value, too.

  • Remove rust stains
  • Apply new caulk
  • Update knobs & pulls
  • Replace faucets
  • Install an eco-friendly toilet

Adding a half bath to your home adds up to 10% to your home’s value, while a full bath adds about 20%.

  1. High Quality Photos of Your Home

After you put in all this work on your home, don’t forget to use high resolution images when you post photos online.

90% of buyers start their new home search on the internet. Make sure you post plenty of really good quality photos to draw the interest of potential buyers.

These tips will help you put your home’s best foot forward – without costing an arm and a leg!

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.

How to host a winning football party!

Categories: Tips | Posted: September 9, 2015


Are you prepared for football season or are you still sitting on the bench? We’ve got some tips for how to make your Game Day at home even better when you and your friends can’t make it to the stadium!

  1. Your guests are coming to hang out and enjoy the game. Make sure there is plenty of comfy seating – a sectional sofa, club chairs, ottomans and floor pillows are couple of options.
  2. Decorate with team colors. It’s festive and shows team spirit!
  3. The TV is crucial. Depending on the size of your party room, you’ll need to make sure the TV is placed properly so that guests can see it from various spots in the room. What’s better than watching a big play on a big screen?
  4. Between the hype and the yelling – be sure to keep everyone hydrated with beer, soda, lemonade, water.
  5. When it comes to food, buffet-style is easiest for your indoor tailgate. Make sure there are plenty of snacks like veggies & dip, chips & salsa, pretzels, etc.

And stick to crowd pleasers… like these!

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.

Get Ready For Back to School!

Categories: Tips | Posted: August 11, 2015


It’s that time of year in Shawnee again… Back to School! Time to start thinking about school supplies, clothes, sports equipment… the list is endless!

Check out these numbers:

  1. Families plan to spend an average of $97.74 on school supplies like notebooks, pencils and backpacks
  2. 30% of back-to-school shoppers will wait until one or two weeks before school to start shopping
  3. The average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spend $63 on back-to-school shopping

And that’s just the beginning! Once you’ve done the shopping, it’s time to start prepping for early mornings, sports practices, music lessons, and homework.

Getting yourself and your family back into the routine of school days can be exhausting, yet so exciting. With this daily checklist, your kids won’t miss a beat, or a homework assignment.

Before School

  1. Lunches are packed and in a location where kids can easily grab them in your Virginia Home.
  2. Backpacks are packed with all books, folders, projects, etc., and in close proximity to lunch box.
  3. All necessities for the day are present and accounted for – Gym clothes, musical instruments, permission slips, etc.
  4. Kids are dressed, preferably in clothes that match.
  5. Keep a daily calendar for school events to make sure that kids only wear pajamas on Pajama Day. (As opposed to the day they just feel like not getting dressed.)

After a long day of learning, your kids will most likely be ready to kick their feet back and have a snack.

After School

  1. Have a shoe rack at the front door in order to prevent kids from tracking dirt all over the house.
  2. Have a snack prepared and readily available in your kitchen. Fresh fruit, cheese & crackers, pretzels and nuts are all filling, healthy and nutritious.
  3. Set up a coming home routine, complete with some down time to clear their minds before they start homework.

Getting your home and your children ready for the new school year can be tedious for your children, but having checklists like this to get them prepared will help them get excited for all of their new classes and friends!

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.

Tips if you’re planning to move!

Categories: Tips | Posted: July 28, 2015

When is the best time to move?

Take all factors (jobs, schools, weather, vacation) into consideration when deciding on the best time to move. As a rule, the busiest times for professional moving companies are during the summer months, May – September. So if you are hiring a moving company, you’ll have to plan about six to eight weeks ahead.

Do you need to hire professional movers?

Moving may appear easy, but there are benefits to having someone experienced handle delicate or heavy items, pack them properly and transport them safely. Also, it may not be worth the risk of injury to attempt to haul heavy or bulky items yourself.

How do you select a moving company?

Ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members if they can make recommendations. Investigate each of the movers with the Better Business Bureau.

When should you begin contacting moving companies for estimates?

Try to provide the moving company with as much notice as possible, especially if you are moving during the busy season noted above. Six weeks from the actual move date is not too early for estimators to come to your home to complete a visual survey of your belongings.

What happens when the estimator/consultant comes to your home?

Once the visual survey is completed, the estimator/consultant will calculate the weight, packing cost and any other charges related to your move. Remember that the consultant must clearly see what you are moving in order to provide you with an accurate estimate. Crawl spaces, attics and closets can be deceiving, so organize your house BEFORE the consultant arrives. He or she must be able to see what is moving and needs packing. If you know of items that are out of view, point them out. If there are items you will be eliminating, point them out.

What packing supplies will you need?

Moving boxes, packing tape, trash bags, scissors, permanent markers and bubble wrap.

Can you pack and move plants?

Most moving companies will not take plants because the stress and heat of being inside the moving trailer can cause them to die.

Can you move pets?

Pets cannot be carried in the moving truck. Dogs, cats, birds, etc. should be transported in your car. If this isn’t convenient, your moving company may be able to suggest alternate ways to ship your pets safely.

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Categories: Tips | Posted: June 18, 2015


The days of giving Dad an ugly tie or boring aftershave are long gone. You could still give him a tie, but why… when there are so many more interesting options out there! A recent trip across the internet revealed an astonishing range of gift ideas – from wooden iPhone cases to silver lighters, $9,000 custom-made surf boards to a $75,000 Babe Ruth-signed baseball!

Here’s a rundown of some more realistic ideas:

  1. The Latest Tech – iPad Air, Roku media player, Bluetooth headphones, FitBit… If Dad’s a gadget guy, the list is endless.
  1. Accessories Make The Man – Hipster shades, Mad Men-inspired everything – hip flask, money clip, shaving kit. Everything old is new again.
  1. Major Monogramming – From cufflinks to beer mugs & pitchers, you can get almost anything with Dad’s name or initials on it!
  1. The Traditional Bottle – High-end bourbons & whiskeys are hot! Get Dad some of the good stuff – and then sit down and enjoy it with him.
  1. Experiences – Give Dad some time with you or time for himself! Tickets to a ball game, a round of golf at the club he likes, cooking classes, helicopter flight lessons, a race car driving session. If there’s something he’s wanted to try, chances are you can find it!

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.

Mother’s Day is Approaching… How will you appreciate your mom?

Categories: Tips | Posted: May 7, 2015


Our mothers are so special, one day isn’t nearly enough to recognize their role in our lives. (As more than one mother has opined, shouldn’t EVERY DAY be Mother’s Day?) This year, on the day set aside to remind us how much we love them, we have a couple of ways to make your mom feel special!

  1. Going out for breakfast/brunch is nice, but staying in and cooking for her is even better. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make what she likes!
  1. Flowers are a classic, but always a mom-pleaser. A huge bunch of her favorites will make her smile. If she’s a gardener, a live plant will be a huge hit!
  1. Do something she really wants to do. Take her someplace she’s always wanted to go but never had the time. It’s an opportunity to hang out together and learn something new about her!
  1. Find a unique gift that embodies what she loves, whether it’s cooking, reading, gardening, crafts, music, sewing, dancing, etc. She’ll appreciate the effort you put into it.
  1. Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse for families that may be spread out to spend the day together – whether you stay home and bake cookies, or head out to the zoo.
  1. If you have the time and/or money, take her away for the weekend to a spa, hotel or bed and breakfast. Let someone else pamper her with luxurious surroundings and good food.

No matter what you do for you mother on her special day, make sure to thank her for all of the love and care that she gives to you – everyday!

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.

20 ways to be a better friend to the environment!

Categories: Tips | Posted: April 24, 2015


Going green isn’t as tough as you think. Making smart, environmentally friendly choices ensures that you do your part, while feeling good about your contribution to our planet’s wellbeing.

Here are 20 ways that you can live green and be a better friend to the environment.

  1. Recycle and compost.
  1. Lower your thermostat a few degrees. Also, turn down the temperature of your water heater.
  1. Look for cleaning products that are biodegradable, phosphate-free and not tested on animals.
  1. Reduce your use of paper towels. Use re-useable, washable cloths whenever possible.
  1. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Even if you just change your porch light, laundry or utility room light to CFLs, you’ll be saving energy. 
  1. Teach your kids to turn off the lights and the TV when they leave a room. Appliances draw energy, cost money and create carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  1. In the market for new appliances? Buy Energy-Star certified products.
  1. Planning to re-paint? Use paints low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful chemicals found in many paints and stains.
  1. Put a rain barrel by your downspout to collect rainwater to use in your garden later. If you are landscaping, plant drought-resistant plants using a method called xeriscaping.
  1. Plant a tree on your property. Or more, if you have space. Trees provide wildlife habitat and help cool the planet.
  1. Clean your indoor air with houseplants. They can clear toxins like benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air. (These chemicals are found in paint, varnishes, foam insulation, cleaning products and other common household materials.) 
  1. In the housing market? Consider a property within biking or walking distance of your office, or close to public transit, so you can leave the car at home.
  1. Pack a litter-less lunch. Use reusable food storage containers that are free of harmful bisphenol.
  1. Save water. Take shorter showers. Put a water-saver nozzle on the showerhead and all faucets. Turn the water off when brushing your teeth (a great way to teach kids about not wasting water) or while shaving. Use cold water to wash clothes.
  1. Use an outdoor clothesline or indoor drying rack whenever possible.
  1. Use a ceiling fan to save on heating bills. Because hot air rises, if you run the fan in reverse at a low speed, it will help circulate the hot air.
  1. In the summer, keep your blinds or drapes closed during the day, then open them in the evening. And in the winter, do the opposite.
  1. Get an energy audit and find ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Common to-dos include improving insulation, upgrading windows, installing weather stripping, trading up to a high-efficiency furnace and installing a programmable thermostat.
  1. Buy local, buy in bulk, and use your own shopping bag. See if you can find food that was not transported from far away. Many stores carry local produce from neighboring farms. Read the labels on fruits and vegetables to see where they were grown. Buy in bulk and avoid foods that use large amounts of packaging. Buy from farmers markets or co-ops when you can. Take your own shopping bags to the market – plastic is a petroleum product.
  1. Keep your freezer full — it runs more efficiently than an empty one. Save water by running the dishwasher or clothes washer only when full.

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information. 

Homeowners enjoy a variety of tax breaks!

Categories: Tips | Posted: April 16, 2015


With tax season upon us, it’s a good idea to remind new (and potential) homeowners that in addition to the joy of owning your own home, you also inherit new tax considerations. The good news is you can deduct many home-related expenses. These tax breaks are available for any abode, whether single-family home, townhouse or condominium. The bad news is your taxes will get more complicated. In most cases, homeowners itemize. That means you move to Form 1040 and Schedule A, where you’ll have to detail your tax-deductible expenses.

If you do find that itemizing is best for your tax situation, here’s a look at homeowner expenses you can deduct on Schedule A.

  1. Mortgage interest

Your biggest tax break is reflected in the house payment you make each month since, for most homeowners, the bulk of that check goes toward interest. And all that interest is deductible, unless your loan is more than $1 million. Interest tax breaks don’t end with your home’s first mortgage. Did you pull out extra cash through refinancing? Or did you decide instead to get a home equity loan or line of credit? Generally, equity debts of $100,000 or less are fully deductible.

  1. Points

Did you pay points to get a better rate on any of your various home loans? They offer a tax break, too. The only issue is exactly when you get to claim them. The IRS lets you deduct points in the year you paid them if, among other things, the loan is to purchase or build your main home, payment of points is an established business practice in your area and the points were within the usual range. Make sure your loan meets all the qualification requirements so that you can deduct points all at once.

  1. Taxes

The other major deduction in connection with your home is property taxes.

A big part of most monthly loan payments is taxes, which go into an escrow account for payment once a year. This amount should be included on the annual statement you get from your lender, along with your loan interest information. These taxes will be an annual deduction as long as you own your home. If this is your first tax year in your house, dig out the settlement sheet you got at closing to find additional tax payment data. When the property was transferred from the seller to you, the year’s tax payments were divided so that each of you paid the taxes for that portion of the tax year during which you owned the home. Your share of these taxes is fully deductible.

  1. Home improvements

Save receipts and records for all improvements you make to your home, such as landscaping, storm windows, fences, a new energy-efficient furnace and any additions. You can’t deduct these expenses now, but when you sell your home the cost of the improvements is added to the purchase price of your home to determine the cost basis in your home for tax purposes. Although most home-sale profit is now tax-free, it’s possible for the IRS to demand part of your profit when you sell. Keeping track of your cost basis will help limit the potential tax bill.

  1. Energy credits

Some energy-saving home improvements can earn you an additional tax break in the form of an energy tax credit worth up to $500. A tax credit is more valuable than a tax deduction because a credit reduces your tax bill dollar-for-dollar. You can get a credit for up to 10% of the cost of qualifying energy-efficient skylights, outside doors and windows, insulation systems, and roofs, as well as qualifying central air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, water heaters, and water boilers. There is a completely separate credit equal to 30% of the cost of more expensive and exotic energy-efficient equipment, including qualifying solar-powered generators and water heaters. In most cases there is no dollar cap on this credit.

What’s not tax deductible

While many tax breaks are available to a homeowner, there are a few things for which you have to bear the full cost.

  1. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is a cost you probably won’t be able to deduct, unless you meet the requirements of a special PMI law.
  2. Property hazard insurance premiums remain non-deductible, even though the coverage generally is required as part of the home loan and is included as a portion of your monthly payment.
  3. Homeowners association dues, any additional principal payments you make, depreciation of your home, and general closing costs and local assessments to increase the value of your neighborhood, such as construction of new sidewalks or utility connections, are non-deductible.

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.  

March Madness Man Cave!

Categories: Tips | Posted: March 24, 2015


The man cave is most commonly known as the ultimate escape from the reality of work, stress, and the mundane daily routine. Serving as a play space for adults, the typical man cave usually includes a large screen television, comfortable lounge chairs and if you’re lucky, stocked mini-fridge. But with March Madness in full swing, why limit yourself to the ordinary? Homes by DHR is on the bench and ready to custom build those striking additions to the typical man cave material items. This is the season to visualize, modernize, and customize to assure that your man cave will be a slam-dunk.

Customize – Making the man cave custom-made is important to allow it to really feel like a personal space. Whether it’s by designing a separate home brewery room to start your long lost hobby or heated floors for your sports car, own your man cave!

All-around Comfort– What game is complete without watching it from a reclining La-Z-Boy or a leather sofa? Sitting upon any lesser throne could be called a technical foul. Aside from the literal comfort, making sure that your guests feel at home is fundamental, whether it’s the Southern Comfort they’re cradling from your custom designed dark wood bar or the comfort food they have on their plates from your hidden remote-controlled mini-fridge. My man cave es su man cave.

Vibe – While this may not be the first thing to cross your mind whilst deciding on decorations for your getaway game room, the overall atmosphere of your man cave is vital to how you’re going to use it. Using it solely for sports? You may strike out if it is decorated strictly for gaming. The ambiance of the man cave is an important aspect that mustn’t be overlooked.

Electronics– And last but not least, without a doubt one of the most important additions to your hideaway is the most up to date version of technology. This includes, but certainly is not limited to, curved HD televisions, stereo home theatre system, and rest-assured, no one is ever too old for the newest gaming system. With all of the new technology, there is no better way to show it off, and keep it protected, than custom built shelving, sound proofed walls, or even tiered theatre seating.

Whether the man cave becomes a place of solitude or an entertainment haven, may it be somewhere you feel truly at home. (And may you have the winning bracket this March.) Viva la Man cave!

Homes by DHR is a new home builder in Shawnee, Pottawatomie County, OK. Contact or call 405-888-5430 for more information.