Category Archives: FAQ

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Winterizing Your Home!

The winter months are upon us, and if you’re not prepared, this can mean big problems for your home. What do you need to do to properly winterize your home? Let’s take a look at some key steps to take:


  1. Insulate your outside faucets. If you have a water hose hooked to your outside faucet, unscrew it until warmer months roll back around. Otherwise, standing water and ice-cold air trapped inside the hose have a direct path into your indoor plumbing. Styrofoam faucet covers can be purchased at just about any local hardware store for a little of nothing and will offer excellent protection against the outside elements.
  2. Insulate your water heater lines. Water heaters are typically kept in the coldest parts of the home (attics, garages, etc.). Be sure to inspect the water lines running to the water heater. Make sure they are adequately insulated with foam pipe covers.
  3. Change your air filter regularly. This should be a year round chore anyways. Most air filters should be changed every 30-60 days. Dust can accumulate in your system throughout the year. When you turn the heat on for the first time, all of that dust can be stirred up. This can lead to dirty filters that restrict airflow, and therefore, work against you in maintaining a comfortable temperature.
  4. Reverse your fans. If you have reversible ceiling fans, flip the switch. Warm air rises. Reversing your ceiling fans will create a circulation in the room that will keep all of the heat from settling up high.
  5. Seal openings around your doors. This can mean replacing worn weather-stripping with new, installing larger door sweeps to the base of your door, or applying foam insulators along your jambs. Preventing cold drafts at the entry points of your home is key to keeping your interior temperature where it needs to be.


Follow these steps and keep your home safe from the outside elements this winter. Don’t forget to check us out online at and contact us if your ready to build your new home! We look forward to hearing from you!

Warranty For Custom Homes

Fire Prevention In Your Home!

Fire Prevention week falls on October 4-10 this year. We spend a lot of time discussing floor plans and building trends, but if safety precautions are not taken, your home could become a trap in the event of a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (more commonly the NFPA), there were a roughly 369,500 recorded house fires in 2013 resulting in over 2700 deaths. Often times, fires in the home can be prevented. Here are a few things to consider:

First, make sure there are smoke alarms installed in your home and that they are installed in their proper locations. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside the bedrooms in the vicinity of sleeping areas, and on every floor level in the home. Hardwired smoke alarms with battery backup are preferred over simple battery detectors. Also, make sure your hardwired smoke detectors are all interconnected so that if one activates they all will. You can test this by holding down the “test” button on one of the smoke detectors in your house until it activates. If you continue holding down after it activates, you will hear the other alarms throughout the home activate as well. Smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year (even if your detector is hardwired). A good way to remember this is by changing your smoke detector batteries whenever you adjust your clocks for time change.

Electrical issues are a major cause of house fires. Multi-outlet converters have become increasingly more popular. There just never seems to be enough receptacles where you need them, and these little devices are excellent problem solvers. This can often result in overloaded outlets leading to fire danger. Overloading extension cords is equally hazardous and running them under rugs creates a recipe for disaster. Take no chances when it comes to electrical issues. If a receptacle or wire appears to be faulty, have them inspected by a licensed electrician.

Finally, use caution with appliances and heating equipment. Be sure to clean the lint filters in your dryer after every load. Keep portable heaters a safe distance from everything. When cooking, make sure all handles are kept out of the 6 o’clock position as to avoid spilling any flammable cooking oils. You can never be too safe when it comes to fire safety. Create a home evacuation plan and outside meeting place (commonly the mailbox), especially if there are young children in the home. Explain the importance of fire safety to your children. If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family, fire stations are open to the public at any time!

We love building homes! It brings us joy to see how excited people are when they get to move into their new home. The last thing we want to see is a family lose anything in a fire. Check your home for any fire dangers. To learn more about Gustafson Properties, LLC visit

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What Is It Going To Cost To Design Your Home?

For most people, the most exciting part of building a new home is the opportunity to make selections and design it exactly how they want! From flooring to lighting, appliances to countertops, the options are endless. What kind of budget are you looking at, though? When customers have a hard time getting a game plan together for their new home, it’s usually because they have no clue what kind of money they are looking at spending to incorporate all of those great ideas into their project. We’re going to try to make that a little easier… starting now!

Keep in mind; all of these are average numbers. If you’re looking to build a new home, what you want is ultimately what affects the bottom dollar. This article is simply to help our customers get a ballpark idea of what they may be spending on any particle option so that they will be better equipped when planning their new home design.

One of the biggest design selections for a customer is cabinets and countertops. For an average size home (2000-2500 sq. ft. heated), you’ll want to set aside at least $8,000 for cabinets (that’s being very conservative). Obviously, this can vary drastically depending on the amount of cabinet space a floor plan calls for. Another thing to think about with cabinets is upgrades. Upgrades are limitless when it comes to cabinetry. Paint (instead of stain), adjustable shelving, elaborate trim, even certain sizes all constitute as upgrades when it comes to cabinets. You can easily take a base price and add $5000 or more, depending on what you’re looking for. Countertops, while they may not be as complicated concerning upgrades, range in price quite a bit as well. Granite, being one of the most popular options today, can run as low as $35/sq. ft. for remnants to $70/sq. ft. and more. When you’re figuring stone countertops, consider the number of sink cutouts in your home. These can run up to $350 apiece and drastically increase your cost.

For appliances, consider what features are going to serve you best. For instance, if you’re the holiday host, you may be interested in a double oven. Do you prefer gas or electric? Will you be bringing your current refrigerator with you to the new home? All of these factors can affect cost. For budgeting purposes, consider entering $1500 in for a basic electric appliance package (smooth top stove, microwave vent-a-hood, and dishwasher). Add about $1200 for a refrigerator if need be. That should give you a good starting point, and you can upgrade as you see fit.

Lighting is one of the most popular selections among customers. Good lighting can make a home! It can also get expensive, though. Lighting may be one of those areas you really want to splurge. If that’s the case, you can very easily purchase a chandelier that costs as much as an entire base lighting package. Again, for budgeting purposes, consider putting in about $2500 for a base package. Then add all the extras you want. Don’t forget, can lights are a popular choice, but if you’re looking to run them as secondary lighting throughout your entire home, they can add up pretty quickly.

Hardwood flooring and ceramic tile are two of the most popular flooring options. I would figure about $6/sq. ft. (material and labor) for hardwood floors. For ceramic tile, you’d be safe staying in the $4.50/sq. ft. range. These prices will give you a reasonable allowance to purchase a wide range of flooring. If your flooring budget looks a little higher than you like once you figure it, you may consider scored and stained concrete in your home. It can be done significantly cheaper ($2.75/sq. ft.) and can be easily laid over down the road if you change your mind.

Lastly, let’s look at some exterior design… landscaping. Typically, we provide our customers with anywhere between $500-$1000 allowance for their new homes. To really give your home that mature and distinguished look, you’ll want to be very selective with your choice of plants. Trees at the corners of the homes should be about 1/3 the height of the house, plenty of evergreens should be planted to fill the voids, and flowering plants should be layered to add color. If you’re a big outdoorsy person and this is where you want to spend your money, you shouldn’t have a problem using that $1000… and more. A lot of customers, however, choose to save in this area at the time of construction and really “beef up” the landscaping the following spring. If that’s your preference, a smaller $500 allowance should be fine, providing you a few yards of mulch and some shrubs to add a little character.

Taking these numbers into account, let’s assume you’re building a 2000 sq. ft. home for $200,000. These options can account for roughly $31,000 worth of the project. That’s 16% of the total cost, and that’s being fairly conservative. Design options play a vital role in the cost of a new home. We want our customers to have the homes they dream of. That means providing you with the resources you need to plan for that new home! Hopefully, this will give you a good starting point for figuring the costs of your future home; and when you get ready to build, give us an opportunity to work with you! Learn more at



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FHA Loans

Many times when customers go to purchase a new home they find themselves overwhelmed with financing decisions. Conventional or unconventional, 15 years or 30, FHA, VA, USDA…it’s a lot to take in and can be very confusing!

What are the advantages of having an FHA loan? The FHA is the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans are the most popular type of home loans available. This is because the FHA insures loans for their lenders. With this being the case, this type of loan is often far more desirable, requiring fairly reasonable qualifications. FHA approved lenders also generally offer more appealing interest rates, increasing their popularity even more. So, if you have a decent credit history and a steady source of income, this may be the type of loan for you!

If you’re looking for a place to find good, reliable information on FHA loans and their conditions, go to There you will find information on everything from loan requirements to a mortgage calculator. If you would like to speak with someone about FHA loans or buying (or building) a new home, visit and contact us today! We would love to walk you through the process!

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Tips for Contingency Contracts!

If you are already a homeowner, you will likely need to sell your current home before even considering purchasing a new one. Often times this leads to customers making a contingency offer on a new home. More specifically, the customers’ purchase of the new home hinges on the fact that they can sell the one they live in. If you are considering taking this route, there are a few things you should consider. As you may know, Gustafson Properties works very closely with Team Couch of Bob Leigh & Associates Realtors. To provide our customers with more information in this subject area, we consulted Terry Thomas of Team Couch.

When making an offer on a new home, Thomas advises her customers to include in the contract a “first right of refusal” for the first 60-90 days. In the event another offer comes in on the home the customers are looking to purchase, this clause will allow them an opportunity to act quicker and secure the transaction. Another good piece of advice is for the customers to not start any acts of due diligence (such as home inspections or appraisals) until within 10 days of the of the offer’s expiration. As with any agreement, there is always the chance that a contract could “fall through”. By waiting and ensuring that nothing jeopardizes the agreement until the end, customers are less likely to waste any money.

Finally, price your house to sell. Consult your agent about market values. No one is asking you to give your home away, but don’t be unreasonable either. Perhaps the most valuable piece of information Terry has to offer is, “Buyers need to think like sellers, and sellers need to think like buyers.” As a customer wanting to buy a new home but also needing to sell your current one, you wear both hats. Before you submit a contract on a new home, ask yourself how you would feel about the price or terms if you were on the receiving end. When you price your own home to sell, ask yourself how much you would be willing to pay. Taking all of these things into consideration can help you get into your dream home even faster!

For more information on building or buying a new home, visit us online at Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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What Do You Need For A Mortgage App?

If you’re looking to purchase a new home, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions about which steps to take and what you will be responsible for providing. Finding a competitive lender and filling out a mortgage application are very important parts of the process. The mortgage application provides lenders with the information they need to qualify applicants for the home they are seeking to purchase. What do you need to bring when you go to speak with a lender? We’ve provided a list below!

You will need:

– your most recent pay stub with year to date earnings

– W-2’s from the last two years

– the previous year’s tax returns

– your last two month’s bank statements

– a valid driver’s license, and

– proof of all income

Having this information on hand when you meet with a lender will help speed up the process and keep you from making multiple trips to gather all the necessary paperwork!

This information has been obtained from Guaranty Bank & Trust.  You can visit them at  Ask to speak with Kristi Carter or Eddie Reed at the Hernando branch. If you’re in the market for a new home or looking to build a custom home, visit and contact us today! This is the year to get the home you’ve always wanted!