Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying home is an exciting time; especially when it’s your first home. But before you dive in, it’s important to get your finances organized to truly figure out what you can and cannot afford. We put together a checklist for you that we think highlights some of the things you should consider before purchasing!

Pay Down Your Debt:
This tip is probably a given, but it’s very important. We also recommend looking at your credit score and credit report as well. Making sure that your credit score is at an OK place can be the determining factor in the interest rate you’ll get. You also might now even be approved for a loan. Ouch! Also, make sure to pay down your credit cards, continue to pay bills on time. This will only help your credit score to increase. A 720 or higher is ideal!

Have Money in the Bank:
I’m sure you’ve heard of the 20% rule for a down-payment. However, it’s not completely required, as you can certainly buy a house without that. There are many good reasons to put down at least 20% though. Doing so you’ll almost certainly avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), or you won’t have to pay it very long. PMI may not seem like much, but if it adds an extra $100 to your monthly mortgage payment you can see why you’d probably want to avoid it.

Fine-tune your budget:
Regardless of what you have in the bank currently, buying a house is a long-term, year after year, month after month, expense that you’re going to take on. The first thing to figure out is how much you can absolutely spend. Remember, you don’t want to go house poor. Most people think about the mortgage and interest, but there’s more to it than that. There’s property taxes, possible homeowner association fees, and you might even pay more for utilities. Much more planning has to go into just being able to afford a mortgage.

Consider the length of your home loan:
Most people go with a 30-year mortgage, however, others try for a 15-year loan. The obvious benefit of choosing a 15-year loan is that it’s shorter, and you typically get a much lower rate. So, if you can do a 15-year loan, great. You’ll spend less, but plenty of people can’t swing that. Whatever you do, make sure you’re comfortable with the payment.

We hope you found this checklist helpful! As always, there’s plenty more to consider too, however, these are just some of the main things. For more information on our quality custom homes, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can!

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Which Come First; Finding A Lot Or A Custom Home Builder?

If you’re in the market for building a custom home, one question that often pops up is which comes first; selecting a lot and location, or a custom home builder? Are you in the same boat? While we don’t have a definitive answer for you, we can provide you with some insight to help your decision-making a little easier.

Location is one of the main priorities for many homeowners, so for some it makes sense to purchase the lot before finding a builder. A major benefit here is you’re able to walk over the property with your home builder. This gives you time to discuss specific design and landscape options that may work with the lot of your choice.

If location isn’t a huge priority for you, then consulting with a contractor first might be the place to start. You’ll have the opportunity to go over various properties and floor plans with your builder to find one that suits your needs and budget. In addition, your builder may have useful build ideas and suggestions on any lots you may potentially wish to purchase.

In conclusion, it’s ultimately up to you. If location is a key factor for you, then by all means, find your perfect lot first. On the flip side, if you prefer the expertise of an experienced builder to help you find the perfect lot for building your dream home, select a custom home contractor first. The choice is yours.

Don’t forget to contact C&E Wurzer Builders for more information on our quality custom home construction. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can!

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Tips for Maintaining Your New Custom Home’s Value

 

Interior of a custom built home by C&E Wurzer Builders

Your beautiful custom home is finished. Easy-to-do maintenance will keep it looking great for years to come.

The custom built home of your dreams, has just been completed and you’re all moved in. You obviously want to keep it looking great for years to come. Maintaining the value of your home is all about making sensible improvements and keeping up with smart maintenance. To help you do so, we put together a list of three overlooked tips that will help keep key areas of your home looking their best.

Regular Maintenance

Our first tip for you is performing regular maintenance. Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “My house is new, why do I need to do this?” Well, it’s very important as smaller items left uncorrected can eventually turn into larger problems. Two areas of the house to consider are your air conditioning system as well as the furnace. Fun fact: it is recommended that you swap out air filters at least twice a year. If you want to improve energy efficiency, then it’s probably around 4 times. Not doing this will eventually lead to energy inefficiency and other problems.

Monitor For Potential Heat Loss

Cold winter months in the midwest will eventually test the integrity of any home. If drafts or air leaks occur and are left unmonitored, furnace systems work even harder, which inflates your heating bills. Correcting any cold air drafts or leaks won’t directly raise the value of your property, but it will help keep your monthly utility bills in check.

Landscaping and Gardening

You probably know it as “curb appeal” but we consider it a great asset to keeping up your home’s value. Landscaping is one of the first things that people see when they approach your home. According to experts, investing at least 10% of your home’s overall value into landscaping can allow for up to a 150% return on your investment if you’re trying to sell your house in the future. Plus, it just looks great and adds a bit more character to a home.

We hope you find these tips useful. Don’t forget to contact us for more information on our quality custom home construction. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can!

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Parade of Homes & Eau Claire Neighborhoods

A custom designed kitchen with granite countertops.

A custom designed kitchen by C&E Wurzer builders.

It’s almost that time of the year! The 2017 Parade of Homes are fast approaching. The parade runs from June 10th – 17th, and you can get tickets for just $8 dollars in advance beginning in May and $10 day of the event. Tours of parade homes will be run Monday-Friday, from 5-9pm as well as weekends from 10am-5pm. Once we have more details we will be sure to let you know. We hope you’re as excited as we are!

Looking to build a custom home in Eau Claire or Altoona? C&E Wurzer Builders has you covered. We have options for development in three neighborhoods throughout the city. Here’s more on our subdivisions:

Our newest Eau Claire development is the Estates At High View, a premier west side city sub division. This development features beautiful walk out and look out lots, all with easy access to the North Crossing and I-94. Nearly all lots feature panoramic views and back yards that are mostly secluded.

Our next subdivision is Hidden Meadows which is located on the South Side of Eau Claire. This development includes wooded lots near both Target and Robbins Elementary School and range in price from $49,900-$64,9000.

Lastly, a new subdivision in Altoona is Haven Pines. This neighborhood is located next door to the new Altoona school, with most lots having private backyards. Lot prices for this subdivision start in the upper $30,000′s.

See something in particular that you like? Contact us for more information on our quality custom home construction. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can!

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Custom Home Virtual Tours – See What We’ve Built Without Going Outdoors!

It’s cold and snowy in Wisconsin and Minnesota, meaning winter has officially made it’s mark! Snow has fallen and the temperatures have dropped. The holiday season is over and we’re all ready for spring to arrive.

Perhaps you’ve thought about building a new custom home once we have more favorable weather? Looking for perfect home ideas but limited on time and hesitant on winter travel? C&E Wurzer Builders happily reminds you we have virtual tours available of our custom homes. It’s a quick and easy way to see our work without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Our virtual tours explore the many spaces, styles and options available with our custom construction. You can spend as little or as much time as you’d like in each room. Or sit back and let us guide you through the kitchen, dining spaces, living rooms, bedrooms, and other other spaces of quality builds. You can check them all out here.

See something in particular that you like? Contact us for more information on our quality custom home services and how we can be of service to you.

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Our Custom Home Building Process

You’ve decided you’re ready for a new custom built home in the Chippewa Valley, Hudson, Stillwater or the Twin Cities Metro area. C&E Wurzer Builders offers a unique and thorough building process from your very first meeting with us until you move in to your new home.

Getting Ready to Build Your Custom Home

We’ve broken this process down into four separate stages. Our thoroughness in planning allows for a smoother build once our builders and materials arrive on site.

Initial Meeting

We’ll get to know you, your ideas, your vision for your custom built home and begin our free drafting service. We want to provide as firm and accurate a bid as possible.

Drawing and Drafting

Following our initial meeting, we’ll meet again and provide you a drawing of what your new home might possibly look like. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to reconnect and establish we are all on the same page before we quote your project.

Visiting the Design Showroom

The next step in our custom home building process is visiting the design showroom at Lake Hallie Cabinets and Design. We enjoy a special business partnership with them and will be able to show you all of the many options available for your home. You’ll be able to see the very products we can use for your custom flooring, cabinets, countertops; even appliances!

Providing the Bid

Now that you’ve decided on the design and products for your home, we’ll provide you with a firm quote. All of our planning and hard work prior to construction has paid off. You know exactly what you want and what it will cost.

Building Your Home

We’re ready to build your custom home! C&E Wurzer Builders is the first home builder in Eau Claire to utilize BuilderTrend. This interactive, online tool allows you to see the progress of your build, submit, change requests view scheduled meetings and more!

Enjoying Your New Home

The hard work is finished, all that’s left to do is move into your new home. We’re certain you’ll be glad you chose to work with C&E Wurzer Builders on the custom home of your dreams.

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Flood Safety & Preparedness

With an unprecedented amount of rain in Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin this summer, flooding has unexpectedly become top-of-mind for many residents. Many areas that are typically unaffected by flooding have found themselves dealing with water in their basement, driveway washouts and flash floods.

The National Weather Service reports that a late September rainfall forced the closure of 60 roads in Clark County, Wisconsin alone. In an effort to stay safe and protect your home, the team at C&E Wurzer Builders has put together a list of five must-knows in the unfortunate event of flooding.

  1. When a flash flood or flash flood warning is issued, go to higher ground and have an evacuation plan. If you are evacuated, return home only when the area has been declared safe.
  2. Be sure you have at least three days of food and water on hand, along with a seven day supply of your medications. If flooding occurs, be sure your food and water are not tainted and safe for consumption.
  3. Watch for and avoid downed power lines if you make your way outside.
  4. Be aware of floodwater, even shallow water as it can be deceptive. Even less than two feet of flowing water can sweep a car away.
  5. Use caution when inspecting any damage inside the home. Don’t assume that the structure is stable, especially floors, stairs and roofs.

We hope that you’re family, pets and homes will always remain safe from flooding. Taking a few minutes to plan and be prepared may one day keep you out of harms way.

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7 Tips For A Smooth Move When Buying, Building Or Selling A Home

You’ve sold your home, have purchased another home or finished the build of a custom home. The papers are signed, the checks have cleared and it’s time to plan the next step; the move. With the strong performance of today’s real estate market, many people find themselves in just such a situation. The thought alone of a move can be stressful, let alone the packing, heavy lifting and convincing your friends they want to help you. Here are seven tips to help ease the burden of your moving experience.

  1. Pack any essentials in an overnight bag. Once you arrive at your new residence, you’ll want easy access to a change of clothes and toiletries like your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap. Don’t forget a towel if you plan on taking a shower once you unpack.
  2. Before breaking down any furniture, electronic wires and/or connections, use your phone to take pictures of how they’re put together and connected. You’ll be glad you have something to reference when putting everything back together in your new home.
  3. Have small plastic bags on hand to store small hardware parts like screws for TV mounting kits. These bags are easy to label with a marker and will keep hardware separated to make reassembly easier.
  4. Use hampers, baskets and suitcases to cut down on the number of boxes you’ll need. These items are already going to be included in your move, be more efficient by taking advantage of the packing space they offer. Many of them have handles and are easy to carry when containing your belongings.
  5. Color code your boxes using duct tape. Many colors of duct tape are now available and relatively inexpensive. Each room of your home can utilize a different color of tape and can be labeled as such, along with it’s contents using a magic marker.
  6. Buy a roll of stretch wrap. This can be handy for wrapping furniture to keep drawers and shelves from moving and grouping boxes together. Be sure it comes with a handle for easier wrapping.
  7. Finally, reward your friends for their help. As much as your friends like you, they’d probably rather be doing something else. Be sure you offer them first claim on any furniture or belongings you plan on giving away. Midwest hospitality helps too, have some food and drinks on hand for their efforts.

If you’re in the market to build a new custom home, are thinking of selling your home or are ready to purchase a new home, contact C&E Wurzer Builders. We’re a premier custom home builder in the Chippewa Valley, Hudson, Stillwater and Twin Cities Metro area. We also offers real estate services in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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Introducing Wurzer & Associates, A Unique Real Estate Experience

C&E Wurzer Builders has a family tradition of building custom homes for over 50 years in Western Wisconsin. As our company expands into Hudson, Stillwater and the Twin Cities Metro area, we’re pleased to announce an exciting new partnership. Introducing Wurzer & Associates with Keller Williams Premier Realty, a new division of our real estate services.

Wurzer & Associates logo

A new partnership, Wurzer & Associates offers real estate services in Minnesota, Wisconsin & Florida.

Representing the group are real estate agents Justin Wurzer, Mitzi Egan and Brandi Gregory. All have a unique background and bring years of experience to the market. Whether you’re looking to build or buy, it’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. Wurzer & Associates will work with you on finding the lot, a subdivision or the custom build that best fits your lifestyle, along with your budget.

Justin Wurzer says that Wurzer & Associates provides their clientele with a unique, hassle-free experience. “Because we’re the real estate agents and the contractor, the entire process is easier. Not only can we help you sell your current home but we’re also along to give you the guidance and service you’ll want during a new build. I’ve personally sold homes and project managed on new builds. That’s a perspective that’s really beneficial as I help customers make the move from the sale to the build.”

For more information on working with Wurzer & Associates and/or any of the C&E Wurzer Builders subdivisions in Eau Claire or Menomonie, Wisconsin, contact us here.

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It’s Here! Join us for the 2016 Parade of Homes!

The moment we’ve been patiently waiting for is finally upon us. From June 11th through June 18th, you’ll be able to view the custom home designs that C&E Wurzer Builders has been working so hard on. Everything you need to know about us in the 2016 Parade of Homes can be found below. We’re excited to welcome!

Here's the living room of one of our Parade Homes. Intrigued? Come out and visit us!

What you need to know:

  • C&E Wurzer Builders has two homes in the 2016 Parade of Homes. Yes, you read that right. TWO of our beautiful, custom homes will be on display this year. We love talking about the homes we build, but honestly you need to see these houses for yourself. We’re eager to have you walk through the front door and check out our craftsmanship, along with all the things that truly make these homes custom. We pair the most recent home design trends with classic and timeless features. From cabinet colors and styles, to flooring choices, to the countertops found in the kitchen and bathrooms, there’s a reason we chose these homes to represent C&E Wurzer Builders in the Parade of Homes. You can find these homes at the following addresses:

    1. 10709 34th Ave., Chippewa Falls

    2. S4374 Rygg Rd., Eau Claire

  • Ticket Prices. Tickets purchased before June 10th are $8. If you can’t buy in advance, you can purchase tickets for $10 at any parade home.

  • Our C&E Wurzer Builders Contest. What’s that? You want to know more about our Parade of Homes contest? We’ve announced details (and the amazing prize being offered) on our Facebook page. Make sure you “LIKE” our Facebook page to learn the specifics, and attend the Parade of Homes to be eligible!

Come on out to our homes and say hello to C&E Wurzer Builders!  You’ll want to attend the Parade of Homes if you…

  • Might want to build a home someday. While you might not want to build a home

    Come on in! See the the C&E Wurzer Builders level of quality by attending the Parade of Homes.

    now, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to build a few years down the road. This is a great opportunity to start gathering ideas and inspiration for the home you’ve always been dreaming about.

  • Plan remodel your home. If you love your current home and neighborhood, there’s no sense in leaving right? You don’t need to build a new home in order to get the home of your dreams. It might be time to remodel or design a new kitchen or bathroom. You can also get an open-concept floor plan in your current home. The Parade of Homes will give you an idea as to what remodeling and design trends are out there now!

  • Hope to buy a home soon. So maybe you’re not ready to dive right into the process of building a custom home. That’s okay! Again, the Parade of Homes is perfect for those who are thinking about their next home or an upcoming move. When going to house showings in the future, you can keep Parade Homes in mind so you know what you want and don’t want in your home purchase.

For more information about C&E Wurzer Builders and where we’ll be during the Parade of Homes, contact us today!

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