A Growing Chance That Rates Will Rise This Year

by Jeff Rutt on September 2nd, 2016
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BishopsWoods_709The Federal Reserve made headlines when it issued a statement suggesting a growing rate of change is about to go underway. The chance of a rate augmentation this year is insurmountable as the job gains increased after a weak growth in May.

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HOPE International’s 16th Annual Golf Tournament

by Jeff Rutt on August 16th, 2016
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Links693HOPE International’s mission is to invest in the dreams of families in the world’s under-served communities as we proclaim and live the Gospel. Through this belief, we have managed to serve 900,000+ families, helped save $34.01 per client and a 98% 5-year repayment rate. Each year, we like to hold our golf tournament to get more people involved in the spirit of HOPE’s organization.
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What’s Hot This Summer in New Home Construction

by Jeff Rutt on July 13th, 2016
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_DSC0624Design trends in building industry are continuously changing. There are shifts in choices of materials, designs, layouts, etc. This is why it’s important for new homeowners and sellers to learn what’s up and coming on the residential front to meet their needs as well as the desires of future buyers.

Check out these home design trends to look out for:

1. Reliable homes – Due to the climate change and the unforeseeable forecast, buyers are in the market for a sturdy home to protect them from natural disasters like flooding. Also with the natural resources declining over the years, buyers are looking for sustainable and efficiently built homes.
2. Classics are on the rise – Most homeowners tend to lean towards the more luxurious materials, but the need for classic material has been in high demand. “Home owners seem to prefer stone, for example, over brick, over clapboard, and over vinyl, but not everyone can afford stone,” said Michael Prifiti, principal with BLT Architects in Philadelphia. This change in material in largely due to cost-effectiveness.
3. Water sustainability – Water conservation is becoming a trend sweeping the nation. With water decreasing in availability, it’s becoming more expensive. Features such as “water-smart irrigation sensors, composting toilets, gray-water recycling systems, and rainwater harvesting” are becoming increasingly popular.
4. Digitizing is key – Sustainable materials like glass are in demand. The glass-and-LED combination is just one new technique that can result in a product that incorporates a sustainable material into a sturdy, practical, energy-efficient, and glamorous new surface for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Granite, laminate, or Corian countertops will also help to personalize a room.
5. Wood flooring – Homeowners crave authenticity, and wood flooring provides an element of nature, while also being durable. Wood is an excellent choice when constructing a home because it is natural, eco-friendly, and offers many health benefits.
6. Modernized perceptions – Many homeowners want the look of a modernized home without the blankness of a laboratory style room. This is achieved through using select materials when building a home. Wood and glass are two of the top materials homeowners choose when modernizing their home.
7. The tiny house movement – You may be thinking that the small house movement doesn’t offer you the space you would need in a home, but downsizing still offers the flexibility and mobility of an RV. This new trend is widely admired as it is cost-effective and eco-friendly.
8. Airy walk-in pantries – With the population steadily increasing, the need for open storage spaces is increasing. Homeowners tend to want more open space in the pantry for children to bake in or for wheelchairs to move around effortlessly in.
9. Better correlation of indoors and outdoors – Bigger entryways are becoming more and more valued; easier access to the outdoor scenery is a huge attraction for homeowners. Well designed large-scale door panels that fold up like garage doors or open into a home’s walls via big pocket doors allow better views of the outdoors, more enjoyment, and easier access to the outdoors.
10. Copper material – Copper can add a glamorous touch to your home, however, in constructing the home it is an important material to consider. According to The Copper Development Association, copper reduces more than 99.9 percent of bacteria in between routine cleanings, which is important because antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise. Copper will become more of a sweeping trend as concern about buying healthy homes, free from mold, toxins, and bacteria, are growing.
11. Softer palettes – Rose quartz and serenity are two colors that are trending this year in layered palettes. These new colors are important to consider when constructing a home’s countertops and backsplashes.
12. Kitchen enhancements – Kitchens are becoming the heart of a home and should be constructed accordingly. Homeowners are looking for more open plans that incorporate more kitchen space.

These trends are sweeping the nation in home construction, but there are plenty more out there to keep in mind. Click here to view additional trends to consider when constructing a home. Here at Keystone Custom Homes, we strive to keep up with shifting trends. Visit KeystoneCustomHome.com to see our various design choices, layouts, and materials.

Jeff Rutt

Homeownership Typically More Profitable for Single Men Than Women

by Jeff Rutt on June 21st, 2016
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Keystone Custom HomesWhen it comes to homeownership, single men are typically more profitable than single women. Recent studies have shown that the gender gap plays the biggest role in homeownership. In a study that covered more than 2.1 million single-family homes nationwide, it was reported that “homes owned by single men on average are valued 10 percent more and have appreciated $10,112 (16 percent) more since purchase than homes owned by single women.”

This is a tremendous gap in the market due to the fact that women are being paid less than men in the workforce; they ultimately aren’t going to be ranked as high as men in the business of homeownership. This wage difference affects the homeownership market because if women are getting paid less, they are less likely to buy and maintain homes. In Pennsylvania, this doesn’t always stay true. In Harrisburg-Carlisle, Lebanon County and Lancaster County, women have shown to make an average appreciation of $34,219 compared with $33,530 for single men. Read Post »

Keep York’s Momentum Going

by Jeff Rutt on May 16th, 2016
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York new homeAccording to CPBJ, downtown York is being re-energized with new businesses and restaurants emerging and doing well. Economically, we are seeing a great boost in York County. New homes and businesses are continually being built as more people continue to spend here. However, the question that needs answering is this: how do we keep this momentum up?

On May 11, York College hosted an event titled “Entrepreneurship as a Tool to Revitalize Our Cities 2.0” that addresses this topic. Leaders in the York-area, such as politicians and CEOs of businesses in the area, were part of a panel discussion to talk about how to continue to grow economically and what challenges the area might face. Ultimately, we hope to learn and find the solutions to keep the momentum going in York. Read Post »

New Co-Working Space is Now Open in Lancaster

by Jeff Rutt on April 18th, 2016
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PubforgeHave you ever found yourself itching to get out of the house in the hopes of getting some work done? Perhaps you ended up at the local coffee shop hoping the change in scenery would increase your productivity, only to find that your new environment was actually a distraction in itself.

The solution to this dilemma is Pubforge. Industrial Resolution, a Lancaster-based technology firm, just opened their newest innovative idea in the heart of downtown Lancaster. Located on the second floor of the Tellus360 building at 24 East King St, this tech-working space is a well-equipped escape for professional technologists to focus, create and grow.

The 4,000-square-foot space is separated into two different work areas. The first space is titled the Crucible and is considered the most productive of the two co-working spaces. Guests enjoy direct access to high-speed fiber Internet, a comfy computer chair at their own personal desk, complimentary tea and coffee, access to a private video conference booth and more! Read Post »

Uncharity: Doing More Good Than Traditional Charity

by Jeff Rutt on April 8th, 2016
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Uvita and ZenonHOPE International approaches philanthropy and assistance differently than most, in fact we call it uncharity rather than charity. We feel that traditional charity erodes the nature of people and creates dependency rather than motivation. To better explain what I mean by this, consider the story of Uvita and Zenon.

Caught in the endless cycle of poverty in the African country Burundi, this couple is raising six children and surviving mainly on their small farm and Zenon’s tailoring business. The couple constantly utilized every resource available just to put food on the table, even borrowing from friends and family. Zenon’s business income fluctuated often, and farming is a business that varies with the seasons. They felt stuck in poverty and could not find a way out that settled their past debts and kept their heads above water.

Through a partnership with HOPE International and their local church, Uvita and Zenon were given the tools to learn to save their own money and were offered a safe space to worship and study the Word. As Uvitia and Zenon saved up enough money, they became eligible to take out a loan from the group to pay for routine expenses or invest in housing or local businesses. Their support group provided encouragement and connections to others in the community who were also struggling. Read Post »

HOPE Inspires New Names

by Jeff Rutt on March 15th, 2016
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Power in a NameMy good friend Kevin Tordoff, vice president of marketing for HOPE International, recently shared his story about a recent trip to Gihindamuyaga, Rwanda in East Africa. During his visit, Kevin was reminded of how much power resides within the names we identify or are labeled with.

While he attended a community meeting at a local church that partners with HOPE Rwanda’s savings and credit association work, he discovered a subgroup of 15 families who each had at least one member in their family that was blind. The name of this group? Twisungane, which means “supportive” or “let’s help each other”. This group practices a handy-capable attitude where the blind are not considered beggars, and they focus on re-educating other members that blind people are not helpless, that they are in fact capable of doing things. Read Post »

Fall in Love with Keystone

by Jeff Rutt on February 24th, 2016
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Keystone Custom HomesAny business owner can tell you that starting up a business, managing it day-to-day, growing that business and serving as a leader within the business is a labor of love. Like any relationship, sometimes, in business, there are times when we lose ourselves to the day in and day out monotony, there are sometimes struggles (anyone in the building industry can attest to that), and sometimes, there are growing pains. But, through it all, we hold on to the things that make us truly love what we do.

And one of those things for me is how easy it is for others to fall in love with Keystone Custom Homes, and we have created a model here at Keystone that our customers do love. Here are a few: Read Post »

A Bar of Soap: The Story of Stella

by Jeff Rutt on December 17th, 2015
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StellaAt a recent HOPE International event, Matthew Rohrs, HOPE’s director of spiritual integration, shared the story of Stella, a remarkable woman I had the privilege of meeting in Malawi. Hearing Stella share her dreams was one of the highlights of my trip, and I’m excited to share her story with you in the words of Matthew.

“This picture shows a savings group in a rural village in Malawi. There are 15 members of the group, and they’ve been meeting since late last year. Here’s how the group works:

• Every other week, they come together, and e ach member brings a self-determined amount of money to save. You can see them laying out their individual amounts for the group treasurer.
• As the pool of savings grows, the group makes loans to members for larger family needs or business ideas.
• The purpose of the group is not just financial. Our meetings are guided by what we call the 5W’s—welcome, worship, Word, work (savings + biblically integrated curriculum), wrap-up.

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