May 22, 2018
With winter out of the way and summer rapidly approaching, you’re probably ready to pull out your swimsuit and start planning an amazing summer. But before you do that, it’s important to get your home ready for the summer. Not sure how to get your home ready for summer? Tropicana Homes is here to help! We’ve put together this handy checklist to help keep energy costs low, prevent costly repairs, and keep your home looking stylish all season.
Tropicana Homes’ Ready for Summer Checklist
Getting your home ready for summer involves more than just breaking out the patio umbrella and laying out lawn chairs. Here are some tips that will help all homeowners, whether you’re an experienced home buyer or a new buyer living in one of our eleven communities through El Paso, Horizon, Socorro, and Clint.
Bug-Proof Your Home
Summer in El Paso is amazing. Don’t let pesky bugs ruin it. When preparing your home for summer, take a few extra steps to protect your home from insect invaders. Check out your windows and doors for any gaps or cracks, and make sure to seal them. You may also want to consult with a pest control expert and have your home fumigated with insecticide. If you don’t want to hire a professional, there are many cheap pest control products for purchase.
Get Your Air Conditioner Up and Running
Summers in El Paso get hot, so one of the first things you should do is make sure your air conditioner is in great working condition. If your air conditioner isn’t working properly, reach out to an HVAC professional who can inspect your unit for leaks or defects, and then repair it. And while you’re at it, you may want to consider installing a smart thermostat, which can help you cut down on cooling costs and save energy. Here are a few thing you should look at when preparing your ventilating and air conditioning:
- Replace the air filter in your furnace/AC for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality.
- Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order (replace batteries if necessary).
- Program thermostat to save on cooling costs. Raise temperature 1 degree for every hour you’re gone, up to 5 degrees (never turn your air conditioner off!).
- Make sure fans are switched to proper or counter-clockwise position, which will force room air down to give a wind chill effect.
- Flash hot water tanks to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order. Lower temperature to save on energy and accommodate hot summer conditions.
- Examine exposed ducts in the attic and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug any leaks.
- Remove lint from dryer exhaust vent with long flexible brush.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space
With the weather warming up, it’s time to take care of your lawn, garden, and deck areas. Here are some to-dos from our summer home checklist that will get your home summer ready.
- Trim any overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent wind-swept branches and causing property damage or a power problem.
- Ensure rain drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt if necessary
- Inspect your deck or balcony for splintering and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter
- Make sure your exterior handrails are well secured
- Inspect your outdoor lighting We also suggest you spruce up your flower beds by removing weeds and redefining bed edges with a spade. And while you’re at it why not fill in your grass and plant some beautiful and fragrant flowers to make sure your home looks even more beautiful.
Check Windows, Doors & Exteriors
Do you want to keep your home cool, prevent leaks, and keep the exterior of your home in tip-top shape? Here are some things to do:
- Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace as necessary to prevent leaks.
- Reseal all seals around pipes, skylights, and penetrations in your roof with a roofing cement and caulking gun to prevent future leaks that can be cause from materials freezing.
- Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, skylights, and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
- Ensure all vents, eaves, and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from nesting.
- Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and any exterior rock wall drains to prevent blockages.
- Check the weather-stripping around your door-frames and windows for leaks to prevent cool air loss, and replace if needed
- Examine window frames and all exterior wood materials; stucco and mortar for signs of deterioration. Repair, replace, re-caulk or repaint to maintain integrity and appearance.
- Check for drafts around doors and windows. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep cool air from escaping.
- Inspect your windows for cracks, gaps, or broken glass, and repair or replace if needed
- Keep your shades closed during the middle of the day to minimize heat from sunlight These simple steps will keep your Tropicana Home in pristine condition all summer season.
Tropicana Home’s Ready for Summer Checklist: Final Thoughts
“I’m looking forward to spending some quality time outside with my family this summer. Home owner maintenance is vital as our rainy season approaches. As the temperature fluctuates, hairline cracks will form in the tar around your roof penetrations and in the caulking of your doors and windows. I will also be showing my family how to prepare our house by sealing all of our exterior penetrations, especially our roof penetrations. Much like a car, proper maintenance of a house will ensure greater value!” - *Randy Bowling, President *
Summer’s a wonderful time of year. Don’t spoil it by not prepping your home for the season. By summer-prepping your home, you can have time to enjoy Tropicana Home’s amazing amenities like community parks, sand volleyball courts, and easy access to parks and trails.
April 24, 2018
There are over five million homes sold every year. That means you have a pretty good chance of finding one you like. However, knowing how to buy your first home is the difficult part. First time home buyers face lots of obstacles. Before you run back to an apartment, know that there are also a lot of great perks to owning your Tropicana Home. Some of these include tax breaks, control over your living environment, and an investment into your future. The obstacles, on the other hand, can all be overcome by learning the details and working with experts. Here are three important things to do in order to buy your very first Tropicana Home.
1. Understand the Finances
Luckily, you won’t have to pay the price of the house upfront. Otherwise, it would be incredibly difficult to buy anything. In fact, when you work with Tropicana Homes and our preferred lender, Patriot Mortgage, we cover up to 6% of your closing costs. The bank lends you money so that you can pay for the house. In return, you promise to pay back the bank’s portion of the home over time. This is called mortgage payments. In order to use the bank’s money, they require that you pay them back interest. The higher the interest percentage, the more money you’ll have to pay to the bank. Some loans, such as a USDA loan, which are available in specific areas of El Paso County, do not require any down payment on your home. There are many different types of mortgage loans, and bond money. Our preferred lender Patriot Mortgage works with these programs, such as VA, FHA, USDA as well as conventional loans and offers TSAHC bond program. They will help you assess your options to find one that best suits your needs. We offer plenty of options, so you can find what works best with you. At Tropicana Homes, we work with Patriot Mortgage to make your home buying experience as easy as possible.
2. Work with a Trustworthy Representative/Realtor
Not only is a good mortgage lender important, but so is a good realtor or builder representative. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you’ll definitely want someone who has been through the process a couple of times to help you out. Luckily, we have an amazing team that are always here to assist you. Our team has access to wide variety of resources and connections. As a result, they can get you into one of our move-in ready homes or find the perfect lot at any of our available communities to build one of the many floorplans that we offer. They can also be great advisors and guide you through the entire homebuying process. Needless to say, we know what it takes to be a good realtor. Find someone who will show you how to buy your first home with ease. Our team of realtors know all of our homes by heart and can guide you through the home complete buying process, whether it’s buying a move-in ready home, or building one.
3. Pick the Right Location
Here’s how to pick the right neighborhood. Tropicana Homes offers 11 communities throughout El Paso, Horizon, Socorro, and Clint, Texas. Each community has different price ranges and floorplans to offer. This is an important step to set down roots in your new home. Also, check these communities before buying your dream property.
Learning How to Buy Your First Home
If it’s time for you to buy your first home, know that you’re not alone. Your parents, grandparents, and others all learned how to navigate this tricky landscape, and you will too. Tropicana Homes is the largest and most trusted homebuilder in El Paso. After 68 years, that’s something we are very proud of. Four times, we have been awarded “Builder of the Year” by the El Paso Association of Builders; in 2009, we were named “Texas Developer of the Year” and “Builder of the Year” in 2003, 2013 and 2015 by the Texas Association of Builders. In their Best of 2012 list, The City Magazine had Tropicana earning the honor of Best Homebuilder. Led by Randy Bowling, president and co-owner, Tropicana Homes has been in existence across three generations of the Bowling family. It has been our privilege to build over 10,000 homes in this city.
“OUR COMMITMENT TO GIVING EL PASOANS THE HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE HAS ONLY INTENSIFIED. WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.” Randy Bowling, President
In case you’re still apprehensive and don’t know where to start you can contact us! We’ll help you get started on the process right away.
December 20, 2016
With temperatures beginning to drop and the Holidays getting closer, you’ve probably already switched the heat on and pulled your winter coat out of storage. Making sure your home is prepared for winter is a good way to keep energy costs low and help prevent costly repairs. Tropicana Homes put together a checklist to help you get your home ready for winter.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
- Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace, it will improve the air quality and maximize the efficiency.
- Check all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in working order.
- Program the thermostat to save on energy costs.
- Switch ceiling fans to reverse/clockwise position, which will blow the warm air down to the floor.
- Examine exposed ducts in the attic or crawl space and plug any leaks with sealant.
- Flush hot water tanks to remove sediment and check the pressure relief valve to ensure it’s functioning properly.
Lawn, Garden and Deck/Balcony
- Trim branches that interfere with electrical wires or are too close to the home, it will prevent iced-over or wind-blown branches from causing power outages or damage to the home.
- Ensure rain and snow drain away from the home to avoid foundation issues. The dirt grade should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas as necessary.
- Remove hoses from outdoor faucets and shut off exterior faucets, outdoor pipes, valves and sprinkler heads to avoid pipe bursts.
- Inspect deck or balcony for splintering and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.
Windows, Doors and Exterior
- Check the weather-stripping around all windows and doors to locate leaks, replace if necessary to prevent heat loss.
- Check for drafts around windows and doors, caulk inside and out if necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
- Examine window frames and exterior wood, stucco and mortar for signs of deterioration. Repair as necessary to maintain integrity and appearance.
- Inspect windows for cracks and gaps, replace as needed.
Roofs and Drains
- Check for missing or damaged shingles and replace as necessary.
- Reseal all seals around pipes, skylights and penetrations in your roof.
- Ensure all vents, eaves and openings are covered to prevent unwanted creatures from attempting to nest in a warm place.
- Clean leaves and debris from any exterior drains to prevent blockages.
- Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
This list isn’t exhaustive and your home may have special features that need additional attention, but this will get you started on preparing your home for winter. Periodic checks will help you identify areas that need attention and help prevent costly repairs or emergency maintenance.
November 18, 2016
In your search for a new home, you’ve looked for a community that helps you accomplish specific goals like shortening the commute to work and school or moving closer to family. Now that you’ve found the perfect community, it’s time to start thinking about the floor plan that best fits your lifestyle, family dynamic and future plans.
Tropicana Homes offers a variety of floor plans within each community to best fit the varied needs and family dynamic of each prospective homeowner. These family dynamics range from growing families to empty-nesters to multi-generational households.
We looked through the numerous floor plans offered by Tropicana Homes and considered which features might be beneficial for different family lifestyles. We outlined some of our favorites and why we think they would benefit each family dynamic.
If you have young children or hope to expand your family in the future, floor plans that keep the master bedroom on the same floor as the other bedrooms will allow you to keep a close eye on your babies. Though teaching your children to share their space is a crucial lesson, choosing a floor plan with an extra bedroom or living room will help accommodate your growing family. Some of our favorite growing family oriented floor plans are the Apollo, the Bianka and the Tori 2.
- The Apollo is a two-story home with approximately 2,223 square feet. All four bedrooms are on the second floor, allowing you to walk down the hall to tuck in your children and chase away bad dreams. The open kitchen, dining and family room area on the main level will allow you to easily entertain guests. The Apollo is currently available in La Puesta Del Sol, Tres Sueños, Emerald Park and Sandstone Ranch.
- The Bianka is also a two-story home with approximately 3,393 square feet. The additional footage accommodates an upstairs loft, that would serve perfectly as a playroom. There are three bedrooms upstairs and an extra room that can be used as an office, playroom or additional bedroom. The Bianka is currently available in La Puesta Del Sol.
- The Tori 2 is a two-story home with approximately 2,197 square feet. With four bedrooms and an upstairs loft, there is plenty of room for children to play and grow. The large family room and living room provide abundant space for family time. The Tori is currently available in La Puesta Del Sol, Mesquite Trails, Tres Sueños and Sandstone Ranch.
If you’re an empty-nester, you may be looking to downsize now that your children have moved out to follow their dreams. You may want to keep a guest room for visits, but you can convert an extra bedroom into a hobby room or home office. Some of our favorite downsizing options are the Marcos Modern and the Noel A.
- The Marcos Modern is a single-story home with approximately 1,148 square feet. This three bedroom floor plan provides ample space for an empty-nester, but is still easy to clean and maintain. The Marcos Modern is currently available in Rio Bravo and Tres Sueños.
- The Noel A is also a single-story home with approximately 1,295 square feet. The open kitchen and dining room are connected to the living room, making entertaining a breeze. The bedroom at the front of the home gives a view of the front yard and street, perfect for use as a home office. The Noel A is currently available in Tres Sueños.
With a multi-generational family living in one home, there’s a variety of needs to accommodate. Elderly parents may still be capable of independence but don’t want to navigate stairs and children may be growing toward independence. Some of our favorite options for multi-generational families are the Everidge, the Tuscany and the Janis 5.
- The Everidge is a two-story home with approximately 3,419 square feet. The third garage and main floor bedroom including its own bathroom are perfect for the independent older parent living with their child. The remaining four bedrooms are on the second floor. The home features a balcony and covered patio, providing the opportunity to enjoy an El Paso sunset. The Everidge is currently available in Mesquite Trails, Sandstone Ranch and La Puesta Del Sol.
- The Tuscany is also a two-story home with approximately 2,976 square feet. The home includes a spare bedroom on the main floor allowing the elderly parent to avoid the stairs. The three car garage allows your teenager to park their vehicle or gives you space to store your outdoor/sporting equipment. The four upstairs bedrooms can accommodate a large family or be converted into a playroom or office. The Tuscany is currently available in Mesquite Trails.
- The Janis 5 is a two-story home with approximately 2,486 square feet. Elderly parents will appreciate the master bedroom and bathroom on the main floor that is set apart from the living room, providing a quieter space. The second floor features a second master bedroom and bathroom, two bedrooms and a loft that can serve as a playroom or second living room. The Janis 5 is currently available in Tres Sueños, Mesquite Trails and Sandstone Ranch.
The floor plans listed above are only a fraction of what Tropicana Homes offers. Visit tropicanahomes.com/floorplans to view additional floor plans and learn about the availability of the floor plan in each community. In addition to having a variety of layouts, Tropicana Homes gives homeowners the opportunity to choose from different façades (also known as “elevations”): modern, standard and Mediterranean. Contact Tropicana Homes to learn more about the building process. With Tropicana Homes, you’ve found the ideal community, let us help you find your dream home.
October 17, 2016
Whether you’re moving from across town or across the country, finding a new house starts with locating the best neighborhood. The ideal neighborhood for one buyer may not be quite so perfect for another, due to variations in lifestyle and life goals. At Tropicana Homes, we’ve invested in communities throughout the El Paso region, within the city limits and beyond. We know there’s a perfect spot waiting for you in one of our communities.
To help you narrow down your search, we put together a list of essential questions you could consider as you search for the best community for you and your family:
- Does the community include any amenities?
- Are there any nearby attractions or entertainment options?
- What schools are nearby?
- How close are the highways?
- How close are certain areas of town?
- Where is the nearest emergency room, dentist, etc.?
Using the list above, we took a closer look at a few of the Tropicana Homes communities.
Emerald Park (near Horizon City)
Emerald Park is a beautiful community just outside of El Paso, giving you a break from the hustle of the city and an opportunity to enjoy a rural hush.
- Amenities: Community park, including a basketball court and sand volleyball court.
- Nearby attractions: Horizon Golf Club, Emerald Springs Golf Course and Socorro Independent School District Aquatic Center.
- Nearby schools: Eastlake High School, Mission Ridge Elementary, Horizon Heights Elementary and Col. John Ensor Middle School.
- Loop 375/I-10 Interchange: Less than five miles from the community.
- Commuting: 30 minutes to Fort Bliss, 25 minutes to Downtown El Paso, 15 minutes to Montana Ave., 12 minutes to Lee Trevino Dr., 10 minutes to George Dieter Dr.
- Healthcare: Two minutes to Las Palmas Urgent Care Center, three minutes to Sierra Providence Medical Partners, two minutes to Keep Smilin’ Family Dental, six minutes to Easy Dental.
Horizon Hills (near Horizon City)
Horizon Hills offers an escape from the busyness of the city without forfeiting the convenience of city features.
- Amenities: Community park, including a basketball court and sun-shielded playground.
- Nearby attractions: Horizon Golf Club, Emerald Springs Golf Course and Socorro Independent School District Aquatic Center.
- Nearby schools: Eastlake High School, Mission Ridge Elementary, Horizon Heights Elementary and Col. John Ensor Middle School.
- Loop 375/I-10 Interchange: Less than three miles from the community.
- Commuting: 25 minutes to Fort Bliss, 25 minutes to Downtown El Paso, 10 minutes to Lee Trevino Dr., eight minutes to George Dieter Dr., 15 minutes to Montana Ave.
- Healthcare: 10 minutes to Las Palmas Urgent Care Center, Sierra Providence Medical Partners, Keep Smilin’ Family Dental, and Easy Dental.
La Puesta Del Sol (West El Paso)
Residents of La Puesta Del Sol have enviable views of the sunsets, access to parks and trails, and an easy drive to the Outlet Shoppes.
- Amenities: Community park and playground.
- Nearby attractions: Outlet Shoppes, Sunland Park Mall, Sunland Park Race Track and Casino, Wet and Wild Water World, and more.
- Nearby schools: Jose Damian Elementary, Canutillo Middle School, and Canutillo High School.
- Woodrow Bean Trans-Mountain Dr.: Less than two miles from the community.
- I-10: Less than a mile from the community.
- Commuting: 25 minutes to Fort Bliss, 15 minutes to Downtown El Paso, 20 minutes to UTEP, 20 minutes to the Northeast, 30 minutes to George Dieter Dr.
- Healthcare: less than 10 minutes to Upper Valley Urgent Care, Complete Emergency Care and El Paso Quality Dentistry.
Rio Bravo (Clint, TX)
Nestled in the agricultural area of Clint, Texas, Rio Bravo offers residents a quiet community filled with history and surrounded by beautiful farmland. Less than thirty minutes from El Paso, the community gives residents the chance to enjoy the country.
- Nearby attractions: Cattleman’s Steakhouse, Old El Paso County Jail Museum and El Paso Motor Plex.
- Nearby schools: William D. Surratt Elementary, Clint Junior High School and Clint High School.
- I-10: Less than five miles from the community.
- Loop 375/I-10 Interchange: 13 miles from the community.
- Commuting: 15 minutes to Socorro, 10 minutes to Fabens and San Elizario.
- Healthcare: 10 minutes to University Medical Center Fabens Clinic, 10 minutes to Texas Kids Dental Care of Fabens, 15 minutes to Rio Grande Family Dental.
The list isn’t exhaustive, but it will get you thinking about your priorities for your new community, benefits you’d like to have and things that you’re indifferent about. For example, if your children are fully grown, you’d have little concern for proximity to schools, but you might care about how close the airport is to go visit grandchildren. Visit http://tropicanahomes.com/communities to learn more about the available communities and the contact information for the communities’ sales agents.
September 27, 2016
Since 1950, Tropicana Homes has been committed to providing El Pasoans with homes that complement their lifestyles through quality, comfort-focused design and exceptional value. Over the years, countless memories have been made at thousands of Tropicana Homes, and continue to be made as each new generation begins creating their own.
Keeping these new generations in mind, Tropicana Homes takes pride in continuing to provide quality, comfort and value to our customers as we work to provide solutions to the demand for cleaner and more sustainable energy within our homes and communities. Energy efficiency is the focus of several ongoing federal initiatives, as well as state and local energy code mandates including efficiency requirements for new residential construction.
Any new home that was not permitted before September 1, 2016, must be built to the stringent standards of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These initiatives and mandates will positively impact the environment, but also result in increased construction costs.
Fortunately, homeowners have the opportunity to educate themselves on the new efficiency measures, learn how to properly maintain the related systems and exercise responsible energy use, which could lead to lower energy costs over the life of their home. The following list highlights the potential benefits of energy efficiency:
Increased comfortability and better quality atmosphere throughout the home. Minimum standards help ensure the efficiency of materials used and how they are installed. Examples of this include properly installed ductwork, improved insulation, LED lighting, higher efficiency windows and ventilation fans. When maintained properly, these measures will create a more air tight living space within the home, thereby reducing energy costs.
Potential long-term cost savings for homeowners. With appropriate maintenance and consumer use, there is a potential savings for residents through the reduction of electrical, water and gas utility usage. One expert believes, “Homeowners could save themselves roughly $300 annually on their utility bills compared to the 2012 EICC, and $850 annually compared to homes built to the 2006 IECC.” Visit http://www.builderonline.com/building/code for additional information on this topic. (Meres, Ryan. “2015 IECC: What you Need to Know” Builder Online, 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 8 Aug. 2016)
Overall benefit to the environment. Investing in efficiency measures will lead to a decrease in pollution and wasted energy and natural gas. This benefits not only current generations but also future generations.
Although there is an initial increase in price, the potential savings could negate the initial cost of implementation. As energy prices rise and resources diminish, new homeowners will continue to reap the benefits of a more energy efficient home, including competitive resale values compared to older, less efficient homes. As always, Tropicana Homes is committed to quality homes and the proper installation of mandated systems and features. We’re here to answer any questions regarding energy efficiency or any other topic related to purchasing your new home. For additional information on energy efficiency tips and tools, please visit the State Energy Conservation Office’s website at www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us.
August 12, 2016
El Paso, Texas- Mollie Stopani, sales professional for Tropicana Homes in El Paso, was named the 2016 “Rookie Sales Professional of the Year” at the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) Star Awards held in Grapevine, Texas on August 4, 2016. The annual awards are a statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry, showcasing the outstanding work of professionals within the industry. The association is an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders and is comprised of 28 local Texas home builders.
Mollie Stopani, a native of El Paso, began her career as a sales agent at Tropicana Homes in January 2014 at the Tres Sueños community development in East El Paso and is currently over the Sunset Terrace community in West El Paso. “Being a recipient of the TAB Star Awards is a great accomplishment,” said Randall Bowling, President of Tropicana Homes, “Mollie is an exceptional sales professional - we are proud of her achievements and contribution to Tropicana Homes and our community.” As an award recipient, Mollie Stopani will be featured along with other TAB 2016 Star Award winners in the September/October issue of Texas Builder magazine.
Tropicana Homes has also been recognized by the Texas Association of Builders in past years; in 2003, 2013 and 2015 the association awarded Tropicana Homes “Builder of the Year” and in 2009 “Developer of the Year”. Currently, Tropicana Homes has seven living communities available throughout El Paso County, and continues to grow with a new community development in the Northeast area which will be available in 2016.