8 Reasons the Barndominium Is Gaining Popularity in North Texas – by Don Howe

We wrote about barndominiums last year, as we have been seeing more and more of them in North Texas. These are a new concept to many. Enjoy this guest post from Don Lowe, creator of Barndominium Life, a barndo enthusiast who aims to educate, inform, and inspire you to take action and Build Your Dream Barndominium. So check out these 8 reasons why barndominiums are becoming popular in North Texas.

8 Reasons the Barndominium Is Gaining Popularity in North Texas

If you have driven in North Texas in recent years, you have likely seen an increase in the number of barndominiums. Designed to combine work and living spaces, these large buildings have become a popular choice for those in rural regions.

Before choosing a prefabricated home or a traditional home, explore the top eight reasons why the barndominium should be your next North Texas house.

1. Affordability

Price is a major factor for any type of new home construction and barndominiums tend to provide the best value. Traditional homes cost between $150 to $200 per square foot to build in North Texas.

The average cost of a barndominium in the same region is about $100 to $130 per square foot. Choosing a barndominium may save you tens of thousands of dollars.

The price varies based on a variety of factors, such as the general contractor that you hire, the type of foundation, and the size of the barndominium. You also need to consider the quality of the materials and the extra details, such as doors, windows, and special design features.

Obtaining a construction loan for any type of new home often requires excellent credit and a suitable down payment. By choosing an affordable barndominium, you may improve your chances of getting approved for a loan.

Even with a high-end barndominium, you are likely to save money compared to building a traditional home. The cost-savings may give you the ability to build the home of your dreams.

2. Protection

Barndominiums often feature post frame or steel frame construction. Both options provide increased structural support compared to the stud frame construction used for traditional homes.

North Texas is vulnerable to severe weather. The area around the Red River Valley is especially prone to tornadoes. A barndominium is better equipped to withstand strong winds and impact from debris.

The roof is also supported by the entire frame, including the columns and horizontal girts. This increases the load-bearing strength and overall durability of the roof for dealing with extreme conditions.

Adding a basement to a barndominium may offer even more protection. A full or partial basement can provide a safe place to wait out tornadoes.

3. Open Floor Plans

A traditional home has limited design options, due to the need for load-bearing walls. Creating a wide, open living area without adding columns or supporting walls is difficult.

The frame of a barndominium allows you to use large open designs. You do not need interior walls for support. This provides more versatility when choosing the layout of the rooms and hallways.

Barndominiums were originally intended to add living space to barns and workshops. If you live in a rural area, you may find it convenient to combine these spaces.

The open design allows you to add almost any type of space to your home. Along with a barn or a workshop, you could add a studio or a garage. You can even add vaulted ceilings and other interesting design features with less of a hassle compared to a traditional home.

4. Energy Efficiency

Compared to steel frame buildings, post-frame barndominiums have thicker wall cavities. The thicker cavities create more of a barrier from the outdoors, helping to improve the energy efficiency of the design. The extra space inside the walls also provides more room for insulation.

The wood posts used for the columns of the frame are natural insulators, which makes a post-frame more efficient compared to stud frames.

Choosing a barndominium with an open design may also aid air circulation. There is more room for the air to circulate uninterrupted by walls. These features could significantly cut your North Texas energy bills throughout the year.

5. Large Homes

Thanks to the affordability of barndominiums, you may be able to build a home with more square footage. For example, $250,000 is likely to pay for a much larger barndominium compared to a traditional house.

The extra space that you gain may be used to add bedrooms or increase the size of rooms. You could also add dedicated rooms, such as a den or a family game room. With two-story ceilings and rooms that run the length or width of the barndominium, you have endless design options.

6. Room to Grow

Adding on to a home is a costly process, especially with a traditional home. The studs are often spaced 16 to 24 inches apart. This creates a challenge when adding windows or doors after construction.

Barndominiums provide more flexibility for future renovations and additions. The frames allow support columns to be spaced six to eight feet apart, instead of two feet or less. With more space between the columns, it becomes easier to add bay windows, double doors, and other specialty design elements.

7. Long Lasting

A barndominium may last for generations, whether you choose a post frame or steel frame construction process. Steel is one of the most durable materials available. When using a post-frame, the timber is protected from rot and decay.

The frame also features support beams and girts for increased structural integrity, which protects against shifting and settling.

With increased strength, your barndominium is less prone to damage and natural wear and tear. If you hire a reliable contractor, it should offer a comfortable place to live for the rest of your life.

8. Lower Taxes and Insurance

Building a barndominium may help you pay lower property taxes. In North Texas and most of the United States, barndominiums are taxed at the same rate as a traditional residential property.

Fortunately, some counties make distinctions between living quarters and workspaces. Workspaces are typically considered the non-heated areas of the property, such as a garage, barn, or workshop.

If the county where you choose to build your barndominium does not count non-heated areas, you are likely to have your property assessed for a lower value. This results in lower taxes and insurance.

The bottom line is that barndominiums are becoming a popular site throughout the country, including in Northern Texas. If you want an affordable new home with open floor plans and endless design possibilities, a barndominium may be the right choice.

Don Lowe runs BarndominiumLife.com and became inspired to do so after becoming infatuated with barndominiums and the barndo lifestyle. BarndominiumLife.com was created with the intent of learning more about barndos. Our 138 page eBook is the #1 new release in Home Design on a little website called Amazon.com

5 Things You Should Research Before Downsizing During the Pandemic

This is a guest post from blogger Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom. Elder Freedom is an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. Thank you for providing this important information for older adults.

Even under normal circumstances, downsizing your home can be a complex and stressful transition. With COVID-19 still a public health threat and seniors most at risk, downsizing in the coming weeks and months can be even more complicated. However, finding the perfect home for your golden years doesn’t have to be so challenging. You can keep yourself protected from coronavirus and undue stress by researching these downsizing essentials.

COVID-19 Rules and Precautions

If you’re like most seniors, COVID-19 is at the front of your mind even when it comes to downsizing. That’s because COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life, including purchasing property. So, if you are looking for a new home for your retirement, know that you can use 3D walkthroughs, video-conference tours, and virtual open houses to stay safe. You should also check in with your state’s current COVID-19 updates before you begin downsizing. Pay special attention to reopening plans, as this can impact your home search and move.

Housing Market Prices and Trends

Real estate in some parts of the country shuddered at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the market is picking up steam in many states. Still, you should check in with your real estate agent or check online to see what current housing trends look like in your particular area. Better yet, you can hire DW Slater Company for reliable and expert home appraisal services.

In terms of housing prices, seniors looking to downsize may be in for a bit of sticker shock when it comes to their new homes. That’s because despite being in a recession, housing prices in the US are not expected to fall as drastically as they did back in 2008. So you may end up paying quite a bit more for a smaller home than you were originally expecting.

Aging in Place Home Modifications

Your new home should be perfect for you now and in the future. So as you begin thinking about what sort of features you would like to have in your new home, also start thinking about what sort of home design features will help you age in place. Keep in mind that you can DIY many updates, but some projects will require a professional. Having your cabinets lowered, floors updated or a stairlift added are all modifications that should be completed by a pro Just be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 when scheduling projects. This can include asking contractors about their exposure to coronavirus and requesting they wear protective gear, including shoe covers and masks, while they work inside of your home.

Local Cost of Living Statistics

Comfort and stability are key to preserving your quality of life in retirement and this is why you should calculate costs of living for your desired location. Your housing expenses are bound to make up the bulk of your costs of living, but things like groceries and transportation costs should also be considered. Healthcare costs can be a major expense for seniors as well, so make sure you have the right healthcare plan and will be able to afford the care you need in retirement. Most retirees spend an average of $6,700 out of pocket each year for their healthcare costs, but this total can vary according to your insurance or Medicare coverage and your individual needs.

Downsizing and Moving Guides 

Last but certainly not least, you will want to create a plan for downsizing your household. Since things are already so stressful right now, consider using a downsizing guide to help you check each essential task off of your list. For instance, this downsizing guide has some helpful tips for coping with the emotions that often come with decluttering and downsizing your personal possessions. In addition to researching tips for downsizing your home, you should also look for moving guides that include special precautions and considerations for reducing COVID-19 risks.

Downsizing can free up a lot of time, money, and stress for your retirement. So don’t let worries about coronavirus put a damper on your downsizing plans. With a few added precautions, you can keep your move safe and then you can settle into your golden years even sooner!

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Author: Mike Longsdon with Elder Freedom. Elder Freedom is an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors. You can find more about Elder Freedom at their site: http://elderfreedom.net/

How to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Enjoying Life at Any Age

This post is written by Patrick Young who has been a regular contributor to our blog.  Patrick is an advocate for those with disabilities and writes important information pertaining to those with disabilities. This article focuses on preparing your home as you age. This speaks personally to me as we have been helping my grandmother through some transitions as she ages.

How to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Image courtesy of Unsplash

For many older adults, aging in place is a priority. In fact, some statistics indicate that 90 percent of seniors hope to stay in their homes as they grow older. If you’re considering changes to make your home more age-friendly, there are a couple of key strategies you should keep in mind. Read on for information to help you create an environment that will support you and keep you safe throughout your golden years.

Steer Clear of Falls

Stability is something we take for granted in our younger years. However, along with age can come serious risk for falls. In fact, HomeAdvisor notes that more than a third of adults over the age of 65 fall every year, so modifying your home with fall prevention in mind is important.

In order to make appropriate changes, it’s helpful to understand why seniors fall. Waning eyesight can be a major contributing factor since older eyes don’t adjust to changes in brightness as well as they used to. Aim for even, bright lighting throughout the home, adding task lighting as needed where you work. Pay special attention to dim areas where no natural light is available, such as hallways and staircases. If lights are already installed in those areas but navigation remains challenging, use brighter light bulbs. In addition to added lights, you can use paint to brighten a space and boost contrast, such as making a dark staircase easier to see.

You should also think about your home’s general structure. In the event that you should require an assistive device such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, an uncluttered floor plan with wider-than-average hallways and doorways can be a boon. Also, think about where your most-used rooms are located. Having your bedroom, kitchen, bath, and laundry on the main floor is helpful when aging joints aren’t able to traverse stairs as well.

Beware of the Bath

As far as most dangerous spaces, bathrooms usually top the list for seniors. The combination of slick surfaces, water, and changes of position can lead to getting off-balance and not being able to recover. You can address those concerns with a little tweaking, making an otherwise tough-to-navigate space easier as you age. Consider adding non-slip strips to the tub and shower area, a bathmat outside the tub, and a comfort-height toilet. Grab bars should also be installed in three places: in the tub and shower area, near towel racks, and next to the toilet. Many people are concerned that grab bars will look institutional, but some newer grab bar designs blend seamlessly with decor, adding a spa-like feel.

Out and About

Your home’s exterior deserves some special considerations. Senior Health Memos notes that low-maintenance landscaping choices, such as evergreen shrubs and raised beds, make upkeep easier for older adults. Similarly, easy-care siding and some added hardscaping can keep you enjoying the great outdoors throughout your golden years. While you’re making upgrades to your home’s exterior, consider incorporating a ramp into the design. Ramps allow easier navigation to and from your home regardless of weather, and even when carrying bags or using a cane. Make sure that you can remain active into the evening hours by adding appropriate outdoor lighting on paths and porches.

Lastly, don’t overlook the garage. Being able to park your vehicle indoors helps you avoid getting outside in inclement weather. If your garage primarily serves as a storage room instead of parking space, do some decluttering and make accommodations for your car. Ensure you can come and go freely, with ample lighting and no tripping or slipping hazards.

Making a home into a safe haven for your senior years is a smart decision. Ensure it’s easy to tend and supports your changing needs. With a handful of well-chosen changes, you can comfortably look forward to aging in place.

This is a guest post from Patrick Young. Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspects of life. For more information and resources, you can contact Patrick at AbleUSA.

We do not sell real estate but appraise it.  If you would like to provide a guest post please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.  It is our desire to provide you with relevant information in regards to real estate appraising and those who use appraisal services. 

Additional Resource: Senior Home Safety Guide

A Market Advantage: Tips for Selling a House in Winter

This article is written by Patrick Young who has been a regular contributor to our blog.  Patrick is an advocate for those with disabilities and writes important information pertaining to those with disabilities. This article focuses on selling your home in the winter.



A Market Advantage: Tips for Selling a House in Winter

Real estate tradition holds that spring and summer are the traditional home-buying seasons. After all, the weather’s more accommodating, and it’s easier to make a house look appealing if the trees aren’t bare and snow isn’t blowing. But for prospective buyers who don’t find the right house at the right price during the warmer-weather months, winter may the time they need to get a deal done.

If you’re a seller, buyers who weren’t able to find a deal in the warmer seasons are well-motivated, which can be a real windfall for a seller who needs to get top price for their property. Bear in mind that you needn’t price your house lower than you otherwise would simply because you’re selling in winter.

Curb appeal

Come wintertime, antsy buyers start feeling the heat, with end-of-year tax benefits at issue and the need to move out of a home they’ve put up for sale or a lease that’s terminating. You can capitalize on a situation that’s to your advantage by maximizing your property’s curb appeal. When the flowers are blooming and the sun’s shining, prettying up a home’s exterior and front landscape is a comparatively easy undertaking. But with bare trees and snow cover, getting that “wow factor” isn’t so easy, and some home owners come up short as a result.

Make sure to rake up all those leaves or hire a lawn service to do the job for you. Keep the lawn well-cropped and edged, and keep all walkways and sidewalks swept and cleared of leaves, snow, twigs, and acorns. The gutters often go overlooked by people selling in colder months, so make sure to do a thorough cleaning of yours to give the impression that yours is a well-kept and cared-for property, worth every cent of what you’re asking for it. There are many gutter-cleaning services that can do the job for you reasonably if physical restrictions or age prevent you from getting up on the roof.

Promote your property

Photos are an important way to promote your property on your realtor’s website and via social media, but unfortunately, winter exterior shots don’t make the kind of impression that photos taken in the summer do. Accentuate any photos taken earlier in the year or, if necessary, arrange for a professionally staged exterior shot once your lawn and the front of your house have been cleaned, raked, and well-groomed for the occasion.

Stage, stage, stage

If you’re selling in winter, your best bet may be to accentuate what your house has to offer on the inside, so stage each room carefully. Sometimes, knowing who you’re dealing with may suggest a staging strategy that makes the difference. Prospective buyers whose kids have moved out, for example, may be looking for an in-home work space, so carefully staging a third bedroom or finished basement may give them an idea that seals the deal. Similarly, a young couple may be looking for a room that would make a good nursery, so remove any extraneous furniture and clutter from an extra bedroom to help them envision themselves caring for a newborn in that space. In general, decluttering as much as possible is best. You can do it yourself or even hire professionals to complete the job. Check reviews and price quotes online before hiring a packing service.

If you’re pressed for time, there are simple and quick ways to help get your home ready for potential buyers. Load the dishwasher, brighten the house by turning on all the lights and opening the curtains, and get rid of bad odors by taking out the trash and spraying Febreze in the affected rooms.

Repairs, renovations

Make a careful survey of your house, and take care of any fixes or upgrades that might help prevent damage resulting from harsh winter weather. Pay special attention to the roof and exterior walls, and have your HVAC unit serviced if necessary.

Selling a house in the winter can give you a valuable market advantage, particularly with fewer houses on the market and plenty of buyers needing to find the right house and finalize a deal. Pay careful attention to your property’s external appearance, and stage each room with great care, making sure to show off the space and flow inherent in your space.


photo courtesy of Pixabay

This is a guest post from Patrick Young. Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and officer advice about navigating various aspects of life. For more information and resources, you can contact Patrick at AbleUSA.


We do not sell real estate but appraise it.  If you would like to provide a guest post please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.  It is our desire to provide you with relevant information in regards to real estate appraising and those who use appraisal services.