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Winterizing Your Home

December 20, 2016

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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.


The Floor Plan for Your Lifestyle

November 18, 2016

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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.


Finding the Right Neighborhood

October 17, 2016

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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.


Energy Efficiency with Tropicana Homes

September 27, 2016

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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.


Tropicana Homes Agent named 2016 "Rookie Sales Professional of the Year"

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.

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