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Hot Tips for Outdoor Summer Living Made Easy

Categories: Blog, Home Owner Tips, Lifestyle | Posted: May 31, 2018

Is there anything better than a summer BBQ in the sun? When summer rolls around, it’s impossible not to get excited about pool parties, sun bathing, grilling, and playing in the backyard with your family. If you’re planning on spending some serious time outside this summer, here are some helpful tips for making your backyard THE place to be.

Grow Your Own Produce

You don’t know “fresh” until you’ve eaten a tomato straight from your own garden. Spice up salsa, freshen up pasta salad, and surprise your guests with a tasty salad of veggies you grew yourself! Plenty of plants thrive in the heat and make an excellent addition to your summer meals. Try growing some sweet potatoes, hot peppers, green beans, sunflowers, and zucchini.

Cool Down with Kiddie Pools, Sprinklers, and More!

If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, consider investing in a temporary water feature. They’re fun for all ages and a great way to cool down. You can buy kiddie pools in various sizes (some even large enough for adults to sit in), goofy sprinklers, and even hot tubs or saunas.

Add Ample Lighting for Late-Night Partying

On a 90-degree day, it’s hard to do anything but lay in the shade and drink lemonade. When it gets to be that hot, why not plan a party later in the night? Set up lighting on your deck, patio, and around the yard, and invite friends over. As the sun goes down, you and your guests will be much more comfortable.

Set Up in the Shade

Summer fun comes to a screeching halt when you and your family are burnt to a crisp. Avoid staying out in the sun for too long by setting up in the shade. If you don’t have a covered porch or trees in your backyard, invest in an umbrella or two to keep everybody nice and cool while they’re enjoying the sunshine.

Create an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have been all the rage lately – from traditional charcoal grills to tricked-out gas ranges and ovens. Whether your budget allows for an extravagant outdoor kitchen or just a few appliances, setting up an outdoor kitchen is a smart idea for hosts. Cooking outside is much cooler than crowding around a hot stove, and preparing food for guests is easy. Just make sure you’re keeping kids away from any open flames or heat sources.

Maximizing your backyard for the summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a few additions, you can set your family and friends up for a summer filled with BBQs, pool parties, and outdoor fun.

Have student loans? Tips on how to tackle them

Categories: Home Owner Tips, Lifestyle, New Homes in Raleigh, Raleigh New Homes | Posted: March 18, 2016

If you are a recent college graduate or happen to be the parent of one, you’re probably more than well aware that most student loans that were taken out while in college need to start being paid off within the first six months of graduation. For many recent college graduates, they may not being employed or able to begin making the payments that quick. If you find yourself or someone you know in this situation, Royal Oaks Homes, a premier homebuilder for new homes in Raleigh, shares tips on how to avoid any negative backlash of student loans after graduating college.

You may or may not know that paying off student loans is not something that can wait a long time to begin once graduating college. Avoiding or delaying paying off student loans can destroy credit and create problems that follow you throughout your life. This can affect your ability to get an apartment, get a loan and can even result in the government to intercept your tax returns or garnish your wages and retirement benefits. It is important to speak to your lender before the student loan default process gets to this point.

Depending on your line of work or financial situation, students can be eligible for student loan forgiveness. In order for this to take place, the borrower must be experiencing circumstances beyond their control.

To better manage your student loan payment, the American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) recommends the following tips:

  1. Understand your loans and agreements. It is important to know what types of loans you have, and the variety of student loan repayment options available to you. There are different programs offered, based on the type of loan you have. Read your promissory note, which is a legal document.
  2. Create a budget. Be sure to create a post-college budget that includes all of your expenses, from credit card payment or utilities and groceries. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can ensure you have enough saved up to pay your bills on time.
  3. Be sure to make your payments on time. Making payments on time is not only the best way to avoid default and eventually pay off your loan, it is also a great way to build up your credit. Building good credit will be crucial when it comes time for you to buy a house.
  4. Keep good records and track your loans. Track all of your payment schedules and keep a paper record of each monthly payment. Managing your own loans makes sure you are up to date and on top of your loan activity.
  5. Address any financial challenges quickly. If you have trouble making your monthly payment, don’t wait to address this problem. Research your options and talk to your lender to try and switch payment plans or change a payment due date. Any loan that does over 270 days without a payment, will hurt you in the long run.


These tips will keep you on top of things and keep your credit safe, while paying off your post-college student loans and creating a brighter financial standing for yourself moving forward.


Royal Oaks Building Group is a new home builder in Raleigh and Fayetteville, North Carolina. For additional information about Royal Oaks building your Raleigh new home, please call (888) 677-1502. raleigh nc home builders.