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The holiday season is rapidly approaching and we would like to take this time to say Thank You to our families, friends and colleagues.

We also wanted to remind everyone about safety during the season of giving. If you will be hiring a professional holiday decorator, please check that they are licensed, insured and provide good references. By doing  this, you will go a long way toward protecting yourself from liability claims as well as establishing recourse if your property is damaged or stolen.

If you will be leaving town for the holiday, remember to store your valuables / documents in a secure, safe place with family or friends. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Set your house alarm and confirm the alarm company has a phone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency. Cancel your newspaper and mail delivery for the time you are gone.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips:

Trees: if you purchase an artificial tree make sure it is fire resistant (not all trees are) and if purchasing a real tree check for freshness.

  • A fresh tree is green
  • Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches
  • When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break

Keep trees away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry out trees quickly, creating fire hazards. Cut off approximately 2″ of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.

Lights: Test all lights prior to hanging and confirm the lights are rated for the area you are hanging them. The exterior of  your home should only have outdoor rated lights. Do not connect more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the home. Lights could short out and start a fire.

General Rules for Holiday Safety:

  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children
  • Avoid smoking near flammable decorations
  • Make an emergency plan in case a fire breaks out anywhere in the home. Be sure to practice it so that children know what to do.
  • Plan for safety. Remember, there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplace, trees and/or electrical connections.
  • Make the best of your holidays by appreciating all your blessings.

Reference provided by U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission

Where’s the Value? New Homes, Existing Homes, Short Sales or Foreclosures

In the current housing economy, it’s tempting to buy a “short sale” or recently foreclosed home, especially one that was built during the recent housing boom and is being offered at a bargain-basement price.

But that strategy is full of pitfalls and potholes. It’s well-documented that owners of homes in foreclosure tend to neglect their property, knowing there’s no point in maintaining it. They are likely distraught and distracted at the prospect of being evicted from their home, and understandably might focus on more important things than fixing the gutters or repairing a leak.

The result is often a home in poor condition with extra expenses required to bring it back up to par, much less to your standards. After all, a home is the center of your family’s life, a safe haven, a shelter. Walking into a money pit of repairs and service issues — some of which you may not even know about until after you’ve moved in — threatens that security and quality of life. Is it worth the risk?

By comparison, a newly built home provides you with exactly what you want from the get-go. It reflects your specific needs now and into the future, as well as your style and other aesthetic preferences. It’s fresh, unblemished, and ready for making memories.

A new home offers other advantages over an existing home, and especially a short sales or foreclosure, including:

Better Quality. As a professional custom home builder, we are dedicated to delivering a high level of construction and finish quality in our new homes. Not only do buyers demand that our homes be better-built (and rightly so), but we also have the knowledge, skill, strong trade partnerships, and commitment to continually evaluate and refine our building practices and materials to improve that high level of quality.

Better Plans. We and other quality luxury builders were offering “customization” long before it was necessary to satisfy or attract potential homebuyers. That means we work closely with you to determine your needs and find a floor plan and house style that matches your tastes and lifestyle requirements.

The result is a floor plan that is uniquely yours: functional, comfortable, flexible, and efficient. Trying to find exactly what you want and need in that regard in a foreclosed home or older house is unlikely, and probably would require remodeling.

Better Technology. Today’s homes and their occupants demand a high level of technological capability and convenience. Personal computers and other electronics have become part of our daily lives. Homes now require a “future-proofed” design that won’t become obsolete anytime soon, everything from a docking and sync station for smart phones to a network of cable and communication wire for flat-screen televisions.

Technology is moving so quickly these days that few homes built even five and certainly 10 or more years ago simply can’t compete on that level, leaving you and your family wanting (and needing) more. Current wiring and wireless networking systems are available and increasingly affordable … ready for the foreseeable future.

Better Service. If the recession taught the building industry anything, it’s that customer service needed to be improved. Existing homes, bank foreclosures, and short sales offer zero service after the sale.

Meanwhile, a professional builder offering a new home tailored to your needs — especially a company that survived the downturn — is well equipped and eager to make sure the experience is satisfying from start to well past the finish, giving you peace of mind and the highest quality living environment.

Warm Regards,



Steve Jones & Bart Jones
Merlin Custom Home Builders
6408 S. Arville Street
Las Vegas, NV 89118

702.257.8102 – Phone