May 2013

Employee Appreciation Luncheon

As a thank you for all the hard work they do throughout the year, we held a suprise luncheon at our Lexington main office for our new home, warranty, and rental supervisors and employees. We offered a carry-in lunch as well as various door prizes provided by some of our suppliers. Our Grand Prize winner was Chris Tobbe, one of our punch-out workers in our Chilesburg subdivision.

Thanks to everyone who made food, donated prizes, and came out to support our workers! We are so proud of the work you do!

For more photos, visit the Ball Homes Facebook page!

4 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

You’ve heard over and over that now is the time to buy. House prices are increasing and mortgage rates are at historical lows and you know you need to get into the game. But what do you do if your credit doesn’t look that great? Here are 4 things you can do to improve your credit score so that you’re ready to buy your first house.
1. Get copies of your credit report and make sure it’s accurate.
Errors on your credit report can force you to pay a higher interest rate or even disqualify you from getting a mortgage at all. Go to and get a free report from each of the three national credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) According to federal law, you’re eligible for a free report every twelve months. Check for any errors, accounts that aren’t yours, or negative marks older than seven years. Make sure lenders have reported your credit limits accurately, because they can affect your credit score.
2. Make all your payments on-time.
The easiest way to build up your credit score is to make every payment on-time. If you don’t have a good bill-paying system, you can set up automatic payments from your bank account to help you pay on time.
3. Improve your debt-to-credit ratio.
The credit-scoring process looks at the ratio of your debt to the total amount of available credit you have. While your credit card might have a $10,000 maximum balance, having it maxed out looks bad to potential lenders and doesn’t look good on your credit history. Some lenders may consider multiple maxed out balances to be a sign of irresponsibility on your part. Your long-term goal is to get rid of all your debt, but a good, short-term target is to shrink your ratio to less than 50 percent. Then 40, then 30, and so on.
4. Pay it off, but don’t close it out.
Because Lenders looks at your debt-to-credit ratio, having an account with a $0 balance but a high credit limit can be a good thing. Lenders also look to see the length of time an account has been opened. They want to know that you can handle debt on a long-term basis because they are considering loaning you a large sum of money for 30 years. Avoid opening up new accounts just to increase your credit limit. Adding accounts too quickly sends up a red flag that you might not be able to handle your credit responsibly.
If you’re planning on buying your first home in the near future, follow these tips to help raise your credit score and build a well-rounded credit history that will make lenders want to loan you the money for your mortgage. Contact a mortgage professional at Walden Mortgage for more information on purchasing your first home.

Spring Activities in Knoxville, TN

If you’re looking for a little Spring-time fun in Knoxville, TN, here’s a list of events going on in your area!

·         The City of Knoxville presents The Market Square Concert Series. Enjoy free concerts on Market Square from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays. Concert-goers are invited to bring chairs or blankets to sit on the Square and enjoy the shows. For a full list of performers, visit the Market Square Concert Series website

·         The Market Square Farmers’ Market is an open-air farmers’ market located on Market Square in the heart of downtown Knoxville. Everything at the MSFM is grown or made by the vendor in the East Tennessee region. You can visit the Market Square Farmers’ Market every Wednesday from 11am to 2pm and Saturday from 9am to 2pm, May through November on historic Market Square. Free parking is available in the Market Square, Locust St. and State St. Garages, and at meters, on Saturdays. Parking is $1 per hour on Wednesdays in all three garages. Visit the Market Square website for more information and special events. 

·         If you’re looking for a little adventure, the Ijams Nature Center is full of activities and events for people of all ages! Explore nature trails, enjoy children’s day camps throughout the summer, and experience the heart of Knoxville’s richest urban landscape. For a full schedule of programs, camps, and events, visit the Ijams Nature Center website.

·         June 6-13, catch a phenomenal display of nature at its best at the Firefly Display at the Great Smoky Mountains. Synchronous fireflies are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns and they do so each year in early June as a mating ritual. The Elkmont area of the park has a high population of these fireflies and has become a very popular viewing area. For parking passes to this unique event, visit the National Park Services website.

·         The most fun, unique cultural event featuring adrenaline-pumping action is heading to The Cove at Concord Park. On June 22, the Knoxville Dragon Boat Festival will showcase competitive community and corporate teams racing for title of Grand Champion. Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steerer race in authentic 41-foot long Chinese dragon boats. All ages, skill levels and physiques can participate, making it the ultimate team building sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse, more than power to win. Visit the event’s website for more information.

Education Builds Hope Luncheon

Since our founding over 50 years ago, Ball Homes has made it a priority for our company to support various charitable causes. We actively and enthusiastically partner with organizations that work to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.

We would like to share information about some of the non-profit organizations that have impressed us with their commitment to serve, their success rates, and their overall willingness to take on difficult tasks and provide services to those who desperately need them.  Watch this space for short features on some of the organizations that we admire!

This week, we would like to highlight the One Parent Scholar House.  As a Hope Center agency, One Parent Scholar House (formerly known as Virginia Place) provides single-parent families with affordable housing, higher education opportunities and child development. One Parent Scholar House is a comprehensive self-sufficiency program that includes housing, child care, counseling, workshops, support from neighbors and staff and special activities.
Ball Homes has supported this organization since its inception, and this week there is a special event that we are pleased to sponsor: the Education Builds Hope Luncheon on May 16, 2012 at 12:15 p.m. at the Carrick House. 

This luncheon will feature University of Kentucky’s Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari, Assistant Coach Orlando Antigua and best-selling author Jeannette Walls. All proceeds will benefit the One Parent Scholar House. We’re excited to be a part of this special event! 

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New Model Homes in Masterson Place

Here at Ball Homes, we are always looking to improve on our product, practices, and offerings in our collection of new construction homes. Our selection of model homes is no exception. We have completed the construction of three new model homes in our Masterson Place subdivision in the Lexington area. These new model homes are three of our newer Villas and Tradition floor plans and offer a wide variety of features and upgrades. They can be built in Central Kentucky, Louisville, and Knoxville, so contact your Ball Homes Specialist or visit our website for more information.
The Brooklyn is a two story plan with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a 2-car garage, and 1,939 square feet. Standard features include a two-story entry foyer, open living room and kitchen areas, island sink and breakfast bar. Upstairs, the master suite includes double tray ceiling and luxury bath and shower upgrades.

With 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a 2-car garage, and 2,810 square feet, the Preston offers great square footage values and a very livable design. The kitchen offers both breakfast bar dining and a spacious breakfast area, and is open to the generously sized family room with optional fireplace. The master suite is upstairs, and includes a roomy bath with luxury options and a spacious walk-in closet.

The Jackson II is a spacious 4 bedroom,2.5 bath, 2-car garage home with a downstairs office or study and 2,646 square feet. Standard features include an open concept family room, breakfast area, and kitchen, combination utility room/mudroom, and luxurious 9-foot ceilings on the first floor. The upstairs master suite includes a tray ceiling, a luxury bath with his-and-hers vanities, linen closet, enclosed commode, various shower options, and a roomy closet.

To see these brand new model homes and all the features and upgrades they have to offer, visit our West Lexington Information Center in Masterson Place Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5pm!