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Lacrosse Homes Blog 

Stay up to date with LAX news, events & all things home building!

Prepare Your Garden For Next Year

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While the season is changing there are still some cold-tolerant veggies you can grow if you get them planted in time to reach maturity before the first frost date for our region.

  1. Plant fall vegetables.

Turn to hardy vegetables that will grow in the fall as well as they will in the spring:  Carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, and peas are a few examples.  These can also withstand a few days of light frost before harvesting.  Here’s more info from the Almanac:

  1. Do some last-minute harvesting.

Harvest as many of your summer crops as you can before your region’s first frost date. Once that first frost strikes, summer plants will quickly die, and any fruit left on the vine will be damaged.

  1. Clean up.

Remove perished plants from your garden. If you let them rot, you are likely inviting fungi, disease and microbes into your garden that will taint fall vegetable growth. 

  1. Support your soil.

Consider adding some nutrients to your soil, both in the fall and the spring.  Leaves are great organic matter for your garden and a portion of compost before the ground freezes will rejuvenate your soil. Read more about ways to improve your garden soil here:

  1. Take stock of your supplies and tools.

Whether you need another pruner, plant cages, a new hoe or soil knife take stock of your tools and replace worn out items now, so you are properly prepped for spring.

  1. Create a compost bin.

Fall is a great time to begin your own compost bin or pile. The detritus of the season - fallen leaves, grass clippings, and plant matter from your garden – will help you get it started.

  1. Try growing plants from seed.

Growing from seed is affordable and catalogs offer many varieties that are difficult to find at your local nursery.  Depending on the variety, start germinating your seed in late winter or early spring. Read more on this topic from



Navigating Virtual & Distance Learning

Here’s some help to stay focused and interested while keeping your equilibrium as you navigate the new schooling scenarios we’re all facing.

By now your teachers, school administration officials, friends and even the vast amount of information found online are hopefully serving to help you prepare and support your kids in this new learning environment.  One thing is certain, we’re all taking on more responsibility in managing our children’s learning, and approaching these new duties with love and empathy will go a long way to creating a successful experience for everyone involved.

Here are some useful tips to make the most of this time:

  • Create a physical space that is dedicated to learning. Get the kids involved in deciding what this area will look like and how it will function. If possible, make it an area that stays “classroom” during off hours.
  • Set a routine just like you would when leaving home for school. Create a calendar that shows a schedule of what’s planned/expected. Get dressed for school. Build in breaks and “recess” time to relax and support better attention when back in class.
  • Stay focused on expectations and procedures. If multiple kids will need to share devices, set up a process for that.  Explain what your children will be experiencing from you and their online teachers. Explore how you’ll handle staying focused and who will be supervising activities/assignments.
  • Display work and give praise for a job well done.
  • Get help when you need it. Look to family, friends, teachers, caregivers, and neighbors to lend a hand when you need it.  Make sure to keep teachers informed on what’s working and what’s not.


Explore these additional online resources that may provide useful ideas and assistance:


5 things to consider when selling your home during Covid-19.

  1. Use virtual technology to showcase your home.

Allowing buyers to virtually “walk thru” and tour your home is a huge asset, especially during this period when typically touring is reduced to scheduled private 1:1 time slots.  A virtual tour allows home buyers to visit your home from the comfort of their current residence.  The Realty community has embraced the power of the virtual tour and offers 3D, 360-degree virtual tours that provide an immersive experience in high resolution.

If needed, you can also virtually stage your home from professional high def static images.  We know that staging is a huge benefit, so this virtual component offers you the opportunity to present your home in its best light.

Don’t forget aerial/drone footage as a way to show your property and highlight the setting in which your home is sited.

  1. Deep clean.

Focus on cleaning high-touch surfaces. According to the experts, you’ll want to focus on high-touch surfaces above all else—since keeping those clean will stop the transmission of germs to other areas of the home. High-touch surfaces include all the things you touch the most—doorknobs, light switches, cabinet pulls and handles, railings, faucets, remote controls, and even tabletops.

When it comes to cleaning these areas properly, make sure you’re using the right products.  “When killing surface germs or viruses is your goal, look for products that contain a disinfectant,” says Brian Sansoni, spokesman for the American Cleaning Institute.

Some of the more frequently used active ingredients are sodium hypochlorite, ethanol, pine oil, hydrogen peroxide, citric acid, and quaternary ammonium compounds. Check out this list of cleaning products from the EPA.

  1. Screen potential buyers.

Limiting the number of personal visits to your home makes sense since we’re all heightening our efforts to keep our living environments clean and sanitized.  Make sure you, or your Realtor, are minimizing the risk and number of people entering your home by engaging with potential buyers prior to scheduling personal visits to clearly understand their needs, interest level and whether your home might be a good fit for them.  Both parties will appreciate this “vetting” as a way of making sure everyone stays safe and healthy.

  1. Understand the processes for inspections and appraisals.

Inspections and appraisals are usually an in-person event with the homeowner present.  Check your local guidelines/vendors to see what the process is for conducting these visits.  Many are requesting that the home be empty so that a properly masked/gloved technician can enter the premise to complete their job.

  1. Closing will be a “remote” event.

Maryland and Delaware lenders are now authorized to conduct real estate closings via a “remote” online event with the use of online notarization to complete paperwork.

This is that has to say about remote closings: “Documents are prepared by the title company and uploaded to an online remote notarization platform. Buyers and sellers can log on and review the documents and discuss any questions with their agent and others. When ready, signers return to the platform and connect with an online notary. Agents and others can connect in, too. Signers electronically sign and the notary electronically notarizes each document as required. As a security measure, each completed document is then “tamper sealed.”

If you have questions or need assistance with navigating this process, please feel free to contact the Lacrosse Homes team.

We’re here for you.

We’re here for you.

It is my hope that this message finds you and your family healthy and well. At Lacrosse Homes, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to ease the minds of our customers in the age of coronavirus.
The homebuilding/construction industry has been designated an essential service, which means our office and properties remain open, but by appointment only. We have a host of resources available for you to use, from the comfort of your home, such as FaceTime with our Sales team and 3D virtual walkthrough tours of our home designs.
As a family owned and operated business, “family” is at the core of what we do. Simply put, we’re here for you. And while the obstacles we’re all facing are different today, we’re as committed as ever to finding ways to deliver on our goal to help families just like yours make their dreams of homeownership a reality. That means maintaining our focus both on building quality homes and making our team of experts -- including mortgage professionals -- available to help you buy a home easily and safely.
To that end, we’ve initiated a virtual home buying process that will enable you to benefit from historic low interest rates while keeping things simple, informative, and focused on YOU:
• Online tours. We have numerous 3D virtual tours of our most popular home designs available on our website. You’ll also find the latest floorplans, photo galleries, and contact points.
• Private tours. If you would like to schedule a private model home/property tour contact the sales representative associated with your selected community and we will accommodate you.
• Chat. Fast and easy, our website features a chat function so you can access the information you’re looking for as quickly as possible. Our representatives are available as much as possible and if we’re “offline” please feel free to send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
• Virtual document sharing. As your home buying processes progress, we will meet via conference call and virtual meetings, share documents electronically, and complete digital signatures for your new home.
Lastly, and before we go, we want to thank the men and women working on the frontlines of the crises. We are so appreciative of all you are doing to keep our families safe and healthy. We are confident we will get through this together.
Lindsay Dixon

COVID-19 Update

Dear Lacrosse Home Customers and Homeowners,

We are reaching out to all of you to communicate information related to the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is impacting our business and in turn , your homebuying process and homeownership warranty procedures.

This global health crisis has impacted all of us in different ways that it continues to evolve. We are monitoring the situation and will continue to send out periodic updates as they become available.

Most of the County offices in both Maryland and Delaware have closed their doors to the public. They have a shirred us that they are doing all that they can to minimize the impact her business as we move forward.

Effective immediately, we have suspended all of our warranty activities. We are following the latest State and national restrictions regarding person to person interactions and are taking the health of our valued customers and our employees very seriously. We will reschedule appointments once the health officials have deemed it safe to do so. If an emergency arises, please contact our main office at 410-604-3701 and we will take the most appropriate action. Our main offices remains open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM as of today we will notify our customers if this should need to change. We thank you for your understandingAnd patience in this most unusual time.

From our Lacrosse Homes family to yours, be well.

Choosing an Eastern Shore Lifestyle

Why be a weekend warrior when it comes to enjoying the peaceful, laidback and highly desirable Eastern Shore. Lacrosse Homes has many options for your year-round living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Weather you desire time on the Bay, time at the Beach, feasting on blue crabs or exploring Maryland’s craft beers, the lively and historic Eastern Shore has it all and Lacrosse Homes has it all too! Lacrosse Homes has a host of affordable house plans to offer to fit all your wants and needs. The serenity and charm of the Eastern Shore is just moments away from historic Annapolis and the sights and activities of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

When it comes to finding your dream home, Lacrosse Homes offers something for everyone. Ellendale on Kent Island offers luxury townhome living on three stories of low maintenance, efficient and open floor plans and features that will wow you. All of this for a fraction of the cost of similar plans in Anne Arundel County Maryland. Ellendale on Kent Island in Stevensville Maryland is a short drive from Matapeake Beach and walking distance to Thompson Creek where you can access the community pier for fishing and kayaking or just watching beautiful sunsets over the Chesapeake Bay. If that was not enough, Ellendale at Kent Island offers a community clubhouse, playground and pools.

If you desire more open space and single family living with room to grow, Lacrosse Homes offers an array of home styles and sizes in Kent Island Estates through our spot lot program. We here at Lacrosse Homes offer many optional features and would describe ourselves as a “semi-custom” home builder that is willing to adjust our floor plans to try and meet your needs and desires.

 Our Lacrosse team knows the Eastern Shore having built homes here of over 25 years. Many of our team members have grown up in the area and still live and raise their families here. If you are looking to immerse yourself in the Eastern Shore lifestyle, we are the builder for you. Take a look at this video for more information and we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Holiday Fun for Everyone!


The holiday season is officially upon us!  From cooler weather, Black Friday commercials, and holiday décor all around, it’s time to get in the spirit.  We know that there’s so much to do this time of year so we thought we’d help you out with event highlights so you don’t miss a thing near our Maryland and Delaware communities! 

Kent Island, MD Holiday Events

From jazz and symphony musical concerts to a Dickens Christmas, movie night and more, Kent Island Maryland offers a host of events to warm your heart and brighten your season.|2019

Over the bridge and through the woods…the Eastern Shore has something for everyone.  The quaint towns that comprise the spectacular coastal villages of Maryland’s Delmarva Peninsula beckon you with art shows, a spectacular Winterfest of Lights and Victorian Christmas, Santa Dash, gift shows and parades to create a holiday the entire family will remember.|6|24|||20191201|20191231||||undefined||0

Dover Delaware area Holiday Events

Delaware’s historic towns and charming nooks come alive during the holiday season, thanks to Yuletide tours, dazzling light displays, stage classics, festive parades and other events. Winter festivals and events in Delaware take place from early November through the first week of January and include holiday-themed exhibits at museums like Hagley Museum and Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library; house tours in historic Lewes and Odessa; and parades in towns both large (Wilmington) and small (Milton).

Explore your options near and far from your home at our Olde Field Village community:

Timely Fire Advice From Sparky the Fire Dog

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Timely Advice from Sparky the Fire Dog!

October is Fire Prevention Awareness Month, a month-long focus devoted to educating people on how
fires start and what to do in the event of a fire emergency. This year’s theme is
“Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”
It’s a good time of the year to remind people about how fires start and safety techniques as we’re
coming into a season when fires are in and around our homes for warmth, comfort and aesthetics.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) “ in a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds.
Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough
time to get out.” Let’s look at what causes the most home fires.
Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires and fire-related injuries due to unattended cooking.
Stay alert and in the kitchen while cooking. Heating equipment is also a leading source of home fires – half of which occur in December, January and February. As noted in our September blog post, have your equipment and chimneys inspected yearly to make sure there are no issues or potential hazards. If you use space heaters remember to
give them space–keep anything that can burn a minimum of 3 feet from heating sources.
According to NFPA, electrical distribution or lighting equipment ranked first in direct property damage,
and third among the major fire causes in the number of home fires, and tied for third in home fire
deaths and home fire injuries. Make sure you use a qualified electrician to handle any needs in your
home. Don’t overuse extension cords and use light bulbs with the recommended wattage for the
fixture. If you smoke, smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires starting in the living room and bedroom; the
leading location of origin is an exterior porch or balcony. The risk of dying in a home fire caused by smoking materials increases with age.
Last but not least is candles. On average, 23 home fires caused by candles are reported each day in the United States. The top days for these fires are New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If
you’re going to use wick candles, place them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. We say, go
for the safe flame -- battery-operated candles that look for lifelike – even with moving flames!
Now that you know the leading causes of fires in the home, it’s prudent to focus on proper
preparedness and how you can help keep your family safe from fire. Two easy steps you can take are:
Testing the smoke alarms in your house, and creating and practicing a fire escape plan
Stay safe!

Hearth & Home Fall Cleaning Guide

Hearth & Home Fall Cleaning Guide

With Autumn’s crisp air and shorter days, it’s a perfect time to close out summer’s outdoor lifestyle and prepare your home for the winter ahead. Take time to work on these chores and you’ll be set for a relaxing, snug winter season.
Inside to-do’s:
  • Deep clean carpets and upholstery. Vacuum or spot clean upholstery and drapery; move furniture to get to baseboards and areas covered by rugs and furniture.
  • With the change in seasons you’ll bring out the heavier blankets and throws. Take the time to freshen your bedding by cleaning everything; turn your mattresses to balance wear.
  • Wash your windows – a cloudy day is the best time to take on this task. Clean and rinse screens to remove dust and dirt and don’t forget the sills and window tracks.
  • Schedule fall furnace inspections; stock up on furnace filters to maximize savings and comfort; clean/replace humidifier elements.
  • Clean ceiling mounted light fixtures and fans.
  • Dust/lightly vacuum refrigerator condenser coil. Check the dryer exhaust tube and remove excess lint.
  • Straighten closets and declutter as you shift wardrobes for the season.
Outside to-do’s:
  • Clean all patio furniture and cover/move for winter storage; drain and store garden hoses. Turn off exterior water spigots.
  • Caulk windows and doors; install weather stripping on doors/thresholds as needed.
  • Wash exterior windows
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. Overflowing gutters can make windows and siding dirty and create water damage/ice damming in winter months.
  • Chimneys and flues should be inspected and cleaned if necessary.
  • Touch up paint on trim, railings and decks. Use a wire brush to remove flaking paint; prime bare wood first.


New vs Used

New vs Used
There’s nothing like a new home!
We admit it, we’re a bit biased, since we’re new home builders, but there really are a host of reasons why buying a new home offers several benefits. First, and maybe most important, the home is new and will perform better. By performance, we’re referring to these components that are used to build, construct and finish your new home:
• Building materials and practices
• Energy-star rated appliances
• Energy efficient windows
• Hi-tech wiring
• Safety features
• Advanced heating/cooling systems, etc.
What’s not to like?? There’s no need to “settle” for a home that doesn’t quite meet your needs/desires. Builders offer numerous plans with various design elements and customization options to enable you to find the “dream” home. And once you settle on a plan design, your new home will have all your “must haves” and you’ve got a warranty that supports your purchase.

Different Types of Mortgages Explained

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Different Types of Mortgages Explained.


If you’re looking to buy a new home you’ve undoubtedly met with a mortgage loan officer to explore the various types of loans available to you.  Here’s a list of the most common mortgage products with a simple definition of what they offer:


Conventional / Fixed Rate Mortgage 

The name explains it best – with this loan your monthly payments don’t change over the life of the loan.  They are set at a ‘fixed rate’ so you know what your payment will be every month. 


Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) –

The idea behind this type of loan is that the interest rate changes, or adjusts, over the life of the loan.  You will see descriptions like “5/1 ARM” which means the interest rate stays the same for the first five years of the loan and then adjusts periodically (monthly or yearly depending on the loan) over the balance of the term.


FHA Loans -

This loan is designed to assist low & moderate income borrowers.  With an FHA loan you can purchase with a lower down payment and the credit score required to qualify is lower than that required by the conventional/fixed rate mortgage products.   As with any mortgage product, you must meet certain qualifications to use that loan.


VA Loans –

VA loans are available to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home they will occupy (not available on investment homes) with no down payment. On top of getting 100% financing, a VA loan does not require mortgage insurance which equates to sizable savings on yearly mortgage insurance expenses.


USDA Loans –

The US Dept. of Agriculture offers mortgages to encourage homeownership in rural areas.  These loans offer 100% financing (no down payment required) and have low mortgage insurance rates.  Your home must be located in an eligible area and you must have a minimum credit score of 640 to qualify.


There are several other loan products available – Jumbo, Balloon, Interest-Only…the list goes on. We’ve shared some of the most popular loans with her in this blog post.  The important thing is to be knowledgeable about what’s available and to work with a reputable mortgage loan officer who will guide you toward the safest, most prudent and appropriate loan for you.

Managing the finance aspect of buying a new home.


Managing the finance aspect of buying a new home.

If you’re new to buying a home, or a seasoned vet, the mortgage and financing process can be daunting.  It doesn’t have to be that way when Lacrosse Homes is with you every step of the way. Here’s how...

Step 1


To help you determine a comfortable monthly investment, we’ll review the financial programs/incentives that our mortgage partners provide to determine which program is the best fit for you.

Step 2


We will prepare an estimate including your selections which will detail all of the costs associated with buying your new home, such as monthly payment and cash needed to close on your new home.

Step 3


Once you secure your homesite, confirm your price and incentives we officially secure your lot/home! An initial deposit will be required to proceed. (NOTE: In the event that you are not able to obtain a mortgage commitment according to the Purchase Agreement your deposit will be refunded).

Step 4


Within 7 days of signing your Purchase Agreement, we will schedule your loan application to begin the mortgage process.  We have relationships with several excellent mortgage companies, each offering competitive rates.

Step 5


30 days from signing the Purchase Agreement, your second deposit is due.  This is what we require as a good faith deposit in order to begin construction on your home with your personalized selections!  You may not be required to pay us any additional funds until closing.

Step 6


Once we receive your deposit, mortgage approval, and a building permit, construction of your home can begin!  We will arrange a meeting with your builder so you understand the construction process, and discuss the events of the exciting months ahead!

Six Steps to Selling Your Current Home.


Six Steps to Selling Your Current Home.

Its spring and that means an active home sales market.  With interest rates dipping, there’s even more activity, so now’s a great time to think about making that move to a new home.  If you need to sell your current home, make sure you’ve set yourself up for success by following these six easy steps to Sold!!


Get Representation.
You can certainly sell your home on your own, but using the services of a skilled listing agent will enable you to act with confidence when it comes to determining a list price and following through on all the legal aspects of home sales.
An agent will compare your home based on “comps” – square footage, features and location – to help you make as much on the sale as you can.  Follow the plan the Realtor provides to move you through the process.

Clean and brighten things up.
You know what they say about first impressions…they really do matter.  Make sure yours, from the exterior “curb appeal” to the entire inside of your home says “buy me!”
Pay attention to how the house smells and looks.  Deep clean everything – toilets, sinks, the garage, mop floors, clean rugs, get rid of pet and other smells/odors.  Make sure all light fixtures work and have an operable light bulb in them. If you need help, call in the professionals to help bring the shine back to your residence.

Hire a Handyman.
Speaking of hiring professionals, you should have someone on hand that can fix all the small things you’ll find that need fixing -- locks, hardware, leaky faucets, running toilets, cracks in the walls, broken appliances, squeaky doors, etc.

It’s time to pack away all the knick knacks, family photos, cherished collectibles you inherited from your Grandma, religious ornamentation and essentially anything that visually closes in the space.  You may need to rent a storage locker to temporarily store your excess stuff.  Do it – its money well spent!  You want your rooms to shine, not your furniture and “stuff.”  Organizing your space and cleaning out closets, attic storage, garage areas will help the new owners visualize their own things in your home. 

Make it “neutral.”
That means getting rid of the apple green kitchen walls and the mellow-yellow rec room…paint over all those bright walls by sticking to neutral colors like light grays, beiges and white.  Aside from making your rooms look bigger and brighter, fresh paint will cover some wall imperfections.

Stage your home.
Our last step is so important.  Staging your home will help it sell faster and for more money. Why do you think builders decorate model homes?  People need some help visualizing a space and when it’s properly done, with furniture that fits the scale of the space, it gets sold, often faster than an un-staged property.  Zillow offers some great ideas below:
Set the table: It’s a nice finishing touch that, again, can help the buyer visualize living there. Holiday dinner party, anyone?
Only style with polished accents: For example, only stage your master bath with new bath towels, or none at all. Just say no to your still-drying bath towels from this morning’s shower.
Make the space appear larger: Add mirrors to reflect light, swap a heavy powder room cabinet for a pedestal sink, or remove a leaf from your huge dining room table.
Show value in unusual floor plans: Highlight what makes your home unique and special. Add a reading nook, show the benefit of an extra storage area, or tuck a desk in an unused corner.
Use extra rooms deliberately: Never leave a room empty. Instead, make that unused guest room feel usable, staging it as an office, craft room, or guest bedroom — but never all of those things at once!


Andy Claxton Biography

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Andy Claxton is a sales consultant at Lacrosse Homes.  With over 25 years in the construction industry, he has the experience to work with a wide variety of projects from first time home buyers to custom waterfront homes.  After growing up in Annapolis, he played Lacrosse at the University of Maryland and has spent the last 20 years living on the eastern shore with his wife and seven children.  Andy spends his free time coaching multiple youth athletic teams and as well as helping at the local children's theatre. 


Lindsay Dixon Biography

Lindsay Dixon founded Lacrosse Homes in 1994. Inspired from his success as an All-American and World Team lacrosse player, and with the encouragement of his grandfather, Lindsay created LaxStone Communities/Lacrosse Homes with the vision of becoming a premier builder of quality, hand-crafted homes along the Maryland and Delaware shores.  Building on teamwork, competitive spirit and a passion for excellence, Lacrosse Homes has earned a reputation for quality craftsmanship, personal hands-on service and creating convenient neighborhoods that make the most of the area’s natural surroundings.  Here’s some personal info on Lindsay: 

Where did you grow up? Annapolis, Maryland 

What’s your fondest childhood memory?  Playing sports outside in all types of weather. 

College mascot?  I have a Psychology degree from Towson University, where “Doc” the Tiger is the mascot. 

Family pets? Two cats, Ash and Lacy. 


Lacrosse and golf!  It should be no surprise that lacrosse is important to me given my collegiate history and the fact that I named my company after this sport!  Golf is also a favorite pastime – check out the names of all our house types!  

Favorite job as a kid? Working on a pier loading boats with gas and beer. 

Best thing about your day-to-day work? Meeting new people and realizing all the great moments ahead they will have in their new home. 

Favorite quote? “Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it.” Charles R. Swindell 

If you could have dinner with one famous person, dead or alive, who would that be and why? 

Ronald Reagan. I would like to hear the challenges he met along the road and how it changed his path. 

Describe the Lacrosse Homes brand by comparing it to an automobile and explain why. Ford, American made and a great value for all. 

Meet Your Delaware Area Sales Representative – Gheri McAllister

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Gheri is a Sales Consultant with Lacrosse Homes, LLC.  She is involved in the entire process with her customers from sales presentations, to contract status, designer selection process to the close of the customer’s home.

Within 17 years in new home sales, Gheri has been honored with numerous awards for exceeding year-end sales goals, exceeding multi-million dollar sales each year, employee of the month, employee of the year.  Her highest level of achievement was being named Delaware’s Home Builder Regal Award Winner for Outstanding Sales Person for the State of Delaware.

Having lived all over the country, her last move was from New York City to the beaches.  She now resides in Laurel, DE with her infamous and enormous Fox Red Lab, Ragnar.  They can routinely be found on a brisk walk through town, or romping on our sandy beaches in the Summer.

Please email Gheri at or call at 302-218-4362.

Tod Hammons- Your Eastern Shore Sales Expert

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Tod has been involved in new construction sales for over ten years, all of that time on the Eastern Shore. He has earned multiple awards, working with the nation's largest home builder; all the way down to a very small family operation. 

Tod is the new home consultant for Ellendale, Ashby Commons and other communities in Easton. 

Tod enjoys flying airplanes and coaching/helping out with his daughter's girls’ soccer team when not actively helping someone find their new home.

Understand Credit Scoring

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Three.  Simple.  Digits. 

Did you know your credit/FICO score can stand between you and the home you’re looking to buy? 

When people talk about their “credit score” they’re talking about three numbers ranging from 300 (very bad) to 820 (very good) that you can find on your credit report which is a list of all your credit accounts including the payment history of those accounts.  Three credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – compile and maintain this data.  "The credit report does not rate your credit," says Maxine Sweet, Experian's vice president of public education. "It simply lays out the facts of your history."  

How is your score determined? 

The formula takes into account payment history, how much you owe vs how much total credit you have available, the types of credit and frequency with which you apply for credit: 

  • Payment History - 35 percent: Making payments on time, no missed payments on all credit accounts, and having a long credit history are key items lenders look for. Lenders believe that applicants with a higher score are more likely to make their loan payments on time. 
  • Amount Owed- 30 percent If you’re maxed out on all your credit cards that will lower your score.   
  • Length of Credit History - 15 percent:  If you’ve maintained credit for a long time that will help your score. 
  • New Credit - 10 percent: Opening several new credit accounts in a short period of time can lower your credit score.  
  • Types of Credit in Use - 10 percent: Your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, finance company loans and mortgage loans is considered. 

You can buy credit reports separately from each company. The company will also provide you with a credit score. However, it won't be you FICO® score, which is what you really need to know. 

Get your FICO score from starting at $19.95.   You’ll get a full credit report and FICO® Score 8, the FICO® Score most widely used by lenders, based on that report, as well as additional FICO® Score versions, including a prior base FICO® Score version — often used in mortgage decisions — and industry-specific auto and bankcard versions. Plus, each report comes with an interest rate estimator. See how your score range may impact your interest rate on a home loan. 

Need to raise your credit score?  Read on. 

It won’t happen overnight, but it can be done fairly quickly and recent “good behavior” is scored in your favor.  Here are some tips:  

  1. Payment history makes up the largest part of your FICO score so PAY BILLS ON TIME!  If you have a late payment, call the lender and see if they’ll remove this information from your records. 
  1. When you pay down your balances you’ll see the biggest improvement in your score because it lowers the amount of credit you’re using.  Remember, the smaller percentage of available credit you’re using, the better.  Some people suggest never using more than 50 percent of your limit on any card. 
  1. Don’t open a lot of new accounts all at once.  We understand you’re excited when you go to contract but steer clear of racking up credit card bills during the purchasing period– you can wait to buy that new dining table or sofa AFTER you’ve settled on your place!! Also, don’t close more accounts than necessary because this will lower your ratio of debt to available credit and that can hurt you.  
  1. Rotate the use all of your credit cards.  Dormant credit will not help your score.   

A good credit score will serve you well in many areas of your life, not just when it comes to buying a new home.  Work with a good lender, like Redwood Mortgage and we’ll help you realize your dream of homeownership.

Bruce Orr Vice President of Sales, Lacrosse Homes

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Where did you grow up? 

I was raised in Central New Jersey outside of Princeton, NJ. I moved to Pittsburgh, PA after I graduated high school. 

What’s your fondest childhood memory? 

I would have to say growing up in a rural part of NJ, I remember playing outside in our neighborhood and working on a cattle farm. It was very hard work for very little pay but it was extremely satisfying. When you finished your day, you knew you earned every penny. 

College mascot? 

I did my undergraduate degree at Penn State (Nittany Lion) and my graduate work at University of Pittsburgh (Panther). 

 Family pets? 

We had cats and black labs for most of my life. We only have fish now; I don’t have to let them out at 2am. 


I like to golf, fish, bike ride and play with my kids but that really isn’t a hobby.  

Favorite job as a kid? 

Working on a farm and working in a grocery store stocking shelves at night. 

Best thing about your day-to-day work? 

Hands down, the people I work with. 


Favorite quote? 

Not sure who said it but “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. 

If you could have dinner with one famous person, dead or alive, who would that be and why? 

Albert Einstein. I think he was one of the most creative and interesting people of the last century and I am sure he would be fascinating to speak to on any and all topics. Plus, I understand he had a great sense of humor and did not take himself too seriously. 

Describe the Lacrosse Homes brand by comparing it to an automobile (i.e. Acura, Ford, etc.) and explain why. 

I am not sure it would be one company. I think we are like Toyota as it relates to quality and durability. We are like Tesla as it relates to energy efficiency. We are like no other car company in that we are a semi-custom home builder and work with the customer to build them their dream home.

Energy Efficient Homes

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Newly built homes are up to 30% more efficient than homes built just 10 years ago, according to research by 

Greatly reduce your home utility and maintenance costs with LAXMax – our premier Energy Shield System!! 

When you build your new home with Lacrosse you’ll get the benefit of numerous energy efficient design components which make our homes superior – inside and out! 

  • Foam-Lok™ closed cell spray insulation provides superior energy economy and durability whilesignificantly reducing unmanaged moisture, outside pollutants, noise reduction and air infiltration.

Foam-Lok™ provides exceptional performance in minimizing heat transfer, moisture gain, air leakage and improving racking strength.* 

  • Draft stopping – spray foam is applied to joints and other areas of the homes’exterior envelopto prevent airflow exchange between the inside and outside of the home as well as between floors. 
  • Saving on energy costs helps you and the environment.
  • Exterior wall construction with 2x4 studs with 16” on center spacing allows for greater strength,stability and energy efficiency.
  • Fiberglass Batt insulation in exterior wall cavities.
  • Third party blower door tests are conducted on every home to ensure that the building envelopis sealed and exceeds current building code requirements.
  • Average air leakage in a standard existing home today is 15 Air Changes per Hour (ACH).

The average new home is 7 ACH. With the LAXMax Energy Shield System*, our average is 2 ACH. 

  • House wrap is applied to each home Lacrosse constructs and is applieddirectly to the exteriorsheathing of the home. Exterior sheathing is 1/2” OSB structural panels. 
  • All windows are caulked, taped and flashed during the installation process.
  • All windows are low E glass which reduces heat transfer and damaging ultraviolet light.
  • Rinnai™tanklesshot water heaters are highly efficient due to its “on demand” capabilities. 

The Rinnai use much less energy, they take up less space in the home, it provides instant hot water, and has double the life span as a traditional water heater.* 

  • HVAC duct work is sealed with R-Value rated sealant which reduces leakage and improves the overallenergy efficiency of the home.
  • A higher efficiency home reduces the workload on the mechanical systemsof the home which lowers maintenance and increases longevity.