Build Your New House In No Time

Build Your New House In No Time

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Building a new home is an overwhelming process, and it is easy to lose your place in the process. Every decision you make in building your new home, from floor plan to contractor, affects how quickly you can move in, how much it will cost you, and how good the quality is of your home. You should be well-educated before beginning this adventure, and Build Your New House In No Time can help shed light on the home-building process. Author and president of Better Homes Seminars Lon S. Safko will teach you the ins and outs of building a new home, including:



Making the decision on what to build
Getting the right insurance
Applying for loans
Clauses to consider in your contracts
Putting together the right team of professionals
How to select everything from property to countertop
Understanding building permits
Going through a home inspection
Maintaining your new home

Building a home is not something you should go through alone! Let Lon and Build Your New Home In No Time give you the tools and information you need to get the house you want.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 177.8 x 228.6 x 15.2mm | 430.92g
  • Que Corporation,U.S.
  • United States
  • English
  • 0789734567
  • 9780789734563
  • 2,322,846

Back cover copy

Building a new home is an overwhelming process, and it is easy to lose your place in the process. Every decision you make in building your new home, from floor plan to contractor, affects how quickly you can move in, how much it will cost you, and how good the quality is of your home. You should be well-educated before beginning this adventure, and "Build Your New House In No Time" can help shed light on the home-building process. Author and president of Better Homes Seminars Lon S. Safko will teach you the ins and outs of building a new home, including: Making the decision on what to build Getting the right insurance Applying for loans Clauses to consider in your contracts Putting together the right team of professionals How to select everything from property to countertop Understanding building permits Going through a home inspection Maintaining your new home Building a home is not something you should go through alone! Let Lon and "Build Your New Home In No Time" give you the tools and information you need to get the house you want.
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Table of contents

Introduction.

The Largest Investment in Your Life: Be an Educated Consumer!

Who Should Read This Book

How This Book Is Organized

How the Information Is Organized

Part I: What You Need to Know Before You Start to Build

Part II: Getting Started

Part III: Starting the Design Process

Part IV: Planning and Prevention Build a Better Home

Additional Resources

Special Elements and Icons

Recommendations for Using This Book

Some Tips Before You Start

I. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START TO BUILD.

1. Making a Decision on What to Build.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Custom Homebuilding

Defining Your Options

Making the Right Choice for You

Reasons to Use a Homebuilder

Homebuilders Have the Right Relationships

Homebuilders Understand the Building Process

Homebuilders Can Negotiate Better Prices

Homebuilders Have the Necessary Insurances

If You Must

Hiring a Homebuilder Takes the Pain Out of Homebuilding

Homebuilders Understand the Magnitude of the Project and Can Avoid Costly Errors

Material Delivery

Municipality and Administrative Approvals

Custom Manufacturing

Summary

2. Being Insured Properly Can Greatly Reduce Your Risk.

What Insurance Policies Do You Need While Building?

What Exactly Do You Need to Be Safe?

If You Paid for the Insurance Your Builder Needs, You Could No Longer Afford to Build

What Will the Necessary Protection Cost You?

What Insurance Does a General Contractor Carry?

Why You Should Contact the Homebuilder's Insurance Company

Summary

3. How to Apply Yourself to Getting a Construction Loan.

Knowing Your "Dollars on the Dirt" Before You Begin

How the Builder Goes from "Dollars on the Dirt" to Your New Home

Finding a Lender

Choosing the Right Loan Package

Getting Prequalified

Accumulating All Your Financial Records

Listing Your Credit Card Accounts

Recording Your Other Account Numbers

Gathering Your Address and Work History

Other Documentation

Running Your Own Credit Report

Where to Find Your Credit Reports

Understanding Your FICO Score

How to Clean Up Your Credit Report

Amortization Made Simple

Work Through an Amortization Example

Summary

4. A Few Key Clauses to Consider in Your Contracts.

What's the Value of a Good Agreement?

Who Is the American Arbitration Association?

A Sample Binding Arbitration Clause

What Are Soft Costs, and Why Are They in Contracts?

Make Sure Soft Costs Are Included in the Fixed Costs of Your Contract

Time Frame for Making Selects

Make Your Selections Based on the Building Schedule

Summary

5. Building Your Team of Professionals.

Identifying the Best Realtor for You

How to Locate a Good Realtor

Determining Your Potential Realtor

Getting Your Lender on Your Side

A Lending Relationship Needs to Be Two-Way

Picking Your Lender

Who Selects the Title Company?

What Does a Title Company Do for You?

What's the Relationship Between Your Realtor and Your Title Agent?

Code of Ethics and Conduct

Summary

6. Doing Your "Home" Work on Your Homebuilder.

The Process of Finding a Good Homebuilder

How to Locate a Homebuilder Near Your Location

Does Your Homebuilder Pass the Test?

Don't Panic: Interviewing Is Much Easier Than It Sounds

Summary

II. GETTING STARTED.

7. How to Select Property Properly.

Who Supplies the Land and Who Doesn't

Asking All the Right Questions Helps You Buy Better Property

Finding the Best Piece of Land for You

Realtors Can Help You Find Your Land

Enlisting Friends, Family, and Others

Summary

8. Start Planning Your New Home.

How to Find Home Plans You Really Like

Where to Find a Good Selection of New Home Plans

Find Plans on the Internet, in Books, and with Your Builder

How to Get the Perfect Plan

Starting with an Existing Set of Plans

What Are Study Sets of Plans?

Making Changes to the Plans

How the Builder Determines What's Included in Your New Home

Tell the Homebuilder Your Quality; He'll Tell You the Size

Summary

9. Know What's Included in the Base Price.

Putting Together a New Home Ideas Kit

Getting Inspired by Model Homes

Are You Getting What You Pay For?

How You Confirm the Negotiated Price

Building Begins with the Specs and Selects

You Need to Communicate with Your Homebuilder

Don't Leave Money on the Table Because of Comps

Comps Are Only a Starting Point

Negotiating Can Save You More Than You Think

Production (Tract) Homes Can Produce Good Results

Can You Buy a Custom Home for the Cost of Production?

How Is a Production Home Produced?

Make Your Home Better by Collecting Your Ideas in Advance

A File Can Save You Time, Money, and Mistakes

Brochures Can Communicate Your Ideas Better

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Dollars

Collecting Floor Plans Helps You Plan Better

Summary

10. Selects and the 5,000 Decisions Necessary to Build a New Home.

Why Are Specs and Selects So Important?

What Are Specs and How Do They Affect Your New Home?

What Are Selects?

Making Your Selects on Time Can Keep Your Project on Schedule

Using the Select Sheet and Builder's Construction Schedule

Using Your New Home Select Sheet

Following Your Builder's Construction Schedule

Colorizing Is the Harmonizing of Your Decisions

Help with Interior Design Is Available

Summary

III. STARTING THE DESIGN PROCESS.

11. What You Need to Know About Standard Options.

What Is a Standard Option?

Know Your Choices

If It's Not Standard, It's an Upgrade

Can You Use Your Own Subcontractors?

Make Every Standard Option and Upgrade Part of Your Specs and Selects

Summary

12. The Benefits of a Builder's Allowance.

Why a Cash Allowance Can Be a Good Thing

Who Pays When You Exceed Your Allowance and Who Keeps the Difference?

Summary

13. Get Your Own Costs and Compare.

When You Compare, You Know the Facts

How to Get Bids to Better Understand Your Costs

Comparing Your Bids

A 10-Minute Negotiation Can Save You $10,000

The Importance of Including Your Specs and Selects

Three Ways to Minimize the Impact of Bid Errors

Minimize Bid Errors with Specs and Selects

Minimize Bid Errors with a "Not to Exceed" Clause

Minimize Bid Errors with a Time and Materials (T&M) Clause

Does Your Homebuilder Mark Up Outside Bids?

How Much Markup Is Fair?

Summary

14. Working with Change Orders.

What Are Change Orders?

When Can You Do Change Orders?

Who Accepts Change Orders?

Always Communicate Your Change Orders

Avoid Unwritten Change Orders

Fax, Fax, Fax Your Conversations

Summary

15. The Importance of Your Financial Draws.

How the Draw Process Works

Inspections and Release of Funds

Miss a Schedule, Miss a Draw, Slow the Progress

Set Your Draws on Line Items

Other Draw Items You Should Know About

Summary

16. Building a Contingency into Your Loan.

Planning Ahead for Unseen Expenses

Be Prepared for Upgrades, Unforeseen Events, and Unanticipated Necessities

Build It into the Loan So That It Can Be Built into the House

If You Don't Use All the Money, You Can Give It Back

Summary

IV. PLANNING AND PREVENTION WILL BUILD A BETTER HOME.

17. Understanding Building Permits and Approvals.

What You Need to Submit to Acquire a Building Permit

Who Should Submit Your Plans?

The Homebuilder Knows the System

How Long Can Permits Take?

Government Agencies Can Take Their Time

Who Needs to Approve Your New Home Plans?

Plan Check

Zoning Review

Architectural Review Board

Flood Control

Homeowner's Association

Addressing

Summary

18. A Good Site Foundation Is the Base of a Good Home.

What Is Clearing and Grubbing Your Land?

Preparing Your Site for the Foundation

Knowing the Types of Soil That Can Affect Your Home

Soils Can Range from Rock to Clay

Some Clays Can Move Your Foundation

Why Soil Compaction Is Important

Understand Soil and Compaction Reports

Summary

19. Getting the Jump on Termites Before You Start.

Why Termites Can Be a Serious Problem

What Are Termites?

How Do You Detect Termites?

Pretreat to Prevent Insects Before You Begin Building

Other Forms of Pretreatment Help Keep Your Home Safe

The Pretreatment Certificate and Warranty

How You Can Help Prevent Termites After Construction

Some Simple Measures Can Keep You Termite Free

Summary

20. What You Need to Know About Your New Septic System.

How Does a Septic System Work?

How Does a Perk Test Affect the System Cost?

Good Soils Can Make Your Septic System Less Expensive

What Happens During a Perk Test?

Speak with Your Homebuilder About Septic Costs at the Start

Maintaining a Happy Relationship with Your Septic System

Summary

21. What You Can Find When Doing a Home Inspection.

Is a Home Inspection of a New Home Important?

Who's Been Inspecting Your New Home Already?

Should I Do a Prepossession Inspection?

Is a Home Warranty Necessary for My New Home?

Is the Homebuilder Responsible for the Warranty of My New Home?

Ten Things You Can Inspect

Summary

22. What to Look for Before You Take Possession.

What Happens at the Walkthrough

Early Effects of Your Home Stabilizing

Homeowner's Insurance and Contact List

A Walkthrough Checklist Can Ensure You Look at Everything

Take a Look at a Walkthrough List

Summary

23. Home Maintenance: Caring for Your New Home.

Learn How to Care for Your New Materials and Equipment

Take a Look at Some Examples

Get Your Owner's Manuals and Warranties at the Time of Installation

Remind Your Homebuilder to Save Those Manuals

Get Your List of Subcontractors

Subcontractors Warranty Their Work, Too

Summary

24. The Final Touches.

A Few Last-Minute Tasks

Releasing the Final Draw to Your Builder

Hold Back to Ensure That the Punch List Is Complete

Enjoy Your New Home!

Purchase Plan a Fabulous Party In No Time

Summary

APPENDIXES.

A. Resources and References.

Index.
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About Lon Safko

Lon S. Safko has experience in all parts of the home construction process from a home construction superintendent and consultant for a surveying and subdivision design company to an engineer for a Fortune 500 road and highway design company. As president of Better Homes Seminars Lon teaches potential home owners and realtors everything they need to know about new home construction through live seminars and training on DVD and audio. In recognition of his work as a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of the $5 billion Assistive Technology Industry, Lon received the Westinghouse Entrepreneur of the Year award and has been twice nominated for Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year award.
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