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Build Your New House In No Time

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Build Your New House In No Time


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  • Copyright 2006
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 264
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3456-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3456-3

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.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

How to Apply Yourself to Getting a Construction Loan

How to Get a Construction Loan for Your New House

Table of Contents


    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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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



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


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?


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?


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


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


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



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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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



A. Resources and References.



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