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Lending update

Lenders are continually adjusting programs to strengthen their portfolios in light of the current economic situation.
We received unfortunate news last week that 100% financing is no longer available.  Following is summary of what is:

  1. 5% down based on the total cost to build, with 700+ credit score.*  Total Cost is what you paid for the land, soft/hard costs, lending fees, reserve funds.
  2. 5% down based on the project appraisal value, with 640+ credit score.*
  3. 5% down based on the cost of the land, 640+ credit score.*

Program availability is based on property location, and, if the property is located in a designated declining market an additional 5% down will be required.   If you have owned the land over 1 year, than any vested equity (difference between what you owe and what the land would appraise at) can apply towards the 5(10)% requirement.  Also, the funds can be gifted, or secured by home equity line (current home).    All programs require minimum two months reserves (this is two months of the projects calculated mortgage payment; the money only needs verified at the time of loan underwriting and serves to show the lender that you have funds to make the payment for two months in the event of losing income).

Jumbo loans (over $417000) fall under different parameters with 10-20% required down.

* Loan approval not guaranteed based on meeting credit score minimum requirement; all loan requests are run through lender’s underwriting computer system and must receive an ‘ACCEPT’ status.

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Radon-Resistant New Construction (RRNC)

 Radon is a naturally occurring result of Uranium deposits in the ground breaking down into radon gas, which then permeates up through the soil into the air.    The problem occurs when it becomes trapped inside a building, and over-exposure can increase your chances of lung cancer.

New construction affords a very good opportunity to protect yourself from Radon gas.. and it is NOT costly!  yeah!

First, some good websites to learn more:

Radon zonemap

  •  http://www.epa.gov/radon/construc.html   This site diagrams out the technique to rid your home of radon.     Here is their advice:
    • Gravel layer under the foundation
    • Plastic Sheeting (over gravel & under the foundation)
    • Sealing and Caulking of all openings of the foundation
    • Vent pipe- running from the gravel under-layer thru the house to the roof.
    • Electrical junction box- to add a fan as needed.

Suppliers for Radon fans and monitors:

Drywall and mold

I recently saw a commercial on TV advertising drywall with the stud side having NO paper.  The ad indicated that it is the paper that the mold grows on.

Curious, I went to the search engines to learn more… finding this: “Mold proof drywall?  You must be kidding! 

At www.askthebuilder.com Tim Carter indicates “Because mold is in the forefront of the news, wall and ceiling panel manufacturers are constantly rolling out products that are both water-resistant and even inhibit the growth of mold on the surface of the panel. But as with any new product, always be sure to read the technical literature produced by the manufacturer.”

I found out that “Mold’s favorite food appears to be wallboard, also called drywall. Its paper or cellulose backing contains a smorgasbord of organic treats that mold spores crave. A nasty black mold called Stachybotrys chartarum is particularly fond of drywall.” (http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/storm/getready/after/mold.html)

First thoughts after reading all this are..

  1. live in the high-dry desert like me (LOL)
  2. research and read the fine-print on these new drywall products
  3. Keep all wood studs dry, and check that your supplier does the same
  4. Allow your framing to dry before putting up drywall.
  5. Research and read fine-print about mold-resistant paints.
  6. Install fans in the bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
  7. Waterproof the home… ie flashing on the roof and/or french drains in the foundation

My favorite channel, HGTV, has a website: www.hgtvpro.com and they recommend:  “BuildIQ has a Mold Assessment and Remediation course that gives you step-by-step guidance. For more information, visit BuildIQ.com. In addition, the Building America program offers a wealth of information on ways to proactively address mold issues. Check out the “For Builder’s” section of their website or click here for more information. ”
BE Pro-ACTIVE when it comes to mold!

A few sources:

 United States Gypsum Company
Humitek Gypsum Panels
Toll-free: 800-874-4968
Website: www.usg.com

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum DensArmor paperless drywall http://www.stopfeedingmold.com/?ID=TOH2

Lafarge Regular Drywall with Mold Defense

Window coverings

OK.. so you are not thinking YET of the window coverings.. BUT I don’t want you moving in and giving a free ‘peep-show’  to your new neighbors! LOL.. might not start off on the right foot with them!

I am currently remodeling my own kitchen, and took a look at www.justblinds.com  Just Blinds on-line (yes, I do do most of my shopping online!).     They have many styles of horizontal and verticle blinds, roman shades, and plantation shutters!      They have the very stylish Shangri-La shades, and best thing.. NO SHIPPING fees on any order!

Current sales are:

  • $50 off your order of $350
  • 15% off sale on 3/8″ double cell light filtering Honeycomb shades
  • 10% of sale on 1″ premium wood blinds
  • Coupon for $10-off a purchase of $200 with code: Save1008AF

Shop now.. many colors and stains, free samples!

Owner-Builder Construction Blog is born!

Hello all,

figure time to join the internet blog world with a blog specific to Owner-Builder Construction!

Doing a blog search a while back, did not find much in this line… so let’s share what Owner-Builder is all about!

As an owner-builder consultant with BUILDMAX, I am not currently building my own home (have in the past!), yet I am in contact daily with owner-builders seeking just this, and also those that are successfully building currently or have completed their build.

What will this blog cover?   From Finance, Budgets, Materials, Specials… all of it!

So let’s get blogging!

My personal BuildMax website is: www.buildmaxrep.com  and you can contact me via email at  cindy@buildmax.com