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May, 2002


House Plans

New House Building: Money Saving, Convenience and Healthy House Tips

James Todd.
May 5, 2002
An early Happy Mother's Day!

Beginning with last months edition, newsletters are now archived
online at:


1. Your credit rating and your new home
2. Are you building near a landfill or hazardous waste site?
3. Money saving tips: House Plans
4. Useful Links
5. Thought for the Day
6. Subscription Information

Please forward this newsletter to anyone whom you think may be interested!

1. Your credit rating and your new home

According to Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) a borrower's
credit score is an excellent predictor of their mortgage loan payment performance. Therefore

to ensure that you can borrow the money you will need to build your new home, it is
important that you have a good credit record. To that end a basic understanding of the
factors that influence your credit rating is important. These factors are:

~ Past financial records including bankruptcies, delinquent loans, lawsuits, and judgements.

~ Current outstanding debt on credit cards and car loans. Credit card balances that approach
your maximum credit limit tend to lower your credit rating. To avoid this negative affect, keep
your credit card balances less than 80% of your cards' limits.

~ Bill payment history. Do you pay your bills on time or do you pay them late? Late payment
has a negative impact on your credit rating.

~ Frequent credit checks. If you have your credit pulled or checked to frequently this will
also adversely impact your credit. From a lenders perspective, frequent or numerous inquiries
indicate you are attempting to secure additional credit. A higher amount of debt generally
translate into a lower credit risk.

It is a good idea to check your credit early in the house building process so you have time
to rectify problems if any exist. Click here to get a free credit report. You will be asked for
a credit card because you will be enrolling in a 30 day free trial membership. I you don't want

to continue your membership and be billed you must cancel within the 30 day period. It's a bit
of a hassle but certainly worth it.

2. Are you building near a landfill or hazardous waste site?

Most of us take for granted that if we are buying a lot in a development ,or in an area
with other homes around, or farmland out in the middle of the country that the land

must be environmentally safe. Unfortunately that is not a safe assumption - and an
article in our local paper reminded me of this.

"Three couples have filed a class action suit against their builder, their banks, and
the township after moving into homes built next to a potential Superfund site."

"The property in question served as a landfill between 1936 and 1973, accepting
thousands of tons of municipal and chemical waste before being closed down for
polluting nearby waterways."
You wouldn't know it by looking at the property.

How can you avoid finding yourself in a similar situation? Well, you can hire an
environmental specialist to perform a site assessment. This may be the prudent

thing to do - but it will also cost you hundreds of dollars. A less expensive alternative

is to order a VistaCheck Report (click here to see a sample) from Environmental
Data Resources.
This report can be ordered
online or by phone (800-325-0050).
The cost is $85. This report contains a 1-mile radius map that identifies potential or
real environmental problems, a listing of such properties, and the current status and
details of each property.


3. Money Saving Tips: House Plans


The House-n-Home Building Guide discusses in some detail the best way to design
your new home. Here is an excerpt.

"Most people have a hard time visualizing how large the size of a 10 x 12 foot room is
and whether it is large enough for the intended purpose. However, if you put a person
in a 10 x 12 foot room, most people can determine relatively quickly whether it is sufficient
or appropriate for the intended purpose. This is by far, the best way to design and determine
the floor plan for your new house.

In most places in the U.S. it is quite easy to find builders who have open houses where you
can visit newly constructed homes. Go visit as many of these as you can until you know
what you like or dislike and what you want or donít want in your new home. Sure, you will
have to sign in and may have a salesperson follow up with you, but the advantages are
well worth the hassle."

Once you have visited a sufficient number of homes to gain a good idea of what you want
you have several options. One is to go to a designer or architect and have them design a
customized plan for you. The second is to go to a draftsman, with floor plans and elevations
in hand from the homes you have seen, and hire them to draw up plans for you. Another
alternative is to search the many house plan websites and find a plan that is close to what
you want, and then have it modified to meet your needs.

The last two options will save you many hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the cost
of having a custom plan designed by an architect. There are many good websites on the
Internet offering house plans. Here are just a few that we have found that you may want to

Rick Garner Designer
Southern Designer
Design Evolutions
House Plan Guys

4. Useful Links
The following are useful links that I have come across that might be helpful to you in
your home building project.

Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings (HADD). This is a fairly comprehensive consumer
protection group for homeowners and home buyers.

Homeowners for Better Building (HOBB). This site is similar to the above except it is for new
homes being built. It is focused upon issues in Texas but contains much other useful information.

IndyMac Bank- An excellent online banking resource. Apply online 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, and get a loan approval in minutes!

5. Thought for today: Perseverance


"Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance.
Talent will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone
are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the
problems of the human race." --- Calvin Coolidge

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