As the housing market continues to slowly gain traction this year, it becomes ever more important for buyers to move back into the market and remove the slack from the glut of houses on the market. In order for this to happen mortgage companies are going to need to work with lendees to find a happy middle ground. While taking out loans has become more difficult and the standards applied are now more stringent, getting home loans is not impossible. It can be done with some planning and foresight if you are the potential buyer.
If you are planning on buying or building your own home then you need to plan ahead. First thing to do is make sure you can take several months, up to a year to build up a nice down payment in savings. It should be at least five percent of the purchase price, but 10% is a better number. The days of zero down and zero closing are gone. Factor in closing cost also. They tend to run around $5,000 for a typical home. Establishing how much you can actually afford to spend on your new residence is also a key factor in the decision. If you can only afford a $1200 a month note then you should be looking for a home around $150,000 depending on interest rates.
Interest rates are currently at historic lows and locking a fixed rate mortgage is a great idea. ARMS may have a lower initial rate, but as rates move back up over the next several years, you will pay a lot more in interest as time moves forward. Not a great idea for your home loan note, especially if you are planning on staying in the home more than 5 years.
If you already own a portion of your home because you have lived there for several years, or built up equity then a reviews rex agreement may be a great option. These type of loans are at no interest and essentially you “sell” a portion of your house to the buyer who then waits for the house to sell before they collect their money and any additional percentage, which is usually based on the home appreciating. This can be a great option for someone who needs cash quickly for another reason, but doesn’t want to take a conventional interest baring loan.
The important thing to consider is that you don’t rush into a decision and purchase a home own a whim obligating yourself to large long term debt payment.
Framing nail guns come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one main thing in common, they are designed to drive larger 8d, 10d, and 12d nails into 2×4 and larger dimension wood. They are the workhorse of any framing crews tool box and using the right gun can save a lot of time and expense. I have used Bostitch, Ridgid, Hitachi and Porter Cable and Ridgid is the clear winner in my book. I have had my ridgid nailer for 5 years and it has performed flawlessly. It also has a great set of features that I really appreciate like the rear loading nail clip holder, easy nail clip lock and a swiveling air hose nipple. All of those seem like no big deal, but when you are trying to load large nails through a top loading nail gun while hanging in rafters, or move a hose around you while on a ladder to get at a tight spot, they can make the difference between madness and a job going easy. My Ridgid is also light weight made from magnesium alloy so I can drop it and not worry about breaking it.
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So when considering a framing gun, make sure you look at the small details, not just the cheapest gun on the shelf, or going with a particular brand because you already have another one of their products. Failure to pay attention to features can make for a long day on the job. Good Framing!
We have discussed framing in windows on our other page here, but I thought I would do a quick post on framing a series of windows. While very similar to framing in a large opening, using one large continuous header allows
the windows to be placed closer to each, and more evenly distribute the weight across the windows. Jack studs are used on each side of the window under the header and king studs are only needed on each side of the large header.
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The advantage to this type of framing is it saves on materials since you don’t need all those long studs. But, the real advantage is being able to install several windows in a series to achieve a look and not have to space them out too far apart on the wall space. All of which can be important when building a new home. The result can be several windows in a series placed close together with a continuous header making for an easier build.
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A great option for windows in a new installation are double pane windows. They are insulated by the cushion of air between the two panes of glass. This cushion keeps heat in during the winter and cool air inside during the summer months. Installing double or triple pane windows will mean a big difference in your energy bills, and keeps you feeling comfortable. Double pane windows also do a great job of reducing noise outside since there are 2 layers of glass for sound to travel through.
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When framing and building that next house one of the most important considerations is the roof. You have to decide what pitch to make the roof, whether to use gables or hips, and even what type of roofing material you plan on using. You have to consider venting and whether to use radiant barrier, the list goes on and on.
But make no mistake, the roof is the most important part of any project. If it is poorly done or not well constructed or planned, you will have problems for years to come. Valleys can leak, seams can come apart, and water damage can create foundation settling, rotten wood and termites.
Ensuring that you take the time and build it right and use the right tools can make the difference between a successful project and a failed one . When shingling a roof a well planned layer of felt needs to be placed down first with the right nails. Using the wrong nails can cause the felt to tear and wear prematurely. Shingles also utilize special nails with large heads
using staples or smaller headed nails can cuase the shingles to be torn off in a wind storm. Valleys need to be flashed properly, or else water will permeate them and result in leaks. All of these things need to be taken into consideration for a long lasting roof.
More recent advances in roofing led to energy efficient roofing. Solar shingles are one such example. These shingles integrate with your new roof and generate electricity without the large bulky solar panels that normally take up roof space. So, when planning your roof make sure and take the time to do the proper research and planning to make the project a success.
When framing out a house consideration needs to be given to the where the plumbing is, or will be in relation to studs and walls. The last thing a plumbing contractor wants to deal with is removing an improperly located two by four where the main vent stack should be located for the entire house. For this to not be an issue the plumbing contractor and the framing contractor need to work together to make sure framing is properly placed. This will create more room in the walls if the framing is properly done where plumbing needs to be placed. An example of this is to frame the base plate to where the main vent pipe is going to be located, thus saving the time and labor of drilling large holes through the two by fours for the large pipe.
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Another example of good framing practices is to leave the correct amount of room needed to plumb in for a sink. Room needs to be left to bring in a drain pipe with a vent pipe moving up, and a hot and cold pipe to feed the faucet. It is a good idea to allow a few extra inches between framing studs for these pipes in the wall. Make sure you don’t forget to include a 2 by 6 if you are installing a pedestal sink to support the sink on the wall.
Making just a few minor changes to your regular framing practices can make for a much smoother construction or remodeling job and, in the end, create less issues during finish out. In the end, that is what we are all wanting.