Build The Home of Your Dreams With a Construction Loan

With the current economy trend setting low real-estate prices, many assume that buying a used home is worth every dollar they fork out. Others engage in apartment loans, thinking of it as hitting two birds in one stone: having your own home while gaining some extra cash through rental income. While these are all very good strategies, some families opt to get a construction loan and build the home of their dreams.

Although it might sound difficult, building your dream home is possible, provided you understand how a construction loan works. Presently, the construction-to-permanent loan remains the most popular option. This loan encompasses full lot and construction coverage, and even converts to a mortgage the moment your dream house has been established. Once you’ve laid down the down payment, all you have to do is make interest-only payments at a fixed interest rate. And after the construction has finished, the loan will be transformed into either a 15-year or 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Certain banks will dish out interest reserve accounts that allow you to make interest-free payments throughout the construction process. The bank will calculate the amount of interest-only payments and add the total amount to the overall loan. Funds will be deposited into a different account, which makes this ideal if you currently have pre-existing mortgage or rent payments on your plate. The licensed contractor you’ve hired will then mete out a ‘release schedule’ that details the monthly construction schedule with the necessary funding in tow.

Once you have determined that one of these new home construction loans suits your tastes, then there are five quick steps to set you off on the right track:

1. Know your Affordability Limits

You need to determine how much of the total loan you can afford by using an online loan calculator. Remember that you need at least 20% of down payment to avoid PMI payments.

2. Find Lenders

Compare the current loan rates from online lenders and local banks. Ask a reputable building contractor for past lenders they’ve worked with, and attain their contact information.

3. Attain Pre-Approval

Skim through the pre-approval process of each selected bank. Outline the closing costs and estimated tax rates. Ask for a copy of a pre-approval letter.

4. Find a Contractor

Settle on a reputable contractor that is licensed, insured and has experience in constructing new houses. Figure out a budget plan, building cost and architectural schematics to get your house project underway.

5. Select the Land Piece

Hire a reputable realtor to identify a suitable piece of land in line with your budget. Verify any attainable building permits from your local municipality, and make sure a septic and water system is readily available.

Once you have all these five steps pegged down, you’re all set to building that dream house of yours!

Build a Handcrafted Log Cabin For Under $50,000 – A Log Home Guide For the Do-it-Yourselfer

Do you dream of owning your own log home or cabin?

Living in a mountain retreat, lakeside resort, or country ranch lifestyle, is continuing to grow in popularity. Studies show that people who trade their urban lifestyle for a simpler, less stressful natural setting, where they can relax more often, are also living healthier lives, and actually live longer as a result!

In recent years many of us are embracing this lifestyle as never before. But… Many of today’s custom log cabin owners have become frustrated with the cost and length of time it takes to build their home. One would think that modern methods should reflect shorter construction times, but custom log homes today, on average, do take longer to build. This is due in part to some proven methods that cannot be improved upon, going back in history to European craftsmanship, skills, and techniques still used today in the effort required to properly build a quality custom home built to last. This approach requires patience from the homeowner, but can lend itself to a beautiful dream home, with high quality of craftsmanship.

This is the standard of quality that folks today expect, but it comes with a price. You can avoid the higher cost of building a custom log cabin by doing most of the work yourself. It is possible to build a 1200 to 1500 sq. ft. Log Cabin for under $50,000 (land not included)

The right approach requires thought, creativity, and an efficient, yet patient application of skills, but can be very rewarding due to the custom nature of a handcrafted home. Comparing a log construction time frame, with that of a Custom, stick-frame home, is misleading.

Log Homes of equal square footage will always take a bit longer to build on average. A log builder with a good crew should be able to properly dry-in an average size milled D-style home in less than three months, after the log package has been delivered to the building site. A “Hybrid” (Log Accents & Stick Frame Construction), should take a little less time to dry-in. A do-it-yourselfer building a handcrafted home will take 6 to 8 months on a part-time building schedule, but you will be continuously saving a ton of money.

After dry-in is completed, it could take from 3-5 months longer to finish or “turnkey” a milled style home or a “Hybrid”. These time frames could be even longer if you are building a handcrafted log home. The handcrafted cabin is the most time consuming style of construction, but is widely accepted as the “Ultimate” in a unique one of a kind log cabin. Weather, commute to the site, suppliers, building inspectors, or other factors can change this guideline. So… prepare yourself for this journey, and you will ultimately enjoy the rewarding experience of your own log home Lifestyle, with your own design and tastes, in the home you really want and can afford to enjoy.

How much does it cost to build a log home?

With this in mind… building a log cabin does not have to cost a fortune to become reality. If you choose to do most of the work yourself, you can probably build your home for as little as $45 per sq. ft. On the other hand, if you have all the work done by a builder, and purchase upscale fixtures and features, it could cost $250 per sq. ft. or more.

Although to suggest a certain price per square foot is only a guideline/starting point, I do think that an affordable custom log home without an owners participation can be built for around $110.00 – 150.00 per sq. ft… That is, if you don’t go hog wild!

Bear in mind that depending on where you are at, you will always realize a larger home equity when you are building it yourself from scratch!

Discus Aquariums – Simple Tips to Build a Home For Your Discus Fish

Discus aquariums must be set up properly in advance of bringing your discus home. It is foolhardy to think that you will be able to buy the fish, and then setup the tank. In the long term, this is a failing and fish killing scenario. This article will explain what you can do today to prepare your aquarium for discus.

For filtration of discus aquariums, a cultured sponge filter will work well. If don’t want to wait for the filter to culture naturally, consider using one of the bacterial starter cultures. Either choice will work fine, the important thing is that there isn’t a lot of water flow, as calm water mimics the natural discus habitat.

Use a thin layer of fine gravel in the bottom of the tank. Bare bottom tanks also work fine, and are usually better for breeding.

I like to use driftwood, floating plants and clay flowerpots filled with gravel and other suitable plants. Remember that the water temperature in discus aquariums is 80 degrees F or more, so be sure to choose compatible plants. A fluorescent strip light with one warm and one cool white bulb will provide enough light for the plants.

For a quarantine or hospital tank, I do not use gravel or any plants. If this is your first adventure into discus aquariums, the initial tank should essentially be built as a quarantine tank. In this case, the tank should have nothing other than water, filter, heater, and light. The reason for such Spartan accommodations is that you need to be able to observe your discus closely at first. They may want to hide, but it’s better if you can see them clearly. Remember, you can always add the amenities later, after are sure your new fish are healthy. This quarantine period should last a minimum of 30 days. If you are adding new fish to an established discus aquarium, be sure to keep the new fish in a separate 10 gallon tank while you evaluate their health.

Discus aquariums need some advanced preparation in order to be successful. Most importantly, is ensure proper water quality and habitat. You also need to learn how to properly acclimate new discus to your aquarium. I encourage you to learn more about the specifics of setting up discus aquariums. Topics such as food, water chemistry, and choice of tank mates are all critical to your success. Good Luck!

Tips to Build a Great Relationship at Work and at Home

Years ago I learned a very powerful lesson from Stephen Covey. In his book entitled “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”he explains the concept of principle based leadership.

In the last message I shared with you how to respond to the important and not the urgent. Now that you have more time and leading your life based on your priorities I want to give you the next tool that will make you the author of your relationships.

Today I am going to share with you an exercise that involves you being at your funeral right now, today. Imagine all your loved ones, spouses, kids, family members, friends, employees and business contacts standing up at the podium and reflecting on their relationship with you. I know this may be difficult and you may not like what you discover but there a reason so I encourage you to carefully examine what you think each person would say about your relationship with them as it is right now.

Would they say you were kind and loving, always therefor them or that they wish they had spent more time with you etc. Would your employees say that you were a great leader, fair and honest or would they say that you were always stressed out and unavailable?

Now, imagine you are standing at your funeral again and you get to choose what each person would say about you. Repeat the process by above but this time write out what you would like that person to say about you.For example; in the first part of this exercise you think your spouse would say that you were a very hard worker and gave a lot to your company but wished they had spent more time with you. You now get to rewrite the script. You could imagine them saying that you had always put your relationship with them first,they felt loved and knew because you always made time for them.

The script that you wrote is your agenda to create the relationships you desire. Because this is about your business and we are referring to leadership, take this opportunity to evaluate your relationships with your team. You can choose to be the leader you want to be with action and intent.

I wish I could make it as simple as putting this task in your day timer but to develop new attributes is an internal process, a shift in behaviors. What I can tell you is to make it a priority by scheduling the time in your agenda to research and commit to getting involved with leadership groups, taking classes and seek coaching.

I was very fortunate to have found this exercise when I was a salon owner and as a result of it I am able to say that I have remained in good standing with every person who had worked in my company. I’m not saying they all liked me but I do know they would all say I was honest, respectful,approachable and dedicated to helping them succeed. Even those I had to let go still felt comfortable coming into the salon for their services when they no longer were employed there. That is the gift of writing your own scripts as to how you choose to impact the relationships in your life.

7 Reasons Why You Should Build a New Home

A house is more than just a dwelling. It is an investment, a way to save for the future and to watch your capital grow. It makes sense to buy and own a house rather than pay rent. If you consider the amount of rent you pay over a lifetime you will find that if you own a house and pay a mortgage, you save a lot of money and also become the owner of property you can pass on to future generations or sell at a tidy profit. Should you buy a used house or should you build a new home is the question. There are pros and cons to each. However, a new home is definitely worth considering over buying an existing one.

You can choose the location

It may not be possible to find an old house in the location of your choice. You can buy a plot of land in a location you like and think of building a new home entirely to your specifications.

Design of the new home

When you buy an existing house, you have to take it as it is and renovate or remodel. You could, of course, demolish the house and use the site to build an entirely new home from the ground up. In either case you have full control over the design, placement of rooms, siting of the house in the plot, size and all parameters.

Quality of construction

An old house will have a number of defects. There could be cracks in the walls, leaks in the roof, peeling paint and similar issues. When you build a new home you are in total control. You can decide whether your new house should be made of masonry-concrete or lumber or prefab or even steel, aluminum, glass. Your builder will also factor in “green” building technologies that will help save energy and keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. The savings alone make it worth the effort. In addition, when you go for new construction and have a reputed builder by your side you have full confidence that quality materials and processes will go into the construction to make the building last.

Cost control

Fix your budget and talk with the builder. He can come up with a clever design that will give you a house within your existing budget with provision to expand later on. You could decide on a lumber home, which might give you a larger space at a lower cost. If time is a constraint your builder could help you select the right prefab house. You could decide on a concrete-brick structure, starting with a ground floor for the present and then build the first floor later on. You can even decide on what goes inside such as the tiles, wall cladding, insulation, fixtures, light fittings and every tiny detail.

Peace of mind for years

A new house will give you peace of mind for years. You will not have problems of water ingress from the floor or walls, dripping ceilings or drainage problems. A well built house should require minimum maintenance for at least five years, if not more.

Value addition

When the design is right and the exteriors blend in with the landscape to create an overall beautiful aesthetic, your house increases in value. Should you decide to sell a couple of years later, you can always expect a profit.

Pride of ownership

Last but not least, if you have invested time, energy, thought and money in the building of a new house, it is the realization of a dream and it gives you pride of ownership.

For More Details: http://www.actionconstructionco.com/our-process/

Smart Tips to Build a Birdhouse

There are many people in the world who loves to enjoy company of having their pet birds. For these people, building a birdhouse is a best way to enjoy their companionship. However, building a birdhouse at home needs to be durable, rain proof and clean as well. It is of no doubt that wood is the best material for making a birdhouse. There are many things that must be taken care of for building a home for your pet bird.

Right Place

Choosing right place for every specific type of bird is crucial. Every single bird species has changed requirements and it is essential to know all about birds. A house of bluebird needs to be in a place that is near or opposite to an open field where bugs they eat are in abundance. On the other hand, House wrens wish theirs to swing from a small tree in a yard and chickadees want their home to be in a group of shrubs and small trees.

Right Size

Next thing required is to choose right size for house with precise dimensions. Most people think birdhouses are all mostly same, but that’s not right. It is partly a practical tactic, but actually a small bird need a small house. A chickadee would be glad in a home about 8 inches tall with a 5×5 inch of base. Bluebirds demand a bit of larger box, so 10 inches high with a 5½x5-½ inch base would work well for them. However, for larger bird like a screech owl, you need to build a house of about 24 inches high with a base 10×10 inches wide.

Precise Height

One more factor to figure out is height for your birdhouse. Right height for bluebirds and tree swallows is about 5-8 feet tall on a pole. House wrens want their house to be 6- 10 feet high and dangling from a tree. On the other hand, a home for purple martins needs to be of 15-20 feet in air and it could be even higher for screech owl. The chance of appealing a chickadee is better if it is located about 4- 8 feet over a wood.

Door Size

The door is an important feature and needs to be of correct size. If entry hole is too big, it will merely inspire predators to attack family. A birdhouse constructed for house-wrens will need to be of smallest size of about 1-1/8 inches only. This will make sure that no other birds will try to enter. Just a small modification in entry hole really will control what type of birds can fit in.

Internet Marketing – Build a Free Website

With thousands of new internet marketers and businesses coming online, it is important to have a home base, or a website to share information and communicate with their audience. Build a free website, it is a great way to start a business online. There are many sites that offer free hosting services that include easy to use software and tools to build a profitable website.

When looking for a free hosting company to build a free website, search for sites that have been in business for 2 or more years. Look at the FAQ section, consider the questions asked and the answers. Form a question to ask the site support team. Doing this will tell you how their customer support handles questions. Do some more investigation to see if the tools available are easy to work with. Your skill level will determine whether the site is for you or not. A complete “newbie” will want a site that is simple and easy to navigate. Whereas someone familiar with building and creating websites, may want more features and customization.

Some of the most profitable websites are very simple in design and content. It really is not necessary to have a lot of “bells and whistles” if you have good content and a simple design. Once you choose your free website host, choose a design, or a template, that will compliment your chosen niche and your personality.

Now that you have hosting to build a free website, sign up and get started. Enter you personal and business information. Choose a site name relevant to your niche or business. Choose your template. There may be widgets, or plug-ins you can add for a little personal flair. Start adding some good content and you have just created your first website.

How to Build a Home Business With Incentive Vacation Certificates

Incentive vacation certificates- also referred to as free travel vouchers- provide an excellent opportunity for both experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs to build a home-based business with little to no investment required. In fact, because the market for these no-cost coupons is still virtually untapped, there exists real potential to achieve significant success by distributing these products. Formal training or education in marketing or sales fields is not needed because any person with a little ambition and part time availability can earn a respectable income distributing free travel vouchers.

Not many people understand what incentive vacation certificates are; let alone that they can be used to start a home-based business. This is because it’s hard for most to imagine why an airline company or hotel would possibly want to give away free tickets or reservations. However, what many don’t realize is that these companies still profit when they give these coupons away: the recipients will still probably buy additional services or upgrades from the airline or buy merchandise and food from the airport. Hotels know that free guests will almost certainly spend money in their gift shops or eateries. Therefore, it makes sense to give these otherwise-unused seats and rooms away instead of earning nothing. After all, the vast majority of seats and reservations go unsold except during peak times.

How do you get free travel vouchers? It’s actually quite simple. Airlines and hotel companies contract with certain outside companies who are permitted to offer these coupons to the public under very specific conditions. These companies in turn offer printing rights to consumers. Buyers can elect between free airfare vouchers, free hotel stays and complete combination packages, although each has different terms and conditions that must be met. Once you buy the printing rights (very inexpensive, typically $10 to $25 for unlimited rights) your name or company information will be printed on the coupons along with a unique code that identifies you to the issuer.

Once you’ve printed some vouchers you can give them away for free or sell them- either way you’ll earn money when your customer redeems. Some people find little value in free things and so marketers actually sell the vouchers to their clients, while other people can’t resist the thought of a free vacation and so redeem certificates in droves. Generally speaking this is a product that is appealing to any demographic, so targeting consumers is relatively easy. Whether you charge for your products or not, you’ll need to market them using one or a combination of the following marketing tactics:

*Your own travel-related website or blog

*Blog commenting and social bookmarking

*Article directory submissions

*Email campaigns

*Print

*Direct mail

With an initial investment cost of $10 or less, capital can be retained for any of these marketing methods. However, you can also market free travel vouchers at next to no cost simply by purchasing a.info domain and using free software to build a website hosted on a free server. You can then write articles yourself and submit them to article directories and drive traffic to them with blog commenting and social bookmarking- all of which can be done for free.

A home-based business distributing free travel vouchers is completely scalable. You can start off by only purchasing printing rights to airfare coupons and experiment with marketing those. As the number of consumers redeeming your certificates increase you can use the money earned to purchase additional printing rights- like a two-night hotel stay. Over time, you can offer both the airline seats and hotel reservations as part of a package. You can even buy rights to 8 night resort vouchers.

Distributing free travel vouchers is one of the few home-based businesses that anyone can get involved in that actually works. Even if you’re already a successful internet or affiliate marketer, you can use no-cost vacation certificates to diversify your income streams with little investment and passive efforts- especially if you already have article marketing or other strategies in place.

If you have $13 for printing rights and a cheap.info domain name, you can get started immediately with your own home-based business.

What Is Turn-Key Construction – Why It's a Great Way to Build a Home

When a customer is looking for a stress-free way to build their new home, they will want to hire a contractor that offers "turn-key construction" to build their home & take care of all of the details.

The customers responsibilities include: Procuring financing, finding the right property, choosing a floor plan, picking out the colors, flooring, fixtures, wood finish, Cabinet style, countertops, window & door styles, and deciding on the amenities.

The contractor is responsible for: everything involved with the home being built. The contractor hires the excavator, frames the structure, and finishes the interior. He is responsible for purchasing the materials and hiring the sub-contractors. Everything is completed down to the cabinets and carpet. When the home is finished, the customer "turns the key" and moves in. A Licensed Contractor will provide a post construction warranty, as well as guaranteeing the performance of the project while it's being built. The contractor accepts all of the liabilities that come with constructing the home.

What are the benefits of hiring a turn-key contractor?

A turn-key contractor builds the customer a custom home while protecting them from the headaches and stress of a construction project. The customer gets to have all the fun! They get to pick out their favorite amenities and colors and watch as their dreams come alive. When it's all done the customer gets to enjoy the finished result. Should something go wrong, they call on the contractor to remedy the problem according to the warranty and performance guidelines. The contractor takes on all the liability and responsibility so the customer can relax and enjoy watching their new home being built!

Another way to make sure every one of your construction projects will have a better outcome is when choosing a home builder or a contractor for any building project, always hire a licensed contractor, that's the first way to save yourself from future headaches. Then make sure you know everything included in their price; get their warranty guarantee in writing; do a little research, including a background check; and always ask for references. If any of the information you want for the proposal is missing, or if they withhold information from you, those are red flags and I would suggest moving on, and finding a licensed contractor that will share all of the information you need to feel comfortable before moving forward with your project.

Building a home should be a fun stress-free experience, finding the right builder enables you to have that!