Your New House: The Alert Consumer's Guide to Buying and Building a Quality Home

Your New House: The Alert Consumer's Guide to Buying and Building a Quality Home

by Alan Fields, Denise Fields


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781889392110
Publisher: Windsor Peak Press
Publication date: 04/01/2002
Edition description: 4TH
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 9.98(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Denise Fields and Alan Fields write a monthly column for Baby Talk magazine. They have written several best-selling books, including Baby Bargains and Bridal Bargains. They live in Boulder, CO.

Table of Contents

Part IPower Home Buying: Getting Ready, Getting Setxi
Chapter 1Reality Check: Bob Vila is NOT Building Your Home1
So, Who Are You Guys Anyway?2
Yes, You Should. No, You Shouldn't2
Four Truths about Buying a Home No One Tells You4
Who Should NOT Buy or Build a New Home6
Should This Book Be Rated NC-17?8
What Does An Average New Home Cost?9
Nasty Surprises That Inflate Home Prices12
The Goal: Take Control13
Key Ingredients of a Quality New Home14
Jargon Check: 3 Flavors of New Homes15
Why You Should NOT Build a House Yourself19
Introducing the Money Bombs20
What's New In This Edition22
Chapter 2How Much New Home Can You Really Afford?23
Ultimate Reality Check: 3 Mistakes to Avoid23
The Goal Of This Chapter24
Stuff to Know: Points, Locks, Insurance25
Two Paths to a New Home26
The Golden Rule of New Home Buying or Building27
Step-by-Step Strategies28
How Much Profit is Fair?29
Getting Started: How Far In Advance?31
Sources for Construction Loans31
Sources for The Best Rates32
What's On the Web? Best Online Sources33
Shopping Savvy for Online Mortgages36
Seventeen Questions to Ask Lenders37
Email: One-Time Closing Savings Disappears38
Email: Rushed to Pay Deposit40
The Two Biggest Myths about the Mortgage Process41
Lenders with Loose Lips and Seven Other Money Bombs42
The Lock Game43
Closing Costs46
The Special Hell for the Self-Employed49
Chapter 3The Building Team50
The Designer: The Rodney Dangerfield of Homebuilding50
Four Myths about Architects50
Top Sources to Find an Architect52
What Will It Cost You?54
Reality Check: Who Can Do Without55
Going Naked: Making Sure You're Covered56
Step by Step Strategies58
Fourteen Questions to Ask an Architect58
The Private Inspector/Construction Manager60
Key Inspection Points61
What Will It Cost You?62
Six Sources for Finding an Inspector62
What's On The Web? Inspection Advice63
Why Municipal Building Inspectors Can't Be Trusted64
Eight Questions to Ask an Inspector or Construction Manager68
Agent-Captured Inspectors and Three Other Money Bombs70
Real Estate Attorneys72
What's On the Web? Four Law Sites73
Other Possible Team Members74
Who Is Not on Your Team?75
Chapter 4If Dirt Were Dollars ... Finding the Right Location for Your Home77
The Four Types of Home Sites77
Phase 1Steps to Scoping Out the Location78
Phase 2Steps for Evaluating the Actual Home Site79
Environmental Detectives: Sleuthing the Sludge82
Seven Costs Involved in Land Purchase82
Siting the House: Six Smart Tips84
19 Questions to Ask about the Land85
Email: Get a Map!86
The Hamburger Theory of Neighborhoods88
Email: Lot Premiums89
Money-Bombs: Soil Troubles & Impact Fees89
The Bizarre World of Homeowners' Associations91
Chapter 5The Ugly Truth about Real Estate Agents: Helping Hand or Scum of the Earth?94
The Trolls of Real Estate95
The Internet Battles the Troll96
Bill Gates as the Big Bad Wolf97
Who Really Needs An Agent?97
The Biggest Myth about Real Estate Agents98
The $7650 Taxi Cab Ride & 3 Other Money Bombs101
The Free Upgrade Dance102
Email: Dangerous Liaisons107
Our Recommendation: Use a Buyer's Agent107
Going it Alone: Net Home Listings108
What It Costs109
Two Sources to Find A Buyer's Agent109
11 Questions to Ask a Buyer's Broker110
Email: Beware Registration Cards111
The "Money" Source Controversy112
5 Money Bombs113
Email: Agent Fails to Present Offer115
The Model Trap & Other Builder Sales Sins117
Chapter 6House by Design119
"Pick a Floor Plan" Design119
Omission by Design Money Bomb121
Plan Books122
What's on the Web? Home Plan Sites124
Money Bomb: One Size Does Not Fit All125
Designer/Drafting Services126
Four Reasons Why This Is the Best Alternative127
Architects Who Live on the Planet of Unrealistic Costs128
What Will It Cost You?130
Twelve Steps to Designing a New Home131
The "Too Many Cooks" Syndrome135
The Top Eight Trends for New Homes136
The Storage Squeeze138
Eight Inexpensive Thrills139
Lemons on the Info Highway140
Four Things They Don't Tell You About Golf Course Living141
Eco-Houses: They're Not Just for Granola-Heads Anymore143
Five Ways To Make A Small House Seem Spacious144
Manufactured Homes: Log, Modular, Panel, Post & Beam146
27 Design Tips for Kitchens & Baths148
Chapter 7Bring on the Builder151
Six Good and Not-So-Good Sources for Finding a Builder153
What's On the Web? Surfing Builder Sites155
When Do You Hire a Builder?156
The Dog and Pickup Truck Builder158
The Mini-Tycoon158
Top-Gun Builders159
The Production Builder160
13 Questions to Ask a Builder160
The Square-Foot Price Myth162
Fifteen Steps to Screening a Builder164
Detective Work: Builder's Past Builders166
10 Clues to Quality Builders168
License Loopholes and Other Money Bombs169
Builder/Architect Tension171
Evaluating Construction on the Fly172
Choosing a Production Builder174
The Top 10 Biggest Builders177
Insider Info: Web Sites178
Deceitful Decorating & Five Other Money Bombs179
Tips for Saving on Production Homes182
Strategy: Use That Salesperson185
Translating Builder-Speak to English186
Chapter 8The Paper Trail: Protecting Your Rights with a Good Contract187
How Bad Contracts Zap Good Buyers187
Reality Check: Not Many Options188
Sources for Sample Contracts191
Fifteen Clauses in a Good Contract192
What's on the Web? Legal Database192
Email: Cost-Plus Nightmare194
Getting Specific: Finding Out What You're Really Buying from a Production Builder205
Money Bomb: The Lowball Allowance Game208
The Wild World of Home Warranties210
Part IIGo! Building the Home and Other Traumatic Experiences219
Chapter 9Key Inspection Points, Part 1: The Skeleton House221
Permits and Approval221
Bogus Engineer Approval222
The Concrete Ticket Tip223
Email: Cylinder Tests224
Steven Steps to Foundations225
Eco-Friendly Alternatives226
Undercut Footings and Five Other Money Bombs227
Four Steps to Framing231
Four Eco-Friendly Alternatives233
Warped Joists and Two Other Money Bombs234
Engineered Wood: Miracle or Time Bomb?234
Rough-in: Plumbing, Electrical, Heating and Cooling237
Map of Recommendation Insulation239
Four Eco-Friendly Alternatives240
Four Money Bombs241
Chapter 10Key Inspection Points, Part II: Finally, Finishing244
Exterior Finishing244
The Roof: Seven Options and Their Costs245
Siding, Gutters and Paint246
Plastic Wood and Other Eco-Alternatives249
The Primer Money Bomb249
Email: Trendsetter Perils252
Interior Finishing252
Windows, Drywall, Paint, Trim Work253
Five Floor-Covering Options255
Four Tips for the Best Cabinets256
Countertops, Lights, Appliances and Plumbing Fixtures257
Nine Eco-Friendly Alternatives260
Six Money Bombs, Including New-Carpet Fumes261
Best New Products264
Final Grading265
Chapter 11New Home 911: When Things Go Wrong And How to Fix Them266
Top Three Reasons Why You Shouldn't Kill Your Builder277
Inept Subs, Builder/Architect Animosity267
Cost Overruns268
The Shrinking Profit Syndrome269
Infomercials: Get Home Quick Schemes271
Take-the-Money-and-Run Builders: A Vanishing Breed271
Legal System Snafus273
The Caulk Reflex274
Top Six Excuses That Builders Give for Shoddy Work and Mistakes275
The Most Common Call-Backs277
Email: 13 Hard-Won Lessons278
Chapter 12Bargains for Home281
Meet the Shopping 'Bots281
Discount Catalogs282
More Deals: Home Stores284
Discount Lighting Sources285
Discount Carpeting & Flooring288
Discount Plumbing Sources289
Conclusion: What Does it All Mean?291
Appendix AProduct Reviews: Windows, Plumbing & More292
Windows Brand Reviews292
Plumbing Brand Reviews294
About the Authors305
Phone/Web Directory307

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Your New House: The Alert Consumer's Guide to Buying and Building a Quality Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Jamie638 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This is the book you need if you're contemplating building a house, which is a daunting process, having experienced it myself. It contains vital information on how to choose a builder and pitfalls to look out for. The authors state early on that you shouldn't build a house unless you're prepared to lose one of three things: your bankbook, your marriage, or your sanity. Having lost all three, I can attest to the book's accuracy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is considering building a new home. This book will answer all the questions you are afraid to ask the 'helpful' salespeople. It will give you enough knowledge to effectively communicate with your builder without turning you into an expert (probably an impossibility).