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First Time Home Buyers Guide

First Time Home Buyers Guide

If you are getting ready to purchase your first home or if you think you can't afford to purchase your first home, don't make another move until you have read this important information! Every year, Federal, State and Local government and community development programs help thousands of people obtain there first home.

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Easy Steps 2 Buy a House

If you are a first-time home buyer, this ebook guide is the only source that you will ever need. No matter what beautiful home you want, this books shows you the specific steps that you need to take in order to get it. You will learn all of the important steps in buying a house; you will learn how to find the perfect real estate agent, how to find the right lender, how to get pre-approved for your loan. You will learn how to find the perfect house for your needs, how to get the funds for it, and how to make sure you do not get taken in by a false loan scheme. You will learn the process of negotiation to make an offer on the house, the closing process, and the most important part: how to settle in to your new-found home. This ebook will save you money and time in the home-buying process!

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Repairs to reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete

AAC was also used for blocks in blockwork walling as well as for pre-cast wall and roof panels in low-rise residential properties. It is made under high-pressure steam-curing conditions by introducing bubbles of gas into a cement or lime mix. The finished product is a uniform cellular material that could be classed as a 'foamed mortar' - although it is sometimes described erroneously as 'foamed concrete' (Noy and Douglas, 2005). In one sense it is analogous to a 'no-coarses' concrete, in contrast to 'no-fines' concrete. As a result RAAC is relatively lightweight and has good thermal insulating properties.

Integrity of the building Generally

Raac Concrete Roof

Adaptation schemes such as conversions to other uses can result in increased loadings and changes in load paths (Coates, 2001). These can lead to failure unless precautionary strengthening or underpinning measures are taken (see Chapter 7). For example, commercial use entails at least double the floor loading to that of a residential property. This can result in sagging floors because of overloading.

Los Angeles California USA 2003

Office of Mobile Design principal Jennifer Siegal writes, harkening back to original prehistoric models of shelter and dwelling, the Portable House adapts, i cates and reorients Itself to accommodate an ever-changing environment. It offers an eco-sensitive and economical alternative to the increasingly expensive perma structures that constitute most of today's housing options. At the same time, the Portable House calls into question preconceived notions of the trailer home and tr park, creating an entirely new option for those with disposable income but insufficient resources for entering the conventional housing market. More clearly put architects have tried to create a flexible living environment that can be moved, relating back to some of the earliest forms of nomadic existence. The central kitchen bath element separates the sleeping areas from the living spaces. It is imagined that numerous units could be placed together, creating a temporary community. The i could also be...

Reducing or enlarging the useable space

As indicated earlier, old buildings often have high floor-to-ceiling heights. In many non-residential properties such as churches and function halls, there was only one storey, even though the roof was over 5 m above ground level. In economic, functional and environmental terms, this is a waste of space. The accommodation within such an interior is thus harder and more expensive to heat and keep clean. High ceilings are relatively inaccessible without tower scaffolding. This makes repainting and other maintenance work difficult and costly.

A case study Marketing new passive houses in Konstanz Rothenburg Switzerland

A private company chose to develop a housing type unfamiliar in the Swiss housing market. Their decision process resulted in a highly successful market introduction, which can be instructive for other firms with a similar goal. During each phase different consumer types buy the product. It is possible to identify the market niches that 'match' each stage. In the introductory stage, these consumers (home buyers) either have a special interest in the product or they are so-called 'innovators', wanting to try something new. When these people have 'tested out' the product and given it credibility and a positive image, the 'followers' enter the market.

DESIGN and Construction of Multifamily Dwellings

The design and construction of multifamily dwellings must include consideration of privacy, which in many cases is legally mandated even if it is not controlled by a building code or property line ordinance, it nevertheless forms part of the basis of the home buyer's or occupant's reasonable expectation of quality. If the dwelling, by dint of its construction, does not meet this expectation there may be sufficient cause for the finding of a construction defect in the building for which the developer and his design team may be held liable. As the perceived quality of a residence increases, so too do the expectations for a quiet environment. This perception of quality may be based on cost, location, sales information provided to the buyer, or due to the fact that a person is purchasing a permanent home rather than renting an apartment.

Hanson Scores On Celsius Housing Project

Products from Hanson's extensive bricks and blocks range have been used on the Celsius development, a multi-million pound landmark project on the edge of the town of Bracknell in Berkshire. As this development is targeted primarily at the lower end of the housing market, with the living space offering a choice of starter homes. To achieve this, the designers, architects and specifiers chose a combination of Hanson's Gima modular clay blocks and Gobelin buff stock bricks. Because strength was a factor for these multi-storey apartment buildings, a heavier construction material was required. Also, a heavier building material would help to prevent overheating during warmer seasons with long periods of sunshine. Gima modular clay blocks are strong and offer 100 protection against damp and moss build-up to reduce future maintenance work and expense. Hanson Gobelin buff stock bricks, were chosen because they combine the solid appearance of brick with a light colour to create a feeling of...

Housing Policy And City Planning In Frankfurt

Frankfurt, as an important industrial city, had increased in population since the nineteenth century and, as a consequence, had seen the construction of new housing areas on the periphery following layouts which followed the haussmannien model. They included bourgeois buildings along avenues in light and airy districts and 'Miet-Kazerne', containing small dwellings for the working class. The whole development was subjected to a process ofspeculation, which attempted to limit the application of Adickes laws (1902), which had given the municipalities the possibility of buying land and thus intervening in the housing market.

Conservatories Introduction

Conservatories are a common form of small-scale extension in residential properties nowadays. This is because they are cheaper and easier to erect than more substantial forms of lateral extensions. In domestic cases they are normally restricted to small single-storey structures having not less than three-quarters of the area of their roof and not less than one-half of the area of their external walls made of translucent material.

The Quarter In History

To seek simplified design structures, which is often abetted by development convenience' (Gosling and Maitland, 1984). The result of these tendencies is a coarsegrained city where ' extensive areas of one thing are separated from extensive areas of another thing' (Lynch, 1981). The motives, however, which produce a coarse-grained city with extensive areas of single land uses, unsafe centres that die at night - such as Skelmersdale new town centre in Lancashire - and large socially homogeneous housing estates, are powerful. These powerful motives include the preference for living near similar people with similar interests, and the grouping of commercial activities which maximize the locational advantages of a dispersed network of roads. Constraints imposed on the poor by their unequal access to the housing market exacerbate the situation. The forces which are inhibiting the structuring of cities to form fine-grained quarters are real and powerful. Since this is certainly the case, why...

Whitehall the West End Regents Place

Tottenham Court Road has quietly experienced a change of character in recent years, shifting its activities northward, toward Euston Road. At the same time, Euston Road itself has undergone changes and Camden has proposals for a 'Euston Boulevard', designed in collaboration with Terry Farrell. A key part of this scenario is the redevelopment of the area around the old '60's Euston Tower building. This has been supplemented by a number of buildings, beginning with an Arup Associates' design and later added to by Sheppard Robson. The outcome has been a considerably enlarged employment and transport node nudging up against residential areas and cheered up by a rather large Michael Craig-Martin wall mural. But don't go there to see great buildings go to see local urban change taking place (and how the contemporary face of speculative development works toward its healthy bottom-line). For example, the Arup Associates one is the best (1998), but now looking too small, even being adjacent to...

Constraints and problems Townplanning requirements

Planning permission may be required for vertical extensions because of aesthetic considerations or density limitations, particularly in the case of roof extensions. However, this depends both on the category of building and the extent of work proposed. Simple loft extensions on residential properties, for example, are classed as 'permitted development' under the General Development Order 1995 as provided by the Town & Country Planning Acts. Generally, this means that such works on houses do not require planning permission provided that

Phasing the development

The phasing of a scheme would be planned to allow successful marketing, to protect new residents' amenities and to bring the units most in demand to sale first. Some house builders would plan a marketing suite of homes into a scheme. These would typically be built at the entrance to the scheme, so that home buyers can look at model house types whilst the scheme behind is being built. A future double garage could be used as the marketing office. The first phase would then be selected in a location where future building would not disturb new residents. In this respect, the back of the site might be selected so that construction vehicles did not need to constantly drive past the new homes. Finally, houses which sell the quickest might be selected so that some confidence in the scheme can be achieved, whilst some of the profits from the early phases can be used to fund subsequent work.

Active fire precautions Fire detection

This is becoming critical in virtually all categories of buildings. Even in domestic adaptation schemes such as extensions there is now a need to install hard-wired smoke detectors in the new parts of the property. Battery operated smoke detectors have proven to be unreliable in residential properties. This is because of the failure of many occupants to replace the batteries when required. Some tenants, for example, have even been known to deactivate the alarm.

Vacancy of nonresidential buildings

There is no comparable mass condition survey programme for non-residential properties. This is most likely because of the diversity of size and type of individual institutional, industrial, commercial, and agricultural buildings makes it difficult to both determine and present a total stock figure for these properties. According to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM, 2003b)

The Culture Of Urban Design In The Uk And The Us

Both countries have evolved financial institutions and tax regimes that favoured house purchase over renting as a preferred form of tenure. Unlike the case in many European countries, renting in the UK and US is usually confined to those who cannot afford house purchase. The housing market represents a much more important factor in the economies of the United States and the United Kingdom than those of Continental Europe and as a consequence housing design may have been more affected by market considerations.

Background Triggers for building conversion

In more recent times, demand changes have had, and are having, significant influences on the rate and nature of building conversion in both residential and non-residential sectors. In the housing sector, the focus is often on subdividing single-occupancy residential property into multiple dwellings. In many urban areas of the UK, for example, change-of-use schemes involving loft extensions to provide one- and two-apartment flats in redundant industrial buildings is a major growth area. As shown previously these conversions are primarily because of the shrinking of family sizes and increasing number of single people living alone. Sometimes these changes in demand can result in 're-conversions'. (See the planning implications of such conversions later in this chapter.) In some city centres, residential properties that were converted to offices in the 1960s and 1970s being converted back into dwellings again. Edinburgh has several good examples of this type of re-conversion. In Charlotte...

Basic design criteria

There are twelve key design criteria that apply principally to domestic adaptation schemes (based on Williams, 1995). They can however relate to non-residential properties as well so long as allowances are taken for differences in scale, form and use. The criteria are as follows

Resale Values

In current real estate markets, chances are good that a straw bale home will receive a lower resale value estimate than its frame-walled equivalent. However, low appraisals do not necessarily mean lower resale prices. Home buyers looking for a strong, unique, and super-insulated house may decide that the attractions of a straw bale house are worth more to them than its appraisal indicates. As a side beneft,lower official appraisals often mean lower property taxes.

Fortress America

Gated communities are clear indicators of the spatial division of the nation by race and class. In the 1960s, suburban exclusionary zoning to achieve this result was challenged and, to some degree, rejected through judicial or legislative open housing laws. De facto residential exclusivity has since been pursued through the private housing market, which has built hundreds of gated communities since the 1980s under the rubric of security from threats to homes and their inhabitants. These private enclaves, of course, may not explicitly be marketed as racist racial restrictive covenants are unenforceable but high prices and marketing practices ensure that they will largely be occupied by upper-middle-class whites. Gated communities are elite not just because of what they include, but also because of what they exclude the public, strangers, and undesirables (Whyte's non-politically correct but gently ironic term). The result is privacy and control. Gated communities center on this ability...


In practice there was variation between Russia, where private housing was poorly developed in urban areas, and Hungary and Bulgaria, where it was highly developed. But the policy of privatizing state-owned housing was new.17 Differing familiarity with the notion of a housing market affected the speed of response to the possibility of privatization. Tenants in Moscow, for example, felt some security living in a flat with negligible rents, where the state was responsible for repairs and where the flat could be passed on to a child registered as living there. Ownership was initially seen as involving new liabilities (for repairs, for the common parts of the building, for possible future taxes on owners).

SWOT analysis

Private funding and banks strongly influence the market and are disinterested in developing the private housing market House buyers still focus on initial costs and are less influenced by future operational costs (energy and maintenance) Place when introducing the project, Anliker invited interested home buyers to several information evenings at their head office. The architect, Arthur Sigg, presented the project.

Artificial Light

All forms of energy use in buildings should be analysed, related to the different needs of individual architectural programmes, to see where savings can be made for example in homes, the use of the natural source has always been paramount during the day, so few savings can be made. At night however, developments in lamp technology have produced significantly more efficient artificial light sources and this is an area where, due to the large quantity of residential property, significant savings have yet to be made moreover major energy savings in the home are to be found in the means of heating and insulation. Table 4.1 illustrates the different aspects of the main types of lamp, providing comparisons to assist the architect in making his choice. The different factors identified are those of efficacy, lamp life and colour, but other factors that must also be considered are those of cost and control.

Further Reading

Interesting and relatively recent publications into the types of home and environment that British people want include Towns or Leafier Environments A survey of family home buying choices by Mulholland Research Associates (1995), Kerb Appeal produced by the Popular Housing Forum (1998), But Would You Live There by URBED (1999) and CABE's (2005) What Home Buyers Want. Often these publications are written from the authors' perspective, although collectively they do represent an attempt to properly account for the aspirations of housing consumers. Ely's (2004) The Home Buyer's Guide reverses the logic of the above publications and tries to encourage a more informed approach to purchasing a house.

Home Studios

The second problem confronting a home studio user is that regulations in residential neighborhoods restrict noise levels at neighboring properties. These property-line ordinances typically limit nighttime noise levels to 45 dBA or 5 dB over the existing ambient, whichever is higher, within residential properties. Property line ordinances can limit the level at which a musician can play or require substantial construction to meet the local codes. A review of the local noise ordinance is therefore prudent.


It is important therefore in any adaptation, brief to address the client's expectations and statutory requirements on sound insulation (BRE report BR 238, 1993). In particular, adequate sound insulation will be critical in multiple-occupancy residential properties or in buildings where privacy from excessive noise is essential. This is especially important for party floors and walls (BRE Digest 334, 1988).


Viability is usually the most important and influential of all the assessment criteria because ultimately any development decision is based on financial considerations. Indeed, the main reason for the adaptation of nonresidential property is to maximize income or asset value (Martin and Gold, 1999). In contrast, functional and personal considerations as well as financial matters play a role in the adaptation of residential property. According to Martin and Gold (1999) the main issues that should be considered to maximize income or


The revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations 2001 require that a building logbook be provided to the owner occupier of all new and refurbished non-residential properties. Such a manual is intended to provide a simple overview for operational and maintenance staff of how the building is meant to work (CIBSE, 2003). This is so that the building can run effectively (e.g. provides adequate comfort conditions) and efficiently (e.g. minimizes costs, pollution and energy wastage).


This is a very timely and policy-relevant study. The recent unprecedented housing market crisis has brought attention to the subprime mortgage market, which experienced exponential growth over the past few years. Because of high default rates among subprime borrowers and big losses to subprime investors in the declining housing market, subprime lending has lately caused a storm of controversy. Many critics accuse subprime lenders of predatory lending practices that exploit naive borrowers who do not fully understand mortgage terms. According to these arguments, minority groups have been particularly liable to this kind of abuse. Consequently, these critics contend that subprime loans do not make economic sense and should be banned, especially among the most vulnerable class of borrowers.


Regulation is most often used to alter the size and character of the market and the design of the physical environment. Perhaps the single most effective example occurred during the 1930s when the federal government restructured the banking system and in the process dramatically altered the housing market. Prior to that time few banks provided mortgage loans that covered more than half the cost of a house. These loans were extended for relatively short periods of time (two to five years) and involved little or no amortization.

Case Studies

Another adviser is John Hadidian, Director, Urban Wildlife Programs, the Humane Society of the United States. John's special contribution has been the authoring of Harmony's 'Community Covenants and Restrictions'. Every resident has to sign up to this 22-page document, the full title of which is 'Harmony Residential Properties Restrictions, Guidelines and Goals Concerning Companion Animals, Habitat and Wildlife'.

Side extensions

In residential property, an attached garage often forms the main type of side extension. In other instances, the side extension may be required to provide an enlarged or additional room. More usually, however, a two-storey extension comprising, say, a garage on the ground floor and a bedroom on the upper floor forms the main type of addition incorporating these functions. Figure 5.3 illustrates a typical example of a side extension. Side extensions to non-residential properties are often on a larger scale than this type of enlargement in housing. The impact that they have on the building and its surroundings is therefore greater. For example, detached Victorian two- or three-storey houses are often converted into commercial use, which often necessitates a lateral extension.

The marketing plan

In the process of formulating your plan you will need to carefully assess the current situation for your group and the local area. You will try to anticipate what will be attractive to whom. You will consider your own strengths and weaknesses as a group, as well as the opportunities and constraints in the local housing market and larger community. * Is the local housing market growing or shrinking

Lateral extensions

There is no universally accepted definition as what in volumetric terms actually constitutes an 'extension' to a building. For the purposes of this book, though, a lateral extension will be taken as any external horizontal addition to a building exceeding, say, a 2 m2 single-storey porch and not greater in size than the original building. As a rule of thumb, a lateral extension normally should not exceed 50 per cent of the existing building's volume. This of course is an entirely arbitrary limit but it applies to most domestic extension schemes. Extensions to non-residential properties, in contrast, are can be sometimes almost the same size of the original building. In the case of many hypermarkets or superstores it is not unusual to see them being extended by two or three bays, even within a few years of the original building's construction (see section on Connection required to framed buildings).

Electrical rewiring

The minimum service life of an electrical installation in residential properties is about 25 years (NBA, 1985). Thus, rewiring and upgrading of the electrical system is likely to form part of a comprehensive modernization programme in older dwellings. Since 1 January 2005 tighter controls have been imposed by government legislation on the standard of electrical installation work in residential properties across England and Wales (Noy and Douglas, 2005). These controls are analogous to those required for gas installations by the CORGI.

Main driving forces

Sustainable housing is currently finding its place in the housing market. As a result of global developments, public awareness and policy decisions, the housing industry is realizing that sustainability is an important market. Consumers begin to favour sustainable solutions for many reasons

Window Details

Windows have developed a long way from this point, from the standard horizontal or vertical windows set into the side walls of the majority of residential properties, to the window walls commonly found in modern office blocks. The Georgian window, however, provides some lessons which have apparently not been learnt today, mostly to do with the subtlety of the detailing.

Consumer Preferences

Appearance The external appearance of homes often appears as a low priority for home buyers, although people might be concerned about the general appearance and upkeep of an area. Residents prefer a housing image that reflects what Cooper Marcus (1982 10) refers to as '.local middle-class norms'. A particular concern is for 'character'. This might be genuinely historic, although in new built houses it would refer to details that stop the homes looking like bland boxes. The Popular Housing Forum (1998, p. 2) noted that people don't want features to be 'stuck on' while they like their houses to be of a common style, but different in detail to their neighbours' (Figure 2.20).