What is ICF Construction – Why Use It ?

Strange as it may seem, there are some people in this world who do not know what ICF means. Let me help change that. ICF is an acronym that stands for Insulated Concrete Forms. Basically these are stacking styrofoam panels with webs spreading them apart. When the blocks are stacked up according to design, they create a hollow wall with styrofoam on the inside and the outside. This has reinforcing rod placed in it, then is pumped full of concrete to create a solid, insulated, concrete wall.

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What Type of House Should I buy ?

Types of Single Family Detached Houses

When looking to purchase a house, one of the questions to ask is, What Style of houses do we want ? Should it be a bungalow or a 2 story house ? Does it need to have a basement or not ? What about a garage ? Should the house have a front attached garage, or a detached garage, or none at all? There is no right or wrong here, it is more about what works best for you and your budget.

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Why Use a Realtor to Buy a House?

Why People Use Realtors (Well, Some of the Reasons)



The contracts are created to protect you and to make sure that you can safely collapse  the offer if some conditions are not met. For instance, if you want to buy a house and need to finance the purchase, the Realtor will ensure that there is a financing condition included in the offer, for your protection.  Then should the bank decline your financing application, you can collapse the offer with no penalty and have the initial (good faith) deposit returned.  Without this condition, you are purchasing this house. So if you don’t have the financing, you are in Breach of Contract and face the possibility of legal action. You would also forfeit the Initial Deposit. Realtors will guide you throughout the process. They know how to deal with different conditions and contracts. They know how to structure the contract for your protection.

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Be Aware When Buying a Used House

old house


I am not suggesting that one should not buy a used house, I am saying that there are things that you should be aware of when looking at houses. A home inspection by a qualified inspector is highly recommended as a condition in any offer, but there are some areas that you can observe and then decide if you should consider placing an offer or not.

When first walking up to house, look at the final grading. Does it slope towards the house or away? Final grade should always slope away from the house to direct water away from the house.
While observing the grade, pay attention to the foundation. Are there noticeable cracks that water can get into ? This can be a greater issue in northern climates, because when the water freezes it expands, increasing the problem.

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More Tips to Help Sell your House



In a recent post, I mentioned that one of the very important details in preparing your House for sale is the First Impression. That article is called Tips to Prepare your Home for a Fast Maximum Priced Sale.

We discussed the importance of making a good impression when someone walks into your house for the first time. But another consideration is the First Impression when they drive up to the house. They will definitely notice how kept or unkept the appearance from the road is. Is the lawn cut and trimmed? Are the flower beds free of weeds?

Keeping these questions in mind, let’s continue on with our list of tips. [Read more…]

How to Lower Home Buying Stress

So it is time to buy a new home. Exciting ! Maybe it is your first home purchase, or possibly a change to a larger ( or smaller ) home. After watching and helping numerous people move, I have come to realize that buying a home can be a very stressful experience.

To lessen the stress, let’s start at the beginning. Don’t even look at homes until you know what price range that you qualify for. Talking to your bank or mortgage broker first to get prequalified does two things. One, it establishes a budget for your potential purchase, and two, it gives you more credibility when you enter the negotiating process.

I have seen buyers who fall in love with the perfect home before getting pre approved, only to have the bank say no, and it can be very discouraging. Just a side note here, when the bank gives you a maximun number, that does not mean you have to spend the whole amount. It is sometimes best to be a bit conservative so that your dollars are not stretched too thin when Murphy’s Law unexpectedly kicks in and you have have to change the hot water tank, or furnace or…. [Read more…]