The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 13, 1991 · Page 81
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October 13, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 81

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Sunday, October 13, 1991
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EDITOR: DENISE STOCKSTILL, 369-1963 i THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1991 SECTION H Neighborhood price guideH-2 House planH-4 Mortgage shoppingH-5 Residential transfersH-6 HO James ) Dulley 4? ; Cut your utility bills Refinancing might be worthwhile if the rate $75,000 home at 1 0 - is $658.50, compared gggggr to $576.75 when the jjommpgro rate is 8.5. The f figures take into account the borrower nn . fin paying closing costs in . UU " You need to stay in the home for at least three to six years to recover closing costs, which are usually 3 to 6 of your loan. To figure how long it will take to recover the cost, divide the up-front refinancing costs by the amount saved each month by switching to a lower rate. That figure will represent the number of months it will take before savings surpass up-front costs of refinancing. It doesn't matter if you go to your previous lender or a new one for refinancing. Shop around and see where you can get the best deal. If you are paying on second mortgage or have a home equity loan, you can consider combining both into one payment if rates go lower than your existing loans. 1 J llli a-s-"" Wood makes energy-saving foundation Lumber easy to use for do-it-yourself builder QUESTION: I am planning to build an energy-efficient house. I have heard that permanent wood foundations are very durable and energy efficient. Can you tell me more about them? ANSWER: A permanent wood foundation (PWF), often called an all-weather wood foundation, is used instead of a conventional poured concrete or concrete block foundation. It is an ideal foundation for either crawl space or basement construction. A PWF is basically a standard heavy-duty wood framed wall that is used for the foundation below ground. It is made of special pressure-treated lumber to resist damage from moisture and insects. If built to proper design specifications, it should hold up as well as any conventional foundation. A PWF offers many advantages including outstanding energy-efficiency, ease of construction, reduced construction time, and better feasibility for a do-it-yourself builder. Since a PWF is basically a standard framed wall, you can insulate it like any above-grade wall. With 2x6 framing, you can easily insulate your crawl space or basement walls to R-19. 1 This can significantly reduce the utility bills for an otherwise energy-efficient house. There are special cement-like , coatings for any exposed above-ground foundation lumber. ' For basement construction, you can run the electrics and plumbing through the insulated walls and cover them with paneling or drywall for a finished living area. That is less expensive than insulating and finishing poured concrete or block walls. For crawl space construction, you can often eliminate the need for any concrete work. The footers can be made from gravel and a special gravel drainage system used to minimize the possibility of leaks. You can either build the foundation framing at your site or purchase completed pressure-treated framed panels. Therefore, the same crew of carpenters that build the rest of your house can build the foundation too. This eliminates costly delays. Also, you can install the foundation in almost any weather, further reducing potential delays and cost increases. If you are planning to do much of the construction yourself, you are probably better off purchasing the finished pressure-treated panels made to your blueprints. Familiarize yourself with working with pressure-treated lumber before attempting to build your own foundation panels. QUESTION: Does it really help much to put the foam gaskets behind all the electrical outlet faceplates in my house? My house always seems a bit drafty. ANSWER: The inexpensive foam gaskets can be very effective for reducing air leakage (infiltration) into your house. Often, outdoor air leaks inside your walls through tiny cracks in the wall or around windows or doors. Then it finds the location of least resistance' to flow into your house. You generally need to put the foam gaskets behind the electrical outlet and switch covers on outside walls only. Always switch off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse before removing the outlet or switch cover. Consider switching to a 15-year mortgage if the rates are 3.375 percentage points below a 30-year mortgage. The monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage for a $75,000 loan at rate of 12 would be $771 compared to monthly payment of $758 on a 15-year loan at 8.625. Since adjustable rate mortgages usually start lower and then escalate according to an index of interest rates such as one-year treasury bills, the low rates might make it a good time to get a stable fixed-rate mortgage. Evaluate the effect of points on the new loan. Points are special charges a lender assesses to keep the interest rates down. A point equals 1 of the loan amount. If a lender charges no points on the new mortgage, your rate and monthly payment would be higher. Most lenders can finance points and closing costs. You likely won't be able to negotiate on such things as points because the cost for a lender to refinance a new mortgage is the same or slightly more than the original loan. Be ready to go through the entire loan process again, which includes a credit report, appraisals, title examination and employment verification. Appraisals cost an average of about $200 and title examination $275. Most lenders will refinance up to 90 of the home's current appraised value, according to industry standards. The homeowner must have a least 10 in equity to pay for remaining amount. Demand for home elevators goes up Tesco Elevator Co. in Covington, Ky., said will grow 50 in the next 10 years, from able since the 1880s, when they were found in the homes of J.P. Morgan, Cyrus Owners need them for aged, handicapped, You can write to me for Utility Bills Update No. 397 showing manufacturers of the complete PWF frame panels and other special construction materials and design details and specifications for building with a PWF. Please include $1 and a self-addressed stamped business-size envelope. Send your requests to James Dulley, co The Cincinnati Enquirer, 2654 Jessup Road, Cincinnati, 45239. he has sold 20 units this year, vs. five when he entered the home market three years ago. His clients include homeowners with handicapped children, elderly couples and wealthy homeowners who buy elevators as an extra feature of their home. The average cost of home elevators locally is about $15,000. Otis, a Farmington, Conn., subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., test-marketed its residential elevators in California, Florida and Washington and found that most potential customers were neither old nor disabled. The average age was 52 years, and in many cases, customers said they anticipated taking care of older relatives, or expected that in their own old age they would have difficulty going up and down stairs. "The kids have moved out, the parents are building a new house and they want to live there forever," Elizabeth Sullivan, a product manager at Otis, said. Otis believes that sales of residential elevators 4,uuu a year to b.uuu. Elevators, which cost at least $10,000, are generally going into expensive new homes. But according to the homebuilders' association, that market is expected to grow. Patrick Kelly, who recently built a house in Diamond Bar, Calif., said he placed it on three levels. Adding an elevator seemed like a necessity for elderly guests. But it is also a convenience for those who could take stairs but prefer not to. For older relatives "You come in on the garage level, and you wheel the groceries into the elevator " Kelly said. He added, however, that "I try and use the stairs because it's good exercise." Many people who have installed elevators said they were trying to accommodate older relatives. H. McCormick and Baroness Rothschild. But since the 1950s, elevators have not been perceived as a necessity, or even a source of status. Becomes desirable option But that seems to be changing. The belief that elevators will become a desirable option for home owners has drawn Otis Elevator Co., a major commercial producer, back into the residential elevator business after a long absence. In Greater Cincinnati, sales of home elevators are on the rise. Bob Nagel, co-owner of Busch Elevator Systems Inc. in downtown Cincinnati, said home elevator sales are up 25 from two years ago. He attributed the increase to homeowners who want elevators because they have handicapped children. He also said elderly couples and some contractors are buying elevators for homes. Ron Steffen, secretary-treasurer at THE NEW YORK TIMES One-story ranch houses took over the American landscape after World War II making elevators in residences curiosities, pretty much confined to elegant older homes or to urban apartment buildings. But now, with an aging population and high land costs in some areas, builders are finding a greater demand for multi-story houses with elevators. "The market is growing and it is expected to grow," said Gopal Ahluwalia, director of research for the National Association of Homebuilders in Washington, a trade group. Residential elevators have been avail INCHES

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