3 Mortgage Options for Houses that Need Structural Repairs – Interior Home Design

Houses in need of repair are a good choice with the right mortgage. Few people go for this option which makes them less competitive in the housing market. This is because a fixer-upper requires more work, time and resources than home ready houses.

Whether you are an investor or intend to occupy the house yourself, the search for mortgages for a home that needs structural repairs is difficult. Conventional mortgage providers don’t like to finance substandard houses. In these cases, the seller has to make repairs or the buyer buys for its current value then gets a second mortgage to finance repairs.

These are viable options, however, if the buyer nor the seller want to do the repairs up front, there are other mortgage options. I’ve listed below, three different mortgage types that loan you the money for the house and the repairs, and do it all in a single loan.

3 Ways to Purchase a House that Needs Structural Repairs

FHA 203k Loan

Mortgage 203K Loan

Image Source

Federal Housing Association (FHA) is a US government insured mortgage that is designed to help people who may not qualify for conventional home loans. 203k loan is guaranteed by FHA. This enables qualified lenders to offer it since the risk involved is covered.

The purpose of the 203k loan is to provide a single mortgage loan that caters for acquisition, repairs, and improvements. The total amount of the loan is calculated as per the projected value of the house after repairs.

The following types of homes qualify for 203k;

  • 1 – 4-unit homes, as long as the owner lives in one of the units
  • Homes built after 15th June 1976 and have not been moved from their original place
  • FHA approved homes

To qualify for this loan, you need to have a minimum credit score of 580 and be able to make a down payment 3.5%.

•   FHA 203k Loan Resources

Not every lender qualifies to give this specific loan. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a database of approved 203K loan lenders. The list is up-to-date with lenders who currently offer rehab loans.

There are discouraging stories about the 203K loan. FHA loan experts say this is because many buyers do not work with qualified rehab loan lenders.

To ensure the 203K loan is sufficient, licensed consultants and contractors are hired to do the work. The consultant is required to approve the plans and repairs before any payment is made. This protects both the buyer and the lender.

Fannie Mae – HomeStyle Renovation Loan

Image Source

If FHA does not work for you, consider borrowing from HomeStyle Renovation. Financed by Fannie Mae, HomeStyle Renovation loan gives a single closing mortgage which combines purchase and rehab in one loan.

This makes a perfect choice as opposed to the purchase of a structurally faulty house in its current value and then take out a second loan to fund the repairs.

HomeStyle Renovations loan finances up to 75% of the home`s appraisal value once the renovations are complete. The loan amount includes the cost of purchase and upgrade, which means the buyer makes one monthly payment.

•   How It Works

This renovation loan is available to owner-occupied homes and small buy and holds investors. It is offered through a list of approved lenders which can be searched via nation21loans.

It has a flexibility that helps transform a substandard house into a perfect home. For example, you can update older homes, design home improvements or construct additional spaces like the basement.

The lender allows upfront withdrawers. This helps to pay contractors and ensure renovations start as soon as possible, minimizing out-pocket expenses.

If you think HomeStyle Renovation loan will work for you, get in touch with a licensed lender to see if you qualify for it.

USDA Mortgage Loan

Mortgage USDA Loan Requirements

Image Source

The US Department of Agriculture provides a home loan for low-income earners from rural areas. It is aimed at helping them actualize the American dream of owning a home.

The USDA mortgage loan allows structural repairs under its home improvement loan and grants. In January 2018, USDA updated its guidelines on home repairs and escrow agreement.

The repairs include but not limited to flooring, roofing, plumbing, air conditioning or any other type of repair that does not affect the liveability or safety of the home.

For USDA, repair costs should not exceed 10% of the proposed loan amount. At closing, repair money is taken from the loan and put into an escrow account. The requirement is that repairs are done by 30 days after closing and a contractor invoice is required for payment to be made. This ensures repair money is not diverted to other expenses.

What makes USDA Mortgage an excellent fit? 100% financing, zero down payment requirement and a low-interest rate of 5.62%. Perhaps this is the reason why in 2017, USDA helped 127,000 families buy and upgrade their homes.

•   Who is Eligible?

This depends on the condition of a property, location and income level. Rural locations are always eligible, but they must fall in areas classified by the Department of Agriculture as ‘rural’.

USDA provides an eligibility map that helps buyers determine if they qualify. However, completeness of rural loan information in the eligibility map is not guaranteed. Buyers are therefore advised to talk to a USDA lender once they are ready.

•   Evaluation of Repairs

Regardless of which lender you settle for, each has guidelines to assess the extent of structural damage in each property. For example, FHA provides strict guidelines to evaluate the condition of a house before mortgage approval.

Other government-sponsored loans like USDA will require FHA guidelines, others more or less. The smart thing to do is to consult an experienced inspector to carry out an extensive assessment. This ensures all repairs and home improvement costs are part of the total loan amount.

Conclusion

There are fewer institutions that give a mortgage loan on a house that needs structural repairs. But do not let this fact discourage you. It is possible to buy a not-so-perfect house and turn it into a beautiful home through a single loan.

It is advisable to engage a qualified and experienced lender, consultant and contractor. Should you decide to use a broker, settle for one who understands the meaning of restoring value to a broken home. This might seem like a tedious process but it will go a long in achieving your goal.

 

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Nendo Escher exhibition opens at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria – Home Design Ideas

The impossible geometries of Dutch graphic artist MC Escher are explored by Oki Sato’s studio Nendo in an exhibition open at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

The exhibition, called Between Two Worlds, includes 157 prints and drawings by Escher, made between 1916 and 1969, taken from the largest collection of the artist’s work, at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
The exhibition opens with a repeated monochrome motif of interlocking houses

The Japanese studio has designed an immersive monochrome design for the exhibition that draws on the artist’s work by playing with themes of geometry and space.

The studio took the simple shape of a house as the basis of its designs for the project, adapting the form into different dimensions and scales. The house was chosen as it is a symbol that represents space.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
Animations are projected onto a 17-metre-long corridor that opens the exhibition

The house motif has practical and conceptual applications, with variations on the shape forming seating, providing a context for display and directing visitors. Birds, fish and other frequently recurring animals in Escher’s work are used to explain the concepts behind the exhibition and as a 3D navigational tool.

The exhibition is arranged according to themes rather than chronologically, over nine display areas, each designed to provide a fitting backdrop for the specific exhibits.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
The house motif has a practical application in a seating area designed for viewing Escher’s early work

The opening space features a 17-metre-long corridor with an animation projected onto the floor that leads visitors to the first gallery. Here a long white bench that looks as though its made up of interlocking houses provides a seating area, where visitors can look at Escher’s early work.

In the next room, a pattern of house shapes has been laid on the floor of a symmetrically designed gallery space, themed around reflections and refractions, such as Eye, from 1946.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
A symmetrically-designed gallery is themed around reflections and refractions

Further on, a three-metre staircase raises visitors to a viewing deck that looks down on a 60-metre-long and six-metre-high gallery, from where they look down on a row of four black houses that investigate Escher’s subject of “the regular division of the plane”.

The roofs of these houses gradually open up the further away from the viewing gallery, until they become a row of five white houses at the back of the room. Various works are displayed amongst them, where visitors can walk around and discover them.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
A raised viewing deck looks down on a 60-metre-long gallery containing houses with opening roofs

In the next room black metal pipes holding Escher works appear to float in space. Visitors can walk around the gallery and when viewed from certain angles, the black pipes form the outline of a house.

This area is dedicated to Escher’s work that explores extreme perspectives and optical illusions.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
Black metal pipes appear to form house motifs as visitors walk around the gallery space

Visitors can experience an optical illusion for themselves, in a 21-metre corridor with an entrance almost four metres high and a back wall just 50 centimetres tall. The designers have used contrasting colour to further emphasise the change in perspective.

A 3D house pattern made from a thin metal sheet becomes the backdrop for a projected animation to explore the idea of geometrical beauty.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
A chandelier made of more than 55,000 small flat houses hangs in a circular gallery

Further on, a huge chandelier hangs in the middle of a circular gallery. It is made of more than 55,000 small flat black and white houses, and has 17 pieces of art displayed around them that all relate to the idea of reflections and geometric forms.

Nendo has also created a snaking white path that cuts through a black room, with raised sides so that visitors are sunk below the walkway. The curves of the path are based on even angles and tangency, which refer back to Escher’s aesthetic principles. The artist’s Snakes work of 1969 is exhibited here.

Escher Nendo exhibition Melbourne
A path snakes through a gallery that displays Escher’s 1969 work Snakes

An 11-piece collection of objects that started as paper mockups and ideas for the exhibition design have evolved into a group of objects that will join the gallery’s permanent collection made from black and white painted metal.

Nendo previously collaborated on the exhibition furniture for the Eye of Gyre gallery in Tokyo, where they traced the existing surfaces of the gallery with a black line that formed the display of the work. The lines gave the illusion of being drawn onto the space.

Exhibition photography is by Takumi Ota

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Designers create charity wrapping paper to support London’s homeless – Home Design Ideas

Twelve studios have come together to design bespoke Christmas wrapping paper for charity, featuring prints inspired by hip-hop icons and social media.

London-based agency Ask Us For Ideas (AUFI) enlisted 12 design studios to create sustainable wrapping that would be “as at home framed on a wall as wrapped around a gift.”

Streaky bacon, abstract weather patterns and twisted typography feature in the designs, which have all been printed on fully recyclable paper.

http://www.dezeen.com/
Bacon wrapping paper by London-based agency Don’t Panic

“Unlike a puppy, Christmas wrapping paper is just for Christmas, so we wanted to make it disposable but stylish as hell,” said AUFI co-founder Nick Bell.

“A handful of the world’s best agencies have created a set of 12 papers that, because of the exquisite paper stocks and hand-printed craft, are more like limited edition prints than wrapping paper,” he continued.

http://www.dezeen.com/
Design studio Lowrie’s wrapping paper features hip-hop icons like Biggie Smalls

Design studio Lowrie paid homage to hip-hop icons in its bright yellow wrapping paper, which features cartoon-like illustrations of artists such as Tupac, Snoop Dogg and Biggie Smalls.

International studio Base Design chose to make a satirical comment on the nature of social media channels such as Instagram with their wrap design, which reads “So Many Likes – When all you Need is Love”.

Money raised from sales will go towards the Wrap Up London campaign run by charity Hands On London, which works to keep homeless and vulnerable people in London clothed and warm over the winter season.

“The winter months are an extremely difficult time for London’s most vulnerable people,” said Jon Meech from Hands On London. “The Wrapping Up project is an ingenious way of providing invaluable support to people who need it in the capital this Christmas.”

With a lot of wrapping paper being single-use and therefore not recyclable, Christmas-time produces huge amounts of waste. AUFI therefore wanted to do something “playful but powerful” with this festive novelty by printing its designs on fully recyclable G F Smith Colorplan paper.

http://www.dezeen.com/
Base Design’s wrapping paper is a comment on the “likes” used on social media

Other designs include a pink and red streaky repeat bacon pattern by London based agency Don’t Panic, which is a nod to the “pigs in blankets” – sausages wrapped with bacon – served at Christmas dinners.

“From pigs in blankets to Christmas presents, everything is better wrapped up at Christmas,” said Don’t Panic co-founder Mark Whiteway. “This includes people too, which the charity Wrapped Up focuses on.”

http://www.dezeen.com/
A Practice for Everyday Life mapped the location of Christmas tree growth on their wrapping paper design

London-based design agency A Practice For Everyday Life covered its wrapping paper in “This Way Up” arrow symbols found on parcels. According to the studio the arrows represent trees, which it used to map out the areas where our Christmas trees are sources from.

An exclusive run of 200 of the 12 bespoke designs went on sale on 29 November.

Portland-based design studio Ilovehandles also got creative with wrapping paper, designing wrap that is printed with folding instructions so that it can be reused to make origami figures.

When a gift is unwrapped, the paper can be folded along geometric lines to create a paper object, avoiding both the mess and waste associated with ripping the paper off presents.

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Dezeen’s top 10 design and technology trends of 2018 – Home Design Ideas

For our review of 2018, design editor Augusta Pownall picks out 10 trends that highlight what’s been going on in the design and tech world over the past year, from a focus on football and a move away from Milan, to the return of the humble poster.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Football Fever takes hold

With the World Cup taking place in Russia over the summer, it was little wonder that the beautiful game took centre stage for designers as well. There were charity beermats and illustrations, as well as re-designed kits for all 32 teams.

It wasn’t only the players that were catered for, however, as luxury watch brand Hublot designed a timepiece for the match referees that connected them to the electronic video assistance system from the pitch. Even jewellery designers were inspired, with Saskia Diez creating earrings made from 11 freshwater pearls held together by a gold chain in the three-four-three formation commonly used in football.

It wasn’t all positive though, as in February anti-terror barriers that can be assembled in less than an hour were installed at Burnley and Manchester United grounds, in the face of a rise in vehicle-led terrorism.


Design and technology trends of 2018

The end of the world as we know it?

With the United Nations warning that we have just 12 years to save the world from climate catastrophe, it was easy to feel that it might be the end of the world as we know it, but designers such as Nicolas Roope were among those that saw the announcement as a call to arms.

There are a number of potential solutions with complicated acronyms to match (CDR, SAI, MCB, CCT GBAM), as explained in our comprehensive guide, but on a smaller scale, this year designers have grappled with the damage that human activity has already done to the geological make-up of the earth’s surface.

Responding to the idea of the anthropocene, a contested term for this new geological period, designers such as Xandra van der Eijk remained objective about issues such as chemical waste dumping, or even, like Ysenia Thibault-Picazo, positive about the possibility of humans mining waste materials in the future.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Distant galaxies become more attractive

Call it escapism, but given the state of planet Earth, it’s little surprise that designers turned their attentions to outer space. Space X founder Elon Musk melted down on Twitter consistently this year, but not before sending the Tesla Roadster into space on the maiden flight of his Falcon Heavy rocket in February.

The fashion world responded too, with cult Japanese brand Undercover unveiling a jacket with a padded astronautic helmet, and Heron Preston collaborating on a collection with NASA.

If we do colonise the solar system, what might the Martian flag look like, was the question asked by an exhibition in Copenhagen that saw seven designers come up with potential designs. Debate raged about who space belongs to, with Rocket Lab facing criticism for launching a fake star that some astronomers labelled “space graffiti”.

If you’re creating space waste, designer Daan Roosegarde will know about it, as he launched an initiative to track and utilise the 29,000 pieces of space waste floating around the planet. It seems humans are creating waste wherever we go.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Architect and designers switch disciplines

Architects have long turned their hand to designing furniture, but 2018 saw fashion designers entering the fray, and a number of other surprising career switches.

First up was Karl Lagerfeld, who showed his debut sculptural furniture collection at Carpenters Workshop Gallery, with a typically monochrome palette and use of luxurious materials. Artist David Hockney swapped canvas for glass, with the design of a stained glass window at Westminster Abbey.

Architecture firm Tonkin Liu developed and modified its “lace shell structure” by shrinking it 500 times for medical rather than architectural use, specifically in windpipe stents for patients of tracheal transplant surgery.

Perhaps most surprising of all was Apple’s Jony Ive’s turn as a jewellery designer. He joined forces with designer Marc Newson on a ring cut from a single diamond that was auctioned by Sotheby’s during Design Miami.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Urban water fountains pop up

The concern about rising levels of plastic in our oceans isn’t going anywhere, but as well as raising consciousness of the issue, and a spike in the numbers of designs made with ocean plastic, designers are tackling the problem at its source.

At London Design Festival 2018, designer Michael Anastassiades unveiled his majestic brass water fountain in the courtyard of the V&A museum, with plans to roll out more across London, with the aim of reducing our reliance on single-use water bottles. A fountain also popped up outside Selfridges, one of London’s biggest department stores, the following month.

New Yorkers were treated to a fountain for them and their dogs by ÉCAL industrial design graduate Dimitri Nassisi, and another concept that utilised the city’s fire hydrants to provide drinking water. Meanwhile, designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso created a refillable water bottle designed for ten urban centres that lead the user towards public water fountains.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Big companies tackle diversity

The design and tech industries are notoriously bad at attracting and keeping diverse talent. But this year, when it came to product launches, it was the big names that reached out to a wide audience, and about time too.

Microsoft developed packaging for its game consoles that made it easy for disabled users to open without assistance, whilst Apple requested the addition of 13 emojis that best represent people with disabilities, including guide dogs, two people in wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs.

Fashion label Burberry’s rainbow tartan, a riff on the brand’s signature fabric created in support of LGBTQ charities, was unveiled at London Fashion Week, and was up for a Beazley Design of the Year award later in the year.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Bauhaus is back

Next year marks the centenary of the foundation of the influential Bauhaus school founded by Walter Gropius. Many brands have got ahead of the celebrations, with product collections and launches that celebrate the ethos of the school.

From blankets, to fabric and rug collections, design brands drew on the principles and processes of the school, perhaps responding to the Anni Albers retrospective at Tate Modern in London.

The fashion industry wasn’t immune, with London-based designer Mary Katrantzou showing an Autumn Winter 2018 collection that featured rollnecks and coats emblazoned with the dates and locations of the school.

Adobe got in on the action with the release of five fonts based on designs by key Bauhaus figures, such as the calligraphy teacher Joost Schmidt, revived by typographer Erik Spiekermann.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Return of the humble poster

Given that we’re all permanently attached to our smartphones, it’s a sign of the backlash that the least tech-y form of communication, the poster, saw a resurgence this year.

Often these related to a protest on a specific topic, from Shepard Fairey’s poster protesting gun violence in American schools, to protest posters by artists and activists that appeared in Visionaire magazine.

Richard Littler posted his satirical poster on Twitter, following British prime minister Theresa May’s announcement of a Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2022. The design of his poster was based on the original for the 1951 Festival of Britain, but with Britannia shooting herself in the head.

In the face of Brexit and gun violence, maybe the answer is to grab a copy of Dorothy’s poster outlining the history of club music, and hit the dance floor.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Adapting to smaller homes

With the global population ever-increasing and space in urban centres at a premium, designers have turned their attention to clever space-saving designs, with IKEA as ever leading the way with its Rumtid range for small-space living.

In the kitchen, Royal College of Art graduate Yu Li’s portable kitchen was aimed at millennials with limited space, Sanwa created a collection of tiny kitchens for the space-strapped, and Heatworks’ micro-dishwasher sits on a countertop in tiny kitchens.

One tech startup found a solution with AI-controlled bedroom furniture that lifts to the ceiling to create more floor space. ÉCAL graduate Yesul Jang’s Tiny Home Bed can store all of a student’s belongings underneath the mattress.


Design and technology trends of 2018

Moving away from Milan

Presenting new collections at the Milan furniture fair has been a mainstay of the design industry for decades, but it can be expensive for smaller brands, and there’s often a time lag in production. Bigger names are finding that customers lose interest in items they can’t buy immediately, as Sebastian Wrong explained to Dezeen.

Tom Dixon stayed away from the furniture fair in 2018, choosing to focus on a 90-day world tour to show new collections and the opening of his new store and offices at Coal Drops Yard.

Dutch design brand Moooi also announced that it is moving away from launching all its products simultaneously in Milan in April, in favour of a few “drops” through the year that will be available for immediate sale in all their global retail locations. Others will no doubt follow suit.

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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designs modernist white house in Miami Beach – Home Design Ideas

American firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has completed a house in Miami Beach, with a flat roof, glass walls and pilotis, all evocative of the region’s modernist architecture.

Spanning 5,192 square feet (482 square metres), the two-storey San Marino Residence is located on an island in Biscayne Bay.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed the house as “a reinterpretation of the regional post-war Miami modernist architecture movement”. Miami modernist (MiMo) architecture is a variation of the International Style, and many resorts were built in this typology after the Great Depression.

Features that follow this style include the rectangular plan, the series of pilots that support the flat-roofed structure, and large expanses of glass.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

“The clients, who own a winery in Santa Barbara, California, asked for an indoor-outdoor experience set within a tropical landscape that creates a sense of being on the water,” said Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in a project description.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Therefore, San Marino Residence is open and exposed at the rear, with ample outdoor areas and a lap pool on its top level. The long, thin pool features a dramatic 18-foot (5.5-metre) cantilever that follows the home’s primary axis, and also includes a glass end wall and glazed portion of its base.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

From the front, the house is concealed with a gated entrance and lush foliage for privacy. A covered, outdoor walkway runs parallel to the pool above.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The narrow wedge-shaped plot informed the spacial design of the house, while rooms are organised to frame views of the water. Three bedrooms are located upstairs, and a single-storey guest and office wing runs along the property’s eastern edge.

On the ground floor is a spacious, open-plan space with a sitting area and kitchen overlooking the bay. The entire home features white, light wood and grey surfaces.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

“A minimalist palette of concrete, Ipe, white oak, and limestone serves as a neutral canvas and complements the home’s tropical landscape,” said Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which worked with locally based Deborah Wecselman Design for the interiors.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

On the main level, a portion of the ceiling is clad in light wood to soften the space, and spans from the kitchen to the living room. This gesture is duplicated in the master suite on the floor above, but on the ground, with a portion in light wood and grey tile.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A large, grey sectional by Minotti anchors the living room, next to a black coffee table from the same brand, and a rug by David Sutherland. A white marble dining table by Meridiani is surrounded by eight, light blue upholstered chairs.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A series of round, white pillars run through the centre of the ground floor for structural support. These also partially divide the dining area from the kitchen and sitting area.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Large glass doors around the room open to a rear patio, which is covered by a massive overhang formed by the roof, and which acts to mitigate solar heat gain inside.

San Marino residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has created several houses across North America that similarly take cues from modernism. Other examples are a grey hilltop home in Wyoming, and a black holiday retreat in Ontario with light wood interiors.

Photography is by Jeffrey Totaro.

Project credits:

Design team: Peter Bohlin, Daniel Lee, George Murphy, Christopher Renn
Interior designer: Deborah Wecselman Design
General contractor: Woolems, Inc.
Landscape architect: Nievera Williams
Structural engineer: Silman
Mechanical and electrical engineer: Altieri

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3 Mortgage Options for Houses that Need Structural Repairs – Interior Home Design

Houses in need of repair are a good choice with the right mortgage. Few people go for this option which makes them less competitive in the housing market. This is because a fixer-upper requires more work, time and resources than home ready houses.

Whether you are an investor or intend to occupy the house yourself, the search for mortgages for a home that needs structural repairs is difficult. Conventional mortgage providers don’t like to finance substandard houses. In these cases, the seller has to make repairs or the buyer buys for its current value then gets a second mortgage to finance repairs.

These are viable options, however, if the buyer nor the seller want to do the repairs up front, there are other mortgage options. I’ve listed below, three different mortgage types that loan you the money for the house and the repairs, and do it all in a single loan.

3 Ways to Purchase a House that Needs Structural Repairs

FHA 203k Loan

Mortgage 203K Loan

Image Source

Federal Housing Association (FHA) is a US government insured mortgage that is designed to help people who may not qualify for conventional home loans. 203k loan is guaranteed by FHA. This enables qualified lenders to offer it since the risk involved is covered.

The purpose of the 203k loan is to provide a single mortgage loan that caters for acquisition, repairs, and improvements. The total amount of the loan is calculated as per the projected value of the house after repairs.

The following types of homes qualify for 203k;

  • 1 – 4-unit homes, as long as the owner lives in one of the units
  • Homes built after 15th June 1976 and have not been moved from their original place
  • FHA approved homes

To qualify for this loan, you need to have a minimum credit score of 580 and be able to make a down payment 3.5%.

•   FHA 203k Loan Resources

Not every lender qualifies to give this specific loan. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a database of approved 203K loan lenders. The list is up-to-date with lenders who currently offer rehab loans.

There are discouraging stories about the 203K loan. FHA loan experts say this is because many buyers do not work with qualified rehab loan lenders.

To ensure the 203K loan is sufficient, licensed consultants and contractors are hired to do the work. The consultant is required to approve the plans and repairs before any payment is made. This protects both the buyer and the lender.

Fannie Mae – HomeStyle Renovation Loan

Image Source

If FHA does not work for you, consider borrowing from HomeStyle Renovation. Financed by Fannie Mae, HomeStyle Renovation loan gives a single closing mortgage which combines purchase and rehab in one loan.

This makes a perfect choice as opposed to the purchase of a structurally faulty house in its current value and then take out a second loan to fund the repairs.

HomeStyle Renovations loan finances up to 75% of the home`s appraisal value once the renovations are complete. The loan amount includes the cost of purchase and upgrade, which means the buyer makes one monthly payment.

•   How It Works

This renovation loan is available to owner-occupied homes and small buy and holds investors. It is offered through a list of approved lenders which can be searched via nation21loans.

It has a flexibility that helps transform a substandard house into a perfect home. For example, you can update older homes, design home improvements or construct additional spaces like the basement.

The lender allows upfront withdrawers. This helps to pay contractors and ensure renovations start as soon as possible, minimizing out-pocket expenses.

If you think HomeStyle Renovation loan will work for you, get in touch with a licensed lender to see if you qualify for it.

USDA Mortgage Loan

Mortgage USDA Loan Requirements

Image Source

The US Department of Agriculture provides a home loan for low-income earners from rural areas. It is aimed at helping them actualize the American dream of owning a home.

The USDA mortgage loan allows structural repairs under its home improvement loan and grants. In January 2018, USDA updated its guidelines on home repairs and escrow agreement.

The repairs include but not limited to flooring, roofing, plumbing, air conditioning or any other type of repair that does not affect the liveability or safety of the home.

For USDA, repair costs should not exceed 10% of the proposed loan amount. At closing, repair money is taken from the loan and put into an escrow account. The requirement is that repairs are done by 30 days after closing and a contractor invoice is required for payment to be made. This ensures repair money is not diverted to other expenses.

What makes USDA Mortgage an excellent fit? 100% financing, zero down payment requirement and a low-interest rate of 5.62%. Perhaps this is the reason why in 2017, USDA helped 127,000 families buy and upgrade their homes.

•   Who is Eligible?

This depends on the condition of a property, location and income level. Rural locations are always eligible, but they must fall in areas classified by the Department of Agriculture as ‘rural’.

USDA provides an eligibility map that helps buyers determine if they qualify. However, completeness of rural loan information in the eligibility map is not guaranteed. Buyers are therefore advised to talk to a USDA lender once they are ready.

•   Evaluation of Repairs

Regardless of which lender you settle for, each has guidelines to assess the extent of structural damage in each property. For example, FHA provides strict guidelines to evaluate the condition of a house before mortgage approval.

Other government-sponsored loans like USDA will require FHA guidelines, others more or less. The smart thing to do is to consult an experienced inspector to carry out an extensive assessment. This ensures all repairs and home improvement costs are part of the total loan amount.

Conclusion

There are fewer institutions that give a mortgage loan on a house that needs structural repairs. But do not let this fact discourage you. It is possible to buy a not-so-perfect house and turn it into a beautiful home through a single loan.

It is advisable to engage a qualified and experienced lender, consultant and contractor. Should you decide to use a broker, settle for one who understands the meaning of restoring value to a broken home. This might seem like a tedious process but it will go a long in achieving your goal.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

3 Steps to Choose the Right Home Loan for You

5 Benefits of Home and Content Insurance

Home Buyer Money Pits; How to Avoid Them

4 Tips for a Relaxing Home Environment

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Pioneering African-American designer Charles Harrison dies aged 87 – Home Design Ideas

Charles Harrison, the industrial designer who revolutionised the View-Master toy and the plastic trash can, has passed away aged 87.

Harrison died on 29 November 2018 in Santa Clarita, California, from a bacterial infection, the New York Times reported.

Portrait of Charles Harrison
Charles Harrison is celebrated as one of the “first African Americans to enter the design field”. Photograph by Rob Tarpey

The late designer is celebrated for paving the way for African-American designers with his reinventions of consumer products.

Among these was his transformation of the View-Master – a photography device that lets users view images in 3D – which turned it from the clunky version first introduced in 1939 into a lightweight, red plastic alternative. Completed in 1958 for small design firm Robert Podall and Associates, the redesign shifted the product from a speciality photography item to a popular children’s toy.

View-Master by Charles Harrison
Harrison is famed for remodelling the View-Master into a popular children’s toy. Photograph by Joeffrey Trimmingham

Off the back of the successful remodel, Harrison was employed in the design team of American department store chain Sears, Roebuck & Company 1961. He previously applied for a role at the company but had been refused on account of his skin colour. Harrison’s hiring made him the first black person to be given a role at the company.

He spent nearly 30 years at the company, progressing to its chief designer and developing over 700 consumer products – including a see-through measuring cup, a riding lawn mower and the cordless shaver.

Garbage can by Charles Harrison
He is also credited with pioneering the plastic trash can, which provided an early model of bins today

Harrison’s designs were intended to make life easier, be intuitive, and not require instructions – drawing from his struggles with dyslexia.

Among his career highlights was the transformation of the clunky metallic trash can into a rectangular polypropylene version on wheels, which provided an early model of bins today. He also created a sewing machine for travelling, reducing the traditional size by one quarter, in collaboration with Ted Nishigami from Japan and Kenneth Grange from the UK.

Compact Sewing Machine and Carrying Case by Charles Harrison
Harrison created 750 consumer products during his career at Sears, including this travel-size sewing machine

The designer was recognised for his accomplishments in 2008, when he became the first African American person to receive the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum‘s Lifetime Achievement Award. In the accompanying citation, the institution credited him as one of the “first African Americans to enter the design field”.

“During his distinguished career, Harrison maintained an unwavering commitment to the needs of the average consumer,” said Cooper Hewitt‘s press release at the time. “Harrison has improved the quality of life for millions of Americans through the extraordinary breadth and innovation of his product designs.”

Hard Bonnet Tabletop Hair Dryer by Charles Harrison
His designs ranged from this hairdryer, to a measuring cup and a riding lawn mower. Photograph by Charles Harrison

Born in 1931 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Harrison picked up his knack for design from his father, who taught industrial arts at Prairie View A&M University in Texas and the Phoenix Union Colored High School – where Charles also studied and graduated.

Harrison’s further education included studying at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and a masters at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which he completed in 1963. In between the two, he was drafted in the US Army and posted to Germany, where he served in the topography unit.

He married Janet Eleanor Simpson in Chicago, and has a son, also called Charles.

The designer retired from his position at Sears in 1993, then worked as a part-time professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Columbia College Chicago. He detailed his life’s work in the autobiography called A Life’s Design, which was published in 2006.

Harrison is survived by his son and two grandchildren.

Main image is by Joeffrey Trimmingham. All images are courtesy of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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Batay-Csorba envisions Triple Duplex as Toronto housing alternative – Home Design Ideas

Canadian studio Batay-Csorba Architects has designed a low-rise apartment building that challenges Toronto‘s planning policies, which preference single-family homes and fail to address population growth.

The Triple Duplex is meant to offer an alternative to the single-family homes that typically occupy the long, narrow lots that are ubiquitous in the Canadian city. The slender parcels generally measure 18 feet wide by 100 feet deep (5.5 by 30 metres).

The design was conceived in response to a charge by Toronto architecture critic Alex Bozikovic, who invited four firms to submit housing models that would generate discourse about shortcomings in the city’s planning policies. Bozikovic writes for The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Triple Duplex by Batay-Csorba

“The impetus for the Triple Duplex is derived from a fundamental disjoint in the current planning strategy,” said Batay-Csorba, a local studio established in 2010.

“Current planning policy concentrates growth of new housing units primarily in the small part of the city zoned for high-rise condo development, while greatly restricting change within the low-rise residential neighbourhoods, which constitute the majority of the city’s land area.”

In its effort to protect the character of low-rise neighbourhoods, the city tends to favour single-family homes over multi-unit buildings, resulting in a lack of affordable housing. This approach is particularly problematic given the city’s population growth. The Toronto metropolitan area has six million residents – and that number is expected to double by 2041, the firm said.

Triple Duplex by Batay-Csorba

In response to the need for creative housing solutions, Batay-Csorba has conceived a low-rise residential building that contains six units. A hypothetical site was chosen for the project: a residential street near Toronto’s Christie Pits neighbourhood.

The project would require the purchase of two adjacent lots, resulting in a property size of 36 feet wide by 100 feet deep (11 by 30 metres). In the firm’s scheme, the building stretches across the conjoined properties and consists of three duplexes.

Square in plan, the duplexes are placed back to back – with one in the front, one in the middle, and one in the rear. The entrances to the front apartments face the street. The middle and rear units are accessed via pathways that stretch along the sides of the building. Each duplex has a three-storey dwelling and a basement-level unit.

Exterior walls are faced with multicoloured brick. Masonry screens lend a sense of lightness to the facades, while also delivering filtered light to the apartments. The screens also keep with the scale of the windows found on traditional homes in the area.

To further help the building fit with the context, the team has ensured that floor and roof datums align with those of neighbouring structures.

“When viewed from the street, the building’s sensitive massing is in keeping with the small-scale charm of the neighbourhood and disguises its density with that of the context,” the team said.

The dwellings offer ample space, with the three-storey units measuring 1,706 square feet (158 square metres). Public functions are situated on the ground level, with bedrooms placed up above. The master suite on the third floor connects to a terrace.

Triple Duplex by Batay-Csorba

For each three-storey unit, the team incorporated a generous courtyard. An in-floor radiant heating system and exterior-grade fabric curtains enable the semi-enclosed courtyards to be used beyond the warm summer months.

“Rather than being relegated to front and backyard bookends, outdoor space now participates in the daily lived experience and functional square footage of the home,” the team said.

The basement units total 968 square feet (90 square metres). Large windows help prevent the below-grade dwellings from feeling dark and cramped.

The front and rear apartments each contain a kitchen, dining area, living room and three bedrooms. The middle apartment – envisioned as a multi-generational suite – houses a living room, kitchenette and two bedrooms.

Triple Duplex by Batay-Csorba

Batay-Csorba’s Triple Duplex design is meant to operate at “both the scale of the individual inhabitant and of the society as a whole”. The firm estimates that if its duplex buildings were constructed on lots currently occupied by semi-detached homes, they would contribute 147,000 new apartments to Toronto.

“Its potential lies in its leveraging of the peculiarities of the Toronto context to allow for a densification of the residential fabric while respecting and enhancing its best qualities,” the studio said.

The project continues Batay-Csorba’s ongoing research into how to create density in under-utilised neighbourhoods in Toronto. Other residential projects by the studio include Double Duplex, faced with wooden screens, and Core Modern Homes, which features apertures that take cues from Victorian bay windows.

Renderings are by Norm Li.

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UN17 Village to be built in Copenhagen with recycled materials – Home Design Ideas

A 35,000-square-metre eco-village is going to be built in Copenhagen using recycled concrete, wood and glass.

Architecture studios Lendager Group and Årstiderne Arkitekter won a competition to design the UN17 Village, a housing development set to provide 400 new homes in Ørestad South, a district to the south of the Danish capital.

Their proposal is to create “the first building project in the world” to address all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with particular focus on using sustainable resources and creating healthy, social communities.

UN17 Village to be built in Copenhagen with recycled materials by Lendager Group and Årstiderne Arkitekter
UN17 Village will provide 400 new homes in Ørestad South, south of Copenhagen

“With the UN17 Village, we wanted to create not only an iconic and sustainable building from recycled materials, but also the opportunity for a sustainable lifestyle,” said Anders Lendager, founder of Lendager Group.

“So far, the focus for sustainable buildings has mainly been on their carbon emissions,” he explained. “Not only did we want to create an iconic building made from recycled materials, but also an opportunity for a sustainable lifestyle”.

“UN17 Village therefore looks at the whole lifecycle of the building – including material use, health, and quality of life.”

UN17 Village to be built in Copenhagen with recycled materials by Lendager Group and Årstiderne Arkitekter
Each block will be topped with a rooftop garden, to encourage biodiversity

The design team was selected ahead of big-name studios including BIG and Henning Larsen, in a competition run by property developer NREP.

The proposal comprises five housing blocks built from recycled concrete and wood, as well as upcycled windows.

The structures will rely solely on geothermal and solar energy. Each will be topped with a rooftop garden, to encourage biodiversity, and will also feature rainwater collection facilities capable of recycling 1.5 million litres of water every year.

UN17 Village to be built in Copenhagen with recycled materials by Lendager Group and Årstiderne Arkitekter
The blocks will be built from recycled concrete and wood, as well as upcycled windows

There will be 37 different housing typologies, with a mix family dwellings, co-living spaces and senior accommodation. They will create homes for up to 800 people, as well as an estimated 100 job opportunities.

To further this, 3,000 square-metres of the complex is dedicated to communal spaces for use by both the residents and the people of Ørestad.

Lendager said the aim is to reduce inequality, by creating “a diverse and strong neighbourhood, where people can live regardless of family structure and age”.

Other facilities will include a conference centre that hosts sustainability-focused events, an organic restaurant, greenhouses and food-sharing facilities, to encourage people to grow their own food and reduce waste.

UN17 Village to be built in Copenhagen with recycled materials by Lendager Group and Årstiderne Arkitekter
The project aims to be “the first building project in the world” to address all the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The architects hope the scheme will set a precedent for the rest of the world, forming a sustainable building model that can be applied at any scale. According to Lendager, the project will address all 17 of the UN’s SDGs.

“We have developed a scalable process that brings all the SDGs into focus. By translating these into solutions, we have created a tool that everyone in the industry can implement,” he added.

The Ørestad South district of Copenhagen has been in development for the past 25 years. Other well-known projects in the areas include the award-winning 8 House by BIG and Street Hall Ørestad, a wooden sports centre by NORD Architects.

Visuals are by TMRW.

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Keeo4design creates observation tower The Walk Above the Vineyards – Home Design Ideas

The Walk Above the Vineyards is a circular ramp designed by architecture studio Keeo4design, which offers an elevated view over the vineyards in the Czech Republic‘s South Moravian Region.

Commissioned by the local authority, the spiralling viewing platform is located near the village of Kobylí, on the summit of the Kobylí vrch hill.

The Walk Above the Vineyards viewpoint in the Czech Republic by Keeo

Keeo4design founders Jiří Vojtěšek and Jakub Roleček, who are based in the nearby city of Brno, designed the structure as a direct response to the site.

The hilltop is the highest point in the area. It provides a view of the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, the Little Carpathians mountain range, and as far as the Austrian Alps on a clear day.

The Walk Above the Vineyards viewpoint in the Czech Republic by Keeo

The gently spiralling ramp transports visitors to a height of 7.6 metres above the ground and its delicate design intentionally reduces its visual impact on the countryside.

“The observation deck is shaped as a 334-degree circle ramp segment, unobtrusively overlooking the beautiful surrounding landscape,” explained Vojtěšek.

“The circle represents the natural circle of life and is a symbolic reference to the growth of Kobylí.”

The Walk Above the Vineyards viewpoint in the Czech Republic by Keeo

The ramp’s gentle incline makes the lookout point accessible to those with limited mobility, who might not be able to climb the steps of a more conventional observation tower.

On the route towards the highest point, visitors are presented with information plates pointing out key landmarks and providing details relating to past and future events that provoke deeper thought about the region.

The Walk Above the Vineyards viewpoint in the Czech Republic by Keeo

A combination of eight identical floor segments and three special sections at the beginning and the end make up the ramp.

The walkway is supported by 19 slender steel double columns that emerge from reinforced-concrete footings and angle outwards to connect with the structural framework.

The Walk Above the Vineyards viewpoint in the Czech Republic by Keeo

The floor comprises more than 500 wooden sections, while over a thousand wooden planks were required to construct the handrail lining the path.

The end section of the walkway cantilevers out beyond the final pair of columns, with a transparent balustrade enhancing the feeling of floating above the landscape.

The Walk Above the Vineyards viewpoint in the Czech Republic by Keeo

Curving structures have been proven to make unobtrusive observation point designs for natural surrounds.

Norwegian architect Lars J Berge built a circular wooden tower on an island north of Bergen for birdwatchers to observe migrating birds, while MVRDV has designed a wave-shaped viewing platform for the coast of Holland that could rock in time with the tides.

Photography is courtesy of Keeo4design.


Project credits:

Architects: Keeo4design, Jiří Vojtěšek and Jakub Roleček
Investor: Kobylí Municipality
Building contractor: Teplotechna Ostrava

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