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Tips to Homeowners

November 02, 1986|Armand L. Fontaine

Question: We are thinking of doing a home improvement job, and need some help in selecting a reputable contractor.

Answer: You can usually get a list of good, reputable contractors from trade associations, such as the Building Industry Assn. or the American Building Contractors Assn. However, even when you do get such a listing, you should carefully interview between one and six firms to make sure that they can do the work in the manner that you would like to have it done.

The fact that a person belongs to a trade association or is a member of the Better Business Bureau is not necessarily a stamp of approval that he is a good contractor, or even an ethical one.

Before interviewing a contractor, you should have a good idea what you want to do to your home and the amount you want to spend. You should make certain that the contractor will do the type of work that is in line with the type of property you have.

The best way to ascertain this is to ask the contractors to give you a list of five or six projects that they have recently completed. You should inspect these and even speak to the homeowners.

I personally do not recommend selecting contractors who advertise in telephone directories or in the mass media.

Q: What are the most important factors that influence a first-time home buyer to purchase a house?

A: According to a recent home shopper's survey in California, the most important reasons for purchasing a home are: the tax advantage, the purchaser was tired of renting and the potential appreciation. With the the new tax law in effect, it would seem that home o2003723634tax incentives will decline.

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