Best Rated Investment Newsletters Guide: What to Look for in Quality Stock and Investing Newsletters

If you're becoming serious about investing, then it's time to consider subscribing to a newsletter. The better ones aren't for free, because the advice they offer is very, very useful and valuable. Pricing structures and availability all vary as well. The best rated investment newsletters tend to be the ones that are offered by established companies with quality reputations.

One important thing to look for is a newsletter that implements a strategy with a "buy-and-hold" investment style, and a high percentage of average return performance with its picks. If the return performance percentage is over 100%, the better the quality of the information and analysis.

Not only should you be provided with new stock recommendations every month, you should also be provided with an in-depth analysis about WHY each of those stocks is recommended. Even if you make the decision not to invest in those particular stocks, you will at least be better educated about how the stock market works and which indicators to look for when evaluating any stock or other investment opportunity.

If stocks aren't your thing, then look for the best rated investment newsletters that allow subscribers to decide which specific type of investment they wish to receive information about. The price might vary depending if you want to subscribe specifically to a stock newsletter, "rule breakers" kind of newsletter, comprehensive retirement guidance, and so forth.

Why Subscribe to the Best Rated Investment Newsletters?

Why subscribe to a newsletter in the first place where there are so many "free resources" and "tools" available on the internet? Because when it comes down to it, you really can't trust everything you read for free. Even if some of the information is legitimate, how confident are you in your ability to weed out the worthless stuff from the useful? And do you really think the top, knowledgeable experts in the world are going to spend their time evaluating and analyzing investment opportunities and the stock market for free?

This does mean that you have to spend a whole lot of money for a subscription to a quality newsletter. Sometimes you can find coupons or internet discounts to bring the price down.

You get a lot more than just an analysis on stock picks. Depending on which subscription you choose, you can receive "model portfolios" with examples and guidance, community resources, and many other great features and perks.

Of all of the best rated investment newsletters , the one that gets recommended the most is The Motley Fool. Discounts are available to help you save on whichever specific newsletter you are interested in, whether it's "Rule Your Retirement", "Rule Breakers", "Market Pass", "Stock Advisor" or one of the many others.

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DDoS Lesson From Monty Python How Not To Be Seen

Distributed denial of service attacks take more than one person to knowingly or unknowingly have success in slowing or crashing a website. The victim's IP address must also be known for the online perpetrators to cause an Internet site or service to work inefficiently, haphazardly, temporarily, or even, indefinitely. One's Internet protocol address is openly visible, hidden and easy to find, or so disguised that not even necessary web traffic can take place. Monty Python's How Not to be Seen just might offer a lesson for people and organizations that need to protect themselves from becoming a zombie leech and part of a botnet in the ecosystem of a distributed denial of service attack.

In Monty Python's How Not to be Seen , the antagonist does not know where the nine different potential victims are, but for one reason or another those potential victims become seen and are easily targeted and shot. Even if the target is not seen at first, but the perpetrators know where the target is, the target quickly becomes a casualty. In some cases, the attackers knows or can easily guess where the targets are using social engineering to discover the potential victims' location.

"In this film we hope to show how not to be seen. This is Mr. ER Bradshaw of Napier Court, Black Lion Road London SE5. He can not be seen. Now, I am going to ask him to stand up. Bradshaw, will you stand up please? "

In the distance, Mr. Bradshaw actually stands up. At first, the attacker does not know where his victim is, but when his victim stands up, the attacker shoots Mr Bradshaw in the stomach, and he falls and became dysfunctional much like websites that experience distributed denials of service. There is a value to not be seen by one's potential Internet site destroyers, but that value can become a business stopper if one's preferred traffic of users, customers, employees and other very important company entities cannot conduct business without a visible or easily identifiable IP ( Internet protocol) address.

In other cases, the attacker in "How Not to Be Seen" uses brute force (like password hacks). He blows up all the bushes anywhere near where he thinks the victim might be, also a visual parallel to a denial of service. There are ways to hide from or prevent or mitigate malicious online threats such as using virtual private networks, virtual private servers, or professional DDoS mitigation services. A virtual private network enables only authenticated remote access and makes use of encryption techniques. A virtual private server may offer DDoS protection support and SSH Tunneling. A secure shell (SSH) tunnel is an encrypted tunnel created through an SSH protocol connection. An SSH protocol connection works to secure data communication, enable remote command-line login, set up remote command execution, and offer other secure network services between networked computers, connected by a secure channel over an insecure network, a server and a client.

Smurf attacks, ping floods and syn floods are three examples of popularly used distributed denial of service attacks. Smurf attacks take advantage of incorrectly configured network devices that allow packets of information transport to any computer hosts on one network via the main broadcast address of the network and not the IP address of a particular machine. Ping floods occur when the victim receives a huge amount of ping packets via the "ping" command in a "start" menu. SYN Floods send floods of TCP / SYN packets usually with a forged sender address, so that it becomes difficult to know where the floods are coming from. Each of these have a parallel to one or more of the catastrophes in Monty Python How Not to be Seen .

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10 Questions to Ask When Considering a Health Insurance Quote

When you are considering health insurance it is essential that you ask a number of specific questions about a health insurance plan quote to ensure that you get the right cover at the right price. Here we look at 10 questions that you need to ask:

Question 1. What out of pocket expenses and deductible will you have to pay? No medical insurance plan is going to meet all of your medical bills and you will usually have to meet a deductible before your insurer will pay out at all and will also ask you to meet certain other expenses.

Question 2. What health screenings and examinations does the plan include?Health plans vary considerably when it comes to preventative care and you will have to look to see what screening tests are covered. For example, does the plan cover all family members including babies, children and adults and provide such things as breast examinations, mammograms and pap smears?

Question 3. Is specialist care and referrals covered? When you require a referral to a specialist this might or might not be covered and, if it is covered, might have restrictions placed upon that cover.

Question 4. How is emergency care and hospitalization treated? Sometimes you will find that emergency care and hospitalization are only be covered if pre-approved and you must fully understand the circumstances under which such treatment is covered.

Question 5. What prescriptions costs does the plan cover? You will have to examine any accompanying prescription plan with care to determine what drugs are permitted and the extent to which you may have to meet part of the cost of any prescription drugs.

Question 6. Are both dental and vision care covered? In many cases medical plans will not cover dental and vision care and these then have to be covered under a separate plan.

Question 7. Does the plan cover psychotherapy, psychiatric services or mental health services? Although many health plans will cover mental illness in various different forms such cover is frequently limited and you will normally find that there is a cap on the amount of cover provided.

Question 8. Is hospital, home health and nursing home care covered? While most plans will offer fairly good hospital cover you will have to look at just what cover is provided for home health and nursing home care.

Question 9. Is physiotherapy and rehabilitative care covered? Plans will frequently separate out initial treatment and follow-up rehabilitative care and physiotherapy and so it is vital to discover exactly what is and what is not covered.

Question 10. Does the plan cover alternative care? As an increasing number of people are turning to alternative treatments like acupuncture or holistic treatments health insurance companies are increasingly including cover for such treatments. It is however still early days for alternative treatment and, if this is something that you want to take advantage of, you will need to look to see to what extent it is covered.

The ten questions here should form the basis on which you consider any medical insurance quote but you may want to include other items to your own list like how much paperwork is required when it comes to making a claim under the plan and how wide is your choice when it comes to hospitals, doctors and other treatment facilities. The main thing however is to make sure that you completely understand exactly what cover you are being provided with and how much it will cost before committing yourself to a plan.

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Best Home Design Software – Architectural Home Designer

For folks who are looking for a home design software that is not only easy to use, but more importantly, equipped with the best tools for all types of designing needs, then perhaps it's time to stop searching. Famed home design software producer Chief Architect has once again come out with a product that is definitely going to be there or thereabouts when talking about the best home design software in the business. With Architectural Home Designer, users can make use of a variety of designing tools for remodeling and home design that covers cost estimation, site planning, landscaping, decks, baths, kitchens, as well as entire interior designs.

Everything in One Package

What makes a good home design software is its ability to strike a balance between a user friendly interface and excellent outputs. However, aside from this combination, what makes a great home design software is its integration of all types of remodeling and design tools that will satisfy all of its users needs. It must be an all-in-one design solution which should leave users with a feeling that they could no longer ask for anything more. Architectural Home Designer is one type of software which is just that.

With this amazing piece of software, users can choose from thousands of sample plans which they can use as a basis for their designs. Also available are a myriad of different home style templates that can be used in line with either the House Wizard Feature, or customized fully to suit the user's wishes. Architectural Home Designer also features highly effective building tools such as automatic generation of foundations, framing, stairs, dormers, and roofs. This program also makes use of the most artistic rendering methods to come up with the likes of Technical, Glass House, or even Watercolor illustrations.

Excellent for Interior Design

Although Architectural Home Designer is indeed an excellent program for both deck designs and landscaping, its strength lies in its interior design capabilities. For starters, there's the Material Painter feature which allows users to easily apply all types of materials and colors on their walls and scene objects. Users can choose from thousands of different textures and colors which are brought to life by the digital photograph feature. Also on board is the Smart Design Objects feature which lets users literally drag and drop thousands of objects from the program's extensive library which has been excellently categorized by object types.

Quick and Hassle-Free Startup

What makes Architectural Home Designer even more impressive is it allows users to get started quickly and without any unwanted hassles. Aside from the Quick Startup Options Guide, there's also the very useful House Wizard feature which allows users to easily lay out rooms in a very uncomplicated manner. As mentioned earlier, the program is also loaded with hundreds of different templates that come in full color and are complete with all sorts of objects and fixtures. Also included are 40 helpful training videos that provide step-by-step instructions on how to get started on a home design project. Further support is also provided on the publisher's online help system which gives even more detailed information on all sorts of designing projects.

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Jeffrey Archer's "Old Love" Redefines Love Story

The "Old Love" of Jeffrey Archer is a unique amorous tale between two brilliant students of English literature from Oxford. Archer makes an exploration of the theme of love from a completely unusual standpoint. The rendition is fiercely honest while he portrays a chronic sense of envy and rivalry between two sworn arch-rivals in the Oxford University: William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson. Initially, their aggressive competition unsettles their tutor Simon Jakes. In their constant intellectual debates, Philippa confronted the deep, confident voice of William with her high-heeled boldness. The mutual hatred was absolute. Their sharply perceptive and analytical mind refused to be submissive to each other. Indeed, this fierce sense of competition enabled them to outshine everyone else in the field. Given the background of 1930's she, to him, was "that silly woman" and he "that arrogant man". Yet strange is the way of destiny that an unusual love story should blossom between the bitterest of academic rivals!

This rivalry assumed an unpalatable intensity when both excelled as toppers in their final degree exam. The Charles Oldham Shakespeare's essay writing competition fed fat to this fire of passionate jealousy and became a life and death question for each to defeat the other.There were liberal exchanges of scornful remarks between the two to play each other down. However, things took a dramatic turn when William unwittingly discovered about the death of Philippa's father (who was a Vicar) from cancer, and also, his secret dream to let his daughter study in Oxford and win the Charles Oldham award. The sight of silent sobbing of his proud and powerful adversary stirred up a sudden feelings of empathy in his guts. He got over his tentative doubts and offered to accompany her to her village for the burial ceremony. They held hand for the first time and discovered the new bond of friendship as they started their journey to her village. They communicated with each other spontaneously while returning to Oxford which bounces Philippa back to her normal competitive spirit. She slowly discovers the growth of her new found intense attraction for William. The latter secretly enjoys this interesting conversion in the Vicar's daughter.

The transformation of hatred into love has always been a captivating subject in itself, and Archer makes the situation entertaining with the employment of sparkling wit in their conversation. They make a visit to Stratford and have meals together. But their first date was far from usual: it is a unique blend of warmth and intellectual antagonism! If this instinctive antagonism triggered a strong sense of hatred before, now it drew them closer. In fact, this killer instinct became a delirious source of entertainment for both. Archer makes the reader question if intense hatred could indeed be an expression of hidden attraction?

Anyway, the situation takes a quirky turn while returning from Stratford. On their way back to Oxford, Phillipa and William had to spend the night in a car as the petrol gauge showed empty. The former obviously did not miss the chance of expressing her doubt about the cerebral power of a person who couldn't even read a petrol gauge! The day next William gave her the reason why he let the car run out of petrol: He said with a rare sense of humor: "My father told me if I spent the night with a barmaid then I should simply order an extra pint of beer , but if I spent the night with the vicar's daughter, I would have to marry her. " He came down on his knees and said, "Will you marry me if I win the Charles Oldham?" Philippa answered that "as there is absolutely no fear of that happening I can safely say, yes …" When William declared his love for her she told him not to show his face in Somerville again if he failed to win Charles Oldham. The readers wonder if the writer reveals Philippa's secret wish that she could marry himeven at the cost of losing Charles Oldham! Otherwise why would tears come to Philippa's eyes when a girl informed her that she had won? It was a moment of crisis for her because between the conflicting emotion of ambition and love in her heart, the latter had won and for once the proud girl confessed, "I do love nothing in the world so well as you; is that not strange ? "

However, when she discovered that William was a joint winner, her puckish spirit returned as she said "I take thee for pity" to which William replied "I yield upon great persuasion …" They were locked in a passionate embrace, and after that, they were never apart for more than a few hours. Strangely, their honeymoon in Athens ended up in a heated argument over the relative significance of Doric and Ionic architecture!

Later in life, this constant battle of wit prevented their romance from dwindling into boredom and banality. Their serious research works and creative activities, though on different fields, kept them deeply connected. After three years, "with well-received D. Phils", they moved on, in tandem, to college teaching. But their fierce encounters continued and their sharp wit at each other's expense would flash across the dinner tables at Oxford. However, those who understood their love felt envious of their unique relationship! They were childless yet their life was not tasteless.

Returning home after the celebration dinner (being declared the Joint Professor), their heated argument over Proust's monumental work took such an intimidating turn, that a policeman, nearby, asked Philippa "Is everything all right madam?" "No, it is not", William declared "this woman has been attacking me for over 30 years, and to date the police have done deplorably little to protect me". Yet, beneath this apparent antagonism, their bond continued to grow stronger with each passing year. Interestingly, their intense love was inseparable from their zealous intellectual antagonism which lent a peculiar aura to their relationship. When Philippa was made the Dame of the British Empire, William referred to her as an "Old Dame" he had to live with now. It is this bitter-sweet flavor of their love which defines their marriage.

The most irritable habit of Philippa to William was her determination each morning to complete "The Times" crossword before he arrived at the breakfast table. One fine morning in June, William, studying the clue, filled in the eight boxes left incomplete by Philippa. Philippa's instantly retorted that there was no such word. To the delight of Philippa the word " Whym Wham" could not be found in the shorter Oxford Dictionary. William assured her that the word could be found in OED on his desk, made for scholars like him. William left the breakfast table with sharp comments on Philippa's limited command of English language and that she will have to eat a humble pie at Somerville's Gaudy Feast as she reads the collected works of John Skelton …

William left with a sigh, kissing his wife on her cheek, wishing he had lost Charles Oldham. Philippa replied that he did indeed because it was highly inappropriate during those days to declare a woman as the sole winner! Having closed the front door, as she entered the kitchen, Dame Philippa suddenly suffered her lone heart attack. She called out to William hoarsely but in vain. The news of her death was conveyed and the story ends with a note of dark humor in the suicidal note of Sir William (who shot himself with his pistol): "Forgive me, but I had to let her know". There was the volume of the work of John Skelton held open in one of his hand with the word " Whym Wham" underlined neatly, his fingers stiff and cold around it. Such weird ending, subtly hints at the essence of special relationship this couple shared so that they rise above the great marriage vow "TILL DEATH DO US PART." Archer's love story excels because death could not part Sir William and Dame Philippa! Even while following his wife to her grave, William felt the need to camouflage the inseparable bond they shared, and the insufferable loneliness he would feel without her … he does it with a wry sense of humor!

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Electric Vehicle Recharging Stations Investment Opportunities

Venture Capital companies and Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) invest in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. Some stations include covered solar panel charging stations. Cities across America are implementing electric vehicle (EV) charging station in downtown areas and suburbs fostering support for electric cars.

This green energy momentum is very visible. Will this market ever complete with gas stations? Lawmakers in Washington passed a bill to allow electric power utilities and IOU's to invest in the electric-vehicle charging sector. These investments receive the usual rate of return approved by the PUC.

Regulators in many states not prohibited investor-owned utilities from selling electricity at retail charging stations. Can anyone envision pulling into a Shell or BP Station to find electric vehicle charging stations located near the air compressors? When will the changes in the automobile industry be reflected in the gas station industry? Electric cars travel 75 to 179 miles on a charge. This problem currently prohibits cross-country travel in electric vehicles.

There are over 23,000 charging stations in the US This infrastructure cost investment exceeds $ 130 million. These infrastructure costs decrease as technology improves and public support increases. Large areas across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California are great states for this new investment.

Utilities operate large transmission and electrical grids and invest in major infrastructure projects. They are ideal investors and backers for building out charging station networks. Investors could include the automobile companies with large electric vehicle divisions.

This type of investment is permissible in the deregulated subsidiaries of Electric Investor Owned Utilities like ConEd Solutions, NRG, and DTE Energy Investments. The returns can be higher and often better or more efficient technology can be found in this area of ​​venture capital. The return on investment in small and medium sized towns could be 8% to 12%. Many cities will want to own and control these investments. Data generated from these stations will help city managers place more as demand increases.

The green energy markets are expanding in commercial and industrial business. Imagine major corporations installing many EV recharging stations as part of their annual employee goodwill expenditures. This will happen soon.

Will pension fund money enter into this sector? Hedge funds and other energy investment investors will enter this arena as the electric vehicles market matures. Ford, Toyota, and Tesla are selling many electric vehicles. This makes sense in a country filled with environmentalists and a nation determined to do the right thing in moving our auto industry forward.
© 2016

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Two Reasons to Consult an Investment Advisor Today for Retirement

Retirement can seem impossibly far away for many people, and, as a result, they do not plan financially for it. More than one-third of Americans have no money saved for their retirement. Many of these people with no savings work in jobs that offer 401k’s, which allow people to invest part of their income tax-free. About half of Americans do not take advantage of a 401k that is available to them. The best way to ensure that you are able to retire sometime in the future is to meet with an investment advisor and set financial goals. Here are two things they can help you with.

Deciding How to Invest Your Money

No matter what your financial situation, you should always be investing, even if it is only $20 a paycheck. 25 years ago, if you had invested $1,000 in the stock market, it would be worth over $14,000 today. If you simply save $1,200 a year for forty years in a 401k, a normal return will give you over $200,000 dollars. An investment advisor can help you decide the best strategy for your money, and where to put it. If you are young, investing in stocks with a high risk but high reward is a common strategy. As you grow old, it is common to shift capital into more conservative stocks.

Retiring Is an Expensive Life Choice

Upon retirement, the average U.S. citizen will receive about $15,000 a year in Social Security benefits. A very conservative lifestyle, with little to no travel, will cost a retiree over $40,000 on average. In short, it is necessary to have savings if you want to retire. A 401k or other stock market account is one of the best ways to bridge the gap. Furthermore, the average life expectancy for Americans today is over 85 years, which is significantly higher than for past generations. This means that retirement will be longer, and thus more expensive. The normal cost of living will also generally increase when one stops working. With more free time, annual entertainment and travel expenditures will often increase dramatically. Making sure that your nest egg has enough that you can retire and enjoy it is a goal that financial firms can help you attain. As mentioned above, an investment advisor can help you develop a strategy to build your money over time, and to provide you with the necessary amount for retirement.

While most people start dreaming of retirement as soon as they start working, many do not begin planning for it until it is too late. The sooner you consult with an investment advisor, the sooner you can begin growing your money so you will have enough to enjoy your later years. A retirement without travel and entertainment is not what many people have in mind, but without proper savings, it will be the only lifestyle most can afford.

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The Reason Behind the Huge Demand of Python Developers

Python is a gem in the IT industry: Python was conceived in the early 1980s and presented to the industry in late 80s. Due to lack of proper marketing, it could not gather the notice of the industry for more than decades. Moreover, it has some inbuilt issues with the core concept and that has been working as an obstacle in its success path. In twenty first century, Google brought it from dirt and made some necessary changes over its set up and configurations. As a result, it gained the power and performance that it has within itself but in a secret nutshell come to the industry. Google modified the core logic of the language and it also deleted all the repeated modules and methods from the library making it lighter and smoother. Now, it increased its performance by twice or thrice. Hence it becomes one of the most powerful languages ​​in the industry. In past decade, it has received tremendous popularity among the developers and tech experts and turned out as a gem in the IT industry.

Python developers can build efficient and powerful web applications: Due to its tremendous power and efficiency, a python developer can build enterprise standard high performance software applications in different domain. The tag line of Python is "Batteries included" means, all the required modules, methods and classes are there inside the language through different libraries. Well, due to presence of all these resources, the development process becomes much easier than before. Moreover, these inbuilt resources are highly optimized and hence can give the python developer better mileage. To add this, the resources are extremely compatible with other components of the language making it even powerful.

Python enables software developers building modern applications in different domains: Well, Python was heavily inspired from C ++ and Java and hence we can expect many similar features within python as that in C ++ or Java. Python has the capability to build any type of application just like Java ie a python developer can build desktop software, web application, hardware program or even smart phone games. This is really a terrific feature of python and it enables its developers not to limit their talent in any specific domain. They can develop any application irrespective of domain, device and platform.

Reliability and quality is at its par of excellence: Well, Python is famous for its efficiency, speed and reliability. You can project a Python application under any circumstance and you will get an amazing performance there. It is also extremely safe and secure. It has the potential in developing enterprise standard highly secure applications using 128 bit encryption technology. Moreover, you can also implement multi tier security measures in your application.

Availability of many supportive environments: Support matters a lot in IT industry. Fortunately, there is a huge community of Python developer's in the industry. Hence you can get instant online support from them during your difficulties. Moreover there are many python developers portal where you can resolve your doubt and confusion.

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Health Insurance Solutions Part II

Time and time again there is a solution to every problem, challenge, obstacle or anything else that may cause us to fret. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. The Affordable Care Act never stated insurer had to do away with the underwriting process. Several elements to sell plans were implemented to conform and to be compliant with the law which included: essential health benefits which are all necessary; with the exception of pediatric dental and vision coverage, especially for someone who does not have minor children in their custody.

The other element is the fact that carriers could no longer deny coverage to consumers who has more than enough health related conditions with exorbitant premiums, terms in the insurance world "rated" because of preexisting conditions.
This is the major problem facing the health sector and why insurers are unable to measure their risk with finding reasonable rates for the American people. This is a shot in the dark for insurance companies to play a guessing game of not knowing who has chronic health problems on a regular basis and what the cost would be to accurate provide care at reasonable prices. Actuaries' calculate insurance with a purpose; to estimate risk. No measuring stick, no wonder why carriers have lost money over the last several years and are ready to bail out.

The government involvement in the insurance industry is to govern, not necessarily to run the insurance business. It is sad that large carriers are allowing the government to dictate and rule out the main premise of insurance. This business is built on risk factors. There is no difference if you wanted to purchase homeowners, auto; or any other type of insurance, there are risks with insuring property. Our physical bodies are a higher risk since we are moving objects on the go all the time, we wear out and break down time to time and have to be repaired and healed.

Why aren't insurers addressing this fact with lawmakers? What are the chances of a mechanical breakdown with stationary buildings? Physical buildings breakdown due to neglect and lack of maintenance, or if someone physically damaged the property for whatever reason. When was the last time you purchased property and casualty insurance and your risk was not taken into consideration for how much you will be charged in premium dollars? Well, it is no different with health insurance.

There is a solution and a plan that will work. It is not about taxes, neither is it about how many people will lose coverage, cutting back on Medicaid, squeezing the poor, the rich getting richer or the other non sense we hear from politicians. Insurers need to be bold and follow the guidelines of the current law, go back to the underwriting process, deny no one coverage and have affordable premiums based on risk the way it was in time past; prior-Affordable Care Act.

As consumers, it is our responsibility to take care of these earthly bodies and to protect our finances while we are physically and financially able to do so. Are you going to wait after a chronic health condition comes over you and then attempt to get coverage? That's like having a building already on fire, and then calling an insurer to get covered. Be wise, get yourself the protection you need while you are still insurable before your temple begins to deteriorates.

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Custom Home Design Tips: Choosing the Right Designer

Whether or not you have already purchased a lot that your custom home plans must be designed around, following the tips we've gathered below will ensure that your custom home designs will produce the house of your dreams.

1. Establish excellent communication.

Poor communication can ruin a set of custom house plans. For instance, if your architect doesn't really understand what you want in your custom home designs, you could end up with a custom built home that you don't actually enjoy. Alternatively, you could be shocked to see your "custom" plan in a new housing development. (Some architects turn their best custom plans into generic, widely available floor plans.) Avoid both of these unsavory results by clearly outlining what your custom home plans should include, and whether or not you're comfortable with your custom design being tweaked into a universal house plan.

2. Choose a designer with experience working with similar properties.

If you've already purchased the land for your dream home, ensure that your designer has background in working with your type of property. For instance, while a steeply sloped lot often offers up the best views, it also poses unique design challenges.

3. Check that your architect has liability insurance.

Accidents do happen – that's why insurance was invented. If something doesn't come out right in your custom home design, liability insurance can cover rebuilding costs or other unanticipated expenses. Professional engineers and designers carry insurance to defend their customers against expensive errors. Make sure your custom home plans come from a designer with liability insurance.

4. Zoom in on the details.

A complete set of custom home plans will include enough information to facilitate construction. Contractors must be able to quickly find details on dimensions, materials, and building techniques. Unclear floor plans will bring all sorts of problems. Expensive errors often occur because contractors can't read or find the necessary details on a set of custom home plans. The last thing you want is a carpenter or plumber making guesses as to what your custom home designs intend. Work with an architect that includes plenty of construction details on the home plans.

5. Ensure building code and state certification compliance.

Federal and local building legislation is always changing. If your custom home design does not follow these building guidelines, city officials could reject it and you'll face more expenses to bring your design "up to code." Because this is such an important issue, be up-front about it with your designer. Ask about how they ensure code compliance, and check with previous customers to make sure the city approval process went off without a hitch. One final bit of due diligence: Check that your architect or designer is professionally certified with your state. If any red flags come up during this investigation, select a different architect. Otherwise, you could be stuck with home plans that can't actually be built.

6. Select an architect whose style matches yours.

Doctors specialize in bodily systems; writers specialize in different types of communication; architects specialize in different design styles. Be sure that your designer has experience producing the type of home you prefer. For instance, if you like the Tudor style, you should choose a designer who has produced lovely custom houses in this design mode. Don't expect a Frank Lloyd Wright lover to suddenly switch to a Tuscan approach.

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