Home Buying a Strong Boost to Overall Economy

In their first year of ownership, new home buyers spend about $10,601 

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(July 14, 2017)

canstockphoto282379female moneyA new consumer spending analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) highlights another reason why home building helps drive a healthy economy: In their first year of ownership, new home buyers spend about $10,601 on appliances, furnishings, and home improvement projects – 2.6 times as much as other home owners in a typical year.

NAHB economists studied the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey to help quantify the wave of activity – and cash – spent to install new refrigerators, buy couches and make other improvements as new owners personalize their homes.

“While construction jobs are the most obvious impact of new homes on the economy, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t stop there,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer in Kerrville, Texas.

“It’s the architects, the heating technicians, the lumber suppliers. And it’s the mom-and-pop owners at the local furniture or appliance store who are helping these buyers make their house a home,” he said.

During the first two years after closing on the house, a typical buyer of a newly built single-family home tends to spend on average $4,500 more than a similar non-moving home owner.

A previous NAHB study based on 2004-2007 data collected during the housing boom showed somewhat higher spending by home owners overall.  But the tendency of buyers to outspend non-moving owners on appliances, furnishings, and home improvements was similar.

In the aggregate, most of the demand for appliances, furnishings and remodeling projects in a given year is generated by non-moving home owners, because they outnumber home buyers by such a wide margin.

But new owners’ impact is noticeable – and vital, MacDonald said. “The health of housing – and new home buying – is key to the overall state of our economy.”

See the study at http://www.nahb.org/spendingpatterns.

[Source: National Association of Home Builders]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Environmental Series: Underground Storage Tanks for Heating Oil

An Underground Oil Tank Could be an Economic Liability for the Property Owner at the Time it is Discovered

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(July 13, 2017)

canstockphoto17488720inground oil tank

There are many problems associated with underground storage tanks (USTs) for heating fuel. In the past, heating oil tanks (HOTs) were installed underground, outside and above ground or above ground in basements.

As the popularity of oil as a heating fuel decreased, so did the use of HOTs. Today, homebuilders usually don’t install oil-burning furnaces as a heat source, opting instead for natural gas or electricity to heat their homes.

In the past, unused HOTs were abandoned when a new heat source using a different fuel was installed into the home. Most of the above ground HOTs were removed and scrapped, but the majority of underground storage tanks were left in the ground to rot. Many of these abandoned USTs also contained unused heating oil.

When a UST decays, any oil left inside will leak out and contaminate the surrounding soil, surface water, and where the water table is high, the groundwater.

Underground storage tank problems become evident when a homeowner becomes aware of some heating related problem such as inconsistent or no furnace ignition that can be caused by water entering the tank and mixing with the oil. Another example of an adverse tank condition would be having to fill the tank up with fuel more often. Both of these examples mean that if water is entering the tank, then oil is likely being released from the tank.

Here are some easy things to do to investigate the possibility of a UST:

  • Look for an oil tank fill cap.
  • Look for a vent pipe.
  • Look for oil lines or signs of oil lines.
  • Contact the gas or electric company to get the start date of service for the house. If the date coincides with the date of construction, there might not be a home heating oil tank on the premises. If the date of service does not coincide with the date of construction, further research may be necessary.
  • Contact the local fire department.
  • Contact a professional locator company. A locator company will use various techniques to determine if a large metal object is present in the ground, such as the use of a metal detector.

If it is determined a tank is in use or has been abandoned, soil testing should be the next step in the investigation process. The results of the soil test will determine if an existing tank should be decommissioned and whether ground contamination cleanup will be necessary. If decommissioning is required, it will be accomplished by one of the following methods:

  • Decommission by Removal – This option requires a complete pumping out of any remaining fuel in the tank. After this step is completed, the tank may be dug up and removed. It must be disposed of in an approved disposal site. The hole will then be backfilled to grade with sand or gravel. The native soil will be placed on top of the backfill material until the hole is filled to grade. The vent pipe is removed.
  • Decommission the tank in place with Sand or P-gravel (DIP) – Tanks located under concrete, asphalt, or more than 24 inches of soil may make this method impractical. This option requires the complete pumping out of any remaining fuel in the tank. The ground is removed to the top of the tank and the top cut off. The inside of the tank is then cleaned and visually inspected for leakage. If there is no leakage, the tank will be filled with sand or p-gravel, the top then replaced, and the hole backfilled to grade. The vent pipe and fill pipe will be removed, and a certificate of decommissioning will be mailed to the owner. If there are visible signs of leakage, the homeowner will be notified.
  • Decommission in place with slurry (SLURRY) – This option requires the complete pumping out of any remaining fuel. Since an inspection of the tank is impossible with this method, soil samples should be taken to determine if there has been leakage. If there has been leakage, the remediation process should be implemented. If the tank has not leaked, then after it is empty of oil, a slurry mixture is pumped into the tank. Slurry is a sandy, ashy type of concrete. Once the tank is filled with slurry, the fill cap and vent pipe are removed.

A UST could prove to be an economic liability for the owner of the property at the time it is discovered.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Environmental Series: Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure Rules

Sellers and Lessors must disclose known information about lead-based paint

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(July 6, 2017)

canstockphoto384422paintcanIn 1994, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and HUD drafted federal regulations on the disclosure of lead-based paint hazards in residential properties built before 1978 to comply with the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Act of 1992. The rules were implemented in 1996 in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS®. These rules requre sellers and lessors, or their real estate agents to:

  • distribute a federal lead hazard pamphlet,
  • disclose any information known by the seller/lessor or the agent concerning lead paint and/or lead hazards in the house, and
  • provide a 10-day or mutually agreeable period for a lead paint assessment or inspection before a purchaser/lessee becomes obligated to purchase.

The seller must retain the signed documentation demonstrating that the buyer/tenant received the required disclosure information for three years from the date of sale/lease. The REA requires these records to be retained by a principal broker/property manager for six years from the date of the sale.

You can view a sample of a lead-based paint disclosure here:

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Redfin Study: Middle-Class African-Americans and Hispanics Priced Out of Hot West Coast Markets

Fewer than five percent of homes for sale in Portland, Los Angeles, and Denver were affordable on median African-American and Hispanic incomes in 2016

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 30, 2017)

canstockphoto1334948soldsignIn 2016, just 18 percent of homes for sale in the 30 largest U.S. metros were affordable for middle-class Hispanic families and 14 percent were affordable for African-American families, according to a new study by Redfin (www.redfin.com). Both rates were down 11 percentage points from 2012. This is compared to 30 percent affordable for those earning the median income for white households, down 12 percentage points since 2012.

Housing affordability declined over the same four-year period for the middle class as a whole, as home prices increased by 26 percent and household incomes edged up by less than 2 percent nationally. In 2012, 44 percent of homes for sale were affordable on a middle-class income; that share fell to 32 percent in 2016.

The study also found that in 2016, middle-class African-American and Hispanic families were virtually priced out of homeownership in Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego and Phoenix. In each of those metros, fewer than 5 percent of homes on the market were affordable on the median household incomes for African Americans and Latinos.

Still, Denver was home to the smallest racial gap in housing affordability in 2016. Less than 2 percent of homes for sale there were affordable to families earning the median income for African-American and Hispanic households, compared to just 8.3 percent for families earning the median income for white households. The racial affordability gap was largest in Minneapolis, where the typical white family could afford 66 percent of the homes for sale, compared to 5.2 percent and 24.8 percent for families earning the median income for African-American and Hispanic households.

Among the 30 largest metros, Las Vegas had the largest declines in affordability for families making the median African American (-26.5 points) or Hispanic (-24.6 points) household incomes from 2012 to 2016.

Also during this period, metros known for their relative affordability, like Atlanta, Tampa and Kansas City, saw double-digit declines in the share of listings that were affordable on African American and Hispanic median incomes.

St. Louis was the only metro that saw increases in affordability for both Hispanic (+5.4 points) and African-American families (+4.3 points). Interestingly, St. Louis was also the only metro where overall middle-class affordability, including for median-income white households, did not change significantly over this time period.

“American cities are at risk of losing both the economic and racial diversity that has been their hallmark,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Middle-class homebuyers are being priced out of America’s largest cities at an alarming rate, as the home affordability gap gets wider. Given the significantly lower rates of homeownership among African-American and Hispanic families, the reduction in affordable listings has even more dire consequences for income inequality when broken out by race.”

[Source: Redfin news release]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Environmental Series: Oregon Drug Houses

Methamphetamine drug manufacturing houses do exist in Oregon and require special attention

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 27, 2017)

canstockphoto3507277drughouseThe process required to manufacture meth is easy, with the raw materials necessary for its production readily available to the public. Recipes and information for the manufacture of the drug are found on the Internet. By investing just a few hundred dollars in equipment and chemicals, a home manufacturer can produce a finished product worth thousands of dollars.

Ingredients to make meth can be purchased in any drug, grocery, or hardware store. Some of the more commonly used ingredients are over the counter cold and asthma medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine; red phosphorous; hydrochloric acid; drain cleaner; battery acid from lithium type batteries; lye; acetone; lighter fluid; lantern fuel; and antifreeze.

If meth has been manufactured on a property, there may be serious health issues resulting from entering and occupying the property. Each pound of produced meth leaves behind five or six pounds of toxic waste. Meth cooks pour leftover chemicals and byproduct sludge down drains and nearby plumbing, storm drains, or directly into the ground. Chlorinated solvents and other toxic byproducts used to make meth pose long-term hazards because they can persist in the soil and groundwater for years. Clean up costs are high because solvent-laced soil usually must be incinerated.

Meth houses are enveloped in an unpleasant, chemical-like ammonia smell, similar to cat urine or fingernail polish. In addition to the smell, there are other signs that a house is used as a meth lab. Another sign would be chemical drums or other containers about the property that store solvents, drain cleaner or antifreeze.

Most people entering a property that was used as a meth lab will experience immediate eye and throat irritation, and lightheadedness or a headache. Acute short-term exposure to high concentrations of some of the chemicals used in meth production, similar to what law enforcement officers often face, can cause severe health problems including lung damage and burns to different parts of the body.

Oregon has a comprehensive program to identify and deal with contaminated drug properties. Oregon’s law for contaminated drug houses is outlined in ORS 453.855 through 453.912. The law does not allow a contaminated property to be occupied and provides procedures for proper cleanup and certification of fitness after a cleanup has occurred. The main provisions of the law are:

  • Identification of a property as not fit for use – The Director of Human Services, the State Fire Marshal, or any law enforcement agency may make the not-fit-for-use determination. Once determined, the property may not be entered, occupied, or used for any purpose. This means that the owner may not enter the property for cleaning, remodeling, or demolition except under a Department of Human Services approved work plan.To be considered suitable for use, the property must be successfully certified as decontaminated. In some cases, the structure on the property may have to be demolished, and any ground contamination will have to be cleaned up before being certified. Once determined to be a contaminated property, the property is listed as a contaminated property with the Department of Consumer and Business Services.
  • Restriction on transfer of a contaminated property – ORS 453.867 prohibits the transfer, sale, use, or renting of any property that is determined to be an illegal drug manufacturing site. All contracts to transfer, sell, use, or rent a contaminated property are voidable between the parties at the request of the purchaser, transferee, user, or renter. Under ORS 453.870, contaminated property may be transferred or sold only if full written disclosure is made to the prospective purchaser of the contamination status. After the transfer, the property remains a contaminated property and may not be entered, used, or occupied.
  • Property decontamination – The owner of a property determined to be not fit for use may have the property certified as fit for use. To be classified as a property fit for use, the owner must engage the services of a contractor licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to decontaminate the property. The decontamination work must be executed by a written work plan submitted to DHS for approval.If the work plan is approved and the decontamination work is completed according to the plan, DHS will certify the property as having been decontaminated. Once the DHS has certified the property as decontaminated, the property owner shall notify the Department of Consumer and Business Services and request that the property is removed from the department’s list of contaminated properties. Once the property has been taken off the contamination list, the property may be transferred, sold, used, or rented without restriction.

    The safest way to clean up a former meth lab is to hire an environmental company trained in hazardous substance removal and cleanup. If the owner of the property desires to do the cleanup, extreme caution should be exercised because the contaminants give off fumes, can penetrate the skin, and can result in severe health problems. The following are steps that would be taken by an environmental hazard cleanup company:

    • Air out the property – The first step is usually a short-term airing-out of the property to clear out as many of the contaminants in the air as possible. This process should last several days before actual site cleaning.
    • Heating structure and reintroducing ventilation – After the initial airing-out, the windows and doors should be closed, and the temperature inside the structure should be raised to approximately 90 degrees and left alone for a few days. This will promote some of the chemicals to volatilize (to dissolve into the air).After the heating process is complete, the structure is ready for cleaning. During the cleaning process, proper ventilation should again be introduced. After the cleaning process the property should be aired out for three to five days to allow for any remaining volatilization of chemicals. Exhaust fans should be used to assist in this process.
    • Contamination removal and disposal – The meth manufacturing process produces vapors that are absorbed into material within the structure. Spilled chemicals, supplies, and equipment can further contaminate non-lab items such as carpeting, wall material, counters, cabinets, etc. Items that are visibly contaminated should be removed and disposed of in a landfill. Absorbent materials such as carpeting, drapes, clothing, and like material should also be removed from the property and disposed of in a landfill.
    • Surfaces – Walls, counters, floors, ceilings, and similar surfaces are porous and can absorb contaminants from the meth manufacturing process. The closer to the actual location of the manufacturing, the more likely these materials will have absorbed the contaminants. If these surfaces have visible staining or contamination, these should be removed and disposed of in an approved landfill. In many cases, this may entail removal and replacement of wallboard and similar surfaces. In some cases, intensive cleaning followed by the application of a physical barrier, such as paint sealant or epoxy, may be an adequate solution.
    • Ventilation system – Fumes from the meth manufacturing process will enter the structure’s ventilation systems. These systems must be thoroughly cleaned. This cleaning would necessarily include the vents, ductwork, filters, walls, and ceilings near ventilation ducts.
    • Plumbing – Most meth cooks will dump their manufacturing byproducts down sinks, drains, and toilets. These contaminated waste products can collect in drains, traps, and septic tanks and give off harmful fumes. Drain traps and adjacent plumbing pipes may have to be removed and cleaned. In some cases, replacement may be necessary. The septic tank may have to be pumped and treated as a hazardous waste site.
    • Repainting – It is advisable to repaint the entire interior of the structure. This will assist in putting a barrier between any residual contamination and interior of the structure. Paint-coating materials specifically designed to seal in contaminants, such as products containing a shellac base, should be considered.
    • Testing – Both before and after cleanup, the environmental cleanup company will test for contamination. Before cleanup, the test will identify areas where cleanup or removal of materials will be necessary. After the cleanup process has been completed, the test will verify that the structure is again suitable for occupancy.

The outlined cleanup process usually takes six to eight weeks with a cost ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Insurance coverage for drug house contamination might be possible but is reported to be available in only 25% of existing policies.

An Oregon property owner, under Oregon’s seller’s property disclosure statement law, is to disclose if the house being sold was ever used for manufacturing methamphetamine or any other illegal drug.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Categories: Real Estate

For-Sale Homes Hitting the Market is Dropping at its Fastest Pace in Almost Four Years

The number of single-family home rentals has increased by 6.2 million since 2005, one of the reasons why inventory remains low

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 26, 2017)

sad disappointed coupleZillow® is reporting that the number of for-sale homes coming onto the market is dropping at its fastest pace in almost four years, according to their May Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports. Homes are staying on the market for the fewest days Zillow ever reported.

Across the country, home shoppers will have 9 percent fewer homes to choose from than a year ago, which is the greatest drop in inventory since August 2013 when inventory was down over 10 per cent. Homes are staying on the market for just 77 days.

 

The median home value across the country is $199,200, up 7.4 percent since this time last year. Seattle, Dallas and Tampa, Fla. reported the highest year-over-year home value appreciation among the 35 largest U.S. metros. In Seattle, home values rose almost 13 percent to a median value of $440,100. Home values in Dallas and Tampa are up about 11 percent since this time last year.

“On the demand side, simple demographic change is contributing to incredibly high demand as Millennials reach their prime home-buying years and begin to enter the market in droves. This is coupled with relatively low levels of new home construction on the supply side insufficient to keep pace with demand, and what is built is largely priced beyond the reach of many of the first-time and entry-level home buyers in the market. Thousands of single-family homes that were once bought and sold every few years prior to the recession have now been converted into rental properties by investors, trading hands much less frequently and further contributing to inventory shortages. And finally, in some still hard-hit markets, negative equity is likely keeping many homeowners of lower-end homes from listing their home for sale because they can’t afford to profitably do so. There is no silver bullet that will clear the market of all of these issues, and buyers frustrated by the status quo will likely have to remain patient and be ready to pounce once that perfect home does become available,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

 

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Who Does NOT Need an Oregon Property Manager

Oregon has some exceptions to its property manager licensing requirement

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 23, 2017)

canstockphoto13934650noThere are a number of exceptions to the requirement for a license in order to conduct property management. Some of these exceptions are:

  • When a person is an employee of a property manager or principal broker. An unlicensed employee of a property manager or principal broker cannot negotiate and enter into a property management agreement with a property owner. Only a licensee can do so. However, an unlicensed employee can engage in other property management activities under the supervision of a property manager or principal broker as long as the employee is complying with the laws and rules governing property management activities. Some of these permitted activities are:
    • Showing a rental unit to prospective tenant
    • Obtaining rental applications from prospective tenants
    • Checking a tenant’s personal and credit references
    • Negotiating rental agreements with tenants
    • Hiring people to make repairs or perform maintenance services
    • Collecting and processing tenant rents
    • Supervising the premises’ managers, if applicable
    • Coordinating F.E.D. (Forcible Entry and Detainer) actions (eviction proceedings)
  • When a person is a full-time employee of a single owner of real estate whose activities involve real estate of the employer and are incidental to the employee’s normal non-real estate activities. A common example would be the secretary of a property owner who periodically shows vacant spaces to potential tenants.
  • When a person is acting as an attorney-in-fact under a duly-executed power of attorney from the owner. The power of attorney must authorize the person to supervise or execute any contract for the leasing of real estate. The power of attorney must be recorded in the county in which the property is located.
  • When an attorney at law is rendering services in the performance of his duties as an attorney for a client. A typical example is an attorney entering into a rental agreement for a property belonging to an estate that is in probate.
  • When a person engages in property management activity under the order of any court. A common situation in this exemption category would be a court-appointed receiver who is ordered to manage and/or liquidate property in a bankrupt estate.
  • When a person is a regular, full-time employee of a non-licensed corporation, partnership, association or single owner, and that person only engages in property management activity for that single entity. This employee can engage in property management activity only. The employee may not engage in the sale, exchange, lease option or purchase of the real property of the owner. The employee can manage property for this single owner ranging from one residential unit to multiple apartment complexes. Compensation of the employee must be through regular paychecks, with proper federal and state tax withholdings. In other words, independent contractor status is not allowed. If the person holds a real estate license, the exemption does not apply.
  • When a person is a general partner for a domestic or foreign limited partnership. The person must be working for a limited partnership properly registered with the Oregon Secretary of State, Corporation Division. The general partner can engage in the sale, acquisition, exchange, lease transfer or management of the real estate of the limited partnership without a license. If the person holds a real estate license, the exemption does not apply and license law must be followed with respect to the record keeping, handling of funds, etc.

CAUTION: Always check with the Oregon Real Estate Agency before engaging in any activity that may require a license. Your particular situation may vary from the broad descriptions in this article.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Environmental Series: Molds and Fungi

Adverse health effects from fungi usually depend on the dose and duration of exposure to the mold source

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 21, 2017)

Fungi are medically known to cause allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), humidifier fever, infections, mushroom poisoning, mycotoxicoses, and mucous membrane irritation. Some of the Penicillium, Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, Paecilomyces, and Fusarium can be hazardous to health under ideal conditions.

Molds and Fungi are simple organisms. Microfungi are only visible through a microscope. Plaster and wood-rotting fungi are known as macrofungi because they produce sporing bodies that are visible to the naked eye. Molds and mildews are names given to thousands of species of Filamentous Fungi. Most molds and fungi do not cause health problems and are found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials. In fact, molds and fungi perform a valuable function as they assist in breaking down dead material.

Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight, which allows them to travel freely through the air. Other types of mold colonize as a network of filaments by attaching themselves to host material. For molds to grow, they need a food source and moisture. Hydrophilic types of fungi need conditions close to saturation, or at least very damp conditions. The Xerophilic types of fungi grow in drier conditions, with only minimal moisture. Molds that have food and moisture will grow in an indoor environment – even in an arid climate. Evidence of mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration ranging from white to orange and from green to brown to black growing on various materials found inside and outside the house.

Adverse health effects from fungi usually depend on the dose and duration of exposure to the mold source. The methods of exposure are inhalation, exposure to skin, and ingestion. The groups of people at higher risk are elderly individuals, pregnant women, children, and those with compromised immune or respiratory systems. Health problems generally may be grouped as follows:

  • Infections
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nasal passage problems
  • Eye problems
  • Central nervous system problems
  • Fever
  • Possible death if exposure results from extremely toxic varieties

Remediation should be implemented when a structure has a mold or mildew problem. The following are regarded as the necessary steps in any remediation or cleanup process:

  • Identify and correct the moisture source. No permanent solution to the identified mold problem can be realized unless the source of the moisture fueling the mold growth is identified and corrected.
  • Hard materials that are not absorbent, such as glass, plastic or metal, must be properly disinfected. Disposal of these is not necessary.
  • Carpets, rugs, furniture, and other items with absorbent material must be removed and discarded if not thoroughly dried within 24 hours of water contamination. This type of material, even if disinfected, will usually continue to harbor unsafe mold after decontamination attempts. Therefore, it is best to remove and discard all porous material.
  • All stained ceiling tiles, carpets, or wallboard should be removed and properly discarded.
  • If a structure was flooded, the sheetrock should be removed to at least 12 inches above the high water mark. After sheetrock removal, the wall interior should be inspected for signs of mold.

The following cleanup steps should be followed in a mold remediation situation:

  • Identify whether contaminated material can be saved or should be removed and discarded.
  • If the material can be saved, before disinfecting the contaminated area or materials, clean the materials and surfaces to remove as much of the mold as possible.
  • After the contaminated area has been cleaned, the nonporous surfaces must be disinfected.

The removal of contaminated material should be regarded as a hazardous process, and contaminated materials should be disposed of properly.

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Redfin: May Housing Market Sets Records for Speed and Competition

More than a quarter of homes sold for more than their asking price

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 15, 2017)

canstockphoto10268206housepriceincreaseSEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)– U.S. home prices rose 6.8 percent to a median sale price of $288,000 in May, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Home sales increased 7.5 percent over last year, despite a long-standing shortage in the supply of homes. The number of homes for sale fell 10.9 percent, leaving just 2.7 months of supply, the lowest supply Redfin has recorded since we began tracking the market in 2010. Six months is generally considered a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

The typical home that sold in May went under contract in 37 days, breaking the previous record of 40 days set in April. More than a quarter of homes sold above their list price, the highest percentage Redfin has recorded. The median sale-to-list price ratio set another record, hitting 95.4 percent in May.

“There is still a lot of momentum in home prices in many metros, not only on the coasts but also in places like Buffalo, Grand Rapids and Omaha,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Strong local economic growth and burgeoning demand from older millennials are accelerating home-price growth in this very competitive, low-inventory pre-summer market. The Federal Reserve’s latest announcement to raise short-term rates will have very little effect on buyer demand or on the overall housing market. If anything, it may motivate buyers to make their purchases sooner rather than later.”

In a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted last month, more than 1,000 homebuyers responded to a question about the effect a hypothetical rate hike above 5 percent would have on their home-buying plans. A quarter said it would have no impact, while nearly as many (23%) said they would increase their urgency to buy before rates went up further. Twenty-nine percent said they would slow down their search and see if rates came back down, 18 percent said their urgency wouldn’t change, but they would look in other areas or buy a smaller home. Just 5 percent said they would cancel their home-buying plans altogether.

Regional May Highlights

Competition

  • Denver, CO, was the fastest market for the third month in a row, with nearly half of all homes pending sale in just 6 days. Seattle, WA, was the next fastest markets with 7 median days on market, followed by Grand Rapids, MI (8), Portland, OR (8), and Omaha, NE (9).
  • The most competitive market in May was San Jose, CA, where 74.1% of homes sold above list price, followed by 70.9% in Oakland, CA, 70.1% in San Francisco, CA, 64.1% in Seattle, WA, and 51.8% in Tacoma, WA.

Prices

  • Seattle, WA, had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 15.9% since last year to $510,000. Lakeland, FL, had the second-highest growth at 15.1% year-over-year price growth, followed by Tampa, FL (13.2%), Memphis, TN (13%), and Manchester, NH (12.2%).
  • Two metros saw slight price declines in May including Albany, NY (-0.9%), and Baton Rouge, LA (-0.6%).

Sales

  • In 29 out of 89 metros, sales surged by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, NY, led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 44.4%, followed by Memphis, TN, up 40.2%. Philadelphia, PA, rounded out the top three with sales up 28.3% from a year ago.
  • Rochester, NY, had the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 14.3%. Home sales in Santa Rosa, CA, and Buffalo, NY, declined by 11.2% and 10.3%, respectively.

Inventory

  • Rochester, NY, had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 35.7% since last May. Buffalo, NY (-31.9%), San Jose, CA (-31.0%), and Seattle, WA (-27.1%), also had far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
  • Ogden, UT, had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 41.4% year over year, followed by Provo, UT (34.9%), and Fort Myers, FL (27.3%).

To read the full report, complete with data and charts, please visit the following link: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/06/market-tracker-may-2017.html.

[Source: Redfin press release]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

First-Ever Report to Track the Entire First-Time Homebuyer Market

Home sales to first-time homebuyers up 11% during First Quarter 2017

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 12, 2017)

RICHMOND, VA., June 8, 2017 – Over the past 10 years, three million first-time homebuyers have been kept out of the home purchase market, according to Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an operating segment of Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW), which recently launched its inaugural First-Time Homebuyer Market Report.

The report is unique in that it traces the first-time homebuyer market back to 1994, analyzing more than 20 million records of first-time homebuyers from mortgage origination data. It is the first report to track home sales to first-time homebuyers on a monthly basis and report at quarterly intervals, allowing for first-time homebuyer data to be compared against national housing market indicators. Additionally, it is the first report to separately identify first-time homebuyers enabled by low down payment mortgages, such as conventional mortgages with mortgage insurance coverage, FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans.

“Over the past three years, first-time homebuyers have accounted for 85 percent of the growth in home sales, and have become an important indicator for understanding market trends,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist for Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “Their impact has already been felt in falling inventory and rising home prices, and we expect them to increasingly drive growth to businesses most exposed to this market segment.”

Mr. Liu continued, “Despite their growth in volume, many prospective buyers and housing market participants still mistakenly believe that a 20 percent down payment is required to qualify for a mortgage. By studying this group more closely, we hope to bring a better understanding about the many low down payment options available to help first-time homebuyers reach homeownership sooner.”

The report, which will be published quarterly, had several notable findings in its first edition:

1. During Q1 2017, first-time homebuyers bought the most single-family homes since 2005. During the first quarter of 2017, 424,000 single-family homes were sold to first-time homebuyers (38 percent of all single-family home sales), the most during that period since 2005, and an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2016.

2. From 2014-2016, first-time homebuyers drove 85 percent of the housing market’s expansion, the fastest rate ever. The surge in the first-time homebuyer market from 2014-2016 accounted for 85 percent of the expansion in the housing market. The annual increase of approximately 260,000 first-time homebuyers for two years in a row is unprecedented during the period of 1994-2016 and had a large impact on the overall housing market in both inventory and home price appreciation. 2016 was the strongest year for the first-time homebuyer market in 11 years, reporting two million first-time homebuyers, or 15 percent more than in 2015. First-Time Homebuyers accounted for 37 percent of all single family homes sold in 2016, up from 34 percent in 2015.

3. Three million missing first-time homebuyers since the Housing Crisis. The report estimates that historically 1.8 million first-time homebuyers purchased homes each year between 1994 and 2016, accounting for 35% of all single-family homes sold. Because of the housing crisis, only 1.5 million first-time homebuyers have been able to purchase homes in the last 10 years, three million fewer than the historical average. That pent-up demand among first-time homebuyers will likely lead to a surge in demand for entry-level single-family homes, low down payment mortgages, and a general uptick in homeownership. 6620 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23230

4. Private Mortgage Insurance and FHA loans had the most first-time homebuyer market share from 2014- 2016. Private mortgage insurance and FHA loans accounted for 80 percent of the growth in the first-time homebuyer market from 2014-2016. This breaks out to 730,000 first-time homebuyers who used FHA loans, and 510,000 who used private mortgage insurance.

For access to the full report, as well as a brief fact sheet, visit: https://miblog.genworth.com/first-time-homebuyermarket-report-06-17/.

[Source: Gentworth Financial press release]

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For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark