Category Archives: Contractor

Leonard and Penny Named Most Desirable Neighbors for 2018; The Simpsons Named Least Desirable

One in three Americans say the Simpsons would be the worst TV family to have next door

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 27, 2017)

(SEATTLE) PRNewswire – Americans would most like to be neighbors with Leonard Hofstadter and Penny from CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, according to the 11th annual Zillow® Celebrity Neighbor Survey. The Simpson family from FOX’s The Simpsons were named the least desirable TV neighbors for 2017.

For the first time ever, Zillow rolled out a new questionnaire for its annual celebrity neighbor survey. The 2017 survey asks U.S. adults which fictional characters from popular television shows they would most like to have as a neighbor and with whom they wouldn’t want to share a fence.

Most Desirable Neighbors in 2018
Leonard and Penny from The Big Bang Theory are the top choice for neighbors in 2018, earning 19 percent of surveyed adults’ votes. The couple received strong results from voters across different genders, generations and education levels, but was slightly less popular among voters from the West, earning just 16 percent of their votes.

The Dunphys from ABC’s Modern Family and the Simpsons tied for the second most desirable neighbors, with 11 percent of the votes each. Will and Grace from NBC’s newly revitalized sitcom of the same name rounded out the top four rankings, earning just 10 percent of the votes, followed by Jack and Rebecca Pearson from NBC’s This is Us (9 percent) and the Johnsons from ABC’s Black-ish (5 percent).

Least Desirable Neighbors from 2017
The Simpsons topped the list of least desirable neighbors from television with 31 percent of the votes. Adults over the age of 55 were most likely to name the family as the least desirable neighbors (at 38 percent), while only 24 percent of millennials cited the Simpsons as the least desirable neighbors in the poll.

The Lannisters from HBO’s Game of Thrones came in second on the list with 21 percent of the votes, ranking much higher than the rest of the competitors, including Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory (9 percent), Olivia Pope from ABC’s Scandal (6 percent) and the Jennings from FX’s The Americans (5 percent).

The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular shows on television, so it is not surprising that American adults chose its leading couple as the most desirable neighbors for 2018,” said Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow. “On the other hand, it wouldn’t be easy to live next to the Simpsons, who have spent nearly 30 seasons causing chaos for neighbor Ned Flanders and the rest of Springfield. However, as the stars of one of TV’s longest-running shows, The Simpsons are certainly beloved by some: they also tied for second on the most desirable neighbor list.”

Thirty-five percent of surveyed adults said they would not want to live next to any of the characters listed in the poll.

Most Desirable Neighbors for 2018 Least Desirable Neighbors of 2017
Name Percent Name Percent
Leonard Hofstadter and Penny (The Big Bang Theory) 19% The Simpsons (The Simpsons) 31%
The Simpsons (The Simpsons) 11% The Lannisters (Game of Thrones) 21%
The Dunphys (Modern Family) 11% Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler (Big Bang Theory) 9%
Will & Grace (Will & Grace) 10% Olivia Pope (Scandal) 6%
Jack and Rebecca Pearson (This is Us) 9% The Jennings (The Americans) 5%
The Johnsons (Black-ish) 5% None of the above 27%
None of the above 35%

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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

Homelessness Increases

There were 58,000 families with children experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 7, 2017)

canstockphoto20042851homeless4WASHINGTON – There is a great deal of variation in the data in different parts of the country, however, and many places continue to see reductions in homelessness. Thirty (30) states and the District of Columbia reported decreases in homelessness between 2016 and 2017. Challenges in some major metropolitan areas, however, have had a major impact on the national trend lines.

For example, the City and County of Los Angeles reported a nearly 26 percent increase in overall homelessness since 2016, primarily among those persons found in unsheltered locations. Meanwhile, New York City reported a 4.1 increase, principally among families in emergency shelters and transitional housing. Excluding these two areas, the estimated number of Veterans experiencing homeless in other parts of the nation decreased 3.1 percent since 2016.

“In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast, the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem-it’s everybody’s problem.”

“The fact that so many parts of the country are continuing to reduce homelessness gives us confidence that our strategies-and the dedicated efforts of communities to embrace best practices-have been working,” said Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council of Homelessness. “At the same time, we know that some communities are facing challenges that require us to redouble our efforts across all levels of government and the public and private sectors, and we are committed to doing that work.”

“Our joint community-based homelessness efforts are working in most communities across the country. Despite a slight increase in overall Veteran homelessness, I am pleased that the majority of communities in the U.S. experienced declines over the past year,” said U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. “VA remains committed to helping Veterans find stable housing. We will continue to identify innovative local solutions, especially in areas where higher rents have contributed to an increase in homelessness among Veterans.”

HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called ‘Continuums of Care” and tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and in unsheltered settings. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress toward reducing it.

Key Findings of HUD’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report:

On a single night in January 2017, state and local planning agencies (Continuums of Care) reported:

  • 553,742 people were homeless representing an overall .7 percent increase from 2016 and a 13.1 percent decrease since 2010.
  • Most homeless persons (360,867) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 192,875 persons were unsheltered.
  • The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 5.4 percent since 2016 and 27 percent since 2010.
  • Veteran homelessness increased 1.5 percent (or 585 persons) since January 2016, primarily in California cities. Since 2010, however, Veteran homelessness declined nationally by 46 percent. On a single night in January 2017, 40,056 veterans were experiencing homelessness.
  • Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals increased 12.2 percent over 2016 levels though declined by 18 percent (or 19,100 persons) since 2010.
  • The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children in 2017 is estimated to be 40,799. This year, HUD and local communities launched a more intense effort to more accurately account for this important, difficult to count population. HUD will treat 2017 as a baseline year for purposes of tracking progress toward reducing youth homelessness.

Homelessness Among All Persons

The total number of persons experiencing homelessness on a single night last January is 553,742, an increase of 0.7 percent from January 2016 largely attributed to the jump in unsheltered homelessness in larger cities in the West Coast

Family Homelessness

There were 58,000 families with children experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017, a decline of 5.4 percent from the year before and a 27 percent reduction since 2010. These significant reductions in family homelessness is largely attributed to the expansion of Rapid Rehousing Programs across the country and a concerted effort by local planners to reallocate scarce resources in a more strategic way. These ‘Housing First’ models have proven to be a more effective and efficient response to families experiencing temporary crisis as well as those enduring the most chronic forms of homelessness.

 

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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

CCB will no Longer Immediately Issue Licenses for In-person Delivery of Application

Plan on ten business days to get your Oregon CCB license

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(November 2, 2017)

canstockphoto11770861contractor 45(SALEM, OR) – As of Nov. 6, 2017, the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (the CCB) will no longer immediately issue licenses for new applications delivered in-person. In-person CCB staff will still be able to check the application documents for accuracy and completion, and accept the fee. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible but will take as many as 10 business days for completion. Additionally, the CCB lobby now closes at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

The Oregon CCB license requires just 16-clock hours of online pre-license education at a cost of just $71.50 for the online course, manual, and shipping to the continental US. Enrollments are accepted online at www.oregoncontractorcourse.com.

 

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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

September New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Down 7.5 Percent Year over Year

 Applications decreased by 20 percent when compared to August 2017

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(October 13, 2017)

canstockphoto17668349down arrowThe Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Applications Survey (BAS) data for September 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 7.5 percent when compared to September 2016. Additionally, applications decreased by 20 percent when compared to August 2017. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

“Applications for new home purchases were down year over year in large part due the impacts of hurricane activity,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “In particular monthly applications fell by 37 percent in Florida and 11 percent in Texas, which account for a large share of the applications in the survey.”

Conventional loans composed 72.3 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 13.9 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.0 percent and VA loans composed 12.7 percent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $334,940 in August to $334,722 in September.

For additional information on MBA’s Builder Applications Survey, please click 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

How to Become an Authorized Home Energy Assessor in Portland, Oregon

This entire process to get authorized is estimated to take a minimum of four weeks

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(October 4, 2017)

canstockphoto49733006 energy audit(PORTLAND-OR)  – Outlined below are the required steps to become an authorized home energy assessor with the City of Portland Home Energy Score program. This entire process is estimated to take a minimum of four weeks and $625 to complete. To complete the process, you must hold an Oregon CCB license for residential contractor, residential specialty contractor license, or residential restricted Home Energy Performance Score Contractor. Interested persons need to follow these steps to get authroized:

  1. Obtain and verify qualifying US Department of Energy (US DOE) credentials.
  2. Complete Home Energy Score Simulation training.
  3. Obtain and verify home energy assessor Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) certificate.
  4. Complete the home energy assessor participation agreement.
  5. Attend mandatory orientation.
  6. Successfully complete required mentoring session.
  7. Authorization.

Step 1: Complete at least one of the following US Department of Energy (US DOE) qualifying credentials listed on the ODOE – Home Energy Assessor Training Certification Form. After completing the training, email completed form to PDXHES@earthadvantage.org. Note: If you have yet to complete the US DOE Home Energy Score Simulation Training, disregard the “USDOE online simulation training” fields on the form. Estimated cost: varies by market rates. Estimated timeframe: varies by training provider.

STEP 2: US DOE will email you access to the Simulation Training. This is a self-paced training process where you will conduct virtual home walk-throughs designed to show a variety of situations you might encounter, in order to learn how to produce an accurate home energy score. Once complete, US DOE will email you to confirm you passed a series of test homes and a multiple choice exam training through Earth Advantage. Recommended for those without experience in on-line simulation training modules. Estimated cost: Free (unguided) or $100 (guided) Estimated timeframe: 12+ hours, usually over a few weeks (unguided) or 12-16 hours over 1.5 to 2 days (guided)

STEP 3: Earth Advantage will email you the approved ODOE – Home Energy Assessor Training Certification Form from Step 1. Submit this approved Form to CCB, WITH the CCB Home Energy Assessor Certification Application. Upon approval, CCB will mail you a certificate and CCB number. Email this information to PDXHES@earthadvantage.org. Note: In order to qualify for this certification, you must have a CCB residential contractor license (16-hour contractror pre-licensing course required), residential specialty contractor license, or residential restricted Home Energy Performance Score Contractor license – see CCB Endorsements Form for descriptions. Estimated cost: $100 Application Fee + $100 One-Year Certification Fee. The ongoing annual renewal fee is $100. Estimated time frame: 5-7 business days

STEP 4: Complete the home energy assessor participation agreement. (Download form HERE). Submit agreement to Earth Advantage at PDXHES@earthadvantage.org. Estimated cost: None. Estimated time frame: 1-2 business days to process. Step 5: Contact Earth Advantage to register for the mandatory orientation. Learn about specific local program requirements and messaging to homeowners about the home energy report. Upon completion, Earth Advantage will send an introductory email with next steps to start generating scores. Estimated cost: $75 Estimated time frame: 2 hr. Orientation session.

Step 5: Contact Earth Advantage to register for the mandatory orientation. Learn about specific local program requirements and messaging to homeowners about the home energy report. Upon completion, Earth Advantage will send an introductory email with next steps to start generating scores. Estimated cost: $75 Estimated time frame: 2 hr. Orientation session.

STEP 6: As required by US DOE, you must schedule and score your first home accompanied by a mentor designated by Earth Advantage (unless you already completed this as part of a guided in-person simulation training – see Step 3). Estimated cost: $150. Estimated time frame: 2 hr. field visit + energy modeling. STEP 7: You are now authorized to conduct City of Portland Home Energy Score assessments and generate the home energy report! Estimated cost: $25/score quality assurance fee. Estimated time frame: 1.5 hr./home – field assessment, energy modeling, home energy report generation

STEP 7: You are now authorized to conduct City of Portland Home Energy Score assessments and generate the home energy report! Estimated cost: $25/score quality assurance fee. Estimated time frame: 1.5 hr./home – field assessment, energy modeling, home energy report generation

Beyond the use of the US DOE Home Energy Score modeling tool, a number of other third-party software providers have successfully integrated with the Home Energy Score API to allow home energy assessors to produce the home energy report along with the other outputs the software produces. Click HERE and scroll to Compatible Software section for list of approved third-party software providers. Licensing may be required between the home energy assessor and software provider. Estimated cost: Varies. US DOE’s Home Energy Score software tool is free. Other third-party software providers may charge licensing fees for use.

While the Home Energy Assessor certification belongs to a person, that certification must be associated with a CCB license in order to be active. The CCB license it’s associated with can be one that already exists, or it can be a new CCB license that the Home Energy Assessor is applying for. If energy scoring is the only service the business is conducting, then the Home Energy Assessor can apply for the Home Energy Performance Score Contractor license. No pre-license training or testing is required to obtain this license, but absolutely no other construction activities may be performed.

Those in need of an Oregon CCB license can get the 16-hour online prerequisite training from OnlineEd for only $68 plus $3.50 shipping* (*shipping may vary slightly depending on location).

If you have further questions related to becoming an authorized home energy assessor for the City of Portland Home Energy Score program, review the Oregon Revised Statutes  or contact : MacKenzie Winchel, Program Manager / Quality Assurance, Email: PDXHES@earthadvantage.org.  Phone: 503-468-3482.

If you need the education to become an Oregon licensed contractor, contact an education specialist for information about Oregon’s OnlineEd CCB training 16-hour online training program: Telephone 503.670.9278, Email: Mail@OnlineEd.com, or just click here to read more about the online training program.

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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

Oregon Real Estate Agents Who Flip Houses May Need a Contractor License

Sometimes an Oregon real estate licensee will be operating as a contractor and not even know it!

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(July 21, 2017)

canstockphoto7462396suit with hard hat(PORTLAND-OR) Sometimes an Oregon real estate licensee will be operating as a contractor and not even know it! ORS 701 defines a contractor as

” . . . a person who, for compensation or with the intent to sell, arranges or undertakes or offers to undertake or submits a bid to construct, alter, repair, add to, subtract from, improve, inspect, move, wreck or demolish, for another, any building, highway, road, railroad, excavation or other structure, project, development or improvement attached to real estate or to do any part thereof.”

Under this statutory definition, the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) will use the following three-question test to determine if one is acting as a contractor, thereby requiring a contractor’s license.

  • Is the work being done construction related?It does not matter if the work being done is new home construction, remodeling, upgrades, or repairs. It also does not matter whether the licensee is doing the work or if it is being done by others who are licensed or unlicensed.
  • Is the real estate licensee offering the property for sale?  If the licensee buys the house for a rental or primary residence, then the licensee would not have to be licensed as a general contractor to hire contractors.  If the licensee buys the house with intent to resell, then the licensee might need a contractor license.
  • Is the real estate licensee the direct beneficiary of the sale?If the licensee is the direct beneficiary of the sale – in other words, the party who will receive the proceeds from the sale – then a contractor’s license would be required. If the real estate licensee is acting as an agent for the seller by arranging for the work to be done, the licensee would not have to be licensed as a general contractor because the licensee is not a direct beneficiary of the sale.

If the real estate licensee answers yes to all three of the above questions, then the licensee probably would be violating the contractor license law if operating without a contractor’s license.

There are two exemptions under ORS 701.010 that would exempt a licensee from having to register as an Oregon contractor:

  1. If the licensee owns the property and occupies the property, the licensee is not a contractor if the licensee has contractor work performed on the property.
  2. If the licensee owns the property and rents the property, the licensee is not a contractor if the licensee has contractor work performed on the property.

What these rules mean for Oregon real estate licensees:

  • If a real estate licensee buys and moves into an existing house, then fixes it up and sells it, the licensee fits the exemption and a contractor’s license is not necessary.
  • If a real estate licensee buys a property, fixes it up, rents the house, and then sells it, the licensee fits the exemption, and a contractor’s license is not required.
  • If a real estate licensee builds a new house, lives in it, and then sells it, the licensee fits the exemption, and a contractor’s license is not necessary.
  • If the real estate licensee builds a new house, lives in it, and then sells it, and does this on a regular basis, the licensee will not fit the exemption, and the licensee will be deemed a contractor who must have a contractor’s license. This law states that a person is operating as a contractor if the person sells two or more new homes within a three-years. Therefore, a licensee can build one new house and live in it for three years and not be required to have a contractor’s license. But, if that person arranges for or does construction work on two or more newly built properties for compensation and with the intent to sell them within a 36 month period, a contractor’s license is required.

Note: Licensing rules are fluid. Please be sure to check with the CCB to find out if you are exempt from CCB licensing.

ORS 701.010 outlines those who are exempt from construction contractor licensing by includes the following definition:

“An owner who contracts for one or more licensed contractors to perform work wholly or partially within the same calendar year on not more than three existing residential structures of the owner.”

However, this exemption does not apply to “an owner contracting for work that requires a building permit unless the work that requires a permit is performed by or under the direction of a general contractor.” The above exemption means that an owner may contract with one or more licensed contractors to perform work within the same calendar year on not more than three residential properties of an owner.

For the exemption from contractor licensure to apply, the type of work the contractors can perform are those things that do not require a permit. Examples include painting, installing carpet, repairing a roof, or installing new cabinets. If any work requires a permit, then the owner cannot use the licensure exemption and must hire a general contractor.

Getting a contractor license is pretty easy and includes completing the OnlineEd 16-hour Oregon CCB approved contractor pre-license course and passing the CCB’s open-book licensing exam.  Learn more about the OnlineEd $68 Contractor Pre-License Course.

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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.

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Changes to Contractor License Bond Claims Process in Oregon

As of January 1, the process of filing a claim against a residential contractor license bond now also includes a mediation process

By Vic Lance, Lance Surety Bond Associates

(April 8, 2017)

res_contractor_bond_claimsAs of January 1, 2017, new rules regarding the contractor license bond claim process in Oregon have been put in place. These rules only apply to bond claims brought against residential contractors.

Under the new rules, the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) will first attempt to mediate the situation that has given rise to a complaint before letting claimants file a formal claim against the bond. Read on for a full overview of the new rules regarding filing a contractor license bond claim in Oregon.

The Oregon residential contractor license bond

According to Section 701.145 of the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), residential contractors are required to obtain a contractor license bond when applying for their license. Current state law requires residential contractors to obtain bonds in the following amounts, depending on the type of license they obtain:

  • $20,000 bond for residential general contractors and residential developers;
  • $15,000 bond for residential specialty contractors; and
  • $10,000 bond for residential limited contractor, residential locksmith services contractor, home services contractor, home inspector services contractor, home performance score contractor.

The purpose of contractor license bonds is to offer protection to the Construction Contractors Board as well as to the clients of a contractor. The protection is provided in cases when a contractor violates Oregon contractor regulations and laws and causes damages or losses. This may include defaulting on a contract, not complying with the conditions of a contract or simply doing a bad job.

In the case of a violation, a contractor license bond claim can be made. Once the claim is investigated by the CCB and the surety company and is deemed within the scope of the bond, compensation is paid to claimants.

But as of January 1 the process of filing a contractor license bond claim against residential contractors in Oregon has been amended.

Changes to the Oregon residential contractor license bond claims process

In order to protect contractors from surety bond claims that may not be within the scope of the law as well as to assist the process of resolving complaints, House Bill 4121 introduced changes to the ORS.

Previously, a complaint had to be filed against a contractor, and the CCB would then investigate the complaint and either give rise to a claim against the contractor’s bond or recommend various actions to the contractor in order to resolve the situation.

According to Section 8.4 of Bill 4121, as of January 1, the process of filing a claim against a residential contractor license bond now also includes a mediation process. Once the Board receives a complaint against a contractor, it will investigate whether it has jurisdiction over the complaint.

The Board will then try to conduct meetings either on-site or per telephone to mediate the dispute between the complainant and the contractor. As previously, the Board may still suggest actions to the contractor that may compensate the complainant, without giving rise to a claim against the bond. According to the Bill, if a contractor takes the Board’s suggestions into consideration that is sure to influence any subsequent disciplinary proceedings that the Board may bring against the contractor.

Section 8.5 of the Bill specifies that only if the contractor and the complainant do not reach an agreement about resolving the complaint, does the complainant have a right to receive payment under a bond. The complainant must then:

  • Get a final judgment against the contractor by a court; or
  • Get an arbitration award against the contractor, reduced to a final judgment by a court.

When this occurs, the surety is notified by the Board of the final judgment as well as of the amount it must pay according to the Board.

It’s important to note that these changes to the contractor license bond claim process do not concern complaints filed under ORS 701.140 (4). Such complaints are related to the payments of wages for labor or employee benefits. These types of complaints do not go through a process of mediation but are instead immediately addressed through a court that issues a judgment.

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Vic Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates. He is a surety bond expert who helps mortgage brokers get licensed and bonded. Vic graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

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

How to get Oregon CCB Contractors License Pre-License Education

It only takes 16 clock-hours of  CCB approved education to be eligible for your Oregon contractor license

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

canstockphoto20495835 contractor(April 19, 2017) (Updated January 30, 2019) – The required training for an Oregon contractor license is not too complicated! License applicants must be at least 18 years old and complete a minimum of 16 hours of training on law and business practices from OnlineEd, and then pass the Oregon licensing exam proctored by a company called PSI. You must apply for your CCB license within 24 months of passing the test.

The NASCLA guide must be studied for at least 16 hours in conjunction with the online learning lessons. The license applicant will track their own time and notify OnlineEd once they spend the minimum time in the course of study. Once the applicant notifies OnlineEd, OnlineEd will notify the exam proctor that the applicant is approved to sit for the licensing exam.  Presently, the cost of the CCB Approved OnlineEd course of study is just $74.00, plus $3.50 shipping and handling. OnlineEd consistently has a first-time pass rate in the 90s and sells a majority of Oregon CCB licensing courses.
The state licensing exam is based on the NASCLA Contractors Guide for Oregon, which is included in the OnlineEd enrollment fee.   The state exam is an open-book exam so you will want to take your NASCLA guide to the testing center. The exam cost at the time of this article is $60. You will be given three hours to finish the 80 question multiple choice exam that you must pass by answering at least 56 questions correctly for a minimum passing score of 70%.
Veterans might be able to get a reimbursement for the costs of any tests taken for this license. Contact the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/licensing_certification.asp or 1-888-442-4551; or Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-828-8801 for more information.
For more information about the OnlineEd course, please visit their catalog.

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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