Buying and Remodeling a Home That May Have Lead Based Paint

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Below is an article about homes with lead based paint. Homes in Houston and Bellaire for sale that were built before 1978 need to have this information provided to potential buyers. After reading this article, feel free to call us with any questions.

Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
May 2010

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you!”
Copyright 2010 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.

Remodeling a Home Built Before 1978
Requires a Certified Lead Contractor

By Phoebe Chongchua

Getting the lead out of your home may be tough to do, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). We’ve known for a long while now that lead paint is hazardous to our health. Lead paint can be very dangerous to children if they inhale or ingest it. It can cause damage to their brains and nervous systems. However, removing it may be difficult.
The NAHB says that a shortage of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accredited trainers may stall some remodeling projects in homes where lead is present. A new regulation by the U.S. EPA went into effect last month (April 22, 2010) that requires all contractors working in homes built before lead paint was banned in 1978 to be trained and certified under the Lead Paint: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule.
“We’ve gotten the word out to our members and they understand the new requirements and are working hard to get certified by the deadline,” said Donna Shirey, CGR, CAPS, CGP, president of Shirey Contracting in Issaquah, Wash., and 2010 chair of NAHB Remodelers in a recent press statement. The NAHB is doing its part to ensure that remodelers are ready, but it still might not be enough to meet the remodeling industry’s needs. “Our local home building associations are offering certification classes to their members, but EPA hasn’t approved enough trainers to enable our members and other contractors to be certified on time, and that’s going to put remodelers and their customers in quite a bind.”
The purpose of the regulation is to reduce the potential exposure to lead paint that may occur when a home that was built before 1978 is remodeled. The regulation isn’t limited to just remodelers. Other contractors who must become certified include carpenters, plumbers, heating and air conditioning workers, and window installers. The NAHB is sending out a word of caution, since the EPA has approved only 135 training providers and certified about 14,000 renovators in lead-safe work practices. However, according to NAHB, the EPA’s own estimates indicated that more than 200,000 contractors must be trained and certified.
NAHB writes in a press statement that the shortage of trainers can cause big problems for homeowners. “This will severely limit the number of remodelers able to work in older homes and will open the door to more fly-by-night contractors who will skip the training, skirt the law and put home owners at risk.” “EPA must extend the deadline so that consumers can find trained and certified remodelers for their projects. I talked to a group of our West Virginia members who had to travel all the way to Atlanta to take the training sessions because there are no trainers in their own state,” Shirey said.
The new regulation issued in 2008 is rapidly approaching the certification deadline for contractors. The regulation requires contractors to take an eight-hour training course which includes a PowerPoint presentation, hands-on training, and a 25-question quiz. The training is designed to show workers how to handle and contain hazardous lead-based debris. If lead-based debris/dust gets into the air and is breathed in or ingested, it can cause severe health issues.
According to the EPA, lead is more dangerous to children and can negatively impact their brains and nervous systems (which are more sensitive than adults). Also, children tend to absorb lead more easily because they frequently put their hands in their mouths.
Adults exposed to lead paint risk suffering from reproductive issues, nerve disorders, concentration problems, high blood pressure, joint pain, and more.
The EPA recommends that homeowners of homes built before 1978 have their homes inspected for any lead-based paint issues. Typically, lead-based paint that is not chipping and is in good condition is not hazardous to your health.

Equal Housing
Opportunity
Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
Meg: 713.875.4844; Jim: 713.545.6338
Toll Free : 1-800-808-6153
meg@FineHomesHouston.com
http://FineHomesHouston.com

Keller Williams Realty – Metropolitan
Direct: 713.661.0884
550 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 350
Houston, TX 77027

Categories: Home Buyer Tips

Real Estate Update May 2010

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Your REALTORS:

Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
May 2010

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you!”
Copyright 2010 Realty Times
All Rights Reserved.

Fixed-Rates Stable

In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.06 percent for the week ending April 29, 2010 – down slightly from the previous week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.78 percent.
“Mortgage rates on 30-year fixed loans have averaged about 5% over the first four months of this year, staying within a band of roughly

Mortgage Rates

Source: Realty Times

U.S. averages as of April 29, 2010:

30 yr. fixed: 5.06%
15 yr. fixed: 4.39%
1 yr. adj: 4.25%

a quarter percentage point and virtually matching 2009’s annual average,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

Costly Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make

Five common and costly mistakes that novice home buyers make:
Ignoring the costs of having a low credit score. Lower-score borrowers pay thousands of dollars in increased interest rates over the life of the loan.
Shopping for other things before closing. Lenders continue to check credit scores right up until closing. Too much shopping could cause the lender to take back the loan.
Scrimping on an inspection. Being surprised by the need for expensive repairs can be financially devastating.
Buying without contingencies. Buyers should give themselves an out if the inspection turns up problems or the bank raises rates.
Insurance can be surprisingly pricey. Buyers who don’t budget for it can face a nasty surprise.

The Cost Between Renting and Owning Narrows

The cost difference between buying and renting is as narrow as it has been since 1993, according to a study on home ownership by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services for the Associated Press.
The study examined rent and home prices in 45 metropolitan areas and concluded that gap between a payment on a median-priced home and median rent on a similar property is on average only $256.
Marcus & Millichap calculated the number using median home prices for the last three months of 2009, assuming a 10 percent down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 5.07 percent.
It factored in mortgage insurance, but didn’t include either repair costs or tax benefits.

Use Your Tax
Return for Good

Tax season can be a challenging time of the year. Some people wait until the last minute to file their taxes, while others file and received their funds before the mid April deadline. If if you are one of the lucky ones who get a tax return, what will you do with those long awaited greenbacks? A popular choice amongst consumers is to pay off credit card debt; another is buying something extravagant. But why not consider how your tax return can help maximize your mortgage product and your financial situation in the long run?
Consider refinancing if you have an ARM or a high interest rate loan. Refinancing into a fixed rate and/or a lower interest rate can save you money in the long run. Why not do it now when rates are at all time lows? You can use your tax return for closing costs.
If you are happy with your mortgage product and rate, why not use your tax return to help add the gourmet kitchen you’ve always wanted? Not only can you have that extra bedroom or outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted, but you may also be increasing the value of your home and get more money when you are ready to sell. Let your tax return help increase the value of your home by using it to help fund a rehab loan.
Perhaps you want to upgrade to a new home for your growing family. Your tax return can come in handy with closing costs.

Equal Housing
Opportunity
Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
Meg: 713.875.4844; Jim: 713.545.6338
Toll Free : 1-800-808-6153
meg@FineHomesHouston.com
http://FineHomesHouston.com

Keller Williams Realty – Metropolitan
Direct: 713.661.0884
550 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 350
Houston, TX 77027

Categories: Newsletter

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