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
Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
Meg: 713.875.4844; Jim: 713.545.6338
Toll Free : 1-800-808-6153

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

Categories: Home Buyer Tips

7 Steps to Reduce Your Monthly Bills

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Money-saving Tips to Save for Your Next Houston Home Purchase

In my previous Houston real estate blog post, we discussed money-saving household tips. In this post, I’ll share 7 ways to save when paying (and reducing) your monthly bills. These thrifty tips really apply to anyone and makes no difference if you are planning to buy a home for sale in Houston or just seeking common sense ways to pinch a few pennies. Remember, the goal here is to “fatten” the piggy bank!)

7 Ways to Save

Below are your 7 strategies to cut your monthly expenses now:

  1. If you own a home in Houston and you can afford it, double up on your monthly payments. This will help reduce the interest owed on your loan
  2. Review your monthly car and household insurance premiums and try to increase your deductible
  3. Ask for the best rates with your cable/satellite provider
  4. Drop your long distance phone service and either secure a prepaid long distance card or download Skype (It’s a FREE internet based phone service that also offers video conferencing-very cool!)
  5. Drop your hard-wired phone and only use your cell phone
  6. Pay your bills online and save on postage
  7. Pay your bills online on-time and avoid late fees

Your Feedback!

What cost-saving ways do you use to reduce your monthly expenses? Leave a comment and share your ideas.

What’s Coming Next?

In my next post I’ll reveal 8 money-saving strategies to help you come up with the cash you need to purchase your next Fine Home in Houston.


Categories: Home Buyer Tips

Houston Realtor Offers 25 Ways to Save

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Houston first time home buyers who are thinking about buying a Houston home often ask me lots of questions. Questions are good. It demonstrates an eagerness to learn. One of the more frequently asked questions I’m asked goes something like this; “what are some effective ways to save money for a down payment and closing cost“.

I Love to Wear Hats!

When you are a Houston real estate agent expert you have to wear many hats. While I’m not a CPA, financial planner nor am I a tax attorney or any other type of attorney, I do have some common sense advice to offer to help consumers save for their Houston home purchase. In light of the current economic times it’s imperative you have sufficient funds to buy you first (or fifth) Houston home as lending requirements have become more strict.

Get Thrifty With It!

10 Household Saving Tips:

  1. Wash your laundry in cold water
  2. Line dry your laundry
  3. Turn off your dishwasher when it cycles to the drying mode and open the door
  4. Lower your thermostat at night and pile on the flannel sheets and heavy quilt
  5. Unplug unused appliances and electronic gear
  6. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
  7. Seal ducts and add insulation
  8. Seal drafty windows and doors
  9. Open the oven after you bake for additional warmth
  10. Lower your hot water heater thermostat

More Ways to Save Coming in My Next Post

In my next post, I’ll share 7 ways to save when paying your monthly bills. Be sure to check back soon.


Categories: Home Buyer Tips

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