Real Estate Insider Blog

Showing 1-10 of 33 articles.
16
Jan
2015

What to Look For When Buying a Home

Things To Look For

As a buyer it is likely that you may have heard of a short sale or a foreclosure, But what about less common topics such a Chinee Drywall, Lead-Based Paint, Polybutylene Plumbing or Federal Pacific Panels?

We have taken the time to gather information to inform you about these items. As experienced Realtors these are things we look out for to help you make the best decision in selecting your home. We look forward to helping you in this process of home-ownership it is likely you have many questions please contact us today at (407) 770-4343, isellfl@bellsouth.net, or by filling out our contact form.

 

Click The Links Below For More Information

Chinese Drywall

Chinese Drywall

Polybutylene Plumbing

Polybutylene Plumbing

Lead-Based Paint

Lead-Based Paint

Federal Pacific Panels

Federal Pacific Panels

Short Sale

Short Sale

Foreclosure

Foreclosure

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16
Jan
2015

What is Lead-Based Paint

Lead-Based Paint

Lead Based Paint

Lead-Based Paint

This fact sheet includes:

• Having Your Children Tested for Lead Poisoning
• Health Effects of Lead
• Lead-Based Paint in Homes Built Before 1978
• Reducing Your Risks
• Lead Disclosure Laws
• Precautions When Remodeling
• Some Other Sources of Lead Exposure


Facts About Lead-Based Paint

Lead-based paint can be found in buildings in the city, country, apartments or single-family homes, and inside or outside of homes. Lead-based paint was heavily used in homes built before 1960, but was phased out of paint in 1978. In general, the older the home or structure, the more likely it is to have lead-based paint. It is most commonly found on windows, trim, doors, railings, columns, porches and exterior walls. There are two ways lead can get into your body, through breathing or swallowing lead dust particles, and by eating chips, dust or soil containing lead based-paint.

Health Effects of Lead

Lead is most harmful to children six-years-old or younger because children often put their hands and other objects in to their mouth which may have lead dust on them. Growing bodies absorb more lead, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Health effects of lead in children can include behavioral and learning problems (hyperactivity), slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches and damage to the brain and central nervous system. Adults exposed to lead can suffer from...
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16
Jan
2015

Federal Pacific Electric Panels

Federal Pacific Electric Panels

Federal Pacific Electric Panels

Potentially Could Fail to Provide Proper Safety and Protection for Homes

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. Millions of their panels were installed in homes across the country. Yet, as the years passed, electricians and home inspectors often found Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to provide proper protection to homeowners and their families. Experts now say that FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one overcurrent or short circuit, they can overheat and become fire hazards.

In a class action lawsuit, a New Jersey State Court ruled that the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Company “violated the Consumer Fraud Act because FPE knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards…” (To see the Class Action Settlement Notice issued for New Jersey Residents, click here.) An expert who investigated the potential hazards of Federal Pacific Electric panels stated under UL 489 test conditions, that FPE panels fail to trip at a much higher rate than standard panels.

When a breaker fails to trip, an extreme amount of power from the outside electrical supply surges into a home’s panel and circuits. Once that happens, it cannot be stopped or shut off manually. Electricity will burn until it runs out of fuel or the wires melt. The panel could...

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16
Jan
2015

What is Polybutylene Plumbing

Polybutylene Plumbing

Polybutylene Plumbing

Polybutylene—The Pipe of the Future?

Polybutylene is a gray plastic water supply line pipe that was developed in the 1970’s and promoted as “the pipe of the future.” At the time, the perceived advantages of poly were the low cost over copper and the ease of installation. But in the 1980’s structures with poly started reporting leaks. And when poly pipes were replaced, it was noticed that the interior walls of the pipes and fittings were breaking down and flaking apart.

The fitting pictured above was still holding up despite the internal decay and flaking. It looked fine on the outside, but fortunately the homeowner decided to replace the poly system before the problems started. It’s in up to 10 Million Properties Nationwide.

From 1978 to 1995, up to ten million homes, mobile homes apartment buildings, and commercial structures were built with poly or had poly installed during remodeling. It’s commonly found in properties in the Sun Belt, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Pacific Northwest.

“Not every PB system leaks, but the material is susceptible to corrosion when it comes into contact with chlorinated water, resulting in breakage and splitting of PB piping.”

The Problem With Poly.

Poly systems may fail without warning, damaging properties and personal belongings, and disrupting lives. Factors that may contribute to poly’s failure include: chemicals in our water supply, such as...

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16
Jan
2015

What is Chinese Drywall?

Chinese Drywall

Chinese Drywall

WHAT IS CHINESE DRYWALL?

Chinese drywall refers to drywall imported from China (from approximately 2001 to 2007) which contains extraneous metals and minerals, such as sulfur, strontium and iron. Under certain environmental conditions (typically warm, humid climates), the drywall will emit sulfur gasses. These gasses create a noxious odor and corrode copper and other metal surfaces, which can damage one's air conditioner, electrical wiring, copper plumbing, appliances and electronics. Chinese drywall can also cause adverse health effects, which are primarily irritant and temporary in nature. Long term health effects are unknown. Not all drywall manufactured in China is defective.

IS CHINESE DRYWALL DANGEROUS?

The gasses emitted from Chinese drywall corrode copper and metal surfaces. Corrosion of electrical
Wiring may hamper the effectiveness of smoke detectors, which presents a safety concern. Low level
Arcing has also been observed in some homes with Chinese drywall, which could cause an electrical
Fire. See CPSC Drywall Chamber Test Results. The CPSC now reports that there are no acute or long-
Term electrical safety events. Some disagree, particularly since there have been no long term studies.

According to Lawrence Berkley National Laboratories, Chinese drywall can emit hydrogen sulfide up to
100 times greater than non-Chinese produced drywall. Hydrogen sulfide is a hazardous gas which, in high concentrations, can be Fatal. There is also a strong...

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16
Jan
2015

What is a Short Sale?

Short Sales Are No Bargin For Buyers

Short Sale

Short sales happen when home values fall and sellers do not receive enough cash from a buyer to pay off their existing mortgages, providing lenders agree to take less than the amount owed to them.

On the surface, it may appear that a short-sale buyer is getting a good deal. Although a slim margin of short sales may be profitable for a buyer -- because there are always exceptions -- much of the time, a buyer would be better off buying a home that is not in default.

You are unlikely to hear real estate professionals that serve as Listing Agents tell you that it's not a good idea to buy a short sale. In part, that's because real estate professionals profit on a short sale. Everybody makes money except the sellers and buyers. Realize, too, that listing agents might push sellers to list as a short sale, because if the sellers went through foreclosure, the listing agents will not get the listing.

Here are 8 Reasons why you might not want to buy a Short Sale:

1) Sellers Paid Too Much
If a home sold for $500,000 a few years ago and is now for sale at $400,000, that doesn't mean the buyer is picking up $100,000 of equity for free. It means the seller paid too much in a rising market and now the market has fallen. It means the seller has no equity. Banks that were eager to lend money in appreciating markets sometimes allowed borrowers to over-mortgage the home, meaning the borrower's loan balance exceeded the value of the property....

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16
Jan
2015

What is the Process of Buying a Foreclosure?

What is the process of buying a bank owned or foreclosed property?

Foreclosed Property

In today's Real Estate market, here in Central Florida, nearly 50% of the home sales are bank-owned foreclosure properties commonly referred to as Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. Buying an REO property is very different from closing on a traditional buyer/seller transaction. The process is much more cumbersome and several entities are involved in the REO transaction. First, you must be pre-qualified or approved on your loan in advance of writing an offer. If paying cash, you will need to submit proof of funds to show you have the money to buy the property. Buying an REO is a great way to save money and get a fantastic deal. Just be prepared.

What is an REO or bank-owned property?
A property acquired in foreclosure and now owned by the bank that foreclosed on the property.

How did this property become an REO?
The last owner of this home was not able to make the mortgage payments. The mortgage note holder seized the property and was then deeded the property by the Trustee. It is now an REO property.

How do banks sell REO properties?
The banks are not in the real estate holding business so they must sell these homes. They have independent, professional real estate agents that assist them is marketing and selling their REO inventory. The banks also assign asset managers who work closely with these agents. Remember that you are dealing with an asset manager, not the bank. The asset manager collects the...

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16
Jan
2015

Condos Vs. Townhomes, So What's the Difference

The Differance Between Condos and Townhomes

Home Buyer

Condos (Condominiums) and Townhouses (or townhomes) are broadly categorized as forms of housing structures. A condominium is a housing structure that is a part of a bigger unit or building and the owner of the condo owns the interiors independently and the other services in the building jointly with other condo owners. A townhouse is a style of housing where a row of identical houses share walls. Here the owner owns the whole unit as such. They both may come under a structure of housing tenure or other legal agreements. (These definitions apply in most cases but there are variations.)

Comparison Chart

Condo

Orlando Condos

Townhouse

Orlando Town Homes

Meaning:

A condo is a housing structure that is a part of a bigger unit or building

A townhouse is a style of housing where a row of independent and identical houses share walls.

Ownership:

The owner owns only the interiors of the condo

The owner owns the land as well as the interiors plus any yard or deck.

Legal statutes:

governed by legal statutes

no

Home owners association:

Called the condominium association, responsible for day to day maintenance of building and exteriors and common areas.

Called Home Owners Association, responsible for day to day maintenance of exteriors and other common areas.

Safety:

higher

lower

Privacy:

Low

High

Structure:

May be on any...

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16
Jan
2015

What are Closing Costs?

Customary Closing Costs

Home Buyer

Often times we are asked what a buyer or seller can expect to pay in closing cost. This question is very difficult to answer as it depends on may factors. A Good Faith Estimate (GFE) or also called a Closing Cost Worksheet is a document you will want to obtain that will help you better understand these costs. This will give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay in closing costs once you are pre approved by a lender. To obtain one, simply ask your lender for a GFE or Closing Cost Worksheet and he or she will provide you with this important document. The GFE will be somewhat similar to another document you will receive at closing called a HUD-1 Statement. The HUD-1 is a exact cost breakdown of closing cost for the buyer and sellers side for the transaction, where as a GFE is just a estimate. A important note to keep in mind is that there are very strict laws between the GFE and the HUD-1. These two document are only allowed to have a very small percentage differance between the estimate and the true end result. Below is a chart that will show you the customary closing cost fees that a buyer and a seller will encounter. These fees can always be negotioated by your Realtor except for in a REO/Bank Owned (Foreclosure) transaction. During a Bank Owned transaction a bank WILL NOT pay ANY standard sellers closing costs, leaving it up to you the buyer to cover 100% of the closing costs and this is NOT negotiable.

Comparison Chart

Buyer

...
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28
Aug
2014

What home improvements will add value to your home?

Home Remodel and RenovationsRemodeling, renovating and improving your home is the perfect way to give your home a great makeover, add additional needed space or just making your home a better place for you and your family. Keep in mind that the day may come when your home may need to be sold or you may want to sell. Not all home renovations pay off, some may increase the value and appeal of your home while other renovations may actually make it more difficult to sell and turn buyers off.  Here are a few different types of home improvements and the effect they may play on the sale of your home in the future. 

Home renovations that have the most positive effect on resale value.

  • Major bathroom remodel

    Bathroom remodels often add a good return on your investment. Modernizing on older style bathroom and replacing old/aging appliances will always appeal to buyers and directly affect the sales price of your home. According to a survey done by Sherwin Williams and NARI, a bathroom is a top choice for a remodel.

  • Full kitchen remodel & update

    Most buyers like to see modern styles and conveniences in the kitchen. Remodeling your home's kitchen, especially in older homes, will give you a great return on investment in the future. Buyers are attracted to a beautifully updated kitchen with all the modern conveniences and new appliances.

  • Improvements to the outside of your home

    When a buyer approaches your home the first thing they see is the outside of your home, making a great ...

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