Mermin inspections Blog

Archive for December, 2009

THE INSPECTOR’S CORNER

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

FROM THE INSPECOR: JACOB MERMIN

St. Pete Road Trip, “A desperate call for help”

This blog is a true story and occurred on the dates stated. I am writing this blog because this family was at the end of their rope. They had spent thousands of dollars trying to make this their dream home, only to feel like they are allergic to it. I believe that this is happening all over Florida. A lot of people do not know why they don’t feel well. Hopefully it will encourage someone to make that “Desperate call for help” and start living healthy again.

This blog post will be in five parts.

Part one is an introduction to the situation I encountered.

Part two is the Chinese drywall visual inspection and the indoor air quality inspection.

Part three is the testing that was required for these homeowners.

Part four is the testing results.

Part five is the recommended remediation and conclusion

After each section I will give a tease of the next section. This blog posting will start on my Active Rain blog and continue to my blog at my website at www.mermininspetions.com. All those starting at my Blog on Active Rain please follow the link to my website and click on the blog button and go to “The Inspector’s Corner” From the inspector. It will be titled “A St. Pete road trip, A desperate call for help”

Part one:

The initial introduction:

I received a request from a homeowner to perform a Chinese drywall visual inspection and a HVAC and indoor air quality inspection of their home located in St. Petersburg, Fl. During the week of the 23rd of November this homeowner called me and expressed her concerns that she may be suffering from the effects of the chemicals associated with Chinese drywall. Though the home was built prior to 2003 which is thought to be the beginning of the time period when Chinese drywall was first used, she was concerned that Chinese drywall may have been used in the recent remodeling.

I then proceed to ask her about the condition of the HVAC system and if she new any of its background. She explained to me that the entire duct system had been replaced but the original air handler was still being used. This air handler was located in the attic above the garage. They then took a few pictures of the inside of the air handler and sent them to me for my opinion. I inspected the photos and found that the blower wheel was infested with major microbial matter. Other pictures showed that the interior of the air handler

was full of microbial matter. I suggested to them that the Chinese drywall was the least of their worries and that I would concentrate on the indoor air quality of their interior environment. The homeowner relayed a story to me about a trip to Atlanta where she felt so good she was able to take a nap. She explained to me that she was never able to take a nap at the St. Pete home. I conveyed to her that this was a common thing. A lot of people have expressed that they felt a lot better health wise when they left their home.

I then suggested to the homeowners that they contact a local Certified Mold Inspector to come in and inspect their home for indoor air quality issues. I also recommended that they have a visual Chinese drywall inspection just for their peace of mind. I let her know that I would be available to answer any questions they may have over the telephone because my office is in Lee County Florida just south of them. A few days later the homeowner called me back and explained that she couldn’t find an inspector that she felt comfortable with. At this time she requested that I come up there and do an investigation. Even though it was a two hour drive to St. Petersburg I felt obligated to make the trip and help them anyway I could. We decided that I would go up there on Monday the 30th of November.

I proceed to perform a complete visual Chinese drywall inspection using the checklist I developed almost 10 months age. The conclusion of my visual Chinese drywall inspection was that there were no visual signs of the effects caused by the chemicals generally associated with Chinese drywall.

Next posting:

I inspected as much duct work as I could get to…….

The blower wheel inside the air handler was completely impacted …….

I would like to give the HVAC contractor the benefit of the doubt………..

Mortgage broker’s corner: Jim Marcenkowski

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded!

Last month, a new Homebuyers Tax Credit bill was signed into law. The bill extends the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs), as well as opens it up to current homeowners who are looking to buy. And even if you aren’t looking to purchase – pass on this article to anyone you think might be in the market to do so. This is information that might benefit them greatly, and I’ll be happy to be of service to them.

Here is a brief overview of the Homebuyers Tax Credit – and its benefits – based on the new bill.

Tax Credit for First-Time Homebuyers

FTHBs (that is, people who have not owned a home within the last three years) may be eligible for the tax credit. The credit for FTHBs is 10% of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000.

Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.

Tax Credit for Current Homeowners

The tax credit program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.

Single taxpayers and married couples filing a joint return may qualify for the full tax credit amount.

What are the New Deadlines?

In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010. Those in the military do have some special extensions on the timelines available.

What’s So Great About a “Tax Credit”?

The benefit of a tax credit is that it’s a dollar-for-dollar benefit, rather than a “tax deduction”, or reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if a first-time homebuyer who qualified for the entire benefit were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for a tax credit of $8,000, she would owe nothing.

Better still, the tax credit is refundable, which means the homebuyer can receive a check for the credit if he or she has little or no income tax liability. For example, if a first-time homebuyer is eligible for a tax credit of $8,000 but is liable for $4,000 in income tax, she can still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!

Higher Income Caps

The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has been increased.

Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible.

Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.

Maximum Purchase Price

Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sales price of $800,000.

Remember, the new tax credit program includes a number of details and qualifications. Call or email today if you have questions or would like to see if you can benefit from the tax credit…and email this article along to anyone else you feel it might benefit as well!

 

Jim Marcinkowski

Genesis Home Mortgage Corp

239-936-4232 Direct

239-985-4486 Fax

239-826-6400 Cell

 

Apply online at www.jimnfi.com.

 

Confidentiality Notice: The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged. The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s

 

Mortgage broker’s corner: Jim Marcenkowski

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

“Don’t believe the hype!” The words from Public Enemy’s hit song title rang true once again last week when the Commerce Department reported the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd Quarter. As you can see from the chart below, GDP rose by 3.5% for the first gain in a year and the strongest reading in two years.

While most media outlets were giddy about the news and started the hype that the recession is behind us, it’s important to remember that there’s more to the economic data than just the headlines.

The temporary “Cash for Clunkers” program has now expired, but was a big part of last quarter’s GDP gain. If we remove it from the total, the reading would have been a more modest 1.9%. But there is even more to the rise in the latest GDP number that is just temporary…

Also bolstering the economy has been the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit – which is set to expire at the end of this month. Many home buyers have been taking advantage of this program – and wisely so.

New Home Sales were reported last week, showing a 7.5-month supply of inventory. While that number is slightly worse than last month’s 7.3 reading, it’s still a big improvement from where we were in January. Back in January, inventory levels reached a high of 12.4-month supply! The improvement in housing inventories has been due in large part to the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, which is set to expire on November 30.

There is a real possibility of an extension of this program through a proposed Bill, but it is not yet a certainty. The extension Bill still must be reconciled between the House and Senate, and then voted on for final approval. Under the current extension proposal, sales with signed purchase agreements by April 30th that close before June 30th, 2010 would qualify for the credit.

Another positive element would be the possible addition of $6,500 tax credit for other primary home purchasers, meaning the tax credit would no longer be limited only to first-time homebuyers. There is also a possibility that qualifying income limits could increase from $75,000 to $125,000 for singles, and from $150,000 to $250,000 for joint tax filers.

I will be keeping an eye on this for you, so stay tuned.

 

 

Jim Marcinkowski

Genesis Home Mortgage Corp

239-936-4232 Direct

239-985-4486 Fax

239-826-6400 Cell

Confidentiality Notice: The documents in this transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender, which is legally privileged. The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or the taking of any action in relation to the contents, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this facsimile and/or email in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the document(s