Friday, February 25, 2011

Got Mold? Should You Reach for the Bleach?

Mike Ciavattieri, Bonsai Home Inspections addresses this issue in his Blog    
Mold and Bleach - The Real Truth      A great read!

I thought this topic was especially interesting after talking with a number folks that had the unfortunate experience of water penetration due to ice dams this winter.

Most of them, thought as I did, that bleach is your first defense in the clean up of mold.     But, is it?    I guess not!

Porous Sufaces

While it could possibly be used on non-porous materials such as counter tops, tiles and tubs, a safer option would be old fashioned soap and water!   

Non-Porous Surfaces

It most certainly is not recommended for porous materials such as drywall, wood, and flooring.   In fact using bleach on those materials may be counter productive!   It could just remove the mold that is on the surface, not touching the underlying roots and it will return!  

EPA Guide to Mold and Mildew        (recommendations on what to do, consulting a professional, etc.)

Anyone that knows me, knows I love Bleach.... the smell makes me think clean, fresh and crisp.    
but, after reading Ciavattieri's post, and similar articles.. ..I think I'll just confine it to the laundry.

( and, I guess that opens another can of worms, doesn't it???  )

Friday, February 18, 2011

How's the Real Estate Market??

Well, that depends, are you looking to Buy, Sell, Rent or Invest?  

buying?           Search for Homes

We all know that this is a great market if you are making a purchase.   Interest rates are low and prices are great.    So, this is the "no brainer" ...If you have the credit, some cash and a job... today, right now is the time for you!  

Listings showing activity courtesy
shows activity pretty consistent over 6 months minus the expected drop over holidays

selling?          Homes for Sale                              

here is the tricky one!     if you are looking to sell, you have tons of competition, not only from your neighbors, but from banks looking to unload foreclosed homes and folks trying to sell short, offering their properties out at artificially low prices...

is the time right for you to put your property on the market?   that depends... but, consider this....

if you are looking to sell your home and buy another....  well .. your current home may not be worth what is was years ago... BUT neither is the home you will be buying!        it's basically a money shuffle AND if you are looking to get into a new home.... this is the time to do it as you will pick up a low interest rate and a good price on your new place.   if you wait for the market to come back ....   that new home is going to be offered at a higher price, likely the interest rates will be higher as well.... 

so in this scenario....   yea... a great time to sell too!    

renting?           Find Rentals

rental properties are moving quickly.... if you are looking to rent, don't hesitate if you see a property you like.. if you are thinking of renting out your property... make sure you know the laws, and get to know your prospective tenant.

investing?       Search Investments

interest rates!   foreclosures!    lots of folks looking for rentals!   need i say more?   

that's my opinion....

What is yours???....i really value your opinion....  please comment!   


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Massachusetts Title 5.. a Big Deal for You????

                     Cat flushing a toilet by Parry Gripp

You live in Massachusetts..
Your home is serviced by a  private on site septic system....
You have heard of the dreaded title 5 law...

                              but, do you know what it really is and how it effects you?  

Title 5 was adopted in MA as a way to protect the ground water.   approximately 30% of properties in the Commonwealth use an on site septic system.

This is a great link to FAQ ......

Title 5 calls for an on site septic system to be up to current code.  An inspection is triggered in certain situations..
  • you are selling a home
  • you are changing your home
  • you system has failed
  • you are required by the Board of Health

the inspection

must be performed by a state certified inspector...if it passes... the inspection will be documented with the board of health.    if it fails, a repair will need to be made or you will be required to install a new, up to date system.  this will be inspected and documented with the agency as well.    

time frame

the inspection will be good for 2 years
(when a system is pumped on an annual basis and the pumping records are available, an inspection is valid for three years.)

if you are selling in the middle of winter, and weather conditions prevent an inspection prior to the may be done up to 6 months afterwards providing the seller notifies the buyer of same in writing.


when selling a home,  the responsibility for inspection and/or repair usually falls on the seller.    the law doesn't dictate this... but the reality is that a buyer's lender will not allow them to take the responsibility on.     in rare cases the buyer's lender and attorney will agree to hold back a sum of money from the seller in order to facilitate an installation or repair..but,.. this is quite rare.

if your system does not pass...  figure that you as a seller will need to make the change.


know that if you have an inspection results are sent to the board of health within 30 days.  If the system fails,...  in most instances, you will be required to make the upgrade within 2 years after the inspection even if you decide not to sell.

                       Thinking that you may want to sell your home, but are afraid that your system won't pass?    fear not....  you can have a

voluntary inspection

you may have a voluntary assessment of the system.   Results of voluntary inspections do not have to be submitted to the board of health or mass Dep.

Need More info?     Mass DEP

I know we are still under an amazing amount of snow.... but "Spring" market has started and we are out there!      Buying, Selling, Renting, or Investing.... Get a jump on the competition!   Call me  508-494-9061