LISTING OF THE WEEK
The Listing of the Week is a Dallas-style house with an open floor plan in Yukon. PAGE 3E
The plan’s features include a hipped, low-pitched roof that extends out in deeply overhanging eaves, and a front facade that emphasizes horizontal lines. PAGE 8E
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Developer has long-term vision HOUSING | NEW HEAD OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION HOPES TO MOVE GROUP AHEAD BY DYRINDA TYSON For The Oklahoman firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSTANG — Developer Robert Crout doesn’t see trees and dirt as he walks through what will be the third phase of Sara Homestead addition at SW 59 and Sara Road. “It’s kind of weird,” he said. “I can see buildings on land. You know, like an artist can see their picture on a blank piece of canvas? I can see streets and things. That’s why (the streets) aren’t straight — in my mind, that’s no fun.” Crout is 2013 president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. That developer’s ability to look ahead long term, to envision what doesn’t yet exist, could serve the group well. “Our lead times are often three to five years out, so we’re always having to look ahead and see where the market is going, try to hit a niche,” Crout said of land developers. “That far ahead, it oftentimes is a moving target.” His predecessor as president, Kurt Dinnes, coowner of Sun Custom Homes, said he’s leaving the association in good hands. “Robert is a fine man,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better first vice president and somebody to take over our association. I think Robert has strong leadership skills and will continue to take the baton and move it forward.” Crout’s niche is Mustang, and the neighborhoods he develops seem to nestle into the landscape instead of take it over. He and associate Tiffany Rowell walk through the mud and trees of the next section of Sara Homestead to get a feel for what stays and what needs to go. “I’m a developer, but I try to really let the land tell me how it wants to be deSEE DEVELOPER, PAGE 2E
Kenneth Harney THE NATION’S HOUSING
FHA LOANS GET MORE EXPENSIVE Thanks to an ongoing series of fee increases and underwriting tweaks — the most recent of which were announced Jan. 31 — FHA loans are getting steadily more expensive, and may not work for you. PAGE 2E
IN BRIEF SOFT GARDENING GLOVES
Developer Robert Crout, 2013 president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, walks what will be the third phase of Sara Homestead addition at SW 59 and Sara Road in Mustang. PHOTOS BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
Victoria Street in Sara Homestead addition in Mustang. Developer Robert Crout says he “sees” homes and other development in his mind’s eye before work starts, and it helps him develop property while respecting the natural lay of the land.
Tips for selling modest home in nice area When you bought your current home did you follow that old axiom: “Buy the smallest house in the best neighborhood you can afford”? Now that you must sell, how can you and your listing agent present the house to make the most of the situation? Should you fret about getting as much as your place is worth? “There’s absolutely no need to panic. If you live in a fancy ZIP code, people want your house. There’s a pecking order for neighborhoods. And there are always status-minded people trying to move up the food chain,” said Mark Nash, author of “1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home.” Still, Nash cautioned that the sellers of a small house in a classy neighborhood — what he calls a “C level” house in an “A level” area — shouldn’t fall prey to inflated expectations. Here are a few tips for sellers: I Restrain your expectations on price. Joan McLellan Tayler, the author of several real estate books,
Ellen James Martin SMART MOVES
said sellers who are greedy are punished in the end. “Overcharge on price, and people will find all kinds of reasons to hate your house — and local real estate people will resent you, too,” said Tayler, the longtime owner of a real estate brokerage. “There’s a risk that when you look at the average sale prices (in your neighborhood), you’ll get an exaggerated idea of your home’s worth. Using averages can lead you down the wrong path because your house is much smaller than most around you.” When comparing your modest place with those offering highend features, make sure you adjust for differences in amenities as well as size.
I Make front-yard improvements a priority. Though the yard in front of your house may lack the splendor of the grounds around bigger homes in the area, you could still benefit substantially from landscape upgrades, he said. Nash suggests you consider hiring a landscape designer to create an overall plan for your yard, emphasizing blooming plants. Then to contain the cost, do your own installation of the necessary trees and shrubs. Also, make sure all your greenery, old and new, is pruned below window level, so as not to hide the intrinsic beauty of your home. I Give extra attention to interior finishes. “Well-to-do buyers are very attentive to fine features and decorating touches. With your modest house, you’ll want to mirror the interior finishes used in the much larger houses around you,” Nash said. “Make sure the painter you hire is highly skilled. When it comes to painting, preparation is tremen-
dously important,” he said. “To do a superior job, good painters do extensive preparation to walls and trim and use a primer, along with at least two coats of paint.” I Make sure your hardwood floors look their best. Many spacious homes, including brand-new properties, still feature wall-to-wall carpeting in some rooms. However, Nash said homebuyers are increasingly likely to favor hardwood floors, particularly in high-end neighborhoods. “Hardwood floors never go out of style because they’re architectural and have timeless beauty. By comparison, wall-to-wall carpeting seems very dated to contemporary buyers,” Nash said. He strongly recommends that sellers with worn hardwood floors have them refinished before their property is shown to buyers. “You may even wish to replace wall-to-wall carpeting with new hardwood in highly visible parts of the property,” he said. To contact Ellen James Martin, email her at email@example.com. UNIVERSAL UCLICK
Gardening gloves endorsed by England’s Royal Horticultural Society are now available from Gardener’s Supply Co. The Gold Leaf gloves are used by gardeners at the society’s Wisley, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr gardens. They’re made of high-quality leather that conforms snugly to the gardener’s hands and are touted as being well-made, soft and comfortable. Prices range from $38.95 to $49.95. Shipping is extra. Order at www.gardeners.com or call (800) 9553370 to request a catalog.
EDIBLE LANDSCAPE TREND GROWING It used to be that vegetable gardens were for vegetables and flower gardens were for flowers. Not anymore. Mixing edible and ornamental plants is a growing trend in landscape design. Emily Tepe introduces readers to the concept in “The Edible Landscape: Creating a Beautiful and Bountiful Garden With Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers.” While the book doesn’t claim to be a complete gardening guide, it does have basic information on such topics as seed-starting, light requirements and crop rotation. “The Edible Landscape” is published by Voyageur Press and sells for $24.99 in softcover. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES
INDEX Barry Stone 5E Permits 9E, 10E
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
Fee hikes make FHA mortgage less desirable WASHINGTON — If you want to buy a house with minimal cash by using an FHA-insured mortgage, here’s some sobering news: Thanks to an ongoing series of fee increases and underwriting tweaks — the most recent of which were announced Jan. 31 — FHA is getting steadily more expensive, and may not work for you. FHA is the Federal Housing Administration, the largest source of low-down-payment mortgage money in the country. Its minimum down is just 3.5 percent, compared with anywhere from 5 to 20 percent or higher from conventional, nongovernment sources. For decades, FHA’s affordable financing has made homeownership possible for first-time buyers with modest incomes and credit history blemishes. But in the wake of losses tied to bad loans insured during the housing bust years, FHA has been raising its loan insurance fees and backing more loans to applicants with higher credit scores. With the latest increases, things have gotten to the point
Kenneth Harney THE NATION’S HOUSING
where some lenders wonder whether the agency is trying to move away from its traditional customers. Dennis C. Smith, broker and co-owner of Stratis Financial Corp. in Huntington Beach, Calif., is blunt: “I think FHA is putting itself out of business with the moves they’ve made in the past couple of years.” While they wouldn’t agree with that assessment, FHA’s top officials readily admit that their priority is not growing market share but protecting the agency’s multibillion-dollar insurance fund reserves and cutting losses. Starting April 1, FHA’s annual mortgage insurance premiums for most new loans will jump by one-tenth of a percentage point (10 basis points in lending parlance). This is on top of two pre-
vious increases since 2011. Other coming changes, but not scheduled to take effect until June 3, include mandatory “manual” underwriting of applications by borrowers whose total household debt-to-income ratios exceed 43 percent and who have credit scores below 620; and mandatory 5-percent minimum down payments on FHA loans above $625,500 in highcost areas such as California, metropolitan Washington, D.C., and others. FHA also announced that as of June 3, it is rescinding its popular policy of canceling mortgage insurance premium charges for borrowers once their loan balance declines to 78 percent of the original amount. This will force FHA customers to pay premiums for as long as they keep their loans, and is in stark contrast to the private mortgage insurance market, where homeowners can request cancellation of premium payments once their loans hit the 78 percent mark. “That stinks,” said Steve Stamets, a mortgage officer with Apex Home Loans in Rockville,
Md. “It’s just a money grab” that will cause creditworthy borrowers to avoid FHA and seek out low-down-payment alternatives through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, using private mortgage insurance. Already, Stamets said, FHA is the more expensive option for many borrowers who have good credit but don’t want to make hefty down payments. With FHA’s new fees, for example, Stamets estimates that an applicant with a 720 FICO score making a 3.5-percent down payment on a $250,000, fixed-rate, 30year FHA mortgage will pay $144.66 more a month than a borrower with the same credit score on a conventional loan of the same amount with a 5-percent down payment and private mortgage insurance. Even with a 680 credit score, the conventional loan is cheaper by $85 a month, based on FHA’s new fee levels, said Stamets, and those monthly premium payments can be canceled at the 78percent loan-to-value level whereas FHA will keep charging them for the life of the mortgage.
Steven R. Maizes, managing director of mortgage banking for Mortgage Capital Partners Inc. in Los Angeles, said FHA’s new fees and policies are likely to cost the agency valuable, low-risk business on refinancings. Maizes recently ran a spreadsheet analysis for a client with a $460,000 FHA loan at 5 percent. Even with a 1.5-point rate reduction, the added fees caused the monthly payment to decrease by just $97.11. “If you couple that small saving with the fact that the mortgage insurance payment can never go away,” he said, refinancing an existing FHA loan for a creditworthy borrower into a new FHA loan will be tough to justify. Bottom line for you: Make sure your loan officer runs the numbers comparing FHA with privately insured conventional alternatives. You may not want to be saddled indefinitely with higher payments and no right to cancel. Ken Harney’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP
Remodeling work to increase in 2013 FROM WIRE REPORTS
Robert Crout, 2013 president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, at the entrance to Sara Homestead addition, which he developed at SW 59 and Sara Road in Mustang. PHOTO BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
Developer: Conservation-minded FROM PAGE 1E
veloped,” Crout said. “I try to be very conservationminded, friendly to the environment. If we can transplant a tree rather than bulldozing it, then we certainly will.” Crout also is selective about the builders who work with him. A sign near the entrance lists his preferred builders, though he is willing to work with anyone a buyer wants to bring in. “They have to go through an application process, though,” he said. For lots that require work such as leveling, Crout brings in a golf course shaper to do the work before the builder comes in to pour a slab. That isn’t standard protocol. Builders normally bring in their own crews to prepare a lot, but they may not be well versed in the fine art of drainage. “We need that drainage to be controlled in our drainage ways,” Crout said. “The golf course
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shaper, that’s all he’s thinking about.” This year marks the builders association’s 70th anniversary, and Crout said he expects 2013 to be a sometimes introspective year for the association. A new strategic plan and more educational opportunities top his to-do list for the year. The timing is perfect, he said. “We’re just coming out of a recession where we’ve lost membership and now membership is starting to grow back,” he said. Last year proved to be the busiest for Oklahoma
City-area homebuilders since 2007, with a 31 percent increase in building permits over 2011, so the association’s new educational offerings on how to run a business may be coming just in time. “This is a business, and many times, at least in the past boom, some of the builders that fell away were because they hadn’t done the business stuff,” Crout said. “They knew how to build the house, they knew how to put the sticks ups, but they didn’t know how to run a business.” For Crout, running a business is second nature. A native of Watonga, Crout studied finance at the University of Oklahoma and spent the first five years out of college as a stock broker. He said he moved to Mustang about the same time simply because its small-town atmosphere at the time reminded him of his hometown. He made the leap into development, founding
Crout Cos. in 1977. “I met some people from Mustang that kind of encouraged me, and so I went into developing,” Crout said. Looking ahead, Crout said the association will keep an eye on the state Legislature as the 2013 session continues, but that the biggest concerns could lurk in city ordinances. Last year, Oklahoma City leaders ultimately dropped a part of the newest building code that would have required sprinkler systems in new homes, but the issue hasn’t gone away, Crout said. However, the issue taking front and center has to do with traffic lights, Crout said. Oklahoma City ordinances require the first developer of a new neighborhood to bear the expense of installing traffic lights. Crout called that a development killer. “A traffic light can cost $250,000, and you can’t afford that,” he said. “I mean, that just says you can’t develop.”
LAS VEGAS — Residential remodeling will slowly and steadily improve in 2013, according to experts at the International Builders Show brought together by the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers. Remodelers speaking on the panel agreed with the association’s latest economic forecast, citing increased demand from homeowners for kitchen and bath renovations and repairs. The association projects that remodeling spending for owner-occupied single-family homes will increase 2.4 percent in 2013 over 2012, and another 1.7 percent in 2014. “We are more confident about the remodeling market’s future coming off a strong year of residential remodeling growth, though the post-recession industry is still restrained by the amount of time it takes to convert leads to sales,” said 2013 NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, a remodeler from Houston. “Our remodeler members are regaining confidence in the market as homeowners move forward with projects that they put off in years past.” Paul Emrath, the association’s vice president for survey and housing policy research, said, “We are predicting slow and steady growth in remodeling activity throughout 2013 and 2014. That outlook is consistent with the indicators of future activity in our recent Remodeling Market Index survey. Many remodelers are reporting increases in calls for bids and appointments for proposals, so now it’s a question of how quickly they can convert those calls and appointments into actual work.”
Consumers want to create value by adding bonus spaces “without building full additions to their home,” said Bob Hanbury, a remodeler from Newington, Conn. “As part of the economic recovery, professional remodelers are helping clients take advantage of their home’s hidden assets by remodeling basements, above-garage spaces and attics to fully take advantage of the size of the home.” SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS.
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Muddy Waters home may be demolished
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
LISTING OF THE WEEK: 11732 SW 20, YUKON
BY HEATHER GILLERS Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — Once, this old house overflowed with children, home cooking and the music that helped make Chicago world famous. Blues legend Muddy Waters owned the home and lived there for two decades beginning in 1954, several musicians who knew him remembered. “It was the rocking house,” said harmonica star James Cotton, who used to play music in the basement “for days” with Waters and other blues greats. But now, the home in the North Kenwood historic district is quiet, dark and, according to Chicago building inspectors, unsafe. The city sent a warning letter this month, and the owner, with advice from the landmarks commission, is trying to fix the doors, windows, stairway and porch that inspectors deemed “dangerous,” officials said. The letter is the first step in the process of obtaining a court order that would allow demolition, but gave the owner 15 days to remedy the problems. Documents filed with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds indicate that a bank filed a foreclosure notice in August. Chandra Cooper, identified in public records as the owner, declined to comment.
Rosy glow But in the old days, the blues gave this house a rosy glow. Waters, whose given name was McKinley Morganfield, shared the home with his wife, Geneva, and, for years at a time, with blues musicians new to the city, according to historical accounts and interviews. Cotton came to Chicago in 1954 from West Memphis, Ark., and stayed in the house for six years. He said Waters’ bed was directly over the basement, so he could learn the music even when band members practiced without him. “He laid in the bed listening to us down there,” Cotton said. Harmonica player Paul Oscher and blues pianist Otis Spann also lived for years in the basement, which Waters had divided into several rooms. “I would practice in my room and Spann would be in the back,” Oscher said. “The piano was in the middle, and me and him would play together.” Louise Smith first noticed her future husband at the house. Drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith was playing in the basement, she recalled, when she and her sister were visiting Geneva Waters. After Muddy Waters moved out, she said, she and her family lived there for several years. Their son, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, also a renowned drummer, said he got his education by spending hours in the basement with his father and Waters.
Possible museum Tim Samuelson, cultural historian with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, said many people had recognized the historical significance of the site and proposed that it be turned into a museum. “The city of Liverpool would recognize the historic, cultural and tourism value of John Lennon’s house and never allow it to be torn down,” said Bruce Iglauer, president and founder of Alligator Records, a major blues label. “Muddy Waters was every bit as important to the blues and to Chicago as the Beatles were to rock ’n’ roll and Liverpool.” MCT INFORMATION SERVICES
The Listing of the Week is at 11732 SW 20 in Yukon.
The Listing of the Week is a Dallas-style house with an open floor plan in Yukon. The 1,742-square-foot house at 11732 SW 20 has four bedrooms — or three bedrooms and a study — two baths, one living room, one dining area and an attached three-car garage. The living room has a fireplace, cathedral ceiling and ceiling fan. The kitchen has a work island, dou-
The home of blues great Muddy Waters on the 4300 block of S Lake Park in Chicago has fallen into disrepair and potentially faces the wrecking ball. MCT PHOTOS
ble-oven, cathedral ceiling and breakfast bar. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and bath with double vanities, Jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower. Three secondary bedrooms have ceiling fans. The home has a covered patio and new storage building. The home, built in 2012, is listed for $185,254 with Bettye Heldenbrand of
Keller Williams Realty. The home will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. From SW 15 and Mustang Road, go west to Timber Ridge, south to SW 20, and east to the house. For more information, call 834-5255 or 722-1599. Nominations for Listing of the Week are welcome. Send a copy of the MLS information sheet on a single-family home to The Oklahoman, Richard Mize, P.O. Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Nominations may be faxed to 475-3996.
RICHARD MIZE Oklahoma Property Lines http://blog.newsok.com/ok-propertylines
The door of the Chicago home of Muddy Waters.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
Wash. man over-invests in energy features BY CRAIG SAILOR The News Tribune
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Saving money was never on Dennis Kaech’s mind when he built his Olympia home. But saving energy was. “I wanted to see how many crazy things you could put in a house,” Kaech said on a recent winter day in his lightfilled home on the city’s west side. By “crazy things” he means energy producers and heat conservers. Kaech, 69, is a retired high school science teacher. Fun for him is a day spent calculating how many kilowatts he can save with a new heating system. Kaech has spent $350,000 on the house. But it’s not a gold-plated palace with luxe finishes. The money is inside the walls, under the floors and on the roof. He wanted to build the most energy-efficient home he possibly could. He appears to have succeeded. “I’d probably get 50 cents on the dollar,” Kaech said of his investment — if he sold it today. The home features a windmill, solar panels, passive heat storage and enough insulation for a colony on Mars. Kaech bought the property in 1978 but didn’t begin construction until 2008 after tearing down the previous home on the site. In November, he moved in. The house is open and inviting — mostly. Directly behind a bank of southfacing windows is a formidable rock wall. It’s not some horrible blueprint screw-up. Kaech designed the house that way. The rock wall, recycled from the previous house’s chimney, is heated by solar rays and by a wood-burning stove. In the evening, the wall releases heat back into the house. They aren’t the only heat-holding rocks in the house. A concrete box underneath the living room holds more than four tons of rock. It absorbs excess heat and then releases it as the house cools. The walls of the woodframed home are built like a layer cake. Underneath HardiePlank siding is a layer of foam insulation acting as a thermal break, followed by house wrap over subpaneling. Inside the 2-by-6 framing, Kaech installed 4-inch batts of fiberglass insulation and had a 2-inch layer of blown-in foam insulation. Lastly, wallboard followed. The walls have a total combined R-value of 31. R-
Heated concrete floors make for comfortable stocking feet, even on a snowy day, at Dennis Kaech’s home in Olympia, Wash.
Extra windows provide light even in the interior walls. Dennis Kaech shows the bathroom at his home in Olympia, Wash. MCT PHOTOS
The east side of Dennis Kaech’s home in Olympia, Wash., is covered with windows to take advantage of the morning sun.
value is a measure of a material’s ability to block heat transfer. The higher the Rvalue the better the insulation is. Building codes require a minimum of R-20 for exterior walls. For his north- and west-facing walls Kaech used prefabricated insulated panels manufactured by Premier Panels of Fife, Wash. He also minimized windows in the north walls — an energy-saving move.
The downstairs holds a modest living room, kitchen, bathroom and garage while the upstairs holds his loft bedroom, bathroom and a separate living area. The living space totals 1,400 square feet. Both levels have 2-inchthick concrete floors. Hidden in them are 1⁄2-inch wide tubes filled with water that provide radiant heat. A water heater, set at 105 degrees, is dedicated to
the system. Ceiling fans push heat back down toward the living spaces. Complicated enough yet? It’s only the beginning. The radiant heat system and domestic water supply are both heated using geothermal technology. It’s not the kind of steaming hot geothermal you see at Yellowstone. The system uses plain old Olympia ground heat. Four horizontal holes
were drilled on Kaech’s property and filled with tubes containing water. It’s a closed-loop system that absorbs heat from the ground (which is usually at 50 degrees) and then, using a heat pump, transfers the energy to the radiant heat and domestic hot water systems. Think of it as the opposite of a refrigerator. “It only raises the tank 5 or 6 degrees per hour,” Kaech said. But that’s enough to get the hot water tank to 115 degrees. That may be enough for a shower but not to do dishes. Not to worry: he has a backup or two. A set of solar panels on the roof runs heated water (up to 200 degrees even in January) to a transfer system (another closed loop) that heats the domestic water system in conjunction with the geothermal. A third and final backup is provided by standard electrical coils. Those aren’t the only solar panels on Kaech’s roof. Panels of photovol-
taic cells produce 4,680 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. In the summer, Kaech’s system creates more electricity than he can use. The excess is sent to the power grid. Puget Sound Energy doesn’t pay customers for excess kilowatts but they will credit accounts — making a battery superfluous. In the winter, when short gray days produce less electricity, Kaech can use those banked kilowatts. Solar energy is often thought of as clean energy (compared with emission spewing power plants) but its production is not necessarily so. While the rest of us sweat over heating bills, Kaech reclines in his 75degree home, heated only by his wood stove and an occasional morning boost from the radiant floor system. He only has one regret. “I should have built it when I was younger.” MCT INFORMATION SERVICES
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Inspector more qualified than contractor-friend DEAR BARRY: We are buying a 50-year-old foreclosure home. Before placing it on the market, the bank had it remodeled by a licensed contractor, and the work supposedly meets Federal Housing Administration requirements. Is a prepurchase inspection necessary in this case? If so, should we hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the house, or would a friend who is a building contractor be just as good? Debbie DEAR DEBBIE: The fact that the home was remodeled does not minimize the likelihood that defects will be discovered by a qualified inspector. Banks often repair or renovate foreclosed properties, but they typically do their hiring on a tight budget and often do not engage the most qualified people. As for FHA requirements, these are minimal and have little influence on what is likely to be discovered by a competent inspector. A professional home inspector, if you get a good one, will provide a far more comprehensive evaluation of the home than your friend, the building contractor. This is not meant to demean the knowledge, skills or expertise of contractors. Inspecting a home requires far more than construction knowledge. Construction experience is a prerequisite to learning the processes of home inspection. Most home inspectors begin their careers as contrac-
Barry Stone INSPECTOR’S IN THE HOUSE
tors, but several years of full-time work as an inspector are needed to master the skills of defect discovery. To find a good home inspector in your area, call a few real estate offices and ask who are the most experienced inspectors — the ones who are known for their thoroughness. DEAR BARRY: We bought our house about six months ago and hired a home inspector to check it out. It turns out he did not report that we have three layers of roof shingles or that we have active termites. Now we are faced with a lot of unexpected repair costs. What should we do? Linda DEAR LINDA: The maximum permissible number of shingle roof layers is not the same everywhere. For many years, the limit in most areas was three, but many states and municipalities have reduced this number to two layers. Your home inspector should have reported the number of layers, regardless of the requirement. If the maximum limit in your area is two layers, that should have been disclosed in the inspection report as a faulty
Lifestyle is key in renting vs. buying debate Q. At a recent family get-together, my 24year-old nephew asked me about buying versus renting. We talked about a few things, but can you discuss in more detail the factors that go into making that decision? A. Owning a home brings with it pride, equity and tax advantages — all very important considerations. Still, there are good reasons to rent instead of buying. When you rent, you have little to worry about in terms of maintenance. The dishwasher suddenly doesn’t wash dishes? Just call the landlord. When you rent, the lawn seems to cut itself and the weeds magically disappear. Contrast that to a typical homeowner’s ongoing war with weeds and the need to make repairs — sometimes to such bigticket items as the roof and air conditioner. There are significant closing costs in buying a home, so it’s more economical to rent if you don’t plan on sticking around for more than five years. Consider that mortgages are
Gary M. Singer REAL ESTATE LAW
front-loaded in favor of the bank, and you spend most of the first 10 years paying upfront interest and making little headway in paying down the loan. If buying a home will deplete your savings account, better to hold off until you have the extra cash to weather the costs of ownership. While a beautiful home is a wonderful thing, being “house poor” and not able to go out on Friday night can be a drag. Think about the bricks and sticks — and the kind of lifestyle you want — when deciding whether renting or buying is right for you. Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. Send him questions online at http://sunsent.nl/mR20t7 or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES
condition. Had this been disclosed, the sellers would not necessarily have made concessions, depending on a few factors. If the top layer was in good condition, if it was properly flashed and sealed, and if the weight of the layers was not causing the roof framing to sag, the sellers probably would have said, “Take it as is.” In that case, the roof would
A professional home inspector, if you get a good one, will provide a far more comprehensive evaluation of the home than your friend, the building contractor. have been considered noncomplying but functional. As for termites, liability
depends on whether a termite inspection is included in a home inspection in your state. In most states,
termite inspection is a specialized service, performed by termite inspectors, not by home inspectors. That would determine whether your home inspector was negligent for not having disclosed termites. To write to Barry Stone, visit him on the web at www.housedetective.com. ACTION COAST PUBLISHING
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
How not to vent your clothes dryer Q: I have heard of people venting dryers into their garages with a vent bag at the terminating end. Is this a safe thing to do? If so, where can I get the vent bag? A: All the bag does is collect the lint so it doesn’t fly all over the garage. It doesn’t do anything to move the moist air from the dryer to the outside of the building. And since most people tend to ignore the bag as it fills up, realistically it becomes a pretty big lint-filled fire hazard, as well as creating back pressure in the dryer to lessen the dryer’s efficiency. If you have your dryer in your garage, I’m assuming you have access to an exterior wall as well. Use smooth-wall, rigid 4-inch metal pipe and vent the dryer to the exterior of the house. Q: What can be done to keep moisture from coming up from the ground around a tub? There is a termite inspection access door from a closet next to the tub. When you open that access, it is possible to see the ground under the slab and around the side of the tub. There is moisture coming from somewhere that is causing the wall in the closet around the access panel to mildew, and is creating a smell as well. This is a 50-year-oldplus brick home on a slab with pilings. It had under-
Paul Bianchina HANDY @ HOME
slab plumbing work in the past 10 years, and this problem started after that work was done. The only access to this area is through the closet wall. Someone suggested using spray foam to seal off the area, but I don’t know how you could keep it from just falling to the ground, and the ground is considerably below the slab. Can you help? A: It sounds to me like the problem isn’t so much with how to stop the moisture from coming up as it is with what’s causing that moisture in the first place. As soon as you mentioned that the problem started right after you had underslab plumbing work done, the warning flags really started waving for me. I’m very concerned that whatever plumbing work was done either a) wasn’t done correctly or b) triggered another leak somewhere else, which wouldn’t be uncommon in a house that’s more than 50 years old. You certainly don’t want to close off that moisture site around the tub, because you could potentially be ignoring other problems under the house,
as well as trapping a lot of moisture under there where it can cause mold and structural problems. I encourage you to contact a licensed plumbing contractor who’s experienced in underslab repair work and have someone come out and take a look. They can diagnose what problems, if any, you might have with the plumbing, and after that’s taken care of the moisture problems should dissipate as well. Q: We have a beautiful spiral stairs, railings and wooden spindles, and they need to be painted. What would you suggest? A: First, any old paint that is peeling needs to be removed, and then you need to sand these areas smooth. Next, clean and lightly sand all the old wood to remove dirt, grease and oils, and to slightly roughen the wood. Finally, apply a top coat of gloss or semigloss paint, depending on your preference. Do not use flat paint, as it won’t hold up well in this application and doesn’t look very good either. You can use either latex or oil-based paint, but use a good-quality material. You can apply the paint using a brush. However, you will get a nicer, more consistent result if you spray the paint instead. If you are spraying, you might also want to consider using pigmented lac-
Rebates offer incentive for energy-efficient alterations BY ANGIE HICKS Angieslist.com
If you’re thinking about replacing your windows this year with more energy efficient options, Washington just upped the incentive to actually get the job done. As part of the “fiscal cliff” agreement earlier this year, federal lawmakers agreed to reinstate the energy efficiency home improvement tax credits that had expired with 2011. Homeowners who did not claim the full credit from 2006-2011 can now receive 10 percent of the cost, up to a $200 tax credit, for Energy Star-qualifying replacement windows purchased between Jan. 1, 2012, through the end of this year. Homeowners can also claim up to a $500 tax credit for other energy-efficient home improvements from heating and cooling systems to insulation. More information on the program eligibility can be found at www.energy star.gov. High-performance, low-emissivity vinyl windows are the top choice for homeowners looking for maximum energy efficiency. They help keep the heat out during the summer and the warm air in during the winter. “They’ve come so far,” said Dennis Ewton, owner of King County Window & Glass in Federal Way, Wash. “The standard (vinyl window) is two coats of the low-e (glaze), but now they have three coats of low-e, so that’s a real plus. The low-e is what really works as far as the performance of the window. During the summer, the high performance low-e, the max, will reflect 94 percent of those ultraviolet rays that come in and fade the furniture, carpet and floors, and really heat the place up. It slows that heat transfer down in the winter. A standard low-e reflects about 84 percent.” Though the lure of tax savings can be appealing, replacement windows are a significant investment. Don’t neglect your due diligence and rush into this or any other home improvement project. To start, take time to find a reputable
and qualified company that is going to explain your options and provide information on which windows do qualify for the tax credit. There are a variety of sales tactics companies use, the most notorious is the high-pressure sales job in which they offer a “discount” on inflated prices in exchange for an immediate decision. “I don’t like people to do high-pressure sales on me,” said Jamie Schaffer with Superior Replacement Window & Door Inc. in Cutler Bay, Fla. “It really turns me off. In my business, we operate on a consultative approach. We try to give our customers as much information as possible, so they can make an educated decision.” Another approach is to offer a super-low price quote only to start tacking on extra charges once they get in the house.
“Don’t go by price alone,” said Jeff Wright of Atlas Window & Siding Co. of Lexington, Ky. “There are companies out there that advertise really low prices. Those really low prices are gimmicks to get their foot in the door, then once they’re in there, people find out it’s a really low-end product. It’s like a bait and switch almost.” Get bids from at least three window companies and ask the salesperson to provide the pricing and the ratings for each window type in writing. Also, if your home was built before 1978, be sure the window installers can provide proof of certification by the Environmental Protection Agency for lead paint renovation. Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, the resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES
quer, which is often used on kitchen cabinets. It’s a durable finish that is also smooth and attractive. Getting a good result on something as intricate as a set of spiral stairs requires a lot of patience, and you need to work slowly and methodically to get a good finish. For that reason, you might also want to consider having a professional painting contractor do this for you. Q: I was on the roof of a friend’s house and smelled sewer odor coming from the pipe coming out
of the roof. Is this normal? I never smelled it coming from my vent pipe on my roof. A: The purpose of the plumbing vents is twofold. They provide an opening into the drain and waste system that allows the pressure to be equalized so that the water in the drains will flow. It’s similar to the fact that if you punch one small hole in the lid of a can and then try to pour out the contents, they will flow out very slowly. But if you punch a second hole in the lid, the flow increases
dramatically. The other purpose of the vent is to allow sewer gasses present in the system to escape to the outside so that they cannot build up in the system or in the house. How much gas is present in the system at any one time will vary, which is why you may smell it coming out of the vent at one time but not another. Remodeling and repair questions? Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org. All product reviews are based on the author’s actual testing of free review samples provided by the manufacturers. INMAN NEWS
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Leather pushes decorative envelope BY MARY BETH BRECKENRIDGE Akron Beacon Journal
Love the look of leather? Saddle up. Leather is charging into home decor going beyond couches, chairs and table tops. It’s upholstering walls and covering floors, and manufactured materials made from recycled leather are broadening the design possibilities even further. Imagine a door covered in faux crocodile, a bathroom vanity with a cowhide insert or a closet with leather-wrapped shelves. Leather produces a sophisticated look suitable for contemporary, rustic or club-like settings, “but not your traditional Colonial home,” said Christian Nadeau, president of EcoDomo, a Quebec manufacturer of leather surfacing materials. He said he often sees leather flooring used in media rooms to give a feel of richness and intimacy, but some types can be tough enough for a kitchen or a well-traveled staircase. Nadeau said leather surfaces have become more popular as interest in natural materials has grown. “Leather is just one more product that goes in that direction to put nature back in homes,” he said. Leather on surfaces is hardly mainstream, and genuine leather is a homedecorating luxury. But technology is bringing prices down and making this high-end look accessible to customers with bigger design aspirations than budgets.
Recycled leather from EcoDomo, embossed in a crocodile design, is used to cover a door.
Mahogany-colored bonded leather from EcoDomo covers a kitchen floor.
That’s true even with real leather, an option that until now has been prohibitively pricey for most consumers. Kaleen Leathers in Westchester, Ill., for example, is developing genuine-leather panels that manager Frank Mullen said will reduce the cost of leather walls and floors by making them easier and cheaper to install. The die-cut panels are applied to a rubber backing and then adhered to a wall or floor with a releasable adhesive, much like carpet squares, Mullen said. The backing and the precise die cuts simplify installation, he said, and the low-tack
adhesive means you can even take the panels with you if you move. A12-by-12-inch panel in an average-range leather might cost $25 to $30, he said — not exactly bargain-basement stuff, but reasonable in comparison to leather-tile prices that can approach or even exceed $100 a square foot. Finer leathers would cost considerably more, he said. So would larger panels, because they produce less yield from a hide. Where design inroads really are being made, though, is in surfacing products using recycled or bonded leather, a manufactured product made
from leather scraps. Remnants from the manufacture of leather goods are pulverized, and the resulting fibers are mixed with other materials and pressed into sheets that are colored and textured to look like genuine leather. A coating protects the product. Bonded leather can go wherever wood can — even below grade, in some instances. It’s not recommended for wet environments such as full bathrooms. Ontario flooring company Torlys uses a proprietary protective coating that gives its bonded leather floors a life span of
Bonded leather in an oversized crocodile design covers a cellar door. The leather is from EcoDomo.
25 to 30 years with normal wear, said E.C. “Bill” Dearing, its national manager of market development. Torlys’ flooring is made from a thin layer of bonded leather applied to highdensity fiberboard and backed by cork, so Dearing said it’s comfortable underfoot but not spongy. It’s a feel much like walking on a wood floor, he said. EcoDomo’s floors have a 25-year residential warranty, and Nadeau said the company has put them in kitchens, on staircases, in hotel lobbies and in other high-traffic areas. Maintenance is the
same as a wood floor, vacuum without a beater bar to remove dust and damp mop using a floor cleaner, Dearing said. “But people don’t buy it for its wear, honestly,” he said. More often, consumers fall in love first with the look, he said, and then durability becomes the deciding factor. Torlys’ bonded leather flooring sells for $10 to $13 a square foot; EcoDomo’s, for about $12 to $14. Those prices don’t include installation. “It’s always a conversation piece for the homeowner,” Nadeau said. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
Housing upturn Fall Creek updates Prairie home expected to gain momentum in ’13
Frank Lloyd Wright is the acknowledged master of the Prairie home, one of the few indigenous American styles. The Fall Creek is an update of that early-1900s style. Its characteristic features include a hipped, low-pitched roof that extends out in deeply overhanging eaves, and a front facade that emphasizes horizontal lines. The high-ceilinged entry porch extends out to the right, creating a great location for a porch swing or suite of wicker furniture. Inside, natural light spills into the entry through slender sidelights that flank the door. Double doors on the right open into a room that could be furnished as either a dining room or parlor. A pocket door at the rear slides open to access the kitchen and nook at the heart of the home. The great room in the home’s center is in sync with the lifestyle preferences of contemporary families. Standing at the kitchen sink you are next to the nook and can look out across the long raised eating bar into a great room with a fireplace. Work surfaces are ample, appliances are built in, and a roomy pantry nestles into one corner. A door in the nook opens onto a rambling, partially covered patio. Bathrooms are plentiful. A small one is just inside the entry. The larger one to the right has a shower and is convenient to the guest suite, utility room and garage. More are in the bedroom wing, where two bedrooms share one, and
FROM WIRE REPORTS
the owners’ suite has a private bathroom with two vanities and a large walkin closet. The suite also has its own direct patio access.
Doors to the three-car garage open on the right side of the Fall Creek, so they aren’t visible from the front.
A review plan of the Fall Creek 30-755, including floor plans, elevations, section and artist’s conception, can be purchased for $25 by phone, mail or online. Add $5 for shipping and handling. Associated Designs, 1100 Jacobs Drive, Eugene, OR, 97402. www.associated designs.com. (800) 634-0123.
LAS VEGAS — The housing upturn that took root last year is expected to pick up momentum in 2013 but headwinds along a number of fronts could impede the pace of the recovery, according to economists speaking at the recent International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. “Nearly every measure of housing market strength — sales, starts, prices, permits and builder confidence — has been trending upward in recent months and we expect to see gradual but steady growth along these lines in 2013,” said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, which staged the convention and trade show. In particular, Crowe said that house prices are up nearly 6 percent on an annualized rate over the past 10 months, and that “this has been a trigger for demand to return. People feel comfortable if they buy a house that it will appreciate, not depreciate, in value.” Other factors that bode well for the housing outlook include low mortgage rates, strong housing affordability, rising household formations and the fact that two-thirds of U.S. housing markets can now be considered improving, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index. For the past five quarters, housing has acted as a net contributor to the economy, steadily increasing its share to 12.8 percent of economic growth in the third quarter of 2012. However, Crowe cautioned that builders continue to face several challenges, including stubbornly tight mortgage lending conditions, inaccurate appraisals, rising materials prices and a declining inventory of lots. Setting the 2000-2003 period as the baseline benchmark for normal housing activity, Crowe reported that residential remodeling has returned to previously normal levels and that remodeling activity is expected to post a 2.4 percent increase in 2013 over last year. Meanwhile, multifamily production, which has posted a 273 percent gain from its fourth quarter trough of 82,000 units in 2009 to 306,000 units in the final quarter of 2012, is expected to reach what is considered a normal level of production by 2015. The single-family market, which has the farthest to go, was running at 44 percent of normal production in the fourth quarter of 2012. Single-family starts are expected to steadily rise to 52 percent of what is considered a typical market by the fourth quarter of this year and 70 percent of normal by the fourth quarter of 2014. The association is forecasting 949,000 total housing starts in 2013, up 21.5 percent from 781,000 units last year. SOURCE: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS.
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM
Permits Oklahoma City Lickel Architecture, 1901 Northwest Expressway, amusement, remodel, $1,600,000. RBA Architects, 15000 N Pennsylvania Ave., shell building, erect, $1,200,000. Paradigm Construction Co. LLC, 13900 N Harvey Ave., warehouse, add-on, $1,000,000. D.H. Architects, 8315 N Rockwell Ave., retail sales, remodel, $950,000. Smith & Pickel, 608 Stanton L. Young Blvd., medical clinic-office, remodel, $850,000. No name provided, 6500 SW 3, restaurant, remodel, $782,000. Moda, 2940 NW 156, office, erect, $750,000. Lindsey Construction Co., 14600 N Rockwell Ave., 16 permits for apartment, erect, $715,000. Lindsey Construction Co., 14600 N Rockwell Ave., apartment, erect, $610,000. JH Ventures LLC, 15000 Bristol Park Blvd., shell building, erect, $575,000. Pope Contracting Inc.,
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
11001 W Reno Ave., automotive sales, add-on, $550,000. Miller Architects Inc., 5208 W Reno Ave., medical clinic-office, remodel, $550,000. Perry L. Phillips LLC, 11017 Meadowlake Farms Drive, residence, erect, $500,000. Reynolds Custom Homes Inc., 12224 Bravada Court, residence, erect, $450,000. No name provided, 5325 N May Ave., retail sales, erect, $440,000. Aaron Tatum Custom Homes LLC, 17901 Chatham Hills Road, residence, erect, $427,000. Willco Homes LLC, 17853 Prairie Sky Way, residence, erect, $425,000. The Roberts Group, 16361 Scotland Way, residence, erect, $410,000. Beacon Homes LLC, 3435 NW 189, residence, erect, $380,500. Nextec Home LLC, 600 NW 153, residence, erect, $350,000. Nextec Home LLC, 604 NW 153, residence, erect, $350,000. Nextec Home LLC, 15321 Wilford Way, residence, erect, $350,000. Brass Brick Platinum Series Homes LLC, 19000
Barnstable Court, residence, erect, $325,000. Brass Brick Platinum Series Homes LLC, 19009 Hill Valley Way, residence, erect, $325,000. Robert Brazel, 14824 Sharon Springs Drive, residence, erect, $325,000. Bill Clayton, 9200 John, residence, erect, $300,000. Mike Abernathy Construction, 1605 SW 113 Place, residence, erect, $300,000. City of Oklahoma City, 8301 SE 104, accessory, install, $300,000. City of Oklahoma City, 8301 SE 104, public building, erect, $300,000. Wayne Long Custom Homes Inc., 12600 Quartz Place, residence, erect, $300,000. Beacon Homes LLC, 19021 Barnstable Court, residence, erect, $295,000. Shawn Forth Custom Homes, 3336 NW 189, residence, erect, $290,000. Aaron Tatum Custom Homes LLC, 116 SW 169, erect, erect, $284,000. Jason Powers Homes Inc., 2125 Sycamore Creek Ave., residence, erect, $269,000. Jason Powers Homes Inc., 8821 NW 110, resi-
dence, erect, $260,000. Landstar Homes OKC LLC, 15901 James Thomas Court, residence, erect, $260,000. Timber Craft Homes LLC, 1401 NW 176, residence, erect, $252,000. Tapestry Custom Homes LLC, 1304 NW 188, residence, erect, $245,600. Brass Brick Platinum Series Homes LLC, 19017 Pinehurst Trail Drive, residence, erect, $225,000. Timber Craft Homes LLC, 8433 NW 142, residence, erect, $223,400. Heartland Homes LLC, 2404 NW 175, residence, erect, $219,000. J. Hill Homes Inc., 3909 Chesterfield Place, residence, erect, $215,000. Manchester Elite Homes LLC, 8301 NW 146, residence, erect, $213,300. Foster Signature Homes LLC, 15900 Angie Kaye Lane, residence, erect, $210,000. Heartland Homes LLC, 8236 NW 158, residence, erect, $201,000. Gary Owens Carpet & Construction Inc., 1705 Augusta Circle, residence, erect, $200,000. Taber Built Homes LLC, 15621 Cardinal Nest Drive, residence, erect,
Appraised $220,400, sell $215,000 2525 NW 60th, 3 bed, 2K bath, 607-2232 or 503-0120.
We Buy Houses 928-1400 We Pay More!
Gated Belle Isle Terrace
OWNER CARRY 3bd 1bth Historic area Totally remodeled $4Kdwn 812 W Eubanks 348-2108
721 SE 35th, 3 bd, 1 ba, $49,500, owner fin, $3K dn, 341-5404.
I BUY HOUSES
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Homeside LLC, 5708 NW 116, residence, erect, $160,000. Homeside LLC, 5808 NW 116, residence, erect, $160,000. D.R. Horton, 9116 NW 86, residence, erect, $159,322. Redbud Contractors LLC, 1919 NW 142, duplex, erect, $150,000. Redbud Contractors LLC, 1919 NW 142, duplex, erect, $150,000. Redbud Contractors LLC, 1919 NW 142, duplex, erect, $150,000. Redbud Contractors LLC, 1919 NW 142, duplex, erect, $150,000. D.R. Horton, 2308 NW 156, residence, erect, $146,224. Cliff Marical Homes Inc., 3600 Arcadia Drive, residence, erect, $140,000. Florida Construction, 11752 SW 21, residence, erect, $140,000. Authentic Custom Homes LLC, 8108 Waters Edge Way, residence, erect, $135,800. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 13208 SW 4, residence, erect, $131,000. Cliff Marical Homes Inc., 10633 SW 34 Terrace,
3 bed, 2bath, 2 car, fireplace, 2616 NW 59th, $1595, 640-7209
Mid Del Schls 3bd 1.5 bath 2car gar, ch&a fncd yd 4001 SE 45th St $725mo + dep 769-8800
1st Mo Rent Selected Units Large Townhomes & Apartments • Washer, Dryers, pools • PC Schools, fireplaces
3 Bdrm, 1 Bath with large fenced yard. Stove, Refrig, laundry room. $525 mo. Call 596-8410
7301 NW 23rd 787-1620 Commercial Property Auction W. Industrial Blvd.Hinton OK 73047 Wed. Feb. 20th 10am 44ftx140ft Building on 2.37 /Acres 405-542-7030 Tillman Auction Service OPEN Sun 3-5, 4/4/3 fenced gated 5ac, pond, pool, barn, 14301 S Blackwelder $449K. 378-0232 Open Sunday 2-4, Must see! Well maintained 3 bed 2 bath, 2 car, fireplace, Moore schools, $115,900, 1117 SW 100th St. Call for appointment, 692-1180. Beautiful 4bd 2ba executive home on corner lot, Westmoore Schls, 2liv, 2car, fp, new carpet, fresh paint, master bath has Jacuzzi & shower $179.9k Fidelity 410-4200 7 Acres & 5bd 4ba 7600sf, 3 fp, built 2005. 3800sf attached gar w/room for indoor tennis court, huge shop. Minutes from Norman $446,000 Realty Experts 414-8753 PIEDMONT OPEN SUN 2-5 Model home. New hms on 1/2 ac lots. From NW Expwy & Sara Rd go 4.5 mi N Cleaton & Assoc 373-2494 155 Acres Cogar area. secluded 4 bed house, new ch&a, fenced. Hunting, timber. $2000 per Acre. 405-381-2617 or 405-409-3804. 1N to 10A E of OKC, pay out dn. 100's choices, many M/H ready TERMS Milburn o/a 275-1695 www.paulmilburnacreages.com 6 ACRES, 3 MI SE OF Tuttle. Tuttle schls, rural water, $35,000 405-381-2617 or 405-974-8469. Call for Maps! See why we sell more acreages than anyone in Okla. E of OKC. o/a 275-1695
OWNER FINANCING $2000 down 528 SW 48, 4/2, $56,000 326 SW 43, 2/1, $51,000 No Credit Check ‘ 596-4599 ‘
1st Mo Rent Selected units 2 & 3 bed Townhouses Washer/Dryers, Fireplaces, P.C. Schools
8100 N. MacArthur Blvd
C-Store/gas, 40K Goodwill + inv. $2500mo; For sale $325K. Owner fin. Busy loc. Okc 405- 834-4464
1 & 2 BD & Townhouses •City bus route/Shopping •Washer/Dryer hookups
2221 N. Meridian 946-6548 507 E Boeing, MWC, near Tinker, 2 bed, 1 bath, $29.9K, 771-2064.
GREAT Office Space. Various NW locations, 300-6000sf 946-2516
JUST LISTED on 5 ac MOL 4bd 2.5ba guest qtr approx 3748' $359,000 JUST LISTED 3/2/1 approx 1128' w/lrg yd on dead end street Carmen 405-833-0106 Cleaton & Assoc 405-373-2494
$139 FIRST MONTH Take Advantage of Our New Construction LAKEWOOD ESTATES 405.722.5894 Oakwood Apts 5824 NW 34th 1 bed 1 bath $350/mo $175/dep 800sf 409-7989 u pay elec no sec8
1715 Craig 4/2/2 $1295 918 Crown 3/2/2 $950 410 Sunnyside 2/1/1 $850 2009 Fair Meadow 3/2/2 $1195 1929 Chaparral Ln 3/2/2 $1595 Express Realty 844-6101 www.expressrealtyok.com 900 N Fretz #2 2/1.5 681-7272
1305 Pinewood Ct 3/1/1 681-7272
1412 SW 24th Street, 2 story 4/3/2, fenced, $1325+dep, pets ok. 285-0305 or 823-6550.
2 great brick 3 bedroom houses, $29,900 - $36,500 ¡ 301-6495
3000 W Simpson » Beautiful 5bd 2 bath approx. 3900sf house on fenced 5 acres m/l, lots of trees with outbuilding, 2 car garage attached, cathedral ceilings in living area. It will be sold as is, needs minor repairs. Call for more information at 405-273-5777
New addition called Grand Safari Nice Acreages from 1 acre to 6.75 acres m/l Easy Approval » Call for maps www.property4sale.com 405-273-5777
Double Your Tax Refund up to $5000 w/new home purchase. Don't prejudge credit. E-Z qualify by phone. New & repo homes available 405-631-7600 WAC
Abandoned D/W set up on 6 acres. Ready to move in. Many to choose from. Statewide 631-7600
Nice 4 or 5bd 3K ba 3car
4000sf, new granite & roof, large corner lot, huge pool w/new liner $199,900 Realty Experts 414-8753
Remod. Like New: 4/2/2266sf $130K list p. $5k down $975mo. All credit types ok. 551-8191
Own your home for less than rent payments as low as $650 for a 3 bed 405-787-5004 New 3 bd 2 bth,fireplace OWN IT for $700 mo. owner finance 405-324-8000 Rent to Own: Nice 2 & 3bed MWC $350 & up 390-9777
2603 S Penn 2bd 1ba $395 315 SW 32nd 2bd 1ba $395 1041 SW 24th 2bd 1ba 1car $450 Free List ¡ 681-7272 4609 S Melrose immaculate 2bd, 2 liv/din, oversized detached garage, fenced yard, nice quiet area, $650 mo Harris RE 410-4300
K Off 2nd Month Rent!
1404 Youngs newly built 2/1 $495 ¡ Free List ¡ 681-7272 ¡ 824 SW 50th St. 4 bed 1 bath $725 408-9769 ask about our move in special! 4108K S Robinson 1bed home, 1car garage, water & garbage paid. Only $375 Fidelity 410-4200
$99 Special 5944 NW 40th-Large 1 & 2bed, $445mo, stove, fridge, covered prkng. No Sec 8 470-3535
9321 NE 13 Pl. 4BD w/Den 1 Car 1.75 Bath $795mo 408-9769 Ask about our move in special!
Sec 8 Only - Large lot 4bdr/1bth $840/m low util, STORM SHELTER 759-6828
Furnished/Unfurnished. Bills Paid » Wkly/Mnthly. Wes Chase Apts Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest, 370-1077
2 bed off NE 23rd & Madison appls, sec 8 ok $550mo 427-7566 Newly remodeled 2 bed, 1 bath, 2-story ¡ $595mo ¡ 405-427-7061 Unfurnished 2 bedroom, $500mo, $250dep Call 820-3076
3/1.5/2, great loc., 1 blk to schls, easy access to Kilp. Turnpike, $875. No smk/pets. 354-6418
Rent to Own: Nice 2 & 3bed MWC $350 & up 390-9777
800 N Meridian - 1bd All bills paid Brand New 2bd 2ba 946-9506 KAT Properties-Apt & Homes for rent. Scan this w/your phone app Large 1 & 2 beds. Stove, refrig, 3 SW OKC Locations $345-420mo No Sec 8 632-9849 San Tee Apartments 1 bd all bills paid $475mo $150 dep 408-9769 Ask about our move in special Furnished/Unfurnished. Bills Paid » Wkly/Mnthly. Wes Chase Apts Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest, 370-1077 Furnished Effi & 1bd » $320-360 + elec. 2820 S Robinson 232-1549 $99 Special Large 1&2bd. Covered parking. $345-$445mo 470-3535
Pd. wtr/garb. Near malls. Try Plaza East 341-4813
Walford Apts Midtown- large 2bed 1 ba 1300sf Electric only $1150/mo $1000/dep wash & dryer connections 405-409-7989
Palm Harbor double wide, 1500 sq ft, 3 bed, 2 bath, fireplace, appliances, new roof, new ch&a, $12,500, 405-360-6806. 2011 Solitaire REPO 18x80 3bd 2 bth as low as $410mo 787-5004 www.thcmobilehomes.com
4516 S Melrose sharp 2bd, 2 liv/ din, detached gar/carport, fresh paint, new crpt, corner lot, quiet area, $695 Harris RE 410-4300
1709 SW 16 2Bd 1bath w/garage $450 mo 408-9769 Ask about our move in special!
•ABC• Affordable, Bug free, Clean » 787-7212»
Scenic Blue River aprx 17Acres S of Ada 660' frontage Very remote & private $9000/Ac 580-490-1819
Double Your Tax Refund up to $5,000!! Use refund & receive Visa gift card with new home purchase. No refund, use your land/family land ZERO down. E-Z qualify by phone. WAC 631-7600
228 SE 58th 1bd 1bath $375 681-7272
MAYFAIR Great loc! 1&2 bd W/D hdwd flr quiet secure ¡ 947-5665
HOME FOR SALE 1944 CR 1211 - Tuttle 3bed, 2ba, 2007 1.25 mol ac., $142,500 2499497, OPEN HOUSE FEB.3rd 2-4
PIEDMONT OPEN SUN 2-5 Model home. New hms on 1/2 ac lots. From NW Expwy & Sara Rd go 4.5 mi N Cleaton & Assoc 373-2494
3212 SE 54th St 3bd, 1.5ba, 2car, ch&a ¡ $695mo ¡ 405-413-6204
833 E Eubanks 3 bed 1 bath, garage converted $525 681-7272
» $99 Special »
Top Quality Farms & Ranches, S. of Norman. Tom Anglin, Shadow Lakes Properties, 405-830-5177
SEE PERMITS, PAGE 10E
Putnam Heights Plaza 2bed, newly remodeled, ch/a, 1830 NW 39th 524-5907
Briargate Apts 1718 N Indiana 1bd 1ba 800sf, wood floors, $600 mo, $300/dep 409-7989 No sec 8
3/2.5/2 + Study & bonus rm approx 2392' on 2.5 ac MOL 30 x 40 shop $259,000 Carmen 405-833-0106 Cleaton & Assoc 405-373-2494
$200,000. Brookshire Homes LLC, 3704 Lambeth, residence, erect, $200,000. J. Hill Homes Inc., 4108 Wayfield Ave., residence, erect, $195,000. Authentic Custom Homes LLC, 8432 NW 142, residence, erect, $193,000. J&R Custom Homes LLC, 12604 NW 7 Court, residence, erect, $190,000. Taber Built Homes LLC, 2320 NW 156, residence, erect, $190,000. Downey Contracting LLC, 2701 NE 4, storm shelter, add-on, $189,268. Quality Designed Homes LLC, 2408 Bear Crossing, residence, erect, $185,000. Gary Owens Carpet & Construction Inc., 1701 Augusta Circle, residence, erect, $180,000. Heartland Homes LLC, 2432 NW 195, residence, erect, $173,500. 4 Corners Construction LLC, 9801 NW 100, residence, erect, $168,840. 4 Corners Construction LLC, 10017 Volare Drive, residence, erect, $164,000. JB Homes LLC, 105 Settlers Way, residence, erect, $162,000.
Furnished/Unfurnished Weekly/Monthly 370-1077
• Large 2Bd 2Ba with Fireplace • We Pay Heat, Hot Water • Covered Parking • Free Laundry • No Section 8 848-4339 or 659-2788 anytime
Rates starting at $825/mo. 1 month FREE w/12 mo. lease. Citadel Suites, 5113 N. Brookline 405-942-0016 www.citadelsuites.com Including are the following: » All Utilities » Cable » Telephone » High speed internet » Business Center » 2 Pools » Free Movie Rental » Breakfast Mon.-Fri. » Social Hour
917 NW 34 3/1 $1050 2706 N. Ann Arbor 3/2/1 $825 9709 University 2/1/2 $650 2440 Huntleigh 3/1.5/2 $925 8632 NW 111 4/2/3 $1250 11412 Shasta Ln. 4/3/3 $1600 Express Realty 844-6101 www.expressrealtyok.com 6509 Dulane Cir 3bd 2ba 2 car garage fireplace $1095 408-9769 Ask about our move in special!
Newly Remodeled Townhome 2720 SW 74th 2bd, 1.5ba, $525 & dep No pets or S8. (405)702-5004
2139 NW 14 3bed 2 bath 1306sf $900/mo $750/dep 405-409-7989 no sec 8 315 NW 89th, 4 bd, 1.5 ba, ch&a, w/d hookup, sec 8 okay, $875/mo, $500 dep, 831-0825.
717 NE 14th, 2 bed, 1 bath, ALL BILLS PAID. Call 405-409-0462
By Penn Sq. clean, modern 2 Bd, 1.5 Ba, Appliances, no-smoke or pets, some bills paid. secluded $750/mo + deposit. 866-440-5354
UNFURNISHED ALL BILLS PAID
EDMOND SCHLS THE GREENS 13401 Pinehurst 3/2/2 $1350 New paint, carpet, updated ktchn www.usespectrum.com 848-9400
New Luxury Duplex 13516 Brandon Pl 3/2/2, fp, Deer Creek Schls, near Mercy 842-7300 2324 NW 20th 2 bed 1 ba 864sf new paint and fixtures $700 mo, $300 dep 405-409-7989 no sec 8 1719 NW 1st 1bed 1bath 681-7272
Efficiency Duplex ALL BILLS PAID $385 MO. 408-9769 Ask about our move in special!
House for Lease. 4bed, 2.5bath, 2 living, formal dining, 2car garage, 8304 NW 112th St. 740-4108 4504 N Miller, Lovely 2 story 3bd 1car garage. Fresh paint, fenced yard $850mo Harris RE 410-4300 »» MOVE-IN SPECIAL »» 928 N Bradley 3bed w/den 1.5 bath comp remod $725 408-9769 Small 2 bd new carpet & paint close to OCU $550mo + $550dep no sec 8. Pet ok w/dep. 947-1978 13305 Green Valley Executive Home, 2459sf 4bd 3ba 2car $1600 mo $1600/dep 409-7989 no sec 8 3bd 2bth 2car, 8400 NW 11th St, $850 728-4843/702-465-3928 1138 Bradley 2 bd, w/ carport $600mo, $450dep 596-0165 3bd 1.5ba 2car brick ch&a 4304 NW 55TH $975 830-3399 723 NW 25th, 5 bd/2 ba, CH&A, $1,100/mo, $600dep ¡ 831-0825
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Permits FROM PAGE 9E
residence, erect, $130,000. Vesta Homes Inc., 9201 Lolly Lane, residence, erect, $125,000. Home Creations, 11604 SW 10, residence, erect, $120,000. Foster Signature Homes LLC, 15701 Sky Run Drive, residence, erect, $115,000. Home Creations, 11308 NW 99, residence, erect, $110,500. Home Creations, 11304 NW 99, residence, erect, $109,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 13316 SW 3, residence, erect, $109,000. Home Creations, 1000 Laurel Creek Drive, residence, erect, $108,700. Home Creations, 11817 SW 8, residence, erect, $108,500. Home Creations, 11309 NW 99, residence, erect, $108,500. Home Creations, 11600 SW 10, residence, erect, $105,500. Home Creations, 9909 Summerhill Lane, residence, erect, $105,500. Home Creations, 11813 SW 8, residence, erect, $101,500. J. Howell Construction Inc., 2608 Shady Tree Lane, residence, add-on, $100,000. No name provided, 5200 E Interstate 240 Service Road, hospital, remodel, $100,000. D.R. Horton, 9000 NW 86, residence, erect, $99,715. D.R. Horton, 8725 Sally Court, residence, erect, $99,715. D.R. Horton, 9112 NW 86, residence, erect, $96,015. D.R. Horton, 4205 NE 119, residence, erect, $92,315. Home Creations, 2441 NW 197 Terrace, residence, erect, $85,400. Home Creations, 2400 NW 197, residence, erect, $83,500. D.R. Horton, 4201 Johnson Farms Drive, residence, erect, $81,456. Central Oklahoma Habitat For Humanity, 509 SE 26, residence, erect, $80,000. Salazar Roofing & Construction Inc., 11404 NW 121 Place, residence-attached, erect, $80,000. Salazar Roofing & Construction Inc., 11406 NW 121 Place, residence-attached, erect, $80,000. Home Creations, 2405 NW 197, residence, erect, $79,500. Home Creations, 2404 NW 197, residence, erect, $79,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 15208 Stillwind Drive, residence, erect, $76,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 2601 NW 185, residence, erect, $76,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 15212 Stillwind Drive, residence, erect, $74,000. Allen Porter, 4801 Gaillardia Parkway, office, remodel, $73,000. Cornerstone Homes By Chris Moock LLC, 8421 Greystone Ave., residence, remodel, $64,000. L5 Construction, 13812 Wireless Way, office, remodel, $60,000. Morton Buildings Inc., 2232 NE 4, storage, erect, $40,000. Commercial Construction, 200 N Harvey Ave., restaurant, remodel, $35,000. Callahan Steel Buildings (Curt), 7317 SW 105, accessory, erect, $28,000. Drew Dickerson, 6604 NW 135, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $27,985. Heartland Homes LLC, 8232 NW 158, residence, erect, $21,900. M&B Construction, 2508 SW Grand Blvd., residence, fire restoration, $20,000. Lindsey Const. Co., 14600 N Rockwell Ave., accessory, erect, $20,000. Paradigm Construction Co. LLC, 13900 N Harvey Ave., canopy-carport, erect, $17,000. Daniel Gober, 4728 S Henney Road, accessory, erect, $15,000. Oklahoma Heart Hospital, 5200 E Interstate 240 Service Road, medical clinic-office, remodel,
$15,000. Lindsey Construction Co., 14600 N Rockwell Ave., accessory, erect, $12,500. Ralph Schaub, 5008 S Anderson Road, manufactured home, move-onmobile home park, $12,000. Gibraltar Construction Co., 511 NW 41, residence, remodel, $10,400. Neysa Jean Dowdy Denham, 2900 Windsor Blvd., canopy-carport, add-on, $10,000. Trilink Restoration Group LLC, 2208 SW 23, duplex, fire restoration, $10,000. Lindsey Construction Co., 14600 N Rockwell Ave., cabana-gazebo, erect, $7,500. Shin Mo Kang, 3110 N Youngs Blvd., residence, remodel, $6,000. Bilal Ahmad, 15304 Grayson Drive, residence, add-on, $5,500. Erick Alexander, 3201 Rogers Drive, accessory, erect, $5,000. Prestige Development & Construction, 8333 S Shields Blvd., seven permits for warehouse, remodel, $5,000. Flat Safe, 14329 Gaillardia Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,500. Harold Boneta Garvin, 3000 SW 124, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,375. Bill and Donna Miller, 17312 Hardwood Place, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $4,295. Michael Carr, 10608 NW 37, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,200. Travis Hamilton, 11725 Cherry Point Lane, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,150. Bradley Bollinger, 18401 Auburn Meadows Drive, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $4,000. Chris Kochendorfer, 12301 Carriage Way, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,000. Christopher Fiegel, 17109 Fox Prowl Lane, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $4,000. Brad Blystone, 6709 Randi Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,995. Heather Jones, 6601 NW 135, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,995. Terrell Hill, 11417 Lakeridge Run, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,995. Muray and Chelle Anderson, 2609 Pembroke Terrace, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,965. George Lanceaire, 12116 SW 53, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,950. Scott A. James, 15715 Fairview Farm Blvd., storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,900. Gary Coker, 10033 Leeds Drive, install-storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,875. Mark Logan, 6216 Latham Court, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,800. Walter Merchant, 8121 NW 114, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,800. F5 Storm Shelter, 18604 Piedra Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,799. Billy Johnson, 11317 Cedar Hollow Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,500. Ground Zero, 3300 N Vermont Ave., storm shelter, remodel, $3,500. Icy Ellis, 8616 SW 58 Circle, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,500. Laura Rathke, 1709 NW 183, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,500. Rebecca Smith, 16200 Clear Creek Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,500. Tasha and Jeremy Bouteller, 3501 Wayfield Ave., residence, install-storm shelter, $3,500. Darin Haivala, 3228 NW 177, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,295. Brass Brick Platinum Series Homes LLC, 3304 NW 163, residence, install-storm shelter, $3,250. Carla Lewis, 10320 Chancellor Drive, storm
REAL ESTATE shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,250. Todd Poole, 10825 NW 103 Circle, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,200. Ben Gremillion, 1024 Westchester Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,150. David and Chris Womack, 9009 NW 147 Terrace, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,150. Jerome Cerny, 11301 SW 38, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,150. Lance Halvorson, 13205 NW 1, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,150. Melinda Burton, 7521 NW 132, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,000. Palmer Smith, 10517 SE 49, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,000. Susan Follette, 16708 Tonka Trail, residence, remodel, $3,000. Thomas Determan, 3701 NW 18, canopy-carport, add-on, $3,000. Mike Darnold, 4701 NW 153 Terrace, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,995. Joshua and Jill Nelson, 3808 Regatta Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,915. Bill Guinn, 14609 Remington Way, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,900. Catherine Lebsack, 10900 Old River Trail, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,800. Eugene and Annamae Adams, 11628 SW 10, storm shelter, remodel, $2,800. Steven Wiger, 15900 Sheffield Blvd., storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,800. Christopher Hadnot, 10433 Exter Ave., storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,795. Doug Watkins, 6705 Well Oak Circle, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,795. Jim Deal, 6014 Plum Thicket Road, storm shelter, install, $2,795. Robert D. Spillers, 10408 Ski Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,795. F5 Storm Shelter, 2225 NW 158, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,790. Dan Phillips, 2645 NW 153, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,750. Blake Thomas, 6005 NE 107, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,700. Boominathan Balasubramaniyan, 15717 Creek Heights Drive, residence, install-storm shelter, $2,700. Michael Veasey, 11901 Sierra Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,700. Rajendrakumar Veerappan, 16109 Big Cypress Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,700. Selvakumar Edward, 15709 Creek Heights Drive, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,700. James Elliott, 16301 Bravado Place, storm shelter, install-storm shelter,
$2,695. Ladonna Middleton, 4312 NW 55, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,695. Richard C. Black, 18304 Bodegon Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,695. Richard Stephens, 7912 Westwood Lane, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,695. Ronald Mitchell, 1916 NW 177, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,695. Thomas Z. Bogdanowicz, 15624 Darlington Lane, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,695. Alex Bridge, 6501 NE 101, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,650. Chunfeng Liu, 16300 Fair Winds Way, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,650. Chuong Tran, 1233 NW 138, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,650. David Dillingham, 12 SW 170, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,650. Howard Jacobsen, 4140 NW 14, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,650. Kent Phan, 1301 NW 138, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,650. Matthew Stillwell, 19309 Cade Court, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,650. Mike Nguyen, 9100 Ians Place, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,650. Allen Badgett, 15700 Al-
THE OKLAHOMAN | NEWSOK.COM legheny Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,600. Edward Barringer, 11800 Mallorca Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,600. Henry Backus, 4517 Blackberry Run, residence, install-storm shelter, $2,600. Hung Ta, 5012 Eric Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,600. Nuredin Jaha, 19804 Sonatina Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,600. Kay Young, 12202 Greenlea Chase West, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,550. Jackie Nguyen, 620 SW 161, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,500. Evans Building Concepts, 14000 Quail Springs Parkway, office, remodel, $2,500. SG/SPV, 14000 Quail Springs Parkway, office, remodel, $2,500. Evans Building Concepts, 14000 Quail Springs Parkway, office, remodel, $2,500. Pope Contacting, 11001 W Reno Ave., temporary building, move-on, $2,500. Welbourne and Jamie McGahee, 13200 SW 4, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,495. Gail H. Austin, 18413 Chestnut Oak Drive, storm shelter, install, $2,395. Gina Bankston, 2140 Pinnacle Point, storm
shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,395. Jeraldean B. Title, 5212 NW 123 Terrace, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,395. Richard Alliss, 7708 Brookside Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,395. Fred and Ingrid May, 1242 St Charles Ave., storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,380. Andrew McGuire, 6113 NW 157, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,300. Ryan Minard, 13432 Lake Shore Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,200. Jesus Hernandez, 1133 SW 24, residence, add-on, $2,100. John Thompson, 7241 Deerberry Lane, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,000. No name provided, 201 E Main, restaurant, addon, $2,000. Catarino Sarabio, 2415 SW 59, retail sales, remodel, $1,000. MJH Properties, 243 W Wilshire Blvd., business, remodel, $1,000. MJH Properties, 243 W Wilshire Blvd., shell building, remodel, $1,000.
Demolitions Reyna Sandoval, 1213 NW 46, residence. Midwest Wrecking, 7601 S Shields Blvd., auto sales. Midwest Wrecking, 3250 SE 44, apartment.
Conflict of interest possible in mold testing, remediation BY ANGIE HICKS Angie’s List
Few states have enacted guidelines that prohibit companies from performing both mold testing and mold remediation. In fact, in most states, the same company that inspects and tests for mold can also be the same company that does the remediation. That poses the potential for a huge conflict of interest. “The more stuff a (mold remediation) contractor finds wrong, the more he gets paid,” said Tom Alford, a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant and certified Mold Remediation Supervisor with Enviropro in St. Louis. Only a handful of other states — Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Virginia — either have mold licensing requirements or laws in place that prevent or severely limit the ability of a contractor to offer both testing and remediation. “In Florida, you can either be licensed to be a remediator, which we are licensed to be, or a (mold inspector), which is a person who goes out and does testing,” said Jon Hall, whose remediation company, Advanced Restorations Inc., is in New Port Richey, Fla. “If (an inspector finds) the presence of mold, they provide the (remediation) protocol to us as the remediator and then we go out and write an estimate based on what needs to be done. Once we’re finished with the work that needs to be done, you have the same company come back and test what we did was correct and the building passes a final inspection.” Alford said he’s had customers call him after other companies tried to use scare tactics. One client reached out to him after a mold remediator told her she had
dangerous black mold in her home that could kill her small children and it would cost $50,000 to correct the problem. “They gave her all these articles on black mold and told her that her kids would get sick and die,” Alford said. “I went downstairs and found a crack in her foundation that had mud coming through. She got a $50,000 estimate to do the work when what she needed was a $400 crack repair.” At the very least, homeowners who can’t find a separate tester and remediator should ensure that the person who does the testing sends the samples off to an independent, accredited laboratory for verification and request the lab sends the results back to the homeowner, before allowing any work to be done. Alford charges $300 minimum for testing, with an average cost of $600. If mold is found, remediators will typically set up containment walls around the area being treated to prevent cross contamination to unaffected areas of the home. If necessary, air movers can be used to bring in fresh air or force air out of the area. Eliminating moisture as a food source is key to controlling mold. The most common reasons are water damage from a flood, burst pipes or a leaky roof. Look for mold companies that hold verifiable credentials from reputable organizations like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification and the Indoor Air Quality Association. Check with your local licensing authority to ensure the company meets your local requirements, and ask the company to show proof it’s insured. Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES