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Meadow Lake

Custom home The Listing of the Week is a large 1 ½-story custom home in southwest Oklahoma City. PAGE 7E

The harmonious interplay of curved edges, horizontal lines and sparkling glass grids draws eyes to this plan. PAGE 8E






This is the tale of two concept homes — one contemporary aimed at empty-nesters looking to streamline their lives, and one aimed at a growing family with luxurious, Old-World sensibilities. Both are showcased in a home tour with ticket sales benefiting Variety Care, a group of family focused clinics providing services to low-income clients, the uninsured and others in between. The homes are open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the event, sponsored by KWTV-9, Slice magazine, the Abbey at Fairview Farms addition, Wayne Griffiths Homes and Bob Mills Furniture. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 at Bob Mills Furniture, 3600 W Reno Ave. The home at 1501NW 158 in the Abbey at Fairview Farms is aimed at baby boomers who have ushered the last of their children out of the house. “They want upscale and downsize, and that’s what we’ve tried to create here,” said builder Mark Dale, who joined forces with developer Mark Gautreaux to build a 4,590-square-foot house whose interior almost seems to capture light. Cedar beams soaring 18 feet overhead in the great room are stained grayish, echoing the mix of textures and colors in the decor below. A window set high on one wall faces a wall of glass opposite looking out on an outdoor living area. “All through this show, people have come in and said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so soothing,’ ” Gautreaux said. “And you think, ‘Well, when have you ever heard something like that about a house?’ ” The 3,240 square feet above ground is about the


INSPECTOR OUT OF BOUNDS Home inspectors should not make conclusive statements about the presence of asbestos or lead in homes. Old houses may contain asbestos, but not all of them do. PAGE 5E



Zeb Gautreaux demonstrates the media room in the basement of a house at 1501 NW 158. The home is one of two open for tours this weekend as a fundraiser for Variety Care clinics. PHOTO BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved for a fourth consecutive month in August with a two-point gain to 37 on the National Association of Home Builders/ Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The gain builds on a six-point increase in July and brings the index to its highest level since February 2007. “From the builder’s perspective, current sales conditions, sales prospects for the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers are all better than they have been in more than five years,” said Barry Rutenberg, association chairman and a homebuilder from Gainesville, Fla.

Wayne Griffiths built this 7,000-square-foot custom home at 11649 Mill Hollow Court in the Stone Mill neighborhood in northwest Oklahoma City. It is one of two open for tours this weekend as a fundraiser for Variety Care clinics. PHOTO BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN

size the target customers looking at the Abbey are looking for, Gautreaux said. “But we thought, ‘You know, we’re going to do a basement to show off the concept of what you can

do if you go down,’ and our good taste got in the way and made it a little bigger.” The basement got to 1,350 square feet to be exact, a space including a third bedroom, bath, kitchenette and living area

with room for plenty of electronics. A nearby wine room hides a secret behind its pine walls — steel lurks underneath them as well as in the ceiling above. If storms rumble through, the steel door can be pulled

closed, transforming it into a safe room. Many visitors call it a man cave. “We don’t gender assign it,” Gautreaux said with a SEE HOMES , PAGE 2E

Improved appraisal disclosure is sought WASHINGTON — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants you to see the full appraisal report on the house you’re buying or refinancing as early in the mortgage process as possible, and without your having to ask the lender for it. This means all the “comparable” properties the appraiser selected, adjustments for property condition or location, plus all additional data — especially computer-generated estimates — that may have been used to arrive at the final value. It also means you would get to see who performed the appraisal and whether the appraiser is merely licensed in the state or carries a professional designation indicating higher levels of training and experience. Plus it would give you an idea about whether the appraiser is locally based and thus knowledgeable about neighborhood sales and listing trends, or has traveled from another part of the state. Information like this can be crucial in an environment where home sellers, buyers and realty agents routinely complain about


botched appraisals that complicate or kill deals by coming in thousands of dollars below the contract price. In many cases, according to critics, appraisers continue to inappropriately select distressed-sale comparables to value nondistressed transactions in areas where property values are now rising. In a May survey of its members, the National Association of Realtors found that 33 percent of agents reported problems connected with appraisals that endangered sales. The consumer bureau also wants to open the door to disclosure of fee-splitting information that typically is kept hidden from you: How much of your $450 to $600 in appraisal charges at closing will go to the appraiser, and

how much to an unseen appraisal “management company” that may be owned by or affiliated with your lender and is also getting a cut of the action? In a proposal Aug. 16, the bureau said that under its plan, mortgage lenders would be required to provide copies of all written appraisals and other data used in the valuation “promptly after receiving them,” but in no event later than three business days before the closing. This would include the electronic “automated valuation models” — AVMs — widely used by lenders and management companies to supplement standard reports. AVMs, which depend on public records rather than on-site observations, have been criticized by some appraisers and realty agents as being tools to keep appraised values below contract prices agreed upon by sellers and buyers in rebounding markets. Banks defend their use as safeguards against overvaluation and subsequent losses in the event of default.

The consumer bureau also has issued proposals for revisions to the current closing cost sheets used nationwide for real estate transactions. Among the changes: an option to include a breakout of the appraisal charges paid by borrowers. The first would be the amount the appraiser actually receives. The second line would be what the appraisal management company takes. The fact that appraisal management companies are pocketing big chunks of the borrowers’ appraisal payments generally is unknown to most consumers. The consumer agency’s proposals won’t be finalized for months, but in the meantime you as a consumer can ask: Where are my hundreds of dollars going? To the appraiser? Or into the coffers of my lender? If it’s the latter, what’s the justification for the extra charge? The answers could be troubling. Ken Harney’s email address is WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP

BUYER CHOICES LIMITED Median existing single-family home prices are rising in more metropolitan areas, but a lack of inventory, notably in lower price ranges, is limiting buyer choices in an increasing number of markets around the country, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The median existing single-family home price rose in 110 out of 147 metropolitan statistical areas based on closings in the second quarter in comparison with same quarter in 2011; three areas were unchanged and 34 had price declines. In the first quarter of 2012 there were 74 areas showing price gains from a year earlier, while in the second quarter of 2011 only 41 metros were up. STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

INDEX Handy Permits

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Left: Builder Mark Dale shows the living room at 1501 NW 158. PHOTO BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN

Homes: Tour benefits Variety Care FROM PAGE 1E

smile. “It’s just a cave.” Over in the Stone Mill neighborhood, the 7,000square-foot house at 11649 Mill Hollow Court was built for a family with three girls. Builder Wayne Griffiths incorporated plenty of details appealing to everyone in the family, including a playroom with a karaoke stage, a laundry room on both the first and second floors and an outdoor living area with a kitchen. The design also includes two offices. “One is a pretty office with a rolling ladder,” Griffiths said, “and then behind that is another office, a working office you can clutter.” Even the family dog gets its own room. “He can let himself in and out of this room to turf, (a) fenced area right adjacent to the house,” Griffiths said. One utility room also features a shower just for the dog. The home showcases traditional, luxury living with elegant woodwork and elegant appointments, but it’s modern at heart,

Master bedroom closet in the tour home at 1501 NW 158. PHOTOS BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN

with a geothermal heating and cooling system, a movie room, wrapping station and a butler’s pantry. The enormous front doors are more than 100 years old and were brought over from Europe, Griffiths said. All proceeds from the home tour benefit Variety Care, whose roots stretch back 80 years when it was started as Variety Health Centers by the Oklahoma City Junior League. It

merged with Oklahoma Community Health Services two years ago, and it operates three clinics in southwest Oklahoma and 10 in the Oklahoma City metro area, serving 56,600 patients per year. Builders select the organizations that benefit from each year’s concept home, and Gautreaux, who is on Variety Care’s foundation board, made a case for Variety Care this year. “We are so grateful to

Mark Gautreaux talks about the wine room in the basement of the concept house at 1501 NW 158.

Mark Gautreaux and the other developers for allowing Variety Care to be the beneficiary of this year’s News9 Concept Home Tour,” said Variety Care CEO and executive director Lou Carmichael. “The proceeds will go to help families needing medical, dental or mental health services gain access to prevention and primary care. It will benefit our entire community in this regard.”

Sliding doors lead to the home office at 1501 NW 158.

Developer Mark Gautreaux and builder Mark Dale joined to build this house at 1501 NW 158.






Some may call selling 40-something properties in one auction exhausting, but firms such as Dakil Auctioneers just call it August. Relentless advances in communications technology — and the need for speed it engenders — are smoothing the way, said Louis Dakil, company president and auctioneer. “It’s making my life a lot easier, a lot more profitable for my clients, a lot more palatable for the buyers, and it’s just making it a lot better for everybody,” he said. Dakil is set to sell 42 properties Thursday evening. They range from investment properties to family homes to open lots in Logan County, many of them lakeside. Potential buyers can browse them all on the firm’s website, virtually touring most and pinpointing them on a map. Thursday, they can gather in the air-conditioned comfort of the company’s auction facility at 200 NW 114, where Dakil said all 42 properties could be sold in about 40 minutes. With the title work a computer keystroke away, they can close as early as the next day. “Ten years ago, you couldn’t have done that,” he said. One online innovation this auction won’t feature is online bidding. Online auctions, Dakil said, require bidders to put up deposits of thousands of dollars, and most aren’t will-

Homeowner Tommy Johnson is shown with auctioneer Louis Dakil in Johnson’s living room at 424 NW 91. The home is one of more than 40 properties Dakil will auction Thursday evening. PHOTOS BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN

ing. So Dakil said he generally sticks with in-person auctions. Dakil said he is more likely to employ online bidding for expensive properties with bidders who don’t balk at the hefty deposits. Dakil does routinely allow absentee bidding, though the bidder has to submit an absolute maximum bid and put down 5 percent in earnest money. “I make the decision best for the customer,” he said.

The company has been staging mass auctions for about five years, and this month’s isn’t even among the biggest, Dakil said.

Frequency increases But the sales are becoming more frequent, pushed by rising demand. Dakil estimated his real estate listings have doubled during the past year, and a lot of the properties are put up by homeowners themselves. Among them are Tommy and Annette Johnson,

who are selling their home on NW 91 as they scout the metro area for a new home. The decision to take the auction route comes down to control. “It’s more certain,” Tommy Johnson said. “You can list it (with a real estate firm), and you wait. This way it’s more certain as far as time.” The Johnsons aren’t alone in looking for certainty, Dakil said. And that’s not new in real estate auctions. What’s different may be how technology is

Tommy Johnson’s dining room at 424 NW 91. Auctioneer Louis Dakil will auction the house and more than 40 others Thursday evening.

shaping the mindsets of sellers and buyers. “The market has changed a little bit, but what’s changing are people are changing, and the times are changing,” Dakil said. “We’re living in a society that’s very transient, No. 1, and No. 2, everything is instantaneous.” Between job changes and transfers, families are moving around more than before, Dakil said, and the homes left behind quickly become an economic drag with utility bills, taxes and possibly rising insurance rates. Then factor in a so-

ciety with people growing more and more used to having what they want delivered with a few taps on a smartphone. “Everything is instantaneous and mobile,” Dakil said. “People do not want to wait around. They want things done now.” The technology fueling this mindset may constitute the biggest change for the industry, but Dakil said he welcomes it. “I’m a believer in technology. I’m a believer in the future,” he said. “I love today, but the future is where we’re going.”

Bring summer travels back home with you BY MELISSA RAYWORTH For The Associated Press

Summer travel leaves many of us with memories of ocean sunsets or foreign street scenes or other only-on-vacation sights. Once we’ve returned home, how can we hold onto some of that beauty and bring it into our living spaces? The weeks after a trip can be the perfect time to make small but powerful changes to your home. “I love what traveling does to people’s imaginations and to their creativity,” said Los Angelesbased interior designer Betsy Burnham. With minimal effort and expense, she said, you can live year-round with a bit of the charm and feeling of your favorite travel destinations. “You don’t have to redecorate. All you have to do is kind of pinpoint what it is that evokes the sensation of still being there,” she said. “Look back through your photos and just think about the sense of place. It can be as simple as a jar of shells that appears in your guest bathroom,” or as dramatic as repainting a room. Here Burnham and interior designers Kyle Schuneman (author of “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design For Small Spaces,” out Tuesday from Clarkson Potter) and Brian Patrick Flynn, founder of, share advice on bringing your travels into your home.

Color palette “When people get stumped on colors or decorating ideas for a room they spend a lot of time in, the first thing I’ll do is ask them to think of a time and place that they went to that really made them happy,” Flynn said. For one client, he repainted a bathroom the exact shade of robin’s egg blue that was used throughout a hotel where the couple stayed during a memorable anniversary trip. “Every time she

The lush orange trees of California serve as inspiration in a client’s den for designer, Brian Patrick Flynn, where he layered several shades of orange throughout the space to bring vacation memories home. AP PHOTOS

Schuneman said. “I actually have a chapter in my book called ‘The Collector,’ as I think those collections are what are so important to making a house a home.”

Locally grown

An Australian photographer’s love of warm, golden yellow Australian sun from his home country inspired the designer, Brian Patrick Flynn, to cover the entire space in bright yellow tones in his client’s dining room in Los Angeles.

thinks of that color, it brings her back to that time before they had kids and got busy with their careers,” Flynn explained.

Begin a collection Schuneman suggested picking up similar items from different places to create a collection that will grow with each vacation.

“Whether it be something free, like ticket stubs from everywhere you’ve been to together, or pottery that you can display together,” he said, “incorporating these memories are what good design is all about.” “I think creating a collection in your home from your travels is such an important part of design,”

Flynn urges travelers to buy original, local art. Whether it depicts your destination or just captures the area’s sensibility, the work of local painters and artisans can commemorate your trip and add beauty to your home. Local art is often extremely affordable, Flynn said, “and it’s a permanent story sitting on your walls. You’re filling the walls and telling a story about your vacation.” Along with appreciating artistic beauty, also keep natural beauty in mind: Burnham suggests taking note of the plants and flowers you saw during your summer travel. If the climate is at all similar, try to use the same or similar plants in your own yard. “Maybe it’s a topiary in a pot, something European,” she says, or beach grass that evokes a sleepy seaside town you loved visiting.

Fresh photos When you return with photos from your trip, skip traditional frames in favor of something more cre-

ative. “A great idea for displaying photos is taking some of your favorites and finding a rustic slab of wood or maybe a sleek piece of metal,” Schuneman said, and decoupaging the photos in a random pattern. “For little or no money, you have a cool art piece that will forever be a memory board and can be customized to just your taste and the trip’s feeling.” Choose the material based on the vibe of your destination — perhaps mount camping photos on unfinished wood or photos from an urban destination

on metal.

Unexpected accents As you look through travel photos or remember favorite spots, think about the details: Maybe you saw unusual, beautiful doors in a city or town you visited, Burnham said. “How about changing your front door hardware to something that’s really like a Londoner would have? It’s those kinds of touches,” she said, like painting a door the same color as doors you saw on a trip, that keep a trip with you. “It becomes a conversation piece” when people visit, she said.





Save money painting your home’s exterior If you’ve been thinking of an exterior paint job for your home, you may have already been talking with painting contractors and getting some estimates. Ideally, you can put the entire project in the hands of the contractor, but you may be thinking that that’s out of your budget. Rather than put off that muchneeded paint job, you might want to consider a compromise between a contractor and some sweat equity by doing part of the work yourself. Depending on how much time and energy you have available, there are actually several things you can undertake on your painting project that will save you some money. Most require only basic tools and materials, and the skills needed are well within the reach of most homeowners.

Cleaning and prep Before the house can be

painted, there’s a lot of prep work to be done, and that equals labor dollars that you’re paying the contractor. All of the patio furniture and other items around the outside of the house need to be moved. Things like hose hangers, wall clocks, outdoor thermometers and wall decorations all need to be taken down (and put back up later). Shrubbery and other landscaping that’s too close to the siding needs to be trimmed back, and sometimes held back temporarily with ropes or plywood. Once all that’s done, the house needs to be washed before it can be painted. Heavy-pressure washing is typically not recommended, since it can drive moisture into siding and hidden cavities, and can actually do more harm than good. However, a pressure washer with low pressure and a wide fan spray can do a great job of

Paul Bianchina HANDY @ HOME

cleaning off surface dirt, dust and cobwebs prior to painting. So can a garden hose and a spray nozzle, along with a scrub brush on a long handle.

Repairs and priming A step beyond basic cleaning and moving is to undertake any necessary repairs, scraping and priming. Depending on your carpentry skills, you may be able to handle repairing or renailing some siding, or maybe taking care of some damaged trim. There may be some vents that need replacement, or other repairs that you can handle prior to the paint hitting the wall.

A labor-intensive part of just about any exterior paint job is scraping off old, loose paint. This often is just a matter of elbow grease with a paint scraper, a sander or other basic prep tools to remove the loose paint and sand down the edges of the remaining paint as needed. After that, you can take it a step further and prime any bare wood with a good-quality wood primer. One word of warning: If your home was built before 1978, it might contain lead paint. Before scraping or sanding, you’ll need to find out more about the hazards of working with lead paint and how to test for it. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa. gov/lead, or contact the National Lead Information Center at (800) 424-LEAD (5323).

Caulking A top-quality exterior

paint job involves a lot of caulking. Caulking seals the small gaps and holes so the finished paint job is clean and smooth, and more importantly, it prevents moisture from getting behind the paint. A good thorough caulking job has the added benefit of blocking air leaks, making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Just work your way around the outside of the house with a caulking gun and several tubes of goodquality caulking, and close up the gaps.

Talk over details If you’d like to do some of the work on your painting project yourself, be sure you discuss all the details with the painting contractor. Describe those things you’re comfortable doing, and see if they’re things that the contractor is comfortable turning over to you. Discuss the timeframe for getting the

work done so it doesn’t impact the contractor’s schedule, as well as suggestions for the best caulking and priming materials to use. Some contractors may put a disclaimer in their contract saying they’re not responsible for any of the work that you do, while others may get a little more hard-nosed about it and say they won’t warranty their work at all. You simply need to have a discussion with a couple painting contactors and choose the one you’re most comfortable working with. In the end, whatever the two of you decide and agree on needs to be put in writing. Your contractor will probably insist on it, and you should as well — it protects both of you. Remodeling and repair questions? Email Paul at All product reviews are based on the author’s actual testing of free review samples provided by the manufacturers. INMAN NEWS

Product range in colorful plastics is expanding BY KIM COOK For The Associated Press

Next time you’re having a backyard barbecue or going mod with some new furniture, thank science. Your salad spinner’s made of the same sort of silicone rubber developed to make Neil Armstrong’s moon boot. And those acrylic salad bowls and patio chairs? World War II fighter pilots needed safer canopies, and Plexiglas Art Innovation Style’s wavy acrylic bowls come in an array of neon hues. AP PHOTOS was the answer. Manufacturers of home goods are quick to adopt innovative materials and technology, and synthetics have long been a favorite. The newest ones are a designer’s delight: They’re malleable, strong, lightweight and take color easily. The product range in colorful plastics is expanding, with great shapes and fun hues. From a crafting standpoint, acrylics are easy to work with. Using heat, they can be stretched and molded without losing clarity, and joints are heat fused rather than glued or screwed, which makes a finished piece virtually Art Innovation Style does a modern riff on a classic seamless. Two Palm Springs, Cal- style with these neon acrylic vases. if., designers — Larry Abel and Raymond McCallister — run Art Style Innovation, a fun factory of whimsical takes on vintage and modern decor. The duo’s curvy acrylic vases and rippled bowls, done in neon hues, are decor dancing. Their playful acrylic bookends come in a variety of silhouettes including cats, roosters, dogs, flowers, even a pair of shapely female legs. You’ll find clear acrylic cube tables, too, in modern takes on classic architectural design (, $35 and up). Plexi-craft in New York stocks a wide array of furniture in crystal-clear Kartell makes Phillippe Starck’s Louis Ghost chair. acrylic. The material works well in small spaces polyethylene. It’ll survive las, tangerine whisks — — entryways, boudoirs, indoors or out, and comes just about any kitchen tool small living rooms — be- in several shades including can be found in a fun, cause it’s nearly invisible. pale yellow, black and zinc friendly hue. The company will custom white (www.allmodSan Francisco-based tint, however; designer, $680). Bkr makes a glass water Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz There was a time when bottle with a silicone likes to use a milky white kitchen cupboards and sleeve in hip shades like Jet acrylic for an ethereal drawers were full of boring black, Rocket red, Julep quality (www.plexi- basics. But today’s cook teal and Space indigo. Bkr has a paintbox of hues donates to cancer research Italian design power- available when buying as well as clean water prohouse Kartell has fre- mixing bowls, cooking jects in Africa quently dominated the tools and utensils. Wheth- (, $28). synthetic materials mar- er it’s a KitchenAid blenLifefactory goes one step ketplace, with “wow” fac- der in hot pink or a set of further in the category tor pieces such as Philippe Rachael Ray’s sunny or- with not only an adult botStarck’s Louis Ghost chair ange cookware, there’s tle, but baby bottles and and Ferruccio Laviani’s more color in functional, sippy cups. The collection Bourgie lamp. There’s a synthetic-material gad- comes in cheerful hues like wide range of colorful gets than ever before. lemon, raspberry, lilac and transparent pieces in the Flexible silicone has fans spring green (www.lifefaccompany’s collection in fashion, where accesso-, $14.99 and up). (, ries designers love its pliaTarget’s Room Essenfrom $73). bility, color friendliness tials line has everything Kartell also has manu- and soft feel. The same from colanders to mixing factured Starck’s Bubble characteristics make it big bowls in a rainbow of pink, chair, a cartoonishly scaled with kitchen and home de- turquoise, lime or blue piece that looks like an signers, who also appre- heat-resistant synthetics oversize upholstered chair ciate that it’s dishwasher- (, $7.99 but is made entirely out of friendly. Sky-blue spatu- and up).

These colorful La Marie chairs are made by Kartell.





Inspector scares buyers with asbestos, lead talk DEAR BARRY: Our home was built in 1864 and recently fell out of escrow because of the home inspector. Our agent had been less than pleased with the buyer’s choice of inspector. She said that he had a reputation for stating speculation as fact, and that turned out to be just what he did. When he arrived at our home, he stated that “because the house is old, it must have lead and asbestos.” I was a construction project manager, and inspectors were supposed to stick to verifiable facts. I am also certified in asbestos abatement and had already obtained an asbestos clearance on our home. The woodwork still has its original varnish, so there might be some lead


content. But the old lead paint and the old shingles have been removed. The inspector’s comment caused the buyer to cancel the deal. What are your thoughts on this? Sylvia DEAR SYLVIA: Home inspectors should not make conclusive statements about the presence of asbestos or lead in homes. Old houses may contain asbestos, but not all of them do. The most a home inspector should say

is that asbestos-containing building materials may be present and that concerns in that regard should be referred to a certified asbestos inspector. In most cases, asbestos building materials are non-friable; that is, not brittle or readily crumbled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos that is not friable will not affect air quality if it is left alone. Old houses also are likely to contain some lead paint, but it should not be assumed that they necessarily do. Furthermore, the presence of lead paint does not mean that occupants are actually exposed to contamination. Lead paint is only hazardous if ingested or if sandings are inhaled. Lead paint was out-

Lots of options for replacing windows BY CAROLE FELDMAN Associated Press Writer

Are your windows leaking air? Are they getting more difficult to open? Is the wood frame rotting? Homeowners choose to replace their windows for a variety of reasons, from energy efficiency to aesthetics. “It might be the seals have failed or the wood has rotted,” said Kerry Haglund, senior research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota. Or homeowners might be looking to replace leaky windows to keep heat or air conditioning in, or they might want added UV protection to protect furniture from fading in the sunlight. No matter what the motivation, new windows can be costly. “They’re too expensive to think you’re going to get your money back either in terms of energy savings or when you’re selling your house,” said Kit Selzer, a senior editor for Better Homes and Gardens. Still, new energy-efficient windows can make your home more comfortable in winter and summer, and more attractive. Haglund recommends choosing the most energyefficient window you can. The cost for a new window can range from hundreds of dollars to $1,000 or more, depending on the frame, style — doublehung or casement, for example — and whether you choose single-, double- or triple-pane glass. Decorative elements can add to the price. A casement window might be a good option in windy areas, said Gary Pember, vice president of marketing for Simonton Windows. “As the wind increases, they become more efficient because of the way they seal,” he said. A double-hung that opens only from the top might be a good choice for someone looking for increased security, he said. Older homeowners or those who think they’ll stay in their homes as they age might want to consider a window they don’t have to lift. Frames come in wood, vinyl, aluminum and other materials. Wood frames are more traditional, but require

Mark Clement, a professional contractor and host of MyFixItUpLife home improvement radio show, installs energy-efficient Simonton replacement windows in his 100-plus-year-old home in Ambler, Pa. AP PHOTO

regular painting. “If you’re wanting something maintenancefree, you can’t get anything better than vinyl,” Pember said. There are many options now for vinyl frames, including a variety of colors. You can also get a wood interior and a vinyl exterior. Selzer said aluminum frames are more contemporary, but also more expensive. Most windows sold today are double-pane, although people in northern climates may choose a triple pane, Haglund said. “Single pane is still available in southern climates, though we don’t recommend it.” Windows must meet an area’s building energy code, she said. “Windows in the North are optimized to reduce heat loss in the winter, while windows in the South are optimized to reduce heat gain during the summer,” according to the government’s Energy Star website. “This explains why windows that are energy efficient in Florida will not necessarily be energy efficient in Michigan.” The Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council labels can help you compare windows. Consumers may be most

familiar with the U-factor, which tells you how much heat can escape through the window. The labels also include information on how much light and heat from the sun is transmitted through the window. While Haglund urges homeowners not to scrimp on energy efficiency, she said there are other ways to save money short of full window replacement. A new window can be fitted into existing frames that are in good condition. Or, she said, you can replace just the sash — the part of the window that contains the glass. Again, this would only work if the frame is in good condition. If you decide not to invest in new windows, you can increase the energy efficiency of your existing ones: “Storm windows are certainly a good idea,” Selzer said. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any leaks around the frame. And insulating draperies or other window treatments also can help increase comfort. “They’re so much more tailored and thinner than they used to be,” she said. “Old insulating treatments were very bulky, like putting up blankets. Now, they’re certainly sleek and more effective.”

Churchill-Brown adds Groenke in Nichols Hills

Greg Groenke

NICHOLS HILLS — Greg Groenke has joined Churchill-Brown & Associates Realtors’ Nichols Hills office at 6447 Avondale Drive as a residential real estate sales associate. He has six years of experience selling real estate

and holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management/speech from the University of Texas. He is a certified teacher in the Putnam City schools specializing in early childhood autism.

lawed in 1978. In most old buildings, lead-based paint has been painted over with non-lead paint at least once. If the home inspector is a member of a recognized home inspectors association, he should know better than to make categorical statements regarding environmental hazards. That type of disclosure is definitely outside the scope of the standards of practice for the home inspection profession. What’s more, laboratory testing of materials is necessary to determine

whether asbestos or lead is actually present. DEAR BARRY: Our house is 10 years old and has radiant heating in the concrete slab. In recent years, the slab has developed a crack, as much as half an inch wide in some places, and we’re afraid the PEX heating pipes in the slab will be stretched to the break point. How much stretch is there in the piping, and can it be mended if we excavate the crack in the slab? John DEAR JOHN: Broken water pipes in the slab can

probably be patched, but that should not be your main concern. The halfinch wide crack in your slab indicates a major problem with structural or geological stability. You should have the property evaluated by a structural or geotechnical engineer to determine the cause of this cracking. Once that is addressed, you won’t have to worry about further stretching of the pipes. To write to Barry Stone, please visit him on the web at ACTION COAST PUBLISHING




Building permits Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Public Schools, 2901 NW 23, school, remodel, $5,500,000. Kirkpatrick Forest Curtis PC, 7007 SW 44, office, remodel, $2,500,000. Design Build Group LLC, 609 W Sheridan Ave., office, remodel, $1,800,000. JHBR Architects, 18101 N Western Ave., school, add-on, $1,750,000. JHBR Architects, 16060 N May Ave., school, erect, $1,750,000. Kirkpatrick Forest Curtis PC, 7707 SW 44, office, remodel, $1,500,000. Church on The Rock, 1780 W Memorial Road, church, add-on, $1,000,000. Rick Russell Homes Inc., 13008 Carriage Way, residence, erect, $750,000. Oak Leaf Custom Homes, 9217 Bella Vista Lane, residence, erect, $700,000. Atlas General Contractors, 7401 Broadway Extension, retail sales, erect, $500,000. Connelly Paving, 3501 NW 63, parking, install, $500,000. Oak Leaf Custom Homes, 9208 Bella Vista Lane, residence, erect, $470,000. Dunhill Fine Homes LLC, 14310 N Midwest Blvd., residence, erect, $450,000. French Construction Co Inc., 2641 NW Grand Blvd., residence, erect, $390,000. Sam Gresham Architect, 13424 N MacArthur Blvd., restaurant, erect, $350,000. SWM & Sons Inc., 3800 Oakdale Forest Road, residence, erect, $328,895. Nextec Home LLC, 15324 Wilford Way, residence, erect, $300,000. Richard Hanks, 10100 SE 51, residence, erect, $300,000. Richey Zink & Associates, 1031 N Lee Ave., hospital, remodel, $300,000. Richey Zink & Associates, 1031 N Lee Ave., hospital, remodel, $300,000. Taylor Construction, 2732 W Reno Ave., officewarehouse, erect, $300,000. RJ Designs Inc., 9404 Russell Drive, residence, erect, $294,000. Ripple Creek Homes LLC, 308 NW 155, residence, erect, $290,000. Jeff Click Homes LLC, 1500 NW 172, residence, erect, $279,000. RJ Designs Inc., 16001 SW 15, residence, erect, $275,000. D.R. Horton, 2308 NW 155, residence, erect, $255,000. The Roberts Group, 17325 Clove Hill Place, residence, erect, $250,000. 4 Corners Construction LLC, 5908 SE 148, residence, erect, $239,000.

Muirfield Inc., 13213 Rock Canyon Road, residence, erect, $235,000. J.W. Mashburn Development Inc., 3129 SW 137 Court, residence, erect, $235,000. D.R. Horton, 16208 Wind Crest Way, residence, erect, $234,990. Remington Builders Inc., 13328 Ambleside Drive, residence, erect, $230,000. D.R. Horton, 8728 Stacy Lynn Lane, residence, erect, $222,990. D.R. Horton, 8728 Sally Court, residence, erect, $222,990. J.W. Mashburn Development Inc., 3200 SW 137 Court, residence, erect, $220,000. D.R. Horton, 9609 Squire Lane, residence, erect, $216,990. D.R. Horton, 11921 Gwendolyn Lane, residence, erect, $215,990. Jeff Click Homes LLC, 1509 NW 176, residence, erect, $214,000. D.R. Horton, 11300 NW 96, residence, erect, $213,990. Ripple Creek Homes LLC, 19705 Meadow Bend Ave., erect, erect, $210,000. ANW Custom Designs LLC, 8700 SW 59 Terrace, residence, erect, $205,000. Bill Atkinson Homes LLC, 1505 NW 173 Terrace, residence, erect, $200,000. Oxford Homes LLC, 15612 Hatterly Lane, residence, erect, $200,000. Destin Construction, 4701 West Point Blvd., office-warehouse, remodel, $200,000. Foster Signature Homes LLC, 4701 NW 155, residence, erect, $190,000. J&R Custom Homes LLC, 12717 NW 6, residence, erect, $190,000. D.R. Horton, 11244 NW 97, residence, erect, $189,990. Vesta Homes Inc., 4820 SW 127, residence, erect, $177,000. Stanley Fine Homes LLC, 921 NW 195 Place, residence, erect, $175,000. Brass Brick Platinum Series Homes, 3336 NW 164 Terrace, residence, erect, $170,000. Tom Vorderlandwehr Inc., 9121 NW 91 Circle, residence, erect, $170,000. D.R. Horton, 11300 NW 97, residence, erect, $169,990. Home Creations, 909 Redwood Creek Drive, residence, erect, $168,000. Two Structures LLC, 9124 NW 91 Circle, residence, erect, $160,000. Two Structures LLC, 14328 Paddington Ave., residence, erect, $160,000. Aspen Dental, 2123 W Memorial Road, business, remodel, $160,000. D.R. Horton, 2300 NW 155, residence, erect, $159,800. Silvergate Construction,

1100 S Eastern Ave., supplement, supplement, $159,000. Tom Vorderlandwehr Inc., 9101 NW 90 Circle, residence, erect, $158,000. RSCS LLC, doing business as Steve Stone Custom Homes, 21440 SE 103, residence, erect, $157,000. Dub Stone Construction Co., 15812 Sandstone Terrace, residence, erect, $156,038. Mashburn Faires Homes LLC, 2801 SW 97, residence, erect, $156,000. Manchester Elite Homes LLC, 14617 Doulton Circle, residence, erect, $154,000. American Fine Homes, 3024 Canton Trail, residence, erect, $150,000. American Fine Homes, 10909 SW 30 Terrace, residence, erect, $150,000. Sure Safe Homes LLC, 9208 Misty Lane, residence, erect, $150,000. Jeff Click Homes LLC, 15820 N Pennsylvania Ave., shell building, erect, $150,000. Gardner Construction, 500 W Main, office, remodel, $150,000. SWM & Sons Inc., 15335 SE 41, residence, erect, $148,750. Dub Stone Construction Co, 740 SW 157, residence, erect, $146,783. M&D Homes LLC, 2409 Wayne Cutt Ave., residence, erect, $145,000. Mashburn Faires Homes LLC, 400 SW 170 Terrace, residence, erect, $144,000. Brookwood JV LLC, 9210 S Western Ave., training center, remodel, $144,000. Manchester Elite Homes LLC, 14613 Doulton Circle, residence, erect, $142,750. King’s Crown Homes Inc., 32 SE 88, residence, erect, $140,000. King’s Crown Homes Inc., 29 SE 88, residence, erect, $140,000. King’s Crown Homes Inc., 33 SE 88, residence, erect, $140,000. King’s Crown Homes Inc., 36 SE 88, residence, erect, $140,000. Westpoint Homes, 15716 Hatterly Lane, residence, erect, $130,000. Home Creations, 11241 NW 99, residence, erect, $116,300. Shawn and Mindy Marler, 13440 SE 119, residence, erect, $115,000. Home Creations, 3417 Morgan Creek Road, residence, erect, $111,500. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 428 Scully Road, residence, erect, $104,000. Jeff Click Homes LLC, 15820 N Pennsylvania Ave., office, remodel, $100,000. Jeff Click Homes LLC, 15820 N Pennsylvania Ave., office, remodel, $100,000. Jeff Click Homes LLC, 15820 N Pennsylvania Ave., office, remodel, $100,000. Metro Mark Properties Inc., doing business as Kent Hoffman Construction, 1011 NW 39, residence, add-on, $100,000. Home Creations, 11237 NW 99, residence, erect, $96,700.

Home Creations, 1000 Aspen Creek Terrace, residence, erect, $95,800. Home Creations, 3048 NW 182 Terrace, residence, erect, $92,200. Home Creations, 3044 NW 182 Terrace, residence, erect, $90,700. Price Edwards & Co., 9000 Broadway Extension, office, remodel, $90,000. Home Creations, 12101 NW 133 Terrace, residence, erect, $89,400. Ideal Homes Of Norman LP, 2616 NW 185, residence, erect, $89,000. Home Creations, 5617 Marblewood Drive, residence, erect, $86,200. The Rug and Carpet Outlet, 4400 N Western Ave., retail sales, remodel, $85,000. Home Creations, 12049 NW 133 Terrace, residence, erect, $82,800. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 15217 Stillwind Drive, residence, erect, $82,000. Goodman Networks Inc., 1900 Northwest Expressway, tower-antenna, install, $80,000. Home Creations, 5615 Marblewood Drive, residence, erect, $78,400. Home Creations, 19704 Vivace Drive, residence, erect, $78,200. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 9525 SW 27, residence, erect, $74,000. Westpoint Homes, 6100 NW 158, residence, erect, $70,000. Morton Buildings Inc., 12200 N Douglas Blvd., barn, erect, $70,000. Rick Russell Homes Inc., 11808 Twisted Oak Road, residence, add-on, $55,000. Parker’s Custom Hardwoods Inc., 3916 N Harvey Parkway, accessory, erect, $54,000. DTM Custom Homes LLC, 13509 Scott, residence, add-on, $50,000. Silver Stone Homes, 14825 Sharon Springs Drive, accessory, erect, $35,000. NE Construction LLP, 8 NE 4, temporary building, move-on, $32,500. Ramsey Steel, 13001 SW 51, barn, erect, $31,000. Gilcraft Construction, 2000 NW 19, accessory, erect, $30,000. CSI Contracting, 12 NW 10, warehouse, remodel, $30,000. Red Dirt Lending LLC, 1220 NW 50, parking, install, $30,000. 134 SE 27, residence, add-on, $25,000. United Construction & Restoration, 714 NW 34, duplex, fire restoration, $23,000. United Construction & Restoration, 716 NW 34, duplex, fire restoration, $23,000. John Lambert, 19000 SE 104, barn, erect, $20,000. Special Metals Inc., 6406 S Eastern Ave., warehouse, remodel, $20,000. Rose Creek Home Owners Association, 16737 Rainwater Trail, cabanagazebo, erect, $18,813. Greg Smith Homes LLC, 5528 Monte Drive, resi-

dence, add-on, $15,000. Hollingsworth Homes LLC, 6632 Whispering Grove Drive, accessory, erect, $15,000. Country Estates, 11915 SW 16, manufactured home, move-on-mobile home park, $15,000. Country Estates, 11820 SW 15 Terrace, manufactured home, move-onmobile home park, $15,000. Wong Harry John, 3411 N Classen Blvd., restaurant, remodel, $15,000. Pamcorp, 13919 N Coltrane Road, tower-antenna, install, $15,000. Pamcorp, 5415 S Shartel Ave., tower-antenna, install, $15,000. Pamcorp, 203 N Wisconsin Ave., tower-antenna, install, $15,000. Sabre Industries, 2838 SE 9, tower-antenna, install, $15,000. Selective Site Consultants Inc., 3800 N May Ave., tower-antenna, install, $15,000. Newsouth, 3824 NW 23, residence, remodel, $11,000. Home Creations, 1004 Aspen Creek Terrace, residence, erect, $10,170.


Tino Pascuzzi, 530 S Broadway Ave., amusement, remodel, $9,500. McLean Homes, 5016 S Pennsylvania Ave., accessory, erect, $9,000. McLean Homes, 5401 S Shields Blvd., accessory, erect, $9,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 2620 NW 185, residence, erect, $8,200. Alberto Laija Sr., 315 SW 33, accessory, erect, $7,500. Lakepointe West LLC, 4045 NW 64, office, remodel, $5,000. Paul Goodman, 2412 NW 55 Terrace, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $5,000. Lingo Construction Services, 120 Robert S Kerr Ave., temporary building, move-on, $5,000. Ground Zero, 8912 NW 72, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $4,595. Ground Zero, 11012 Folkstone Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,595. John and Linda Abercrombie, 10725 Barton Place, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,150. SEE PERMITS, PAGE 7E





Mortgage takeover plan sparks hopes, questions BY HUDSON SANGREE The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A plan to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages has raised hopes of homeowner bailouts in cities stricken by the housing crisis. But could such a novel plan even be legal? Experts say the proposal being shopped around by San Francisco’s Mortgage Resolution Partners may well meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad definition of a public use under eminent domain law. The investor group is encouraging cities and counties to condemn mortgages and cut the amount borrowers owe to prevent blight and boost local economies. The sticking point, legal experts said, will be when it comes to paying the “just compensation” required by the U.S. Constitution.

“My guess is the courts will uphold the constitutionality of this, but it will be messy,” said Steven J. Eagle, an expert in government takings at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. Mortgage Resolution Partners formed at the start of the year to peddle a plan it said would both bolster the housing market and turn a profit for its investors. Its first chairman was developer and ex-state Treasurer Phil Angelides, who later resigned. Its half-dozen partners include financiers and Silicon Valley executives. The group counts former state Assembly Speaker Willie Brown among its investors. Current Chairman Steven Gluckstern, a venture capitalist and one-time owner of the New York Islanders hockey team, has been talking to cities and counties around the country, advocating his plan. San Bernardino County, Calif., already has

formed a joint powers authority with the cities of Fontana and Ontario to consider the proposal. Chicago city leaders held a hearing on it recently. Leaders in the Sacramento region — including Elk Grove, Calif., city council members; the Rancho Cordova, Calif., city manager; and advisers to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson — have met with MRP representatives and are mulling their options. “If we can do something collectively, it would make more sense,” said Cassandra Jennings, a senior aide to Johnson. Mortgage Resolution Partners is proposing that local governments seize the mortgages of homeowners who are underwater but current on their payments. To turn a profit, the plan relies on those governments buying thousands of promissory notes for less than the value of the homes that secure them.


The Listing of the Week is at 11133 Pamplona Way.


Custom home has 3 baths, 4 bedrooms, 4-car garage The Listing of the Week is a large 1½-story custom home in southwest Oklahoma City. The 3,435-square-foot home at 11133 Pamplona Way has four bedrooms, three baths, two living rooms, an office and a four-car garage. The kitchen has a large pantry, granite counter tops, a breakfast bar and eating

space. The master bedroom has a walk-in shower and large walk-in closet with an in-ground storm shelter. The home has custom cabinets throughout, is fully landscaped and backs to a greenbelt. The home, built in 2009, is listed for $374,900 with Stephen Schwetz of All Family Realty. Open house will be

from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The home is in the Rio de Bella addition on SW 119 between Rockwell Avenue and Council Road. For more information, call 834-2256.


6217 Greenwood Lane, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,000. James Ketcham, 9707 Pheasant Lane, accessory, erect, $3,000. John and Pat Zimmerman, 6524 NW 159, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,000. Judy Carden, 2725 SW 84, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,000. Larry and Joan Wood, 13117 Winding Vine Lane, residence, remodel, $3,000. Smart Shelters, 600 SW 157, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,000. Alexander and Micah McCumber, 2257 NW 36, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,995. Emmet Rose, 2612 SW 63, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,995. Jon Mitts, 6808 Stinchcomb Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,995. Silke Lovato, 3201 Eagle Pass Lane, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,995. Teddy Kusnadi, 2405 NW 154, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,995. Ground Zero, 2457 SW 81, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $2,995. William Morgan, 4637 NW 158, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,900. Janeat Irwin, 3224 NW 43, accessory, erect, $2,800. Sandra Storie, 10401 Carolyn Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,570. Daniel Bivins, 9029 NW

83, storm shelter, install, $2,500. Joseph Keck, 2819 NW 19, residence, remodel, $2,500. Bowlware Construction, 1220 SE 82, temporary building, move-on, $2,000. D.R. Horton, 2300 NW 156, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $1,800. D.R. Horton, 2301 NW 156, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $1,800. D.R. Horton, 2309 NW 155, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $1,800. Sunbelt Staffing, 2713 S Interstate 35 Service Road, office, remodel, $1,500. Heath Walker and Keisha Fox, 3200 Cragg Drive, manufactured home, move-on-mobile home park, $1,000. Carrier Commercial Service, 1 NE 3, install, install, $1,000.


J.W. Mashburn Development Inc., 3120 SW 137 Court, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,100. Audrey Huffman, 4218 NW 48, install-storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,095. David and Sherri Muzny, 12308 Swanhaven Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $4,000. Joanna Munding, 1013 McLaughlin Drive, residence, remodel, $4,000. John Pumphrey, 14412 Brent Drive, canopy-carport, add-on, $3,600. Marcy Rutledge, 6220 SE 89, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,500. Flat Safe, 16225 Scotland Way, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,300. Vortech, 13700 Calistoga Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,250. David Dodson, 16401 Coronado Drive, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,195. Morris Behmon, 9216 Shady Grove Road, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,195. Daniel Bohmann, 3336 NW 170 Court, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,100. Theda Osban, 10216 NW 45, storm shelter, installstorm shelter, $3,100. Gary and Donna Lynn,

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.

Demolitions K&M Wrecking LLC, 11021 NE 50, residence. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 4711 N Tulsa Ave., assembly. Kendall Concrete, 1924 Peachtree, single-family residence. Alberto Laija Sr., 315 SW 33, single-family residence. Claudia C. Romero, 544 SW 27, single-family residence. Gilcraft Construction, 2000 NW 19, garageapartment. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 4711 N Tulsa Ave., assembly. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 3600 SE 89, church.

Gluckstern contends the notes are worth less than the market value of the houses because owners are more likely to default if they owe more than their homes are worth. The purchase price should be discounted by the potential costs of foreclosure, he told the Sacramento Bee in a recent interview. For investors who own mortgage-backed securities, that would mean losing the best loans from the bundle of mortgages that generate their investment income. Meanwhile, MRP and its investors, who would front the money to local governments to buy the loans, stand to reap big returns. The plan calls for homeowners to refinance for more than the governments paid for the mortgages. Investors would take a share of the higher refinance amounts. And MRP would make a $4,500 fee per transaction. The fees and profits could

add up to tens of millions of dollars in Sacramento County alone. MRP’s plan is a strategy for “opportunistic investors to make a 20- to 30-percent profit” by “cherry pick(ing) the best loans out of a securitized pool and buying at a substantial discount,” said Timothy Cameron, an executive with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, which represents the mortgage-backed securities sector. The group has distributed legal memos challenging the plan. Lawyers and law professors who specialize in eminent domain law questioned the assumption that the loans Mortgage Resolution Partners proposes acquiring can be taken fairly at a discounted rate. They say that part of the proposal could result in hard-fought legal battles over valuation. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES






Condo sales take Ranch-style has eye-catching plan off in Fort Worth

The harmonious interplay of curved edges, horizontal lines and sparkling glass grids draws eyes to the Meadow Lake. Especially notable is the unusually curved transition between the stone veneer and lap siding on the left of this midsize ranch-style home. The floor plan feels exceptionally spacious, due to several factors. First, it has a number of vaulted ceilings. Second, it does cover a lot of square footage. The living room and dining room flow together at the front, while the informal vaulted family room, kitchen and nook are open to each other at the rear. Traffic flow patterns allow for easy access between rooms. Doors on the right of the foyer lead into a space that could be used as a den, bedroom or home office. A door on the far side of this room links into the secondary bedroom wing. The kitchen-family room is through an arch further along the foyer, while another arched opening on the left leads into the living room and dining room. The owners’ suite anchors the left end of a long transverse hallway that accesses all of the gathering spaces before ending at a skylit octagonal hub in the secondary bedroom wing on the right. This hub is like a traffic circle. Doors and hallways lead off in four directions, to the three-car garage, bedrooms, a two-section bathroom, a large utility room with exterior access and back to the family gathering spaces. Kitchen features include

BY SANDRA BAKER Fort Worth Star-Telegram

a large walk-in closet and a multi-angled work island rimmed by an eating bar. Windows fill five sides of a vaulted nook. Sliding doors link it to a vaulted patio. A smaller covered patio

is just outside the Meadow Lake’s luxurious owners’ suite. Other amenities include a deep walk-in closet, plus a private bathroom brightened by two windows and a solar tube.

A review plan of the Meadow Lake 30-767, 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. (800) 634-0123.

FORT WORTH, Texas — It took five years, but the last unsold penthouse perched atop The Tower in downtown Fort Worth is under contract. “It’s out of the blue,” said Tony Landrum, head of TLCurban and the developer group that redeveloped the 37-story tornado-ravaged former office tower at Fifth and Throckmorton streets into a luxury condo building. Not far away, another long-vacant penthouse, in the Neil P. at Burnett Park building, has sold. The interior space is under construction, and the new owners expect to move in late October. Are the unexpected penthouse sales indicative of a turnaround in Fort Worth’s trendy downtown condo market? Real estate agents seem to think so. Condo sales have taken off since the first of the year, they said. In June, agents with Williams Trew Sotheby’s International Realty sold the last condo in Le Bijou for OmniAmerican Bank, which foreclosed on the property in 2009. Williams Trew was given the listing for the 14 unsold units, and the bank asked that the units be sold in three years. That was 2 ½ years ago, said Joann Royer, Williams Trew vice president. Eight of those units sold for $415,000 to $645,000, or half the original asking prices. “Those were very good prices and the bank, I think, was very pleased,”

Royer said. After struggling for the first few years, sales have turned at the Neil P., the redeveloped Neil P. Anderson building at Seventh and Lamar streets, and only six of the building’s 57 units are available, said Pam Jones, the listing agent with Hurst-based CMT Realty. Residents began moving into the Neil P. in 2005, shortly after The Tower opened to residents. Last year, seven units sold, and that many have sold this year. The longvacant 11th-floor penthouse closed in December, after the $1 millionplus listing price was reduced to $849,000. “It’s crazy,” Jones said. “Our goal is to be sold out this year.” Becky and Greg Fitzgerald, who bought the Neil P. penthouse, are renting on another floor until their 3,800-square-foot condo is completed. The couple — she’s an American Airlines flight attendant and he’s CEO of Fitz Aerospace in North Richland Hills — said they looked at units in the Omni and Montgomery Plaza but decided on the Neil P. because of the uniqueness of the property and friendliness of the other condo owners. And, they acknowledge, because of the 5,100square-foot rooftop deck. The roof will be tiled and have an outdoor living space, including a kitchen and dining area. The three-bedroom, threebath condo will have fitness rooms and a private elevator. MCT INFORMATION SERVICES





Chimney care requires annual inspection BY CAROLE FELDMAN Associated Press Writer

People are drawn to a fire, whether they’re roasting marshmallows around a campfire during the summer or cuddling up near the fireplace in the dead of winter. And just as you take precautions outdoors, there are things you should do to make sure your fireplaces and chimneys are safe. Fires built in fireplaces or wood stoves leave a gummy residue, called creosote, that can stick to the lining of your chimney. Creosote — created by soot, smoke, gases and other particles — is flammable, and can be the source of a dangerous chimney fire. Between 2005 and 2008, an average 26,900 fires annually were blamed on fireplaces, chimneys or chimney connectors, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Experts recommend that chimneys be inspected every year by a certified chimney sweep and cleaned if necessary. The cost can range from $100 to $300 or higher. Cleaning a chimney is not a do-it-yourself project, said Kit Selzer, a senior editor at Better Homes and Gardens. It’s a dirty job, and it can be risky, especially if you have to climb onto the roof.

Certified Chimney Sweep Jeffery Peterson of Potomac Services inspects a chimney in Sterling, Va, in this photo provided by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Certified Chimney Sweep Jeffery Peterson of Potomac Services sweeps a chimney in Sterling, Va, in this photo provided by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. AP PHOTOS

Chimney sweeps are trained to determine whether chimneys are structurally sound and whether they need to be cleaned, said Ashley Eldridge, education director for the Chimney Safety Institute of America. They also will make sure the chimney is up to code, especially important in older houses. Selzer recommended that homeowners use the institute’s website, www., to select a certified chimney sweep. To become certified, a sweep must pass two tests: one on the inspection process

and tools, and the other on the international residential code, as it applies to chimneys, Eldridge said. “Each job is different,” said Christina El-Hage, a certified sweep with Pride Clean Chimney Sweeps in Bethesda, Md., but there are some basics. “We’re looking to make sure the flue is fully safe. We’re making sure there are no third-degree burns of creosote on the lining.” Chimney sweeps also check to see if there are any birds or animals in the chimney, or anything that would block the flow of smoke. They also check

that there’s no water coming in. Cleaning the chimney involves removing creosote. When thinking of chimneys, El-Hage said, many people focus on the one attached to the fireplace. “Yes, they can catch on fire, but we’re not dealing with a deadly gas, carbon monoxide,” she said, as is the case with chimneys leading from furnaces. Whether they burn oil or gas, furnaces vent carbon monoxide outside into the atmosphere, and those chimneys, too, need to be inspected.

3000 W Simpson » 10 Acres m/l Beautiful 5bedroom 2bath house, 2 car garage attached, cathedral ceilings in living area, balcony attached to master bedroom. It will be sold as is. Priced at $195,000 Call 405-273-5777

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OWNER FINANCING $2000 down 2135 NW 34th 2/1 $47,000 No Credit Ck ‘ 596-4599 ‘

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SE OKLAHOMA NEAR OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST Historic Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow Lake & acres of Pine forest. Spend your days on the lake fly fishing, hiking, golfing, biking, horseback riding & kayaking. Little Lake Cabin Photo#205 First State Bank Valliant, OK Mike at 580-933-4201 Member FDIC & Equal Housing Lender. Photos & info at: Cabin north end Lake Eufaula, $24,950, call 405-206-6582.

OWNER FINANCING $2000 down 4010 Pearl Way 3/1 $54,000 No Credit Ck ‘ 596-4599 ‘

7301 NW 23rd 787-1620

$200 Off

1st Mo Rent Selected units 2 & 3 bed Townhouses Washer/Dryers, Fireplaces, P.C. Schools


Moore Duplexes 2/1 brick 1898sf, 5avail $89.9K ea RltyExp414-8753

GREAT Office Space. Various NW locations, 300-6000sf 946-2516 Remolded Condo/Office 850ft Good location Kay 405-370-8471

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

Valencia Apts

2221 N. Meridian 946-6548

$549 Casady 751-8088

804 NW 21st St upstairs Apt 2bed 1ba CH/A,Dishwasher, »» Free Laundry »» $700/mo $350/dep, 409-7989 No Sec 8 Midtown Walford Apts 518 NW 12th, 650 sf Studio $675/mo $400/dep 409-7989 Duplex 1214 N Purdue -2 bdrm- Sect 8Avail 9/1-$550-$400dep.694-3634

Furnished/Unfurnished. Bills Paid » Wkly/Mnthly. Wes Chase Apts Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest 370-1077 FURNISHED » ALL AMENITIES Clean & quiet, Bills Paid $960 mo 2404 Reeves ¡ 370-0278

800 N Meridian 946-9506

MAYFAIR Great loc! 1&2 bd W/D hdwd flr quiet secure ¡ 947-5665 •ABC• Affordable, Bug free, Clean » 787-7212»

Newly Remodeled 1&2bd No deposit for VA, seniors & Disability. 4708 SE 44th 677-2200 1bd Apt Furn. $375, $150dep; 2bd trailer $395, $150dep. Water, Grbg pd/No Pets 321-4773

Cash 4 Clunkers! Guaranteed $5,000 for any trade towards down pymt of new home WAC 405-631-7600 405-834-8814 (MUST SELL) 16x80 3bd 2ba, great shape $12,900 CASH 405-570-4291

Large 1 & 2 beds. Stove, refrig,

3 SW OKC Locations $345 to 420 mo 632-9849

Furnished/Unfurnished. Bills Paid » Wkly/Mnthly. Wes Chase Apts Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest 370-1077

REPO REPO REPO 4bd/3bth $648MO. wac 405-324-8000 TOP LOCATION! Pd. wtr/garb. Near malls. Try Plaza East 341-4813

(MUST SELL) 28x60 28x80 starting at $18,900 »» 405-570-4291 Rent to Own: Nice 2 & 3bed MWC $350 & up 390-9777

Peaceful 3bd 2ba Brick Home 1900sf $1085 255-4300 2037 NW 34th 4bed 2bath 681-7272

Bills Paid

Furnished/Unfurnished Weekly/Monthly 370-1077

Free Month Rent! 1&2bd QUIET! Cov. Parking Great Schls 732-1122


3410 Cameron Court, 2/2/1 $725 no pets JW Rlty 755-2510 516 Flamingo 3bd 1ba 1c $695mo no sec 8 ch&a 313-4839

$99 Special

1 & 2 BD & Townhouses •City bus route/Shopping •Washer/Dryer hookups

Brand New 2 Bed 2 Bath

Double Wide REPO Like New $395mo. wac 405-577-2884

3/2.5/2 NICE!!! 9909 Mashburn Blvd. $900, 412-8540, No Sec 8

4505 SE 79 Tr 3/2/2 $1025 Express Realty 844-6101 3 BD 1O BA, CH&A, fenced Section 8. No pets. 405-672-0877

2/1/1 Very Nice, lrg liv, ch&a No pets.No Sec 8 $635+dep 650-9684

1321 Pennington 2/2/1 $725 816 Sandhurst 4/2/2 $1395 247 Broadway 1/1 $650 1508 NW 179 Tr 3/2/2 $1395 1401 Fretz 2/21 $725 22655 Stherly Farm 3/2.5/5 $2395 Express Realty 844-6101 3 bed, 2 bath, 2car, approx 1600sf $1,100/mo. Call Alex 990-0488.

3 Bed 2BA, 2 car Gar, Near Tinker, $925/mo, 889-3486

8005 NW 8th Unit 272 Thousand Oaks 1bd condo, fridge, stove, washer/dryer, ch/a $525 Fidelity RE 410-4200

» 4909 Creekwood, 3 bd, 1 ba,» 2 car, ch&a, nice $580 » 476-5011 4 bd, 1 ba, fenced bkyd, CH&A Call 703-1471 2 bedroom, $300 + $300 dep. No Pets. 703 SE 20th. 405-412-6881

2121 SW 27th 2bd 1ba $375 540 SW 44th 2bd 1ba 1car $425 1402 S Youngs 2bd 1ba $495 Free List ¡ 681-7272

6809 Lewis Ln. Executive Home. Over 1800 sf. Master suite, jetted tub, 10ft ceilings, 3 car garage, country setting, convenient to S. OKC. $1300mo ¡ 550-9097

2236 Carlisle nice 2bd, 1ba 1car att, fncd bkyd, ch&a, no smoking, $650mo $400dep. 320-0858

1 mi E of Tinker, 3b, 1b, 2c, ch&a, $575+$400 dep, no pets, 732-4351 228 W Pratt 2/2/2, 2 living 681-7272


1 bed. All bills paid 946-9506

***** Coming Soon ***** 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath on 5 Acres $94,900. Financing Available Titan Factory Direct 405-634-4812

3 bd, 2 ba, 2 car, 2 liv, Blue Ridge Addn, 2400sf, $1250/mo. Avail Oct. 1st 580-323-4040

8100 N. MacArthur Blvd

800 N. Meridian

Special Gov't Program! Own Land/Family land ZERO DOWN! New and Repo homes avail. E-Z qualify by phone. Top dollar for your TRADE in. $2,000 furn allowance with purchase. WAC 405-631-7600 405-834-8814

5826 Hefner Village Ct 3bed 2.5ba 2car Townhome 1600sf Amazing! $1300/mo $1300/dep 405-409-7989 NO Sec 8

2917 Nimitz 2 bd, 1 ba, garage, CH&A, New Paint & Kitchen, $650 Mo. + Dep. 216-5833

Oakwood » 5824 NW 34 1bed, 1ba, $325 mo, $175 dep 800sf, 405-409-7989 No Sec 8 3928 E Reno $1750mo house & lg 1500sf whse 601-5905 235-5028

place, El-Hage said, because it causes a thicker smoke, which lowers the temperature in the chimney. “The hotter the fire, the better the burn,” she said. While many people use a newspaper to start a fire, she recommends a fire log or fire starter instead. And to reduce the risk of a spark flying out of the fireplace, use a screen and stay in the room while the fire is burning. “The last thing you want to do is build a big old fire and leave the room,” Eldridge said. Also needed: a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher.

2317 N Woodward 1bed 1ba 1car 850sf $600 mo, $350/dep washer/ dryer connec. 409-7989 no sec 8


Large 2bd Special INVESTOR'S DELIGHT, AS IS, CASH. 3 bed home, 1.5 bath, 2 car garage. Call 405-427-3870

K Office, K Warehouse. Various sizes. 221 W Wilshire 842-7300

NEW 3bd/2bth $1500 down, 7.5% $281mo. 405-324-8010

Casita Blanca 2614 NW 50th Modern 2bd 2ba 2car garage, 1200sf, Amazing Stainless steel appliances, washer/dryer $1250 mo, $1250 dep 409-7989 no sec 8

2/1/1, 4020 SE 25th, $550/mo, $350/dep. 381-4841 or 990-4869.

Abandoned D/W Repo set up on 5 Acres!! Ready to move in. Free phone application 405-631-7600 Owner carry 2600 Tropicana by lake. 1723 sq ft 3/2.5/2 Like new 650-7667

$200 off

1st Mo Rent Selected Units Large Townhomes & Apartments • Washer, Dryers, pools • PC Schools, fireplaces

“It’s the No. 1 reason why we are in business,” El-Hage said. You can choose to use a fireplace, she said, but “you have to use your heat.” There are steps you can take at home to reduce creosote buildup and the risk of a chimney fire. Foremost is picking dry wood to burn, Eldridge said. To determine whether wood is sufficiently dry, “take two pieces and bang them together. You get almost a ring as an indication its ready. If not, it’s a dull thud,” he said. Dry wood also will appear gray on the surface and have cracks on the end. Don’t throw pizza boxes or other trash in the fire-

Boyd & Berry area, 2 or 3 bed, brick, 1.5 bath, 2 car garage, $875/month + $400 deposit 6 month lease. 245-1282

3bd 2ba 2car 1370sf $975+dep 4/2/2, 1750sf fireplace $1350+dep WAC Home&Ranch Rlty 794-7777

2124 White Oak Circle 3 bed 2ba 2 car 1369sf $1200/mo $900/dep 405-409-7989 no sec 8

3/2/2 + study 1650sf, 1.3ac $1100 WAC Home&Ranch Rlty 794-7777

912 Tulip Dr. 3/2/2, hrdwd flrs, storm shelter, shed $1095 + dep. 285-0305 or 823-6550

2 BEDROOM, 1704 MIRAMAR den, 1 bath, living room washer/ dryer hookup, no pets, $500/mo + $400dep. Call Mike 405-627-0614 or Annette 505-480-3857. 833 E Eubanks 3/1 + storage $495 681-7272

KAT Properties-Apt & Homes for rent. Scan this w/your phone app

13409 Mayberry 3/2/2 $1250 2903 Quail Creek 2/2/2 $1250 12305 Cedar Springs 2/2.5/2 $975 Express Realty 844-6101 The Greens, 4400 Windsong Way, 2 liv + study (wood flrs), 3 bd, 2.5 ba, 2 din, 2 car, FP, 2700 sf, No Pets, $1,550 mo » 405-755-6036

4/2/2 $1050 1300 sf No smokers No pets 508 Palais 405-324-2463

Rent to Own: Nice 2 & 3bed MWC $350 & up 390-9777

Female looking for a roommate, 100+ ft Edmond home, nice area, 3bd/2bth share rent and utilities. Please call 405-310-0248


Unique Opportunity Efficiency apartment With Section 8 All utilities paid CALL TODAY! Charles Atkins 405-424-3142 1917 NE 20th Street





The Oklahoman Real Estate  

The Oklahoman Real Estate

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