Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Two Actions by the Federal Government Causing Some Concern

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From lead based paint to flood insurance, homeowners may not be too happy with some actions by our government.

You may have heard about the flood insurance program expiring, but you may not have heard of the new EPA rule regarding lead based paint. This post is more informational for those who are not aware of what is happening.
    The EPA has new rule taking effect this April, which has caused some to be upset. If you own a home that was built before 1978, you probably have lead based paint. If the home had extensive remodeling after 1978, there is a chance that the lead based paint has been removed already. The concern is to make homes safer for its occupants when remodeling occurs. Here is the EPA information page about its lead based paint renovation rule. This is a great page to answer your questions. The National Association of Home Builders has a good summary page for its members. I am not quite sure why some were unprepared for this rule. It was announced on April 22, 2008 (Earth Day). One complaint has been that there are not enough Lead Safe Certified firms. The EPA has this quote on their site on that fact:

As of March 15, 2010, more than 3,000 courses have been offered and an estimated 50,000 renovators have been trained. Based on the current trends, EPA projects that at least an additional 2,600 courses will be given and an additional 50,000 renovators will be trained by the April 22, 2010, implementation date. The training capacity will continue to increase and renovators will continue to be trained after April 22.

Then I feel this quote and link will help homeowners:

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning in April 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

From my work experience, I know that lead based paint is a concern for parents. Small children who eat and chew many items around the home can be harmed. Remodeling can cause problems for the entire family as the dust moves in the home. This does mean an extra cost for the homeowner, but in my opinion is may be worth it. As a father of small children in an older home, I do want them to be safe.

The National Flood Insurance Program expired on March 28

Congress has promised to take up the matter upon their return, and to make it retroactive. However, for the two week period when this is not renewed, home buyers and sellers will face a problem. If you live in a flood zone, you may be required to purchase flood insurance when buying a home. Without this program, home buyers will find it difficult to close on their new home. There appears to be an option for those needing to close now, but it might not be to appealing. Lenders may purchase a flood insurance that is not under this program, which typically costs three times as much. We will have to see how this works out. I cannot see many homeowners wanting that option, so home sales in these areas may be held up for over two weeks.

One bill to look out for (it has recently entered Congress) is for the Home Star program. Once passed, this legislation will provide rebates for retrofitting your home for energy savings. I have to study this bill more, because I was hoping that the WaterSense program would be acknowledged, and their will be rebates for these items too.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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