Having your dream home built? Make sure you talk to your builder about Radon Reducing New Construction (RRNC) methods and techniques to help keep you and your family safe. Additionally, this will be a huge selling point for “health-conscious home buyers” down the road when you’re working to secure your return on investment.
RRNC is an affordable measure that can be taken during the construction of a home to effectively reduce the homes radon level by approximately 50%. Be sure to hire a properly trained contractor to perform the installation. Although it looks simple, if not done properly it could end up not working at all and then costing more money in the long run to fix it.
It’s important to understand the various options available as “the cost to a builder of including radon-resistant features in a new home during construction can vary widely. Many builders routinely include these features in some of their homes. The cost to the builder of including these features is typically less than the cost to mitigate the home after construction.” (EPA)
Using the HUD 203(k) Mortgage Insurance Program to Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer in People
The Section 203(k) mortgage financing program is the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) primary tool for rehabilitating and improving single family homes. The program allows home buyers to finance the purchase and repair or improvement of a home using a single mortgage loan.
Reducing radon levels in a home is an improvement that can be financed through a 203(k) mortgage loan. Part of the 203(k) mortgage proceeds must be used to pay the costs of rehabilitating or improving a residential property.
To qualify, the total cost of the eligible repairs or improvements, including fixes to reduce radon levels, must be at least $5,000.
The 203(k) program is an important tool for expanding home ownership, revitalizing homes, neighborhoods and communities and for making homes healthier and safer for those who occupy them.
Homes eligible for 203(k) financing include:
one to four-family dwellings that have been completed for at least one year;
dwellings that have been demolished, provided some of the existing foundation system remains; and,
converting a one-family dwelling into a two, three, or four-family dwelling; or, alternatively, converting an existing multi-unit dwelling into a one to four-family unit.
The 203(k) program has been used successfully by many lenders to rehabilitate properties through partnerships with state and local housing agencies and with non-profit organizations. To further help borrowers buy homes, lenders have found innovative ways to combine the 203(k) program with other financial resources like HUD’s HOPE and Community Development Block Grant Programs.
Contact an FHA-approved lender in your area for more information about HUD’s 203(k) program, or if you are interested in getting a 203(k) insured mortgage loan. To find a lender, please use HUD’s Lender List (LINK).
The National Association of Realtors – a Great Resource for Home-buyers
Home-buyers need every tool at their disposal to understand the labyrinth of Residential Real Estate. One tool we gain a lot of information from is the National Association of Realtors “Realtor Magazine”. Have a Question? Use their search bar to locate informative articles or just review their “Daily News Articles” where you will find articles such as these:
Realtors & their associations are advocates for the right to own, use, & transfer real property. Meaning, they are YOURadvocates for home-ownership.
Home Inspection & Radon Testing Contingency
DON’T SHOP PRICE, SHOP EXPERIENCE!!!!
You’ve finally found the home of your dreams & can see a light at the end of the tunnel. But now you find out that you have a 7 Day Home Inspection & Radon Testing Contingency period & need to hire an inspector ASAP!!!!
One of the BIGGEST MISTAKES you could make when choosing an inspector is to focus in on the cost of the inspection. Don’t just assume that all home inspectors are equal!! There are a lot of moving parts to purchasing a home. It can be timely, costly, and frustrating – BUT, remember this is one of the largest purchases of your life, so it’s to be expected. Take advantage of the Home Inspection & Radon Testing Contingency as not only a negotiation tool to ask for repairs or credits, but as an introduction to your new home.
So, before you start making those phone calls to choose your inspector, we wanted to give you two examples of phone calls we receive:
Realize that during this process, you’ve actually been assembling a Home Purchasing Team that can help you navigate through the labyrinth.
TIPS FOR HOMEBUYERS
Weather you’re a first-time buyer or a veteran homeowner downsizing or trading up, these valuable tips can help streamline your real estate transaction by making it go quicker and smoother, with the help of our Virginia State Licensed, Insured, &
New Resident Structure Certified Home Inspectors.
HUD RESOURCES. . .
HUD Resources aid in home-ownership, default / foreclosure prevention, & even offer assistance for renters. . .
Are you considering purchasing a home, refinancing to get out of a loan that is pulling you under, or are you like many others struggling to stay in your current home? Before looking anywhere else for advice, start with HUD, BECAUSE they sponsor housing counseling agencies throughout the country to provide FREE or low-cost advice on:
Still not completely sure? Here are 5 reasons to work with a housing counselor at a HUD-approved agency:
Honest Advice:A housing counselor will help you by assessing your situation. They will talk to you about the good & the bad with an unbiased opinion, bringing background knowledge of the best practices, upholding the national Industry Standards for Homeownership Education & Counseling. In addition, they have worked with many homeowners, banks, & servicers, & this experience means they know how to keep the process moving forward, & the various programs that may help your situation.
Explanation of bank letters: A certified housing counselor can help you dissect the terminology used in the correspondence issued by your lender & in the paperwork of the loan modification process. While a
bank or servicer may say your loan is “going into foreclosure,” they can help you understand what the actual timeline is for foreclosure & how to look out for important things like a Notice of Default.
Your Budget:A counselor will work with you to review your budget. Counselors can provide budget counseling & calculate your housing ratios, so you understand your ability to afford your mortgage & explain how these same ratios could impact your eligibility for assistance. For example, a counselor can review your income vs. your housing expenses & explain to you how that will impact your eligibility for a program like VHDA’s Down Payment Assistance (DPA).
Communication with your Bank or Servicer:Have you submitted paperwork to your bank or servicer multiple times, or called your designated representative but were not able to speak to them? While these types of issues can’t be completely eliminated, a certified counselor may have a reliable contact with your lender or have an efficient method of submitting your documents which can help smooth out some of the bumps along the way during the lender’s review.
Resources:Housing Counselors are able to provide you with resources, such as the VHDA Loss Mitigation program. Studies have shown that with the help of a HUD-certified counselor:
nearly 70 percent of those counseled obtained a mortgage remedy to retain their home;
56 percent cured their defaults and became current on their mortgages; &
35 percent of participants became homeowners within 18 months of pre-purchase counseling.
Whether a first-time home-buyer or facing foreclosure, be sure to find a HUD Approved Housing Counselor to learn more on the variety of housing counseling services and financial educational programs available to help consumers obtain and keep their piece of the American Dream.
Should Sellers Hire a Home Inspector, Too?
Check out this great article on the pros and cons of pre-inspections, found on realtor.com
Follow us on Facebook for additional resources on home purchase, maintenance, money savings, community resources.
Check out HUD’s play list – which includes informational home buying videos.
The homebuying process obviously starts with finding a place you’ll want to call home. These short video’s will instruct viewers on assessing how much of a home you can afford, working with a real estate agent and what happens once you find the home you want to buy. Housing counselors can assist home buyersand home owners on issues such as home buying, fair housing, credit issues, and foreclosure prevention.